You’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan Beach that was due to someone else’s negligence. Your medical expenses and other bills are piling up; not only are you currently unable to work, the doctor’s prognosis says you won’t be able to work for some time. For a person in your situation, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover some of the losses you’re facing as a result of your injuries.
If you’re like a lot of people, your total exposure to the legal system has consisted of paying off a ticket for a moving or parking violation in a municipal traffic court. You feel you deserve some compensation for your pain and suffering but you’re unsure on how to proceed. At Dinsmore & Sandelmann, our Manhattan Beach accident attorneys been protecting the rights of injured people just like you for 30 years, and we’ve found that an excellent way to alleviate people’s concerns are to sit down and explain the basic steps in a personal injury lawsuit.
The Date of the Accident
The date of the accident that caused your injury is important because California’s statute of limitation laws say that you only have three years from the date of your accident in which to file a personal injury lawsuit — after that, the courts cannot consider your claim (with certain exceptions).
You receive emergency medical treatment for your injuries, remaining in the hospital as long as necessary. During this time, the doctors will evaluate your condition to determine what immediate and serious injuries you have. It is usually necessary to follow up with a specialist to determine what long-term health problems, if any, you may experience as a result of your injuries.
Avoid These Missteps in the Personal Injury Litigation Process
We strongly advise that during this time you do not discuss your situation with anyone, especially on social media, and do not make any statements of any kind concerning the accident or your injuries until after you’ve spoken to an attorney. Your words could very well be used against you at a future date. And most importantly DO NOT sign an agreement with a representative of the party or parties that were responsible for your injuries until after you’ve spoken to an attorney.
You Hire an Attorney
When your injuries and the financial damages you’re suffering are severe, a personal injury lawsuit may be the solution to the predicament the accident has placed you in. There are lots of personal injury attorneys in the Manhattan Beach area. Do some research to ensure you make the right selection. Many of our clients say they selected Dinsmore & Sandelmann because of our solid reputation for getting results.
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection to a few choices, schedule a consultation with each one to determine which attorney is right for you.
We Investigate Your Claim
If we decide to accept your case, the first thing we’ll do is investigate the accident to recover the evidence needed to prove your claim. This includes reviewing any documentation related to the accident (medical records, police reports, etc.), speaking to eye witnesses, examining the accident scene and seeking any expert testimony that may be helpful in your case. The more evidence we gather to support your claim, the better your chances for winning your case. Once our investigation is concluded, we’ll use this information to determine the full scope of your damages, including pain and suffering, present and future medical expenses, and loss of income.
Negotiations with the Responsible Party or Parties Insurance Company
The evidence that was gathered during our investigation will be used to get you the full compensation you deserve for your damages. Having an experienced Manhattan Beach personal injury attorney aggressively negotiate on your behalf almost always results in a larger settlement (sometimes millions of dollars more) than an injured person would have been able to recover on their own.
We Collect Our Fee
In most cases, our clients are in no position to pay up front for the services of an experienced Manhattan Beach personal injury attorney. That’s why we handle personal injury cases on what is called a contingency basis. That means we provide our services with no up-front charges to the client, earning our fee only after we secure a settlement or jury verdict that satisfactorily compensates you for your damages.
What about the Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In most cases, insurance companies prefer to settle their cases out of court. However, if their final settlement offer doesn’t meet your needs, we are willing and able to take them to fight your case in court.
Submitting written questions to the defendants, hearing oral depositions, and hiring expert witnesses are just a few of the tasks we must address in preparation for the trial. It usually takes several months to prepare to go to trial.
It’s possible the judge may order the two sides into mediation before the trial.
Depending on the complexity of your case, it could take anywhere from one day to a couple of months to decide your case in a courtroom. Deliberations in a jury trial could last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
After the jury decides in your favor, and the time for appeal or post-jdugment moments expires, you will receive your compensation within approximately 30 days.
Take the Most Important Step: Contact Dinsmore & Sandelmann
We hope this has answered any questions you may have about the personal litigation process in California. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Hawthorne, Torrance or surrounding communities, the first step to recovering compensation for your losses is calling Dinsmore & Sandelmann to schedule a free consultation. We want to hear your story, answer any legal questions you may have, and talk about the best ways to move forward with your personal injury claim.