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PARRIS Obtains $58,358,431 Slip & Fall Verdict - Largest in U.S. History
Personal Injury
PARRIS Obtains $58,358,431 Slip & Fall Verdict - Largest in U.S. History

On May 21, 2024, a Los Angeles jury awarded a historic $58,358,431 verdict to a Palmdale technician who suffered serious injuries when he slipped on ice while performing electrical repairs on top of a train car. The judgment is the largest known slip-and-fall verdict in U.S. history.

PARRIS Partners Alexander R. Wheeler and Khail A. Parris represented the Plaintiff during the three-phase, six-week trial.

The Injury

According to the lawsuit, the 39-year-old Plaintiff was working for Altech Services, Inc., a railroad contractor that provides electrical services for businesses across Los Angeles County. In February 2016, the Plaintiff was working at a Kinkisharyo International train facility in Palmdale, California. Kinkisharyo employees told the Plaintiff to complete electrical work on top of a train within three short hours.

After climbing on top of the train, the Plaintiff took a few steps before slipping on water that had pooled overnight. His left foot slid forward and became lodged in a grouping of electrical wires on top of the train. The weight of his tool bag and wires around his shoulders pulled his body forward and down, hyperextending his left ankle and knee. As a result, the Plaintiff suffered a micro-fracture in his foot that would become much worse over time. The Plaintiff eventually required invasive foot surgery that developed into Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a neurological condition that involves long-term pain and inflammation following an injury.

In 2020, he underwent additional surgery for severe neck and back injuries caused by his fall. Multiple doctors and specialists determined that the Plaintiff would need significant ongoing treatment to manage his pain — including surgeries and a spinal cord stimulator, an implanted device that helps treat chronic pain.

The persistent and severe pain the Plaintiff has experienced since his fall continues to limit his ability to carry, lift, push, pull, twist, and bend. In combination with other ongoing symptoms, the pain prevented the Plaintiff from working.

The Lawsuit

Shortly after the Plaintiff’s fall in 2016, an employee at Kinkisharyo helped the Plaintiff file a worker’s compensation claim for his injuries. However, Kinkisharyo denied the Plaintiff’s claim, arguing he was an employee of Altech Services, not Kinkisharyo.

As a result, the Plaintiff hired PARRIS to file a personal injury lawsuit against Kinkisharyo.

The complaint alleged that the Plaintiff’s fall resulted from a longstanding pattern of mismanagement and negligence by Kinkisharyo. On the evening leading up to the incident, a Kinkisharyo foreman instructed employees to perform a water test on top of the train but did not make sure the surface was properly dried before the Plaintiff arrived.

According to the complaint, this Kinkisharyo foreman required employees to work at a pace so demanding that they often had to compromise workplace safety protocols.

Multiple Altech and Kinkisharyo employees testified that they previously complained about dangerously wet conditions on top of the trains. Employees also reported there was not enough overhead light at the train factory, making an already hazardous job even more dangerous.

The Trial

After filing his lawsuit, the Plaintiff offered to settle the case with Kinkisharyo multiple times. In March 2022, Plaintiff made an offer of $3,000,000. Kinkisharyo offered $752,000 before trial, which the Plaintiff rejected.

The case went to trial in Los Angeles in the spring of 2024 and was divided into three phases.

In the first phase, the jury unanimously rejected Kinkisharyo’s argument that the company, along with Altech, was the Plaintiff’s joint employer. The company argued that because it had an employer-employee relationship with the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff was only allowed to seek relief for his injuries through the workers’ compensation system, not a lawsuit.

PARRIS attorneys argued to the jury that this stance contradicted what Kinkisharyo said years earlier when it first rejected the Plaintiff’s worker’s compensation claim: that the Plaintiff was not its employee. The jury agreed.

In the second phase, the parties disputed how the Plaintiff fell and whether it led to his injuries. They also refuted his diagnoses and the nature and extent of his damages.

The jury rejected all of Kinkisharyo’s arguments and found in favor of the Plaintiff — awarding him compensatory damages of $54,158,431.00.

The final phase assessed whether Kinkisharyo should pay punitive damages, which is an award that would punish and deter them from future unsafe practices. The jury agreed and awarded the Plaintiff an additional $4,200,000.

Contact PARRIS

The verdict is the result of the hard work PARRIS attorneys put into each and every case. Every employee has the right to work in conditions where their safety is taken seriously. Employees also have the right to seek compensation when they sustain injuries on the job, especially when the injuries are the result of an employer’s negligence.

