What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

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What Do Personal Injury Attorneys Do?

What Do Personal Injury Attorneys Do?

Aug 8, 2022

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, suffered a dig bite, or endured a slip and fall, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and you recover the maximum cash settlement you deserve.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

But what, exactly, does a personal injury lawyer do? Moreover, do you really need one to recover financial compensation for your injuries?

In the sections below, we will review how an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney can help with your civil claim – whether for a car accident, dog bite, instance of medical malpractice, slip/trip and fall, wrongful death, or other type of incident which falls under the personal injury umbrella. We’ll also look at how to file a personal injury civil lawsuit, how long you have to file your claim, what types of damages may be recovered depending on the nature of your injuries, and why Dordulian Law Group is a trusted choice for personal injury victims throughout California as well as the United States.

What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?

In short, a personal injury lawyer can be an effective first-line of defense in protecting your right to recover maximum financial compensation as an injured victim. Dealing with insurance companies – all of which are in business to make money and therefore reduce your settlement award – can be a complicated and intimidating process. Personal injury attorneys protect the rights of victims who are injured in accidents as a result of negligence or carelessness.

Some of the basic duties of a personal injury lawyer may include:

  • Reviewing the facts of your case and developing a winning legal strategy (typically based on past experience)
  • Connecting you with the best medical care professionals to ensure a complete recovery
  • Negotiating medical bills to reduce total costs
  • Providing you with an overview of the litigation process – including an estimate of how long it may take to reach a settlement and how much your damages award may be worth
  • Interviewing witnesses to the accident and taking depositions
  • Hiring and interviewing expert witnesses to corroborate your claim
  • Gathering evidence and conducting a thorough investigation to prove your claim
  • Negotiating a maximum cash settlement
  • If a cash settlement can’t be reached, taking your case to trial

When you sit down for a free consultation with your prospective personal injury attorney, he or she will go over all of the facts related to your accident – whether an Uber/Lyft crash, truck accident, motorcycle collision, dog bite, or slip and fall – and advise you of your rights as well as all available legal options.

Providing as much information as possible to the personal injury lawyer during the consultation phase will help your case proceed smoothly. The attorney may ask about how the accident occurred, who was involved, when you sought medical treatment, if there are any witnesses, if you have photos or videos documenting the incident, etc.

Once your personal injury lawyer has all of the facts related to your car accident, dog bite, or slip and fall, he or she will likely issue a demand letter to recover financial compensation for various damages, such as:

  • Hospital and medical expenses
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional trauma
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering

What Does a Personal Injury Claim Investigation Include?

What Does a Personal Injury Claim Investigation Include?

One of the most important aspects of the personal injury litigation process is the investigation. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports and medical records, and more. For claims involving serious injuries and complex liability, many personal injury firms will hire outside investigators to help. But at Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we have an in-house investigator with over 30 years of experience who will be assigned to your case.

Moses Castillo is a retired Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective who serves as DLG’s Chief Investigator. Castillo has investigated and closed some of the city’s most complex and high-profile cases, including sex crimes via the department’s elite Abused Child Unit and car accidents via the department’s elite Central Traffic Division.

When you’re injured in an accident or other type of incident through no fault of your own, the last thing you want to do is take on the responsibility of conducting an in-depth investigation to prove your claim. When you hire DLG’s personal injury law team, we’ll handle all the burdensome details while you focus on what’s most important – your health, recovery, and overall well-being.

A DLG personal injury investigation may include:

  • Interviewing witnesses to the accident
  • Interviewing (or deposing) the at-fault party
  • Gathering evidence (such as photos, videos, closed-circuit or security camera footage, police reports, etc.)
  • Reviewing medical records and interviewing medical experts to help determine the overall impact your injuries will have on quality of life, ability to work, etc.
  • Gathering and reviewing employment records
  • Reviewing roadway conditions, premises conditions, etc. (to help prove liability)

These various pieces of evidence can be essential in helping to prove liability on the part of the individual or entity who caused your injuries. Additionally, wide-ranging and thorough evidence can help corroborate your version of events and ensure that things like pain and suffering and medical bills – both past and future – are taken into account when determining a fair settlement amount.

How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Negotiate With Insurance Companies?

Another important responsibility of a personal injury attorney involves handling all communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This role often entails protecting your rights – from lowball or minimized settlement offers, making statements that will impact liability, and more – but also fighting to ensure that your settlement award is maximized fairly and according to the extent of your injuries.

Insurance companies will often work to reduce liability (fault) held by the party responsible for your injuries. Reducing the at-fault party’s liability can diminish your overall settlement award. But a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to counter such arguments and get to the truth – securing justice in the form of maximum financial compensation.

In some cases, liability is straightforward.

For example, if a driver was distracted (sending a text) and crashed into you, causing serious injuries, and the entire event was captured on security footage, proving your case may be relatively straightforward. Accordingly, a settlement may be reached quickly.

But in many cases, liability isn’t as clear-cut. Moreover, the at-fault party may try to deny his or her responsibility (or even claim that you were in fact the cause of the accident which led to your injuries). In such instances, having the best personal injury lawyer fighting to protect your right to maximum financial compensation can be invaluable.

How Much Does a Good Personal Injury Attorney Cost?

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement rather than charging an hourly rate. A contingency fee is defined as a sum of money a lawyer receives on the condition that the case is successful. Legal contingency fees are typically unique to personal injury cases, such as car accidents or dog bites. Unlike hourly fees, which usually require an upfront retainer and then additional payouts according to the number of hours billed by a lawyer, contingency fees are only payable if there is a favorable result in your case.

