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Hakim Injury Law: Personal-Injury-Attorney

Does An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Make a Difference?

March 04, 2024

Most professionals agree that experience makes all the difference. Albert Einstein once said that the only source of knowledge is experience. Most lawyers, like most nuclear scientists, learn many lessons during their years in school. But only experienced personal injury attorneys and nuclear scientists can put that book learning into practice. Furthermore, most people would agree that schools don’t teach students everything they need to know.

Experience gives personal injury attorneys more than skills. It gives them a passion for their work. In school, injury victims are named in books. In the real world, injury victims are real people with real problems who have real needs. Attorneys address these problems, such as difficulties with medical care, and these needs, such as the need for maximum compensation.

The compensation in a personal injury case usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can also obtain additional punitive damages, in some extreme cases. This compensation is available, but an attorney must overcome some difficult obstacles to obtain it. More on that below.

Preparing a Case

We mentioned medical treatment above. This area is usually a top priority. Other important tasks include evaluating applicable legal theories and collecting evidence. 

Many injury-related conditions, such as head injuries, are difficult to diagnose. The sad story of Allman Brothers bass player Berry Oakley is a good example. In 1972, Oakley was in a serious motorcycle crash in Georgia. He declined medical treatment at the scene and got a ride home with a friend. A few days later, an undiagnosed head injury killed him.

Oakley’s musical partner, Duane Allmand, was killed in a motorcycle wreck in almost exactly the same place almost exactly a year to the day earlier.

Most likely, adrenaline masked Oakley’s pain. Then, when he told emergency responders he “felt fine,” they took him at his word, dismissing initial head injury symptoms, like disorientation and soreness, as accident shock.

Oakley’s saga demonstrates an important point. After a car crash or any other accident, only a doctor can determine the extent of your injuries.

On a related note, some victims decline treatment because they’re afraid of the bill. This fear is well-founded. The average injury-related medical bill exceeds $40,000; most group health insurance policies exclude injury-related costs.

Attorneys not only connect victims with top-shelf doctors who accurately diagnose and properly treat wounds like head injuries. These doctors usually charge no money upfront. As a result, victims get the medical treatment they need, not the medical treatment they can afford.

Most car crashes and other personal injuries aren’t accidents. Another person’s negligence usually causes such incidents. Common legal theories in this area include:

  • Ordinary Negligence: This legal theory is based on the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have the do unto you). In a perfect world, we’d all voluntarily follow this rule and take the health and safety of other people into account. Lawyers must get involved since we don’t live in a perfect world.
  • Negligence Per Se: Negligence is basically a lack of care. Frequently, California safety laws establish the standard of care. If tortfeasors (negligent actors) violate safety laws and cause injuries, they could be liable for damages as a matter of law.

The victim/plaintiff doesn’t have the only say in an ordinary negligence or negligence per se matter. Some insurance company defenses might be available.

How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Makes a Difference Later

Every lawyer can cobble together a bare-bones negligence or other claim, especially since the burden of proof (a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not) is low in these situations. However, only an experienced personal injury attorney anticipates and refutes possible insurance company defenses.

Assumption of the Risk

This defense, which essentially blames victims for their own injuries, takes several forms. For example, the seat belt defense might apply in a car crash case. Unrestrained victims might be eligible for compensation. The assumption of the risk defense basically has two elements:

  • Voluntary assumption of
  • A known risk.
  • A known risk.

Let’s look at another example. Assume Tony posts a “Beware of Dog” sign in his backyard. 8-year-old Sally plays with the dog, and the dog bites her. 

Sally voluntarily went into Tony’s backyard. But an 8-year-old girl usually can’t read words like “beware.” She might not understand what the word meant if she could read it.

Additionally, the victim must be able to see the sign. If Tony had posted the sign on his fence and Sally had gone through the back door, she probably wouldn’t have seen the sign.

Comparative Fault

Contributory negligence is basically a broader form of assumption of the risk. It also has two basic elements.

First, an insurance company lawyer must convince a judge that the victim’s negligence or misconduct substantially contributed to the injury. If Mike was speeding 5mph over the limit, that excessive speed probably didn’t substantially contribute to a wreck.

Next, the jury must divide fault on a percentage basis between the two parties. The more evidence of negligence a victim/plaintiff presents, the greater the tortfeasor’s percentage of fault, and the higher the damage award.

Consult Our Experienced California Personal Injury Attorneys

Attorneys who use proven methods usually get good results. For a free consultation in your Motorocycle Accident or other personal injury cases, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

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