PARRIS Law Firm has an outstanding track record of fighting on behalf of injured parties and getting them the results they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured through no fault of your own, contact PARRIS for a free consultation.

Bad Faith Insurance Tactics to Look Out for When Involved in a Car Accident Claim
Personal Injury, Insurance
Bad Faith Insurance Tactics to Look Out for When Involved in a Car Accident Claim

In the aftermath of a car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be a daunting task. This blog aims to shed light on bad faith insurance practices where some insurers try to unjustly minimize their payouts. Understanding these tactics is key to safeguarding your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation owed to you.

At PARRIS Law Firm, we have seen these tactics firsthand, and we stand ready to support you in this fight. Our proficiency in personal injury law, particularly in California, arms us with the tools to navigate this complex landscape. Our goal is to provide you with valuable insights so that you can recognize and counteract such tactics, helping you secure the justice you deserve.

Understanding Bad Faith Insurance Claims

A bad faith insurance claim is when an insurance company fails to fulfill the obligations outlined in your policy or doesn’t abide by the laws governing insurance practices. It’s not a mere misstep or an honest mistake, but a deliberate and dishonest approach to deny, delay, or diminish your rightful claim.

In California, insurance companies have a legal duty of good faith and fair dealing, which means they must act in a reasonable and fair manner towards their policyholders and anyone injured by their policyholders. They must promptly investigate, process, and pay legitimate claims. When they deviate from this path, it’s called acting in bad faith.

When insurance companies fail to adhere to these obligations, they’re not just bending the rules—they’re breaking them. And when they break them, they are acting in bad faith. Recognizing these tactics is your first line of defense in ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve after a car accident.

Common Bad Faith Tactics in Car Accident Claims

Navigating the insurance claim process following a car accident can be challenging, especially when you’re contending with bad faith tactics. Let’s discuss six common ploys and understand how they can negatively affect your claim.

  1. Unnecessary Delays: Time is of the essence in a car accident claim. However, some insurance companies may intentionally drag out the claim process. They might take an unreasonably long time to respond to your claim or to investigate the accident. This delay not only prolongs your financial uncertainty but also adds to your stress during recovery. It’s a bad faith tactic because it violates the insurer’s obligation to promptly process claims.
  2. Denying a Claim without Reason: If an insurer denies your claim without providing a clear and specific reason, it’s a red flag for bad faith. A denial can leave you struggling with medical bills and repair costs, creating financial hardship. Insurance companies are legally obliged to reasonably explain denying a claim, and they must provide this explanation in writing.
  3. Misrepresenting Policy Language or Laws: Some insurers may distort the terms of your policy or misinterpret laws to avoid paying your claim. This misinformation can lead to unjust claim denials or reduced payouts. It’s a bad faith tactic as it breaches the insurer’s duty to act honestly and fairly.
  4. Inadequate Investigation: A thorough and timely investigation is crucial to determine the validity of a claim. However, an insurer acting in bad faith might conduct a cursory or biased investigation to undervalue or deny your claim. They may also delay investigating so long that evidence goes missing. This tactic deprives you of fair compensation and contravenes the insurer’s obligation to perform a comprehensive investigation.
  5. Unreasonably Low Settlement Offers: If an insurer offers a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover your losses, it’s likely a bad faith tactic. Accepting such an offer can leave you out-of-pocket for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Insurance companies have a duty to provide reasonable compensation for valid claims.
  6. Refusing to Defend a Lawsuit: If you’re sued over a car accident, your insurance company has a duty to defend you. Failing to do so can expose you to significant legal costs and potential liability. This refusal is a bad faith practice because it violates the insurer’s contractual obligations.

Each of these tactics can inflict financial strain and emotional distress, hindering your recovery process. They are considered bad faith practices because they violate the standards of fair dealing and good faith that insurers must uphold under California law.

How These Bad Faith Insurance Tactics Affect You

From your wallet to your mental health, to the overall recovery process, these unscrupulous practices can take a toll.

The Financial Hit: Car accidents come with a hefty price tag. Medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost income due to time off work can swiftly accumulate into a mountain of debt. When an insurance company engages in bad faith tactics, the financial burden can intensify. Delayed payouts, denied claims, or paltry settlement offers can leave you shouldering these costs alone. The result? A financial strain that can destabilize your economic security.

