Contingency Fees Are Split Between the Two AttorneysIn a personal injury case, where the attorneys fee is based upon a contingency, your new attorney is the one who will collect the attorney's fee. Your new attorney must share his fee with your former attorney, and that fee split will be based upon factors such as time spent on your case by each attorney, the relative value each attorney brought to the outcome of your case, and the terms of the retainer agreement you signed when you hired each attorney. You should not have to pay two attorneys fees. You only pay one fee and the attorneys must share in that one fee. When you discharge an attorney, you are entitled, under California law, to all of your case materials, at no charge to you. Your discharged attorney may not charge you for copying your file. He may not withhold your file from you, or make delivery of your file contingent upon any payment, or any other act on your part. If an attorney refuses to turn your file over to you, you should contact the California State Bar and file a complaint. Changing attorneys is important if you are unable to resolve your differences with your current attorney, but be aware that changing attorneys may have unintended consequences for you and your case. Those consequences could include delaying your case so that your new attorney can get up to speed on your legal problems.
- How serious or life changing are the injuries?
- Was surgery required, or will surgery be needed in the future?
- How much are the medical bills?
- Did the accident victim recover fully, or will he or she suffer for years into the future?
- Were the inuries permanently diabling or temporarily disabling?
- How much is the loss of income, both for the past and the future?
- Are there any liability issues that would allow a defendant to shift blame for the accident to the plaintiff or someone else?
- How did the injuries affect the accident victim in his or her daily work and leisure activities?
Serious Injuries Can Result From Even Minor AccidentsThe truth is there is little relationship between the amount of property damage to the car and injuries suffered by passengers. A person can be in what looks like a catastrophic roll over wreck and get out of the car with little more than a scratch. By the same token, a person can be in a low speed collison and sustain an injury to his or her neck that causes a cervical disc herniation and requires surgery and fusion of the spine. It is not the car you are in that determines whether you are injured; it is your body that determines what kind of injury you suffer. Your age, gender, musculature, strength, position at the time of impact and whether you have had any prior injuries or conditions that have left your body more susceptible to injury that determine whether you are injured and if so, how badly. Too many people, including lawyers, have bought into this insurance company propaganda and believe that if there is little damage to the car, there is no way to prove that the accident caused a serious injury. It is true that a connection between low speed collision and an injury is more difficult to prove, especially when jurors may come into court already believing the myth propagated by the insurance industry. But difficult does not mean that it cannot be done, or that it should not be tried. As in all injury claims, each case is unique. Each plaintiff is unique. It is the attorney's job to find those facts that prove your injuries came from the accident, regardless of how the car looks in photographs or what was the cost of the repairs.
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Slip and Fall
- Medical bills
- Lost wages—past, present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any other specialists you may be required to see
- Cost for wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive equipment
- Travel expenses for appointments
- Scars or disfigurement
- Injuries. When you get into an accident with an 18-wheeler, your chances of being seriously injured are much greater. On the highway, these trucks are essentially eight-ton speeding weapons and when they cause an accident, severe injuries are almost inevitable.
- Accident causes. Due to the size of trucks, certain accident causes are more likely to be issues. Big rigs can roll over very easily when there are unfavorable road conditions, the driver makes a mistake, or there's an equipment malfunction. Trucks can also jack-knife when there's a delay in reaction time and disabled front brakes. Of course, such accidents only increase the odds of additional vehicle collisions along the highway.
- Insurance company drama. Insurance settlement agents for trucking companies can be ruthless. They do this all the time, so they know exactly what to look for and how to manipulate the situation in their favor. They will probably try to convince you to settle for an amount of money that is far smaller than you deserve.
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