How To Help Your Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer Win Your Case

personal injury law

Most lawsuits in the United States involve personal injury, including car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. However, if you have been injured because of someone’s negligence, there are several things you can do to help your personal injury attorney try to win your case. Read below to learn more, and contact our Orange County personal injury attorney at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., for more information.

Tell Your Attorney The Truth

Suppose you are in a car accident in Orange County near Disneyland Park or Knott Berry Farm. Someone turned left in front of your SUV, and you T-boned them. It sounds like it was the other driver’s fault. What if you were speeding and 25% responsible for the accident?

You can still recover compensation in a lawsuit if you are partially at fault, but do not be tempted to hide the truth from your attorney. The truth will be exposed during the police investigation and lawsuit discovery. Therefore, it is always best to be honest with your attorney. Give them all the facts, so they are ready for any weak parts of the case.

Save All Accident-Related Documents

You should save all documents that are related to the accident. These include the police report; photos of your injuries and the vehicles; contact information from witnesses; medical bills, and notes on when you received medical treatments. Your attorney will gather most of these documents but you can save time by gathering them yourself. 

Also, think about writing or videoing a personal injury journal. This can help describe the pain you are in as you recover. In addition, the journal may be used by your injury attorney during settlement negotiations.

Do Not Guess

If asked about the accident, you should stick to the truth. While you should not admit fault, always tell the truth.

For instance, if you are unsure how fast you were going when the car hit you, ask your attorney whether to simply say you do not know. The insurance company will use anything you say that is inaccurate against you. It may be an innocent mistake, but the other side will try to portray it as you being reckless at worst or untruthful at best.

Do Not Speak To Their Insurance Company

The insurance company for the liable party may attempt to contact you after the accident, even on the same day. They are not interested in your well-being. They often want potential claimants to sign a quick settlement agreement before they hire an Orange County personal injury attorney. The insurance company knows the odds are a lawyer will almost always argue for more money than if a potential claimant does not have a lawyer. Hiring an attorney will mean that if the insurance company keeps calling you, you could simply tell them you hired a lawyer, and they need to talk to your attorney.

Avoid Social Media

It is understandable to want to tell people about what happened to you. However, you should not post about the accident or case on social media. The insurance company might watch you closely after the incident, including monitoring your social media feeds.

Posting about your accident and injuries can be twisted and used against you. If you even post about going for a walk, the insurance company may attempt to argue you are not hurt. Ask your attorney whether it might be a good idea to take a break from social media until the case is over.

Respond To Your Attorney

It is a common complaint when an attorney does not respond to a client’s calls or emails. It goes the other way, too. If your attorney calls or emails for information, do your best to get back to them the same day.

On a related note, if your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant will send interrogatories, or written questions, to your lawyer. The lawyer’s office will probably send those questions to you. Answering the interrogatories promptly and giving your attorney the necessary information is vital. The case could be compromised or even dismissed if you do not provide the correct information on time.

Whether To Take A Settlement If Your Attorney Recommends It

The vast majority of personal injury cases end in a settlement. It is often not worth the risk and expense of going to trial – for either side. If your attorney recommends you settle for a certain amount, strongly consider it. But if your lawyer says you should go to trial, you should probably follow their recommendation. They are more familiar with accident cases and the law than most people.

Act Quickly

California has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. This is the length of time you have since the accident to file a lawsuit. This may sound like plenty of time, but it can go by fast. Maybe you thought your truck accident injuries would heal independently, and they did not after a year. 

Give your attorney as much time as possible to build a strong case. If the claim must be thrown together at the last minute, it will be more difficult to prevail.

Make A Good Impression

If you must go to court, make the best possible impression. Dress well, be polite, and tell the truth. Juries make decisions based on the facts and how you look and act. Your attorney will advise you on how to look and act if you need to appear in court.

See Your Doctor And Keep Your Medical Appointments

One of the most critical parts of getting a large settlement in a lawsuit is having your doctor on your side. The professional opinion of a doctor is essential to winning a case. In addition, you need your doctor to describe the severity of your injuries and how they are related to the accident.

The courts see doctors as expert witnesses. Therefore, their testimony is critical to the success of potential claims.  

Speak To An Orange County Personal Injury Attorney Today

Were you injured in a car accident in Orange County on Beach Boulevard, Ortega Highway, or Laguna Canyon Road? You might need a personal injury attorney if the other driver caused the accident. Orange County personal injury attorneys at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. can help. Please contact our SOCAL personal injury lawyers at (888) 883-6588 for a complimentary consultation.

Proving Pain, Suffering, and Mental Trauma in a Personal Injury Case

personal injury

Say you are in Orange County enjoying the sights of Crystal Cove State Park or the Downtown Disney District. Suddenly, someone slams into your car at a red light. You are injured and have tremendous pain, suffering, and mental trauma as you recover. What should you do?

