Depends. In some cases with no injuries or very minor injuries can be resolved through a small claims court or through negotiating with an insurance adjuster. Typically, if you go to an emergency room and have no other complaints of pain or one or two visits with a chiropractor, it might not make sense to hire a lawyer who’s going to take 33% or 40% of your recovery. In small claims court the limits can vary; in LA County the limit is $7500 for auto cases involving insurance. (This can change so double check or call me). Small claims court can be a faster process that puts more money in your pocket at the end of the day. If you have ongoing pain that doesn’t resolve or get better you should hire an attorney. If you have problems walking, or using your arms, tingling pain, burning pain, headaches, dizziness, etc., an attorney like myself can help you find the right medical specialist and ultimately make sure that you are properly diagnosed which puts more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
Once an attorney gets involved in your case it can take approximately three to six months to get a good understanding as to the extent of your injuries. A standard course of physical therapy or chiropractic treatment can take between one to three months. If there’s ongoing pain, further diagnostic and medical consultations can help me better understand what your future treatment is going to be. After that time frame, I can also better negotiate with the insurance defense adjuster because I have a better understanding of your medical condition. Once I begin negotiating, it can take anywhere from a month to a year depending on a whole range of factors including the amount of insurance available, issues with liability, the temperament of the adjuster and the insurance company and other extraneous factors like lost earnings that may be difficult to prove. On straightforward cases, I’ve been able to settle within three months. Other cases with complicated injuries, complicated liability, complicated earnings can take two years or more so I can get all the money I can for you.
Yes. Once I file the lawsuit I continue handling the case. Some attorneys do not handle cases once the complaint is filed or don’t have experience with trials or appeals. I’ve taken cases to trial. I’ve handled appeals. I’ve handled cases in federal and state court. I’ve handled cases is different cities all over California. I know how to work up a case taking depositions, using subpoenas, discovery and mediation so that the other side sees that I will be prepared for trial which can help promote a settlement.
This depends on a number of factors. When I’m on a case I tell my clients all the different issues in the case so that they can make the most informed decision about whether they want to settle or try a case. I will also tell my client whether I think we should settle or go to trial. Most of the time, the decision is easy meaning that the defense is offering almost no money. Other times, the defense is offering an amount smaller than you would hope for but maybe reasonable under the circumstances.
You should consider that trials in Los Angeles can be very expensive. An orthopedic doctor will charge anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to be at the trial not including their time reviewing medical records and preparing which can be easily another $5,000 or $10,000. If there is a liability disputes, and multiple experts, it’s possible that the cost of trial can run from $30,000 to $60,000, sometimes more. Trials are also not a speedy process. Even a medium sized case can take 5 days from opening statement, picking of jury, putting witnesses on the stand, going through all the evidence, closing statement and waiting for a jury to deliberate. If the defense is making a reasonable offer you should consider those factors.
Also a jury is made up of twelve random people. Of those twelve, nine of them have to agree on whether the defendant was negligent, whether you’re injured and whether the injury was caused by the defendant. These questions can change nine out of twelve jurors have to agree on each of these questions and they can, as you can imagine, vary widely based on people’s preconceived notions about justice and car accidents and injuries. All of this should be considered when deciding whether to go to trial.
That being said, I am ready to try any case where the offer is not reasonable or the client wishes to proceed to a trial.
This is a complicated question to answer and can involve a lot of different factors. For more information about a pamphlet I’ve authored regarding this subject click here (coming soon) or contact me.
Absolutely. Just contact me either through the contact forms on the website. You can email me at Jonathan@pocrass.com or call me at 310-550-9050.
Some small cases can be handled through small claims court. This includes cases where there is only a single ER visit and no other treatment and no other pain or one or two chiropractic visits with no other pain. In those circumstances, it may be best to just go through small claims. I’m happy to provide a free consultation on those cases to tell you what I think you should do. On other cases with more significant injuries, an attorney can help you with through the process, make sure you get properly diagnosed, and see the right medical specialist. That way you will get full compensation for your injury.
Absolutely. I have the resources to take on the largest businesses and have sued huge fortune 500 companies, large hotel chains, big insurance companies, and the government including the United States, LA city and California state. I’ve sued large real estate developers, large landowners, construction companies and restaurants. I’ve successfully handled cases against all of them. At the end of the day, one of the benefits of the justice system is that a lawyer like me can take on those big companies. I like representing individuals who would normally not be able to afford a lawyer.
I get paid a percentage of the amount that I recover. The amount changes based on the case but for a regular auto accident case not involving the government or a minor, I will charge usually 33% before filing a lawsuit and 40% after. I also will put up costs which are recoverable at the end of the case. Costs includes things like ordering police reports and medical records. I also cover more expensive items like retaining specialized experts to review the medical records and testify, taking depositions.
Absolutely. You are not stuck with the lawyer you have. If you’re not happy with them for some reason, you’re entitled to switch and can contact another attorney who will help you switch including getting your file.
Basically, anytime someone’s been injured or lost a loved one and it’s someone else’s fault, I will handle the case. I’ve experienced handling cases from basic automobile collisions, bicycle collisions, pedestrian accidents, dangerous conditions on property including fires and tripping hazards, people falling through roofs, lack of smoke detectors causing injury, sexual assault cases, medical malpractice, wrongful death, brain injury cases, spinal cord injury cases, toxic exposure cases. I only represent individuals on contingency cases. I’ve set up my practice so that I don’t have to represent large businesses or corporations.