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Why You Should Never Settle a Personal Injury Claim Without an Attorney

It is human nature to seek a quick fix and move on as fast as possible when we get injured. This is part of our fight or flight response, and it can last longer than the few minutes following a car wreck or embarrassing slip and fall. Additionally, you have medical bills to pay now, and the bill collectors do not care that you are injured and out of work. For these reasons, insurance companies will often try to settle a personal injury claim quickly, before you have a chance to hire an attorney. But beware: this settlement offer is far lower than what you are owed.

That Quick Settlement Offer is Worth Much Less Than Your Damages

California has the highest hospital costs in the country, according to Debt.org. The average daily cost for hospital care in California is $3,726. If you have to stay overnight, the cost quadruples to a national average of $12,600. And, of course, if you have to undergo complicated surgery or stay in an Intensive Care Unit, the cost is even greater. As you can see, even a few days in the hospital can easily amount to between $50,000 and $100,000 in medical bills, depending on what you are treated for.

Pain and suffering (often the largest damage in a personal injury claim) is calculated based on the severity of your injuries and the cost of your medical expenses. This “multiplier method” multiplies your medical damages by a number between 1 and 5 (with 5 being the most severe injuries) to calculate your pain and suffering.

As such, your pain and suffering damages for an injury that costs $50,000 in medical bills could well be two or three times greater ($100,00 to $150,000 in pain and suffering alone). In addition to pain and suffering, you must also take into account your lost wages, lost earning ability, property damage, emotional distress, and other damages. You will never be offered this type of fair compensation by an insurance company if you do not have a lawyer.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims in Encino and Why You Need a Lawyer For Each

  • Traffic Collisions—Tens of thousands of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are injured in traffic collisions each year. For some age groups, driving is the most likely way in which an individual will die. The at-fault party’s insurance company will use every trick in the book to devalue your claim. This can include blaming you for causing the crash, attempting to poke holes in your story, and claiming that your injuries are less substantial than they really are. The average disabling traffic crash has an economic cost of over $100,000, according to the National Safety Council, which does not take into account non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering.
  • Premises Liability Claims—All businesses and property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for all invitees (people who are allowed on the property legally). Slip and falls and trip and falls are the leading cause of premises liability claims. Other types of liability claims include dog attacks, negligent security (specifically for a bar, nightclub, or parking lot/parking structure), and swimming pool injuries and drownings. It is impossible to receive fair compensation for your damages in a premises liability claim if you do not work with an attorney. For example, an attorney will instruct you to keep the shoes you were wearing at the time of your slip and fall as evidence, they will procure video surveillance footage of the incident, and an attorney will pour through the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
  • Product Liability—Manufacturers, designers, distributors, and other companies can be held liable for dangerous or defective products that lead to a consumer’s injury or death. The easiest way for a company to get out of trouble when it comes to a product liability claim is to argue that the consumer was using the product improperly, or that they did not adhere to the safety warnings on the package or label. An attorney can help disprove these claims to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Medical Malpractice—Physicians and hospitals must meet a specific standard of care when it comes to treating injuries and illnesses, as well as diagnosing said injuries and illnesses. A diagnostic error can lead to late-stage cancer that would have otherwise been easily treatable. A surgical error can lead to prolonged suffering and pain. A birth error may cause permanent disability for a child. These medical mistakes are always fervently denied by the hospital or physician clinic. And, with such large insurance policies at stake, the insurer will do everything in their power to minimize your personal injury claim.
  • Wrongful Death Claims—Tragically, insurance companies will use all of the above-mentioned tactics to deny or reduce liability in wrongful death claims. It does not matter to them that your loved one perished because of a careless driver, negligent property owner, corner-cutting manufacturer, or unskilled doctor. As the deceased victim’s surviving spouse, child, or parent, you need to work with an attorney to be taken seriously.

Call an Encino Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you were recently sent an offer to settle, do not take it. In fact, do not even discuss your injuries or your case with the insurance company or the at-fault party because anything you tell them can be used against you to devalue your claim. An attorney will help you gather evidence, determine the at-fault party’s policy limits, and negotiate a fair settlement.

If such an agreement cannot be reached, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will try the lawsuit in court so that you get the compensation you deserve. Remember, you have options, and you do not have to take a settlement before you discuss the matter with one of our Encino personal injury lawyers. Call Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550–7777 to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Ourfalian & OurfalianToday for a FREE Consultation

    Ourfalian & Ourfalian Attorneys at Law

    Ourfalian & Ourfalian has successfully represented thousands of individuals and small businesses throughout the San Fernando Valley and Southern California over the last four decades. Our experienced attorneys focus on civil litigation which includes but is not limited to helping injury victims get just compensation after serious accidents. There is a distinct culture at Ourfalian & Ourfalian that is not easy to characterize but is felt everyday by the firm’s employees and clientele. Contact our Glendale Personal Injury & Civil Litigation law practice today to schedule a free initial consultation.