Emotional Stress: Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is already stressful. Add in a relentless battle with an insurance company, and the emotional toll can skyrocket. Unnecessary delays, convoluted policy misinterpretations, and baseless claim denials can lead to heightened feelings of anxiety, frustration, and helplessness. This added stress can exacerbate physical injuries and the overall healing process.

Impediment to Recovery: Speaking of healing, bad faith tactics can throw significant roadblocks in your recovery journey. Insufficient funds may delay necessary medical treatments or force you to opt for less effective but cheaper alternatives. This not only prolongs your recovery but also impacts your overall well-being and quality of life.

So why do insurance companies resort to these tactics? The answer is simple yet harsh—it’s about their bottom line. By minimizing payouts, they maximize profits. But don’t let this deter you. The insurance landscape may seem intimidating, but knowledge is your best ally.

How to Identify Bad Faith Insurance Tactics

Recognizing bad faith insurance tactics is crucial. Here are some telltale signs to watch out for:

  1. Unjustified Delays: If responses or claim processing are dragging on without reasonable cause, it’s time to raise an eyebrow.
  2. Claim Denials Lacking Explanation: A denial without justification is a red flag. You’re entitled to a clear reason for any denied claim.
  3. Policy or Law Misinterpretation: If your policy language seems twisted or laws appear misrepresented, be vigilant. It could be an attempt to evade claim payment.
  4. Incomplete Investigation: A hurried or biased investigation can lead to unjust claim denials or undervalued settlements.
  5. Lowball Settlement Offers: If the settlement proposed doesn’t align with your losses, it’s an issue. They’re trying to get off the hook for cheap.
  6. Refusal to Defend a Lawsuit: If you’re facing a lawsuit and your insurer won’t stand up for you, it’s a serious breach of duty.
  7. Ignoring Your Communications: If your calls, emails, or letters go unanswered, it’s not just rude, it’s possibly a sign of bad faith.
  8. Changing Your Claim Adjuster Repeatedly: If your adjuster keeps changing, causing delays and confusion, it could be a tactic to frustrate you into settling.
  9. Requesting Unnecessary Documentation: Asking for irrelevant paperwork could be a stalling strategy to delay your claim.
  10. Misquoting Your Policy: If the insurer is quoting policy terms that seem incorrect or misleading, they may try to underpay your claim.
  11. Making Threatening Statements: Any attempts to intimidate you into accepting lower settlements is not just unethical, it’s likely bad faith.
  12. Settlement Offers Without Reviewing All Medical Records: If an offer comes before all medical records have been reviewed, they may be rushing to close the claim.

What to Do If You’re a Victim of Bad Faith Insurance Tactics

If you find yourself caught in the crossfire of bad faith insurance tactics, don’t despair. Here’s a roadmap to navigate through this maze.

Step 1: Document Everything: Like footprints in the sand, every interaction with the insurance company leaves a trail. Keep track of all correspondences, record dates, times, and key points of discussions. This paper trail can be vital evidence if you need to prove bad faith.

Step 2: Understand Your Policy: Knowledge is power. Familiarize yourself with your policy terms, conditions, and exclusions. This understanding equips you to challenge any misinterpretation the insurer may throw your way.

Step 3: Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer: An experienced personal injury lawyer can be your compass in this tumultuous journey. They can review your case, advice on the best course of action, and represent your interests.

At PARRIS Law Firm, we’ve battled bad faith insurance tactics head-on and emerged victorious, securing millions in compensation for our clients. We understand the ins and outs of insurance law, and we know how to counteract these unscrupulous tactics effectively.

Taking Decisive Action

If you’re caught in the whirlwind of bad faith insurance tactics, take a deep breath. You’re not alone in this fight. PARRIS Law Firm is ready and willing to step into the ring for you. Our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers has the knowledge, experience, and tenacity to tackle these underhanded tactics head-on.

If you believe you’re a victim of bad faith insurance tactics, contact PARRIS Law Firm today. We’re here to guide you through this storm, one step at a time.

What Insurance Companies Won’t Tell You After a Car Accident
Insurance, Personal Injury
What Insurance Companies Won’t Tell You After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be traumatic, and dealing with insurance companies afterwards often adds to the stress. If you’re a victim of a car accident in California, it’s crucial to understand the tactics insurance companies use to minimize their payouts. This blog aims to shed light on what insurance companies won’t tell you after an accident, empowering you to navigate this challenging situation and assert your rights for fair compensation. Knowledge is power, especially when dealing with insurance companies post-accident.

