Data suggests that in Santa Clarita, California, in 2019, there were about five pedestrians involved in car accidents. The Sierra Highway, which runs through Canyon County in the same city, is highly prone to accidents. The number of people involved in fatal accidents was about 21.
Car accidents are just one example of personal injuries. Other examples are product liability claims, slip and fall accidents, or spinal cord injuries. All of them are best dealt with by a Santa Clarita Personal Injury Lawyer who will guide you smoothly through the litigation process and ensure you receive maximum compensation.
But before you decide to hire one, there are a few questions you should ask.
What is their area of expertise?
Personal injury, according to the legal definition, refers to any damage received in an accident. These may arise from slip and fall, faulty products, spinal cord injury, car and motorbike accidents, and wrongful death cases.
The lawyer that you approach should have expertise in dealing with your kind of case. For example, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure, there is a statutory deadline of two years to file your personal injury claim, after which your claim ceases to exist, meaning the Court will automatically dismiss your case if you file it after two years.
Ask them about their legal fees
Usually, lawyers who handle personal injury cases in Santa Clarita operate on contingency fees. This means that they will not receive any fee until you have been adequately compensated.
The exact percentage of those fees will differ from one lawyer to another. However, most agreements will require you to pay 30% to 40% of the gross settlement amount.
It is recommended that you go with a lawyer who has such an arrangement and charges a reasonable fee. An advantage of this kind of fee structure is the assurance that your lawyer is as interested in winning the case as you.
How long will the settlement take?
Your lawyer should be able to provide you with an estimate of the time it will take to settle your claim. The process will depend on the type of case, severity, case workload, frequency of negotiations, filing a lawsuit, and the trial itself.
After filing a lawsuit, the insurer may take anywhere between one to three months to respond. Cases that do not involve a prosecution are resolved far more swiftly than those where it is applied. Even then, getting a rough idea would be helpful and comforting.
What documents will be required for the case?
Any personal injury claim and settlement will require you to produce specific documents related to the case. Your lawyer in Santa Clarita may ask you to obtain copies of the insurance policy from your agent, review of PIP, medical records, police records, injury diary, and collision payments covering injuries received in car and motorbike accidents.
These are necessary because the lawyer has to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to you. They breached that duty by not taking adequate care and that the damages incurred by you resulted from that breach. Ask your lawyer in advance about what documents will be required so you can save time and avoid any last-minute issues.
These are some questions you need to ask your Santa Clarita Personal Injury Lawyer before hiring them. Having a good lawyer will go a long way in determining your settlement amount.