When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles

When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles

When to hire a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles is a common question we hear from people who have been in accidents, as well as other personal traumas. If you have been injured in any kind of accident in which you were not at fault, hiring—or at least consulting with a personal injury lawyer—is something you should strongly consider.

There are many different types of accidents which can result in injuries and conditions for which you might deserve to be compensated. Here are the eight most common situations:

1. Slip and fall

There are a lot of factors that play into a slip and fall accident, including the conditions of the floors and warning signage in the immediate area. If you have been injured due to a business’s or other entity’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and should consult an attorney.

2. Trip and fall

Tripping and falling can been caused due to uneven surfaces or obstacles in your path. Again, in such a case, it is possible that someone else is at fault, and is worth consulting with an experienced attorney to help you determine your best course of action.

3. Car accident

There are nearly 200,000 injuries from traffic accidents every year in California. While there might be some instances where no one is at fault, many times, one of the drivers is at fault in the accident. In this case, the driver and the owner of the car are responsible for any injuries sustained in the accident.

4. Motorcycle accident

With its beautiful weather year-round, Los Angeles is home to a large number of motorcycles. Unfortunately, it is also the county with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities (deaths) in the U.S. If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, they are more likely to have serious injuries, which could leave them injured, unable to work, or worse. Often times the accident is the fault of another driver, and they need a personal injury attorney that will fight for the settlement they need and deserve.

5. Pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles

If you’ve been hit by a car, motorcycle—or any motor vehicle—while walking, this is called a “Pedestrian Accident”

Los Angeles County has the highest number of pedestrian accidents in America, with the highest number of deaths resulting from being hit by a motor vehicle while walking. If you have been injured in any way by a reckless driver, you should strongly consider contacting a qualified Los Angeles personal injury attorney right away.

6. Accident with a truck

With Los Angeles’s great ports and need for goods, there are thousands of trucks on our roads and highways every day. An accident involving a truck can be extremely frightening and result in severe bodily injuries. Trucking companies’ insurance claims processes can be difficult to navigate.

7. Accident with a rental vehicle

Los Angeles Rental car companies require drivers to either carry their own insurance or pay for coverage at the time of rental. Negotiating for damages with a major corporation like the car rental agencies can be challenging, and a personal injury attorney will often be your best bet to get a fair settlement.

8. If you are on a bicycle and are struck by a motor vehicle (car or bus)

Bicycles are a great, healthy and eco-friendly way to get around Los Angeles. Unfortunately, motorists aren’t always respectful of cyclists. Even worse, they might be distracted and not notice a bicycle when making a turn, not yield right of way, or even open their car doors when bicycles are approaching. Bicycle accident injuries can be particularly severe, since riders are only protected by a helmet.

If you have been a victim in any of the above situations, and are experiencing any of the following types of injuries:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder or arm pain
  • Broken limbs

Or any other injury that is making it difficult for you to work or take care of yourself and your loved ones, and you believe it was the fault of another person or business, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible!

If you think you need a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley, The Law Offices of Ilona Gorin are here to help!

We are a boutique law firm that specializes in personal injury litigation, such as car accident cases. We have successfully represented hundreds of individuals around LA in the more than ten years that we have been fighting for accident victims, and we look forward to the chance to help you get the settlement you need to recover and regain your quality of life.

Auto Insurance Accident Settlement Attorney

Auto Insurance Accident Settlement Attorney
In California and throughout the country, insurance companies have formulas that they use to estimate the value of auto-insurance settlements, but the truth is that these formulas are skewed in their favor.

If you have been in an accident, you shouldn’t accept a settlement offer until you know that all the facts that are in your favor have been fully factored into the final settlement amount.

Here are the 10 factors that you and your lawyer should consider before accepting an offer:

1. Is it a fair offer that takes all of your injuries into consideration?

A fair offer can only be arrived at if all of your injuries have been considered. Injuries generally fall into two categories: physical and emotional. Physical injuries are often considered in settlement offers, but most adjusters have a tendency of overlooking emotional injuries.

2. Does it consider the severity of your impact?

It’s not enough just to count the number of physical injuries that you have; the severity of the accident should also be considered. Do you have soft tissue injuries? Broken bones? Are you on crutches or a wheelchair as a result of the impact?

Ensure that the nature and the extent of all your injuries are fully documented in your medical records, along with the measures that had to be taken to treat them.