Personal injury lawyer contingency fees can vary depending on a number of factors, such as how long your case takes to settle, the overall complexity of the case (and whether expert witnesses or other major expense may need to be included in order to reach a successful conclusion), the severity of your injuries, etc. In most cases, an attorney’s contingency fee is one third of a final damages award or verdict. However, this can vary on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, it is always recommended that you discuss the details of your contingency fee agreement with your personal injury attorney in advance.

On the surface, a personal injury attorney’s contingency fees may seem high. However, studies indicate that personal injury victims actually receive significantly more money for their claims when represented by a qualified lawyer (as opposed to attempting to handle cases by themselves).

In fact, an Insurance Research Council (IRC) study found that settlements were 40% higher when claimants had private legal representation. IRC research also confirmed that the average insurance payout is 3.5 times higher for clients who have hired a private attorney than for those representing themselves. What’s more, the IRC report found that 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for bodily injuries is received by clients who have secured representation from a private personal injury lawyer.

When considering whether or not a contingency fee agreement is the best option for you after suffering an injury, it’s important to remember that if an attorney accepts your case, he or she is therefore willing to accept the risk of potentially receiving no compensation for both legal services and expenses if the case is unsuccessful. By accepting that risk, your attorney is clearly confident that a successful resolution leading to a maximum financial damages award can be achieved.

At DLG, our personal injury lawyers only accept cases we believe can be won. When we take on your car accident, premises liability, medical malpractice, or other type of personal injury case, you can be sure that we will fight aggressively to recover a maximum damages award.

For more detailed information on how personal attorney contingency fees work, please take a look at our recent blog.

What Makes a Great Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in an accident, there’s likely one thing you’ll come to realize very quickly – there is no shortage of personal injury lawyers in California. Practically every time you turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or just look up while walking down the street, you’ll likely see another advertisement from a personal injury attorney claiming the be “the best.”

But before you call the number you see on a billboard or screen, consider a few traits that can distinguish an average personal injury lawyer from a great one:

  • Years of experience: Unfortunately, there is no minimum years of experience requirement for a lawyer to take out an advertisement promoting his or her amazing skills. Accordingly, when searching for the best personal injury attorney, it’s a good idea to take a look at how long your prospect has actually been practicing law.
  • Win/loss record: Again, an attorney can advertise all over the place without ever winning a major case. Be sure to inquire about the person’s win/loss record (both in terms of successful settlements and jury trial victories).
  • Total damages recovered for past clients: This is an important element to consider when choosing the best personal injury lawyer to handle your case. However, it’s crucial to remember that whatever amount a firm advertises should be viewed in the context of total years practicing and total number of attorneys. For example, if a firm advertises that they’ve recovered over a billion dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients, but they’ve been in business for over 50 years and employ over 100 lawyers, that ultimate amount (while technically larger than other firms) may not be as impressive as a small firm with only a few attorneys that has recovered $50 or $100 million for clients in a matter of years. Hence, be sure to view such information in an overall context rather than simply taking it at face value.
  • Jury trial experience: Does your personal injury lawyer have jury trial experience? Moreover, will your personal injury attorney even be willing to continue handling your case if a settlement can’t be reached and a jury trial is required? Unfortunately, many personal injury attorneys only handle cases where quick settlements can be achieved. In such instances, if your case must go to trial, you could be left searching for a new lawyer (with a limited amount of time to meet the two-year statute of limitations, not to mention having to deal with mounting medical bills and other expenses). At DLG, our founder and president, Sam Dordulian, has more than 25 years of personal injury experience which includes over 100 jury trial victories. We prepare every single case for trial, ensuring that you never have to worry about what to do in the event that an immediate settlement can’t be reached.

For more information on the signs indicating that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your case, please take a look at our recent blog.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

The statute of limitations (deadline) on personal injury claims varies from state-to-state. In California, most personal injury claims are bound to a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. That said, there are a number of exceptions to the California two-year statute of limitations.

For example, if you were injured in a bus accident and are filing a claim against the city of Los Angeles, your case may be bound by a much stricter six-month statute of limitations. Personal injury claims filed against government or public entities are not applicable to the standard two-year deadline, and therefore need to be filed almost immediately.

Regardless of what type of accident you were involved in that led to your injuries, it’s recommended that you file your claim as soon as you’ve received medical treatment. Seeking medical treatment to ensure your health is attended to is always the first step after an accident. But once you’ve received medical care, it’s important to hire the best personal injury lawyer available so your claim can be filed as soon as possible.

Get the DLG Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Advantage

At DLG, we are dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of injured victims. Whether you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, medical malpractice incident, or due to a product liability issue, our experienced team of attorneys is here to help you make a complete recovery which includes your overall physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

DLG’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, is a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who has dedicated his career to helping injured victims get the justice they deserve. Dordulian has assembled a team of skilled, dedicated, and proven personal injury lawyers, as well as specialized personnel like our in-house Chief Investigator, in an effort to ensure that your case is treated with the compassion, discretion, professionalism, and excellence it deserves.

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

DLG’s personal injury lawyers have secured over $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for injured victims while maintaining a near-perfect 98% success record. We only work on a contingency fee basis, which means you’re never required to pay a penny upfront. We don’t charge a fee until after we’ve successfully secured a maximum cash settlement for your claim. With DLG, there’s never anything to lose – when you bring your car accident, slip and fall, or dog bite claim to one of our dedicated lawyers, we’ll work tirelessly until a full and fair damages award has been obtained on your behalf.

Contact a member of our team today at 818-322-4056 for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation regarding your personal injury claim. We serve clients throughout California and the U.S.

After suffering a personal injury, the best call you can make is to the proven attorneys at DLG.


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