The Initial Response from Insurance Companies

After a car accident, the initial response from both your insurance company and that of the at-fault driver may seem supportive and reassuring. They might reach out to you promptly, seemingly expressing concern for your well-being and promising to help you through the process. But it’s crucial to remember: insurance companies are businesses first, and their primary goal is to save money.

Insurance companies employ trained adjusters whose job is to evaluate the situation and minimize the payout. While they may appear friendly and compassionate, their underlying aim is to protect the company’s bottom line. This means they’ll listen to your account of the accident, ask for details, and even sympathize with your situation. But all the while, they’re trying to gather information to potentially use against you in reducing your claim.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company may even offer an immediate settlement. While this might seem like a quick resolution to your troubles, it’s often a tactic to close the case before you realize the full extent of your injuries or damages. Accepting this initial offer could leave you with expenses that far exceed the settlement amount and, since you’ve signed a release, you won’t be able to go back to the insurance company requesting more funds.

It’s also important to note that insurance companies may record conversations and use your words against you later. So, while it’s necessary to cooperate, be cautious about what you say and avoid providing more information than required.

Breakdown of What Insurance Companies Won’t Tell You

Insurance companies are skilled at managing claims in a way that protects their interests. Here’s what they won’t tell you after a car accident:

  1. Their primary goal is to save money: As much as they offer support, insurance companies’ main objective is to minimize their payouts. They’re not on your side; they’re on the side of their financial interests.
  2. The initial settlement offer is often low: Once again, the first settlement offer is usually far below what you’re entitled to. It’s a tactic to close the claim quickly and cheaply.
  3. You don’t have to accept the first offer: Despite what they might imply, you’re under no obligation to accept the first settlement offer. You have the right to negotiate or reject it outright.
  4. Your statements can be used against you: Any information you provide, even casually, can be used to devalue your claim. Be cautious about what you share.
  5. You have the right to legal representation: Insurance companies often discourage victims from hiring attorneys because they know it could lead to higher settlements. But remember, you have the right to legal representation.

How to Deal with Insurance Companies

Navigating conversations with insurance companies after a car accident can be daunting. Here’s how you can assert your rights and seek fair compensation:

  1. Be cautious with your words: Anything you say can be used against you. Provide only the necessary information about the accident and avoid making any definitive statements about injuries or fault.
  2. Don’t rush to settle: Insurance companies often try to close claims quickly with a low-ball offer. Take your time to understand the full extent of your injuries and damages before considering any settlement offers.
  3. Stand up for your rights: You have the right to reject initial settlement offers and negotiate for a fair amount. Don’t let insurance companies pressure you into accepting less than you deserve.
  4. Keep meticulous records: Document everything related to the accident and your injuries. This includes medical bills, repair costs, and any communication with the insurance companies. These records will be crucial in supporting your claim.
  5. Consult a lawyer: Legal representation can make a significant difference in your claim. Lawyers understand the tactics insurance companies use and can help you navigate through the process.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Attorneys help to provide comprehensive legal support to clients involved in personal injury cases. They conduct thorough investigations of the accident, gathering pertinent evidence, such as medical reports, accident scenes, and witness testimonies to substantiate the claim.

Lawyers also serve as your advocate, communicating on your behalf with involved parties such as insurance adjusters, opposing counsel, and, when necessary, the court. They help interpret complex legal jargon and procedural rules, ensuring that your rights are not compromised.

Lawyers can enlist the aid of expert witnesses to strengthen your case, which can be particularly valuable when assessing long-term impacts of injuries or calculating nuanced aspects of damages. Lawyers work diligently to build a persuasive and robust case, allowing their clients to focus on recovery while they strive to secure the maximum possible compensation.

When you partner with a skilled California personal injury attorney, they guide you through the complex legal process, help you avoid common pitfalls, accurately evaluate your claim, and negotiate assertively on your behalf.

