Why Farar & Lewis – Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers
Farar & Lewis LLP is a top-rated Los Angeles personal injury law firm with over 40 years of experience. Our personal injury lawyers have recovered over $100 million, in verdicts and settlements. We believe EACH AND EVERY client deserves concierge service and excellence. Everything we do is focused on giving our clients results. Virtually every single client works with one of our founding partners, which means you’re getting great service.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers have been selected as some of the Top Trial Lawyers in the USA. We offer a risk-free consultation, virtually, in person, or at your place of business. Our goal is to be there for you when you need us the most. There are no upfront fees – we work on a contingency fee basis! When there’s a legal issue, we’re here to work for you and help you.
How much do our personal injury lawyers charge?
Here at Farar & Lewis LLP, we work on a contingency fee basis. We don’t charge any upfront fees. If we don’t win your case, we don’t charge anything. We handle virtually all the costs associated with litigating your case, and as a result – you can focus on recovering.
What happens after I’m injured?
After you’re injured, your first step is to get treatment. It means going to the emergency room, and getting a medical evaluation. The opposing insurance company might argue you’re not hurt if you don’t get medical treatment ASAP. If you don’t get treatment ASAP, you’re just providing the insurance company grounds to attempt to deny your claim.
One of the most important things to worry about when you have a personal injury claim is the statute of limitations. If you were injured due to the actions or negligence of another person, then you may be able to get financial compensation. In order to get this compensation, you have to file a lawsuit, which has to be done within a certain period of time. If you don’t, you forfeit your rights to file the personal injury claim and eventually get compensation. The statute of limitations is strict, and there are virtually no exceptions. This is applied to your case from the day you get injured. It is crucial you start working with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney as soon as possible so you don’t run out of time to file your claim.
How much money can I expect in the final settlement?
The total amount of compensation you can expect from your personal injury case will depend on numerous factors. Your injury can create an immense financial burden and the goal of a personal injury case is to help you recover from that burden. One of the primary things to consider is your finances and medical bills including doctor’s visits, emergency room care, your existing treatment, and the cost of future treatment you may require. Another common example of financial ramifications you may face after an injury is lost wages and income from missing work. In some cases, the judge may award punitive damages as well.
How long does it take for whiplash to occur?
Whiplash injuries are some of the most common car accident-related injuries. Some injuries are very easy to observe, yet others can be harder to diagnose with advanced imaging technology. Typically the whiplash injury happens instantly at the time of the accident, but it can take days or even weeks for the injured person to realize the effects.
It’s not uncommon for an injury to have delayed symptoms. When muscles are first damaged they go into a spasm which pulls the spine/bone out of their normal position. But later, as the muscle heals, they may – or may not, return to their original strength/position. This abnormal change can cause issues in the future. It’s notoriously difficult to tell which whiplash injuries will cause problems later. Some whiplash injuries can cause discomfort after only a few days. Some cause minor aches/pain, which can be treated by over-the-counter pain relievers. These injuries are hard to diagnose, and sometimes the damage is too small to see on x-rays or MRI scans.
We Handle Most Injuries
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys handle injuries from most types of accidents. Here are some of the most causes of personal injuries.
Southern California is notoriously overrun with cars. Due to a relative lack of public transportation in the region, many people have a car, and most houses have multiple cars. Car accidents and car accident injuries are almost an hourly occurrence here. Regardless of when, where, or how, the accident happened – we can help victims of auto accidents. Whether you were a passenger in a car or driving the vehicle yourself – we can help. Our goal is to help victims of auto accidents recover. We can help you get medical attention and help get you back on your feet if medical bills are piling up.
Pedestrians are often hit by cars when walking on the street or crossing the street. Often, victims of pedestrians suffer immense injuries to fast/heavy cars. It is not uncommon for pedestrians to wrongly assume it was their fault they got hurt – and don’t look into hiring a personal injury law firm. We recommend you speak to us as soon as possible, so we can conduct a full 360 investigation into the accident if order to determine whether you deserve compensation.
Healthcare providers are people and make mistakes like everyone else. If a doctor or nurse makes a mistake that has harmed you – we can help correct that injustice. We can help by conducting an investigation into their conduct and trying to determine how/when they deviated from an expected standard of care. We can then build a case in order to win you the compensation you deserve. Often, these mistakes can follow you for the rest of your life — but the associated financial burden doesn’t have to.
Slip and Fall
If you trip, slip, or fall, on someone’s property then you may have the ability to pursue a premises liability case. Property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for those who are on their property. If you are injured as a result of inadequate or unsafe property conditions then we may be able to help. We’ll conduct an investigation into the property and put together a personal injury claim that shows the property owner was irresponsible and failed to maintain safe conditions. Our goal is to get you the maximum possible compensation.
