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Entries in hiring a PI lawyer (2)

Tuesday
Apr152014

What Happens in a Personal Injury Case After You've Hired a PI Lawyer?

Injury Attorney Los AngelesLos Angeles Injury Lawyer

by David B. Bobrosky

(818) 907-3254

 

This post is the first in a series of blogs in which we will outline what a client can expect during the various stages of a personal injury claim.

 

You've suffered a serious injury. You've found an accident attorney – what happens next?

I’ve previously written about how to hire a personal injury attorney, and what to do immediately after an accident. Many times, though, I’ve found that clients really do not know what to expect after they do engage an attorney.

Wrongful Death AttorneyThis is part of a series of blogs that will discuss what you can expect during various stages of a personal injury case – this one addresses the legal process of a personal injury claim right after hiring an attorney.  

 

What Does a PI Attorney Do, Once Hired?

Every case will not be the same. What happens immediately after hiring an attorney largely depends on the type of case, when you hire an attorney, and how severe your injuries from the accident are. For this blog, let's assume you’ve already engaged a lawyer after an auto accident and that you have sustained moderate injuries.

The first thing an attorney usually does is send out representation letters to everyone involved to let them know you have legal counsel. This is very important, especially if the other driver’s insurance company has already contacted you. If the other insurer hasn't yet, we can prevent them from doing so with this type of letter.

Once an insurance company receives a representation letter, they can no longer contact you. An attorney will provide the insurance company with basic information about you and about the case. (Watch this video regarding providing recorded statements to insurers.)

These initial contacts with the insurance company will help set the tone for the case. If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster, investigator or anyone after hiring an attorney, you need to get the person’s name, and immediately inform your attorney. You should never give the person any information, other than your attorney’s name and phone number.

Representation letters will also be sent to any medical providers involved, letting them know that they will need to send your attorney a full set of medical records and bills once treatment is finished.

 

Accident Investigation & Property Damage

Next, an attorney will investigate the accident, if necessary. This includes contacting witnesses to obtain statements and taking photographs of the scene of the accident. This sometimes includes utilizing an investigator and other experts.

If the property damage to your vehicle has not been finalized by this time, your attorney will also assist in this area if need be. Usually, property damage is resolved fairly easily if there is enough insurance. If you pursue a diminished value claim, this will take longer and will be much more involved.

 

Recovery: The Client's Job

While your attorney is doing what I’ve described above, you have one job: Get the appropriate medical care and get better. Follow your doctor’s advice and keep your appointments. Your medical records are the evidence your attorney needs to prove your injuries. If the records are full of missed or canceled appointments, it will look like you are not seriously injured.

On the other hand, you also have to be careful not to over treat. If you are receiving chiropractic care, you should not also be receiving physical therapy and/or acupuncture on the same parts of your body at the same time. If there is a viable reason for you to have these multiple providers, then make sure each provider is aware of the others.

For more details on getting to the right doctors, see my previous blog, Personal Injury Accident Care: Getting the Appropriate Treatment.

Once you are healed or your injuries have reached a plateau, your attorney can begin negotiating your case. We'll look at what happens in the negotiation phase in the next part of this series.

Read the next installment of this series: What Happens in a Personal Injury Case Once You've Completed Your Medical Treatment?

 

David B. Bobrosky is an experienced Accident & Injury Lawyer at our firm. Contact him for a free personal injury consultation, by phone (818) 907-3254 or email: dbobrosky@lewitthackman.com

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Tuesday
Feb212012

Hiring the "Nice" Attorney a Smart Move for Most

Injury AttorneyInjury Attorney San Fernando Valley 

 

by David B. Bobrosky
(818) 907-3254

A friend of mine says that if he ever hears someone say that his attorney is a nice guy, he or she is fired. He says he doesn’t hire his attorney to be “nice.” If his attorney is nice when interacting with the other side, he or she is not doing their job. 

Mark Hermann published an article recently (“Is Our Lawyer Aggressive Enough”)  on the popular legal website “Above the Law” regarding a similar comment from one of his in-house lawyer colleagues. The comment focused on a concern of whether their outside counsel was “aggressive enough” during a meeting with other attorneys.   Mark described how an attorney can be just as successful, or more successful, being quietly confident as opposed to being a “blowhard.” He also stated another downside to being the type of attorney my friend looks for: 

[B]eing a blowhard can in fact undermine a lawyer’s effectiveness. As a client, I really don’t need to spend money on tangential discovery disputes caused by lawyers with too much testosterone being unable to get along. Being civilized can reduce costs and help speed a case to resolution. 

I completely agree with Mark. In fact, I think the negative effect of being a “blowhard” is magnified in the area of personal injury litigation. 

A personal injury attorney can, and should, be a “nice guy (or gal)”. Comparing two equally skilled lawyers, being  “nice ” helps at every stage of personal injury litigation. 

  • As a client, you want your attorney to be “nice” to you. You want the attorney to truly care about you and your case. This is more important in personal injury litigation than in any other area. If you have suffered a serious injury, or have lost a loved one, you are very vulnerable. You need to feel as though you can trust the attorney and that he or she is working your case as if you are a member of his or her own family. 

  • Statistics show that most cases settle prior to going to trial. Therefore, attorneys must present your case to defense counsel and insurance adjusters. In other words they need to sell your case. Your attorney needs to convince them to ask their superiors for authority to pay money on your case.  Being an attorney the other side likes and respects goes a long way in obtaining maximum value on your case. 

  • For the cases that do go to trial, it will benefit you if your attorney is able to cooperate with the attorney on the other side. Cooperation makes the trial much smoother. Judges and jurors also like “nice” and cooperative attorneys.  They do not appreciate attorneys who are always fighting with each other and making their time in jury duty even longer. An unhappy jury is generally not good for a Plaintiff’s case. 

Now, don’t confuse being “nice” for being a push over. An attorney should extend professional courtesies to the other side when possible, and when it does not hurt your case. Regardless, your attorney can, and must, vigorously pursue your case. However, your attorney should do this with the utmost professionalism and respect for the other side and the Court. It will get your attorney and YOUR case much farther.


David B. Bobrosky is a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney at our Firm. Contact him at dbobrosky@lewitthackman.com, 818.990.2120.

 
Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 

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