If the other party is at fault, you may benefit by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Proving your medical bills and lost earnings is one thing, but how to prove pain and suffering? Learn how attorneys prove mental and physical suffering below, then contact the Orange County personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Joseph Richards P.C. for assistance.

What Are Damages For Pain And Suffering?

Pain, suffering, and mental trauma in a personal injury case seek to pay you for the physical and psychological discomfort you endure because of someone’s negligence that caused your injury. Receiving compensation for mental and physical suffering in a personal injury lawsuit can include remuneration for many things:

  • Aches and pains from your injuries
  • Mental anguish and trauma
  • Inconvenience
  • Discomfort
  • Loss of the use of a limb or bodily function
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Psychological trauma

You may be able to sue for your physical and mental pain and suffering in many personal injury cases. Some of the most common cases are:

  • Auto accidents: If you are in a car accident and injured because of someone’s negligence or careless action, you could receive compensation for your mental and physical discomfort.
  • Job accident: Were you in an accident during your work and suffered an injury caused by a third-party? You could have mental and physical pain, and you deserve compensation.
  • Premises liability: If you slipped and fell on someone’s property because of a hazardous condition, you could be entitled to compensation.

How Do You Prove Pain And Suffering?

Your injury attorney will likely use several ways to prove your pain, suffering, and mental trauma. There are many documents they can use to establish the level of your pain and suffering:

Medical Bills

Suppose you fall and injure your back in a restaurant on a slick floor. Your attorney will collect your hundreds or thousands of medical bills to illustrate your pain and suffering.

Medical Records

The attorney can point to your medical records to illustrate your back injury diagnosis and the pain you feel. In addition, the doctor may provide a statement that quantifies how much physical and mental discomfort you have.

Injury Images

If you were in an auto accident and had visible injuries, images can be a powerful testimony to prove mental and physical suffering. For instance, if you have severe lacerations on your face from broken glass in an auto accident, this is strong evidence of psychological and physical trauma.

Mental Health Records

If you need to go to a psychologist to deal with your mental and emotional state after an accident, this may prove your pain and suffering. Whatever the cause of pain and suffering after the accident, your attorney will work with your doctors to provide conclusive proof. Remember to share your medical records with your attorney after the accident. These documents are critical to show your pain is worth it.

Major Injuries That Are Worth Substantial Compensation For Pain And Suffering

Many personal injury cases involve pain and suffering compensation for mental and physical trauma. However, the following injuries could result in a much higher pain and suffering payout:

  • Spinal cord injuries that cause partial or complete paralysis
  • Amputation or limb-crushing injury
  • Traumatic head injuries or severe brain damage
  • Loss of the ability to talk or understand speech
  • Severe burns over much of the body
  • Injuries that cause total loss of your eyesight
  • Loss of the reproductive organs or infertility

How Is Suffering For Pain And Suffering Calculated?

There is no standard formula to determine your mental and physical suffering. These damages are subjective and often left to the jury to determine in a lawsuit. A jury may use many ways to decide how much pain and suffering compensation you deserve. Some popular ways include what avoiding pain is worth, a per diem rate for your pain, and a cost-benefit analysis.

However, many personal injury cases are resolved in a settlement, not in court. Therefore, the insurance company may calculate your damages using a multiplier of 1-5. This number may be multiplied by your amount of medical bills and lost earnings to value your mental and physical suffering.

The insurance company will review the details of your accident and the extent of your injuries to determine their offer for your pain and suffering. Your attorney may counter with his own estimate.

The Liable Party May Low-Ball Your Pain And Suffering

One of the many benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney is to contest an insurance company’s lowball estimate of your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, it is common for insurance companies to underestimate the plaintiff’s pain and suffering so the insurer can pay less in claims.

However, your Orange County personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate aggressively with stingy insurance companies. They will understand what your injuries and mental and physical discomfort are worth.

Remember The California Statute Of Limitations

Regardless of the amount of pain and suffering compensation you may deserve, filing your claim within California’s statute of limitations is critical. Unfortunately, for most personal injury claims, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is only two years in California. This means you must file the lawsuit within two years of the date of injury to take legal action. With rare exceptions, the statute of limitations ‘clock’ begins to run on the day you were injured. If your injury was caused by a governmental entity, the statute of limitations may be as short as 6 months. So, talk to an attorney as soon as possible.

Speak To Our Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you were in an accident because of someone’s negligence, you have legal rights in California. For example, you could be entitled to compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering, lost earnings, and medical bills.

The Law Office of Joseph Richards P.C. has experienced personal injury attorneys who will safeguard your legal rights. Contact us now at 888-883-6588. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys also represent injured clients in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and the Inland Empire.