3. What is the policy limit? Is there more available to you according to the insurance policy?

Before you accept a settlement offer, you should know what the policy limit is. Settlements are negotiated between injured parties and insurance companies because people prefer not to go to court. But the offers are initiated by insurance companies because they could potentially lose more if a jury decides to award you the maximum amount (the policy limit).

You should know what the policy limit is in your case, so that you can be in a better position to ask for the settlement that you truly deserve.

4. Is the insurance adjuster downplaying your injuries to settle for less?

Insurance adjusters are not neutral parties, they work for the insurance company! It’s very common for adjusters to downplay the extent of your injury in order to get you to settle for less. Your best course of action is to talk to a car accident lawyer before engaging with an adjuster.

5. Have you completed your treatment, or is this offer premature?

Is the insurance company giving you a low offer to settle quickly, before the extent of your treatment needs is fully known? You should never accept an auto-insurance settlement until you fully understand the extent of your treatment needs.

The last thing you want is to accept a low offer and then later find out that you need follow-up treatments that you will now have to pay for out of pocket. Accepting a settlement means you forfeit your right to make any more claims on in this case, so you should ensure that you only take a deal that covers your past, ongoing, and future treatments.

6. Have you collected your evidence of all lost earnings?

It’s not enough to get compensation for your injuries and medical bills alone. The fact is that the time you spend getting medical treatment or recovering from the accident could have been spent working and earning money. You are entitled to a lost earning compensation whether you have a full-time job, part-time job, a seasonal job, or you are self-employed. Even if you get a paid sick leave from your employer, that doesn’t negate that fact.

You should collect any evidence that shows how much time you took from work, and how much money you would have made during that period. If you are self-employed or a freelancer, you can also ask to be compensated for lost opportunities (this can difficult to qualify, but with a great car accident lawyer, it’s very much possible).

7. Are there special considerations in how this accident affects your ability to work?

It’s possible that, due to your accident, you may not be able to go back to work at all. Or even if you do go back, you may not be as productive as you were before the accident. Your medical report can give some insight into whether you will be at 100% when you return to work. If that’s not the case, this should be factored into your settlement.

8. Are you being compensated for pain and suffering (in addition to your economic losses)?

The loses due to an accident aren’t just economical. As a result of the accident, you will be in a lot of pain (both physical and emotional). The suffering that you endure must be factored into the settlement, and the amount should be separate from what goes into paying your medical bills.

9. Are there other people for whom you can obtain a value for your settlement?

When you get into an accident, it’s not just you that suffers. Your family members and loved ones will experience psychological trauma as well as hardships, and the quality of their lives will be impacted by your condition. They need to be considered in the settlement, too.

10. Are there personal relationships that have been affected by your injuries?

As a result of your accident, your personal relationships may also suffer. Your relationship could be strained because you are no longer in the state of mind to nurture it or phyiscally unable to give your partner what her or she expects. In extreme cases, your partner might even leave you because you have been disfigured.

When you meet with your car accident lawyer, make sure to discuss all of the negative impacts on your personal and professional life that have occurred or might occur since the accident.

Of course, it’s best to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable about auto accident litigation. Without the representation of an experienced lawyer, you may be inclined to take the first offer that they put in front of you, but that’s almost always a bad idea.

A good lawyer will help you collect evidence, including items you might otherwise overlook. They will then present the evidence to the claims adjuster, expedite the settlement process, and get you the money you deserve.

If you are looking for car accident lawyers in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley, The Law Offices of Ilona Gorin are here to help!

We are a boutique law firm that specializes in personal injury litigation, such as car accident cases. We have successfully represented hundreds of individuals around LA in the more than ten years that we have been fighting for accident victims, and we look forward to the chance to help you get the settlement you need to recover and regain your quality of life.

Slip and Fall in Los Angeles
A slip and fall accident may sound like a minor incident that you just get up from and go on with your life. Unfortunately, this is often far from the case, as slip and falls can be extremely serious and lead to injuries like broken bones, long-term head and brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and others.

In the US alone, slip and fall accidents are among the leading causes of unintentional injuries, accounting for approximately 1 million visits to the emergency room annually. They are also the leading cause of lost days at work, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Falls, and slip and falls are also the second-leading cause of unintentional death especially with the elderly people.

If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may not know what to do next. If you sustained the injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you deserve to be compensated for any physical pain and financial losses you may have incurred as a result of the injury.