Construction sites are very dangerous. If you suffer an injury due to a defect in machinery, or due to unsafe working conditions – we can help you get compensation. We encourage you to contact us and learn more. We offer a risk-free consultation to discuss your construction accident in order to determine if filing a claim will get you the compensation you deserve.
If you suffer an accident while on someone else’s premises – then we encourage you to call us as soon as possible. If there were wet floors, cracked floors, or other hazardous conditions then we encourage you to contact us to get a risk-free consultation. Based on the findings of our investigation, we may be able to get you compensation for your injuries.
Manufacturers are obligated to create safe products. It sounds simple, but often manufacturers, designers, or distributors fail to live up to this expectation. Often, consumers become collateral damage due to unsafe products. We encourage you to contact us, in order to help understand if you have a potential case.
When should I settle my case?
If you have been hurt in a car accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation. In some cases, you will be granted a financial award by a jury at the end of a formal trial. However, it may make sense to settle the case long before a jury makes a decision. Never agree to a settlement without discussing it with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer first, otherwise, you risk accepting an incredibly low settlement that is far less than you deserve. Here are 5 situations where settling may actually be a good option.
1. You Can’t Wait Any Longer to Receive Compensation
A personal injury case can take months or even years to resolve. There may be months of settlement talks or other pretrial activity that occurs before the case is heard in court. From there, a trial and subsequent appeals can mean additional time that passes with no clear answer as to when you are going to get the money that you deserve. In this scenario, it may be a good idea to settle the case, get the compensation that you need to pay bills, and move on with your life. Of course, this assumes that you get a reasonable offer that can help you take care of yourself and your family now and in the future.
2. You May Have a Hard Time Proving Your Case
There may be times when you can’t prove your case in court because evidence is missing or is suppressed. In some cases, a witness may refuse to give testimony in court or may pass away before he or she is able to do so. If the video from a surveillance camera is grainy or there is no eyewitness to back up your version of events, it may be difficult for a jury to agree that you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence. Therefore, it may be best to settle the case as opposed to spending time and money in a potentially losing effort.
3. You Were Partially Responsible for the Accident
If there is any reason to believe that you may have been partially or fully responsible for an accident, it may not be worth it to pursue formal legal action. Instead, it may be in your best interest to simply settle the case for a lump sum payment and hope that it is enough to pay for your medical bills or other costs that you have incurred. While a judge or jury may be sympathetic to your plight, it doesn’t mean that they can award damages if you are not legally entitled to them.
4. The Other Side Gives You Everything That You Wanted
There are times when the party responsible for your injuries is guilty and knows it. Therefore, that person or entity may give you everything that you want in a settlement to make sure that the case stays quiet and goes away quickly. Ideally, you will have your personal injury attorney review any settlement that you are offered to ensure that it is fair, meets your needs, and gives you all the damages that you could be entitled to under the law. Assuming that this is the case, there is no reason to delay accepting the offer and putting the focus back on getting your life back together.
5. The Other Side Is Aggressively Defending Their Rights
Despite the evidence and the law being on your side, some defendants will instruct their lawyers to spend as much time and money on their case as possible. This generally occurs when one side has more money to spend than the other. The goal is to wait the plaintiff out until he or she doesn’t have the time or money to pursue the case any further. While not ideal, it may be possible to come to a fair agreement even if it is less than what you may otherwise be entitled to. Again, your lawyer will advise you of your rights and help you make an informed and educated decision before accepting any offer.
Settling a case may be beneficial both to the party who has been hurt and to the party who caused the injury. For the injured victim, it can end the case quickly without foregoing what he or she is entitled to, which may make it easier to pay medical bills or make up for lost wages or lost future earnings. For the responsible person or business owner, he or she can get out from under the black cloud of lingering litigation and move on with his or her personal and professional life.
What if an insurance adjuster offers me a settlement?
After any kind of accident, you need to talk to your insurance company about your injuries so that an adjuster can begin working on some kind of settlement. The settlement that you receive can then be used for medical bills that you receive as well as to replace any income you lost due to missed work, or other necessities for yourself and your family.
There are a few steps that the insurance adjuster will take when determining how much the settlement offer will be and a few things to keep in mind after hearing the initial offer.
As soon as you talk to an adjuster, you need to have a figure in mind of what you would be willing to accept and what you think would be too low. Most of the time, the adjuster will talk about your injuries and how you feel at the moment before asking about any medical bills or treatments that you have. An offer will usually be extended, but you should never accept the first offer. This is when your negotiating skills will come into play because the first offer is often the lowest amount that the insurance company will offer.
Give an amount that is a bit higher than what you expect to receive. Most adjusters won’t accept this offer, which shouldn’t be an issue as long as you understand that it’s a higher amount than you need to receive. The next few offers should be in the middle of the lowest and the highest points, negotiating back and forth until you can both come up with an amount that is fair to you and the insurance company.
Before any settlement is awarded, the adjuster will examine the accident to determine who was at fault and what happened based on police reports, medical reports, and any witness statements that are available. At times, the adjuster will know more details about the accident than an attorney working on the case, especially if the adjuster has multiple sources to speak with about the accident. One of the things that the adjuster will do is speak with you about the accident, getting your side of the story to see if it matches all of the details that the adjuster already has about the incident.
The insurance company will often look at past information to see whether you have filed a similar claim before or whether you have filed numerous claims with that company. Sometimes, the adjuster will look at your overall background to see how many accidents you have been in where a settlement hasn’t been filed or if you have been in any kind of criminal trouble in the past. This information can then be used to decide whether the adjuster will offer a settlement or whether you should hire an attorney to represent you to obtain a settlement for your injuries.
Sometimes, the adjuster will need documents pertaining to the accident before a settlement is offered or given. Minor accidents usually proceed faster than those that involve multiple vehicles or substantial injuries. If you only have minor injuries or no injuries at all, then you can usually contact the insurance company on your own to talk with an adjuster who will usually offer a settlement the same day. Keep in mind that you don’t have to accept the initial offer or any offer at all from the adjuster if you feel that you deserve more.
Personal Injury Examples
If you have been involved in a personal injury accident and would like to seek compensation for your losses, learning about personal injury cases and how they work is a good place to start.
Reviewing a few examples paints a clear picture and lets you make the right choice for your situation. You will then be able to move forward without fear because you will know what to expect at each turn, knowing you have chosen the correct path. Contact a personal injury attorney if you have questions after reviewing the following examples.
Car accidents expose you and your passengers to severe injuries and other consequences you can’t afford to overlook. Being in a crash can cause soft tissue damage and other complications that make life difficult, and paying for the related medical bills won’t be easy. Your insurance company might not even pay for everything when you file a claim. If the other driver was distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you likely have a personal injury case. You can sue for damages because the other driver failed to act responsibly and caused you to get hurt as a result.
Most people expect a trip to the store to be uneventful, but that is not always the case. The unthinkable could happen at the worst time and cause you to face personal injuries that prevent you from going to work or living your life to the fullest. Store owners have a responsibility to keep their property safe from known hazards when the public enters, but not everyone takes the duty seriously.
If the store owner or management staff knew about the danger before your injury occurred and failed to address it, you have a strong shot at winning a personal injury lawsuit if you take your fight to the courtroom.
If you are like most people who go to the doctor, you trust your medical professional to provide a certain standard of care that keeps you out of harm’s way. Doctors who fail to uphold that standard can find themselves on the wrong side of a lawsuit. Also, doctors who overlook symptoms or fail to provide proper treatment can force their patients to suffer personal injuries, causing lasting pain and damage to those who come to them. Seek justice if you are in a similar situation and need help covering the medical bills related to malpractice or negligence. When you do so, you can protect your future.
Theme Park Accidents
Visiting theme parks and fairs should be a fun and enjoyable experience, letting you forget about the stress of life. Those who run and manage theme parks must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of each person who visits their property. If the people running the establishment overlook safety issues or ignore obvious hazards, you can take legal action if you get injured.
A personal injury attorney can help you decide if your accident resulted from oversight or negligent behavior, and you will have no problem selecting a path or moving forward. Seeking compensation lets you cover your bills, lost wages and other losses related to the incident.
Many people think of physical injuries when they hear others talking about personal injury lawsuits, but this area of law covers more than that. Depending on several factors related to the incident in question, you could also seek compensation for damage to your reputation. If someone makes false statements that decrease your income or job opportunities, you can file a lawsuit to make up for your losses. To win such cases, you must prove that the other person or group said something untrue and that those statements caused you to experience losses.
How long does a personal injury case take to finish?
Many people ask about this. If your Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer is super busy, it takes longer to expedite and settle the case and handle the issues surrounding the case. Many smaller law firms take longer to handle cases because they don’t have the staff they need. Because the personal injury attorney has fewer resources, he/she spends time doing basic things instead of focusing on your case. IF you hire a bigger Los Angeles personal injury law firm, the firm has enough resources to handle your case.
Another factor that influences how long your case will take to finish is if there is medical treatment involved. It means the bulk of your case is spent waiting for medical treatment to occur. If your medical bills continue to grow, this increases the value of your case. Establishing fault is another potential area that can take time to establish. When liability isn’t clear, it’s easy to assign blame and demand compensation. In some cases, where liability IS NOT clear – your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will need to conduct an investigation. It means your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will need to find witnesses who can support your personal injury claim.
Some people think that “faster is better,” when it comes to personal injury claims, but this is not the truth. If the other side makes a fair, settlement offer, fast – then it might make sense to accept it. This is rarely the case. You should take the time to prepare your case, because it could mean a larger settlement. Some cases can take a few months, and some can take 1-2 years. If your case goes to trial, it could take a lot of time; if you decide to appeal the case then it might go even longer. Your personal injury lawyer can evaluate the details of your case and then give you an idea of what to expect.
It’s important to remember YOU are a factor in this as well. If you receive settlement offers but reject them, you’re adding to the overall length of the case. Your personal injury lawyers can work with you to help your case move as quickly as possible.
Should I accept the insurance settlement offer?
It really depends! Often, the first offer an insurance company offers is the lowest possible amount they think they can offer to make you go away. Companies will do this if they think you’re desperate for the money, and will walk away from pursuing greater damages. This is usually the minimum amount of money possible. We don’t recommend you take this without speaking to a personal injury lawyer first. In addition, there are many reasons not to take the immediate settlement offer. For example, if you have future medical bills – the offer being presented may not include compensation for those future bills. In addition, the offer may not include things like loss of income, etc. As a result, you should consider speak to a personal injury attorney.
Can pre-existing conditions be covered in California car accidents?
Many people have pre-existing medical conditions. It might be a bad back from an injury in your childhood. It could be a health condition, like anxiety or depression. When you’re involved in a car accident, you might want to know if that pre-existing condition is covered while you’re getting treatment for injuries. The answer to this question, is – it depends. Typically, no pre-existing medical conditions are covered. But there are things to consider before you think about paying for your medical treatment out of pocket.
Typically, the insurance company will do everything possible to prove your injuries aren’t severe, and were not caused by the accident. They are going to look for pre-existing injuries, or other issues which can limit the amount of money you could get from them. Insurance companies simply don’t want to pay you the money you deserve, so they’re going to do everything possible to prove you don’t deserve a larger settlement. Many insurance companies will probe into your medical history. For example, a judge might require you to provide a full medical history to the opposing insurance company in order to prove you don’t have an existing condition. This can either work in your favor, or it won’t. The insurance company might request proof that your injury was the result of an accident, and this might mean a medical expert witness will be needed to counter-testify. It can become a long, drawn out, process. Bottom line, sometimes a lawsuit is the only way to get compensation.
What should you do after an injury?
What you do after an injury, can be more important the injury itself. Without proper documentation, and without alerting the authorities, the validity of your claim and injuries can be questioned.
Here are some things you should after an accident.
First and foremost, it’s crucial you write down as much about the accident as possible. If you have a cell phone, we recommend taking pictures of the surroundings so you can document what happened. Pictures are valuable because they can be potentially used in court, as evidence. Take as many pictures of the injuries you’ve suffered, in addition to the scene of the accident. The more evidence you have, the stronger your claim is. If you have time, write down information like the date, the weather, the location, and anything else specific that might be asked of you later. Try to also find witnesses, at the scene of the accident. If you can get a witness to corroborate your story to the police at the scene of the accident, the strength of your claim could be higher.
Take as many pictures, notes, and recordings of conversations as possible. After you’ve secured all of this, we recommend you speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. First, you should get medical attention. When you get medical attention immediately after an accident, it established a track record of your injuries – which proves the injuries happened as a result of the accident.
In order to get compensation, you have to be able to establish fault – and a responsible party. Most accidents aren’t intentional, but they happen. Just because it’s an accident doesn’t mean the other party isn’t responsible. Our job is to show to the court and opposing insurance company that the other party caused you harm – by acting in a manner that is not “reasonable.” We demonstrate that they are responsible and that you have suffered emotionally, physically, and financially, as a result of your injures – which is the basis for the claim. If the court determines that you were acting careless, it may reduce the amount you are entitled to. Our goal is to look at the evidence and then build a personal injury claim which proves you are the victim.
Should I sign a medical authorization for the insurance company?
After you have been injured in a car accident, you will likely receive a number of authorization forms from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. One of these forms may be a medical authorization release form. You should not sign a medical authorization form from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and should instead consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Insurance company’s need for your medical records
At some point in your claims process, the other driver’s insurance company will have a legitimate need to obtain some of your records. The company may request records about your injuries and your treatment of them. When you send the insurance company a demand letter, you will send these types of records along with it. The insurance company may then ask for additional records. Do not give the company verbal or written permission to obtain your records on its own. You should instead ask the company to agree in writing to pay the costs associated with getting copies of your records, and you should get them yourself. If the company asks for medical records that you believe are wholly unrelated to your accident and resulting injuries, refuse to send them. You can tell the company that the request is not related to your accident or your injuries and would be an invasion of your privacy.
What an insurance company might say about a medical authorization
The insurance company may send you a medical authorization form and tell you that you need to sign it so that the company can get the records that it needs to process your claim. Never sign a medical authorization form that an at-fault driver’s insurance company sends to you. The company may tell you that it cannot process your claim without you signing the form. It may also tell you that the company wants to help you. Remember that the company is not yours, and its interests are in protecting its own bottom line. Instead of signing a medical authorization, you should instead tell the insurance company that you need to consult with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer before you will sign anything.
How insurance companies use signed authorizations
Signing a medical authorization form for an at-fault driver’s insurance company offers you no benefits in your claim. Insurance companies use these release to gain access to all of your medical history going back as far as your birth. There is no reason that an insurance company should be granted access to all of this information. When they are granted access to people’s entire medical histories, they pore through the records in an effort to find anything possible that can help them to dispute your claim and to reduce the amount that it might have to pay you. Anything that is contained in your medical record can be fair game for the company to use against you when it fights your claim.
While you may think that you don’t have anything in your history that you need to hide from the insurance adjuster, the information that is contained in your medical record can be used against you. For example, if you went to your doctor two years ago and complained that you had low back pain, the insurance company may use that information to argue that the disc herniation that you suffered in your accident was a preexisting injury.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney who has experience in dealing with insurance companies can help you to review your medical records and to determine which ones are relevant and which records are not relevant. He or she can handle the claims process with the insurance company for you so that you might be able to recover fair compensation for your losses. If you have been injured in an accident that someone else caused, contact a personal injury attorney today for help with protecting your rights to recovery.
Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement?
After you have been involved in an injury accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you will likely be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The company or its representative may ask you if you will give a recorded statement. It is important for you to avoid giving a recorded statement without first contacting a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses, and their interests lie in maximizing their profits and minimizing their losses. One way that they do this is by trying to dispute or deny liability. Insurance adjusters who contact you after your accident from the other driver’s insurance company may use your recorded statement against you in your claim.
Why insurance adjusters ask for recorded statements
Insurance companies for other drivers are tasked with gathering as much information as possible about the accidents so that they can try to help to save their companies money. When they are able to get your consent to record a statement, the insurance company will have it on record. It will look for anything that might weaken your claim. The company may then use your recorded statement against you and enter it into court as evidence in your claim. Insurance companies and adjusters are skilled at designing questions to ask in recorded statements in such a way that you might say something that you didn’t mean.
The companies may later use the recorded statement if there are any inconsistencies in your testimony and the statement that you gave months prior to make you appear less believable. Giving a recorded statement does not offer you any benefits and may instead be used to place blame on you for your own accident or to weaken your claim.
What to do if you are asked to give a recorded statement
If the insurance company that is asking you for a recorded statement is the other driver’s company, you should politely decline to give a statement. You can tell the insurance company that you want to talk to an injury lawyer before you will agree to make any statement. You do not have a contract with the other driver’s insurance company, and there is not any law that requires you to give a statement to the company.
When you meet with your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, he or she can help you to understand what to say and how to say it. If the attorney believes that giving a statement is in your interests, he or she can help to guide you through the process.
What to do if your own company asks for a recorded statement
Many insurance companies include provisions in their policies that require their insureds to give recorded statements when they are asked to do so. If your own insurance company asks for you to give a recorded statement, you should do so in order to comply with your policy. This can help you to keep your policy in place. Your insurance company does not have to share your recorded interview with the other driver in the discovery process. If you are filing a claim under your uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage, consenting to a recorded statement may also be necessary. In these cases, tell your company that you want to schedule your statement with your lawyer so that you can make certain that your rights are protected.
Asking injured victims for recorded statements is one of a number of different strategies that insurance companies employ in an attempt to avoid paying claims completely or to reduce how much money that they will ultimately be forced to pay in claims. By getting help from a personal injury lawyer before giving a statement, you may be better able to make certain that your rights are protected. Reach out to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer today to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more about protecting your rights.
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