If you've been accused of causing someone else to suffer injuries, you're facing serious consequences. You may be liable for that person's medical expenses, property repairs, court costs, and potentially even punitive damages.
In many cases, your insurance company will support you during these particular types of lawsuits. In cases where you don't have insurance or they won't/can't defend you, you should consider speaking with a Laguna Hills personal injury defense attorney.
He or she will negotiate directly with the injured party and reduce your liability and out-of-pocket expenses. If you are being threatened with a lawsuit, or even if you've been sued, talk with an attorney as soon as you are able. The sooner you call, the quicker this event can be behind you.
It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you've suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney's hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For "routine" legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.
Plaintiff - a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment - A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.
Lead Counsel's objective process independently verifies attorney records, conferring with state bars across the country and conducting annual reviews to confirm that the attorney practices in the legal categories as indicated, possesses a valid bar license, and is eligible to practice in the specific jurisdiction.