Here are the steps to take after a slip and fall accident in LA

1. Report the Accident

Report your slip and fall accident as soon as it happens. The report has to be made to the owner of the property or someone in charge, regardless of whether it happened on private or public property. For instance, if it happened in an apartment building, you should report it to the landlord or building manager. If it happened on public property, you should report it to the police, park rangers, or whichever property representative is available. Get the name of the person with whom you’ve filed the report, and try to get a copy if you can.

2. Seek Medical Help Immediately

Be sure to call for medical help as soon as possible. Your health is the most important thing, so you should seek medical care even if you don’t think you have been seriously injured. Medical care might include transport to a hospital (by ambulance or your own transportation) if you believe you have been seriously injured, or visiting a doctor afterwards and receiving physical therapy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five slip and falls results in a serious injury. Some injuries, like Traumatic Brain Injuries, may not be felt until months after the accident and cause serious problems if not diagnosed early. Medical care is important to make sure you are alright and also because it may seem suspicious if you did not seek medical care immediately after the accident.

3. Collect the Evidence

You need to collect and document as much evidence as you can find about the slip and fall accident. Start collecting the evidence right after you sustain the injury. This is important since, as time goes by, it gets harder to prove that your accident was caused by another party.

Take pictures of the slip and fall site if possible. Capture any details that can help you prove the negligence of the at-fault party such as: torn carpets, cracked floors, wet floors without signs, etc. If there are any witnesses to your accident, make sure you get their contact information. You should also keep a detailed record of your injuries, your treatment, and your general progress during the healing process.

4. Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company

You may receive a call from the insurance company or someone representing the property owners after your slip and fall accident. While this may seem completely harmless, insurance companies are known to be sneaky and can use your words against you. Do not speak with insurance adjusters unless your attorney is present and never sign anything before running it by your attorney.

5. Hire an attorney with experience in slip and fall cases

You need to have an experienced lawyer in your corner to help you prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. A slip and fall attorney will answer any questions you have related to the accident and what your next course of action should be. They will also communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and navigate the process of filling your claim and proving liability. The cost of legal services depends on the lawyer’s expertise, experience, and the complexity of the case.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and are in need of a slip and fall accident lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Ilona Gorin to work on your case and get you the compensation you deserve. With over 10 years serving people in the greater LA and San Fernando Valley, you can count on our slip and fall legal team to use all the resources at our disposal to get you the help you need and the settlement you deserve.

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Costs

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Costs
Whether you’ve been hurt in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or any other accident, you want to get the settlement you deserve, without worrying about lawyer fees and costs. Most Los Angeles personal injury lawyers, including the Law Offices of Ilona Gorin, work on what is known as a “contingency fee basis.”

What Does Contingency Fee Mean and How Does it Work?

A contingency fee means that you will only pay your lawyer when they “win” your case. This means that you can hire an experienced personal injury lawyer like Ilona Gorin to handle your case without paying them from your own pocket. The contingency fee percentage will depend on whether your case was settled out of court or whether it went to trial.

How Much of Your Settlement will Personal Injury and Car Accident Lawyers Charge?

Most personal injury lawyers will charge a contingency fee percentage between 33-40%, but this percentage is negotiable.

Included in this rate are services like:

  • Obtaining all the documents pertaining to your accident
  • Scheduling inspection of your vehicle
  • Collecting the necessary evidence to build your case
  • Negotiating with the insurance company
  • and more…

While all this may sound easy, keep in mind that personal injury cases aren’t usually as straightforward as we would like them to be. For example, an insurance company might decide to act in bad faith and deny your claim, or you might accidentally implicate yourself as being the one at fault in the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you get the best possible outcome and avoid potential problems like these, and others.

This is why it is always important to consult a lawyer before trying to handle your own case. In fact, the Law Offices of Ilona Gorin doesn’t charge for initial consultations, so you are not risking anything by speaking to an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney!

Settlement BEFORE Filing a Lawsuit

Your lawyer will put together all of the supporting documents to support your property damage and personal injury claims. Once the insurance company has reviewed this information, a settlement discussion between your attorney and the insurance adjuster begins. If your lawyer builds a solid case, the party at fault will make a counteroffer and negotiations will proceed from here. Your lawyer should keep you informed of any settlement offers and advise you on whether this is a good amount to accept. Once you and the insurance company agree on an amount, the settlement is reached and your claim is considered resolved.

All this happens before you file a lawsuit.

Settlement AFTER Filing a Lawsuit

If you and the insurance company cannot agree on a reasonable settlement amount, your case may be right for litigation, which means filing a lawsuit against the party at fault. If the settlement is reached after a lawsuit is filed, your lawyer maybe entitled to a higher percentage, usually about 40%.

You may reject a settlement offer if you feel it’s too low. If your lawyer believes that you can get a higher settlement offer if they file a lawsuit, you should be aware of the expenses that come with taking a case to court.

At the Law Offices of Ilona Gorin, we work hard to settle all claims quickly, without the costs of filing a law suit, but we don’t settle for less than you deserve!

Costs and Expenses

If a lawsuit is filed in your case, your lawyer will take care of any expenses related to your case and subtract them from your settlement. Some of the costs may include:

  • Filing fees
  • Service of process fees
  • Motion fees
  • Depositions
  • Trial exhibits
  • Hiring private investigators
  • Postage
  • Expert witness fees
  • Obtaining medical records

You should be aware that these expenses can be costly and add up very quickly.

How Do You Collect Your Settlement?

Once your case is settled, your settlement check is automatically mailed to your lawyer, who will then send your portion to you. At Law Offices of Ilona Gorin, we ensure that your settlement check is delivered to you as quickly as possible. We send you your portion of the settlement as soon as we receive it in our office.

Los Angeles Car Accident Personal Injury Checklist

LA Car Accident Attorney Checklist

We all hope to never be in a car accident. But driving in Los Angeles, it feels like it’s only a matter of time.

When you are unfortunate enough to be in a traffic accident, it is important to know how to conduct yourself in the case of an accident, whether it is a minor fender bender or a serious accident that may result in injury.

What to do if you are ever in a car accident in LA

1. Stop, assess the situation, and seek any medical assistance

Your first course of action in the event of an accident is to make sure that neither you nor anyone else involved is in danger. You should maintain your composure, perform a quick assessment and determine whether anyone needs quick medical attention. Call 911 if there are any injuries.

You should never flee the scene of an accident under any circumstances. In Los Angeles, failing to stop can result in a criminal hit and run charge. Even if you hit a parked car, you should stop and leave a note if you can’t locate the owner.

2. Call the police if there has been an injury

You should report the accident to the police or the highway patrol if there has been an injury (by calling 911). In case of a minor accident, there is no need to involve any law enforcement officials.

If you are questioned by the police at the scene of the accident, do not admit to causing the accident, or even assign blame to the other driver until you have spoken to your lawyer. You should ask to speak with your lawyer before you agree to any line of questioning from the police or from the other driver.

If there are any police officers at the scene, ensure that you get their full names and badge numbers, and ask them how to get their completed report.

3. Document the scene as thoroughly as you can

After assessing the situation, calling 911 and notifying the police if necessary, you should document the scene of the accident as thoroughly as you can.

  • Use your phone camera to take pictures of the accident from many different angles. Photographic evidence can come in handy when there is any insurance dispute or liability claim filed as a result of the accident.
  • Take close-up shots of any damage to any of the cars at the scene of the accident.
  • Write down the license plates of all vehicles that are involved.

4. Exchange insurance and other information with the other driver

You should then get the insurance information of the other driver, as well as any other person that is involved in the accident. The information you get should includes:

  • The other driver’s full name
  • Their home address
  • Home, office and work phone numbers
  • Insurance company name, and policy number
  • The make, model, and license number of their car

5. Call an attorney

You should call a Los Angeles car accident lawyer as soon as you are done with the above steps. Car accident lawyers and personal injury lawyers from our firm are ready to help you deal with your insurance claims or any other legal issue that may arise from the car accident.

When you are involved in an accident, you are likely to have damages to your car or injuries to your person, and an injury lawyer can help ensure that you don’t have to dig into your pockets to cover your car repair or medical bills.

Injuries can be physical, or can be in the form of emotional suffering that you may experience as a result of the accident. Hiring a car accident lawyer will ensure that you get all the legal support you need as you navigate through the difficult times that come after the accident.

6. Get in touch with your insurance company

You should only contact your insurance company after you have sought some legal representation. Make a phone call to your insurance company, and provide them will all the important details of the accident.

You should also draft a statement with the help of your lawyer and sent it to the insurance company. In the state of California, you have to file any accident claims within 2 years from the time of the accident.

Remember to seek legal advice before agreeing to any settlements or offers from your insurance company, the other driver, or any other parties.

You should also avoid signing any documents that release the other party from liability (blame) until your lawyer advises you to do so.