Let’s explore this through three fictional examples:

  1. John’s Story: John, a California resident, was involved in a severe car accident that resulted in significant medical bills and loss of wages. The at-fault driver’s insurance company quickly offered a settlement that, at first glance, seemed substantial. On the brink of accepting it, John consulted a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer, experienced in dealing with such cases, immediately identified that the offer didn’t fully account for John’s long-term medical needs, potential future loss of earnings, and emotional distress. After rigorous negotiations, the lawyer secured a settlement that was triple the initial offer. Without legal representation, John could have accepted the initial low-ball offer, leaving him struggling with future medical expenses and financial instability.
  2. Jane’s Dilemma: Jane was involved in a minor car accident that resulted in some property damage and minor injuries. Initially, she thought her case was too small to involve a lawyer. However, after consulting an attorney, she discovered she was entitled to compensation not just for her medical bills and car repairs, but also for the diminished value of her car, her emotional distress, and even her lost time from work. Without a lawyer, Jane would likely have settled for covering just her immediate medical bills and car repair costs, unaware of the other damages she could claim.
  3. Robert’s Case: Robert suffered debilitating injuries in a car crash and could not work or even communicate effectively with the insurance company. His lawyer was able to step in and handle all communications, ensuring that Robert’s condition was not exploited and his claim was not undervalued. The lawyer also took care of gathering all necessary evidence, consulting medical experts, and building a robust case that eventually led to a sizable settlement that covered Robert’s current and future healthcare needs, lost income, and pain and suffering. Without a lawyer, Robert might have been overwhelmed by the complex claim process and accepted an inadequate settlement, jeopardizing his future well-being.

These stories highlight the significant benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car accident. Legal representation not only alleviates the burden of dealing with insurance companies but also helps give you the chance to receive the full compensation you’re entitled to. Your journey towards recovery doesn’t have to be faced alone—a knowledgeable attorney can guide you every step of the way.

Take Control of Your Future: Seek Legal Help Now

In the aftermath of a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure about your next steps. Remember, you’re not alone. The road to recovery can be challenging, but with the right legal help, you can navigate it with confidence.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in California, don’t let insurance companies dictate your future. Stand up for your rights. You deserve fair compensation for your injuries and losses, and a skilled personal injury attorney can diligently work toward achieving this goal.

At PARRIS Law Firm, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a car accident can take on your life. Our team is committed to advocating for your rights and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the complexities of insurance claims and legal jargon deter you. Allow us to shoulder that burden so you can focus on what truly matters—your recovery.

It’s your future at stake. Don’t delay. Contact PARRIS Law Firm today and let us help you reclaim control of your life.

Can I Sue for a Lost Job Due to a Car Accident?
Personal Injury, General
Can I Sue for a Lost Job Due to a Car Accident?

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be a challenging ordeal, particularly when it leads to job loss. But can you sue for a lost job? Yes. In California, the law allows you to pursue a personal injury claim for lost income and lost earning potential. This blog aims to shed light on this complex issue, guiding you through the process of claiming compensation for a job lost due to a car accident.

Understanding Personal Injury Claims in California

Personal injury law protects individuals who have been physically or mentally injured because of the negligence or wrongful conduct of others. The purpose is to restore the injured party to their original condition by awarding them monetary compensation for their injuries and losses. In legal terms, these compensations are referred to as damages.

In car accidents, personal injury claims are exceptionally common. These claims can cover a range of damages, from medical bills and property damage to emotional distress and, pertinent to our discussion, lost income.

In California, the legal framework for personal injury claims is quite comprehensive. The State operates under a system of pure comparative negligence, meaning that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you could still recover damages. However, your recovery would be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault, your total recovery would be reduced by 20%.

To file a personal injury claim in California, the plaintiff (the person making the claim) must prove that the defendant (the person being sued) was negligent, and that their negligence caused the accident that led to the plaintiff’s injuries.

The four elements that must be established in a negligence claim are:

  1. Duty: The defendant had a legal duty to behave in a certain way towards the plaintiff.
  2. Breach: The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way.
  3. Causation: The defendant’s actions (or inaction) caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  4. Damages: The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.

If you’ve suffered job loss because of a car accident, it’s crucial to understand that lost wages fall under the umbrella of economic damages in a personal injury claim. Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for monetary losses, and unlike non-economic damages (like pain and suffering), there is no cap on the amount you can recover for economic damages in California, except in medical malpractice cases.

The process of claiming these damages is not a walk in the park. It requires substantial proof that your job loss was indeed a direct result of the injuries sustained in the car accident. This might involve medical records, expert testimonies, employer statements, and more.

The Connection Between Job Loss and Car Accidents

It’s not uncommon to assume that the fallout from a car accident is limited to physical injuries and damage to your vehicle. However, the repercussions can ripple into various aspects of your life, including your employment. Let’s explore how a car accident can lead to job loss.

Imagine this scenario. You’re a construction worker involved in a significant car accident that results in a debilitating back injury. