GJEL Accident Attorneys is an Award Winning California based personal injury law firm. Since 1972 we have been helping seriously injured victims get the compensation they deserve after their accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident you should seek prompt medical attention and then call a personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.
GJEL specializes in complex serious injury cases including serious injuries and wrongful death cases.
We have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
What Is A Personal Injury Case?
Accidents happen, but that doesn’t always mean they are as accidental as it seems. For example, the driver of the car who hit you certainly didn’t set out to cause a serious car accident when they left home that morning, yet it happened.
The driver might have been drinking or driving, and that’s something legally referred to as gross negligence as the driver was performing an illegal act while behind the wheel. Essentially, the driver knew his or her actions were dangerous and could put lives at risk.
If the driver wasn’t doing anything illegal but simply took her eyes off the road for a second to read the billboard she was passing, she is guilty of ordinary negligence.
The keyword in both scenarios is negligence. The driver is negligent in both situations. Their actions violate the duty of care they owe you, and that violation directly caused your injuries. California law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages from the accident in which you suffered injuries. This is when you want to reach out to a personal injury attorney.
A personal injury attorney is an attorney who specializes in helping you seek damages for an accident in which you were injured. They can help you with your case, take the at-fault party to court, or seek a larger settlement. They can also answer your questions. If you’re not sure whether you should call a personal injury attorney, it is helpful to know how one can benefit you in your time of need.
Injured? This Is How a Bay Area Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
You’re injured, and you might want to seek monetary damages. Damages are the primary reason victims file a personal injury lawsuit, and your personal injury attorney is here to help you ensure all goes well.
Your attorney has a tough job ahead of him or her. The first role your attorney plays in your case is advising you of your legal rights. Your attorney will help you understand what you should say, what you should not say, and whether the documents the at-fault party’s insurance agent wants you to sign are legally required.
For example, it is not required you sign a full medical release from the other party’s insurance agency. You are required to provide them with your medical records pertaining to any medical treatment you receive for your accident injuries. However, signing a full medical release gives the insurance agent permission to subpoena all your medical records from your time of birth.
They want this information so they can see if it’s possible to pin accident injuries on a pre-existing condition, which makes it possible for them to deny you any payment.
Your attorney goes over any paperwork that comes in, advises you what to sign and what not to sign, and they start an investigation into your case. The attorney’s office gathers all the evidence, accident reports, witness statements, photos, and more to help build the evidence you need to win your case.
They also ask that you do not accept any financial settlement from either the at-fault party or their insurance agency right away. It’s a negotiable amount, and your attorney advises you not to settle for the first payment as it’s well below what they are authorized to offer.
Your attorney works for you, fights for you, and looks out for your best interest. They guide you through any legal questions you have, they work to get you a bigger settlement, and they help you understand what you are entitled. California laws are complex, and you want an attorney who is well-versed in navigating the law.
Types of Damages We Can Help You Recover
Your attorney’s job is to help you collect damages for your injuries. Damages include, but are not limited to, the following.
– Medical bills
– Lost wages
– Lost income
– Loss of consortium
– Loss of companionship
– Wrongful death and funeral expenses
– Pain and suffering
You are not responsible for falling into a financial hole because someone else was negligent.
If their actions caused you to suffer injuries that prevent you from going back to work for a while or ever, to incur medical bills you cannot afford, or even cost you your family because of your injuries, you are entitled to seek damages. Your attorney will help you seek these damages.
We also handle Bay area public transportation and BART cases.
How Should You Choose A Personal Injury Lawyer?
Billboards, commercials, flyers in the mail, and more. This might be how you’re looking at personal injury attorneys to hire for your case, but you need to go a step further in choosing your attorney.
You must find someone you work well with who has a good reputation and experience. It’s not always wise to hire the first attorney who returns your call. There are steps to take and actions you should never ignore.
Here are some of the credentials of GJEL Accident Attorneys
- Over $950,000,000 recovered for our clients
- GJEL maintains a 99% Success Rate
- Rated one of the best law firms in the country by US News & World Report
- Over 40 Years of Experience
- We’re friendly and work on one case at a time
- We specialize in personal injury cases only
The first step is asking around for recommendations. You might not think anyone you know has a history of filing personal injury cases, but you’re wrong. They do, but most people choose not to talk about it because their attorney advises them not to discuss their case. Find someone who comes highly recommended. Now that you have a long list of candidates, start making appointments to meet with the attorneys prior to hiring anyone.
You want to get to know them personally by meeting with them. You want to see how their office is run, how long it takes you to receive a return call or text, and how you get along with the attorney. In some instances, your gut instinct might tell you someone is not for you even though they look great on paper. You’ll be working with this person for months or even years, and you must be sure you get along with them and have a good working relationship.
Discuss fees, their case history, their success rate, and ask if personal injury cases are the only cases they handle. When the attorney only handles a specific type of case, it means they are more likely to have a good working relationship with their clients and a working knowledge of this type of law. This experience is paramount. Once you find the attorney who is right for you, discuss hiring him or her to work with you on your case.
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
One of the most important things you’ll consider when hiring a personal injury attorney is the financial aspect of it. You must hire an attorney you can afford, and an office that is a contingency fee office is the best case. This means your attorney does not charge you unless you win your case. There is no retainer, there is no upfront fee, and there is no money out of your pocket. Those who are involved in personal injury cases typically don’t have the financial ability to pay for an attorney prior to reaching a settlement or winning their case.
Your attorney will charge you a contingency fee, which means you’re going to pay a fee based on what you win. All you need to know is how much you want to sue for and whether your attorney charges a flat fee or an hourly fee that accumulates throughout the case. You should understand that your case could take years or months to settle, or your case could settle in a week if the at-fault party doesn’t want to go through a lawsuit and the time it takes to settle a case. The fee your attorney charges might seem frustrating if you settle quickly, which is why you must understand the payment stipulations upfront. You can learn more about California contingency fee lawyers here.
How long does it take to get a personal injury settlement?
There is not a simple answer to this question. There’s also not a right or wrong answer. Your case, depending on the people involved, the companies involved, and the kind of damages you’re seeking, could take a few days to settle or it could drag on for years. I
f, for example, you are suing a major and very well-known company for failing to do a proper employment check on a driver who was drunk and caused you serious injuries, you might settle quickly. If the driver has a long history of DUI arrests and they failed to notice this, the company might not want the negativity of a drawn-out lawsuit. This means they might offer to settle the case outside of court on the down low.
If you are suing a person for your injuries, they might not have the money to pay you or their insurance company might refuse to pay you more than they offered initially. This could drag on for years if they don’t want to settle, and it can be frustrating. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, and it’s never easy to tell what might happen to you when you decide to go through with a lawsuit. You should prepare yourself to wait a long time for your check to come in, but it’s always nice when it shows up a little earlier. View our personal injury timeline to get an idea of how long the average personal injury case will take from start to finish.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for my personal injury claim?
If you have a minor injury you may not need to hire a personal injury attorney. If you have a serious injury such as brain damage, broken bones, CRPS, or another type of treatment that required a surgery you should contact a personal injury attorney right away.
You are within your own legal rights to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. You can represent yourself, but you do increase your chances of winning if you have an attorney on your side. Your lack of legal knowledge could drag out the lawsuit process or even cost you your case. The other party will take advantage of your lack of resources and legal knowledge if possible.
The defendant in your case might want to bury you in the legal paperwork you don’t fully understand, and reading over it can easily confuse anyone without a legal history or education. Additionally, the time it takes to go gather evidence, present a case, file motions, and respond to other claims is time-consuming. If you don’t have a legal team on your side, you might not have the time it takes to do all of this. You should be focused on healing from your injuries.
While you certainly aren’t legally required to hire a personal injury attorney to file a claim in California, it is your greatest chance for success to do just that. You have a chance to win your case when you hire a personal injury attorney, which is what you should do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please review the resources below for more information pertaining to your personal injury case.
- How to choose a personal injury lawyer. What you should look for and what you should avoid.
- Do I need money to hire a California personal injury lawyer?
- What is a contingency fee attorney?
- How long is my personal injury case going to take?
- What if I am injured in an accident visiting california?
Call GJEL Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation
If you are injured in an accident, call a personal injury attorney to see what options you have. There is no charge to consult with an attorney about your case. This is when you discuss your accident and al the details, and it’s when your attorney decides whether there was negligence involved. If there’s no negligence, it might not be possible to file a case. You must be able to prove the defendant had a duty of care to you, that they breached that duty of care with their actions, and that their breach of duty directly caused your injuries.
Your attorney will meet with you to discuss this and go over a game plan if a lawsuit is possible. Call now to schedule a free consultation. If you’re serious about filing a lawsuit, you must call an attorney right away. The more legal advice you have from the start, the better your chances of winning a personal injury case become. Your attorney has invaluable advice for you, and you need that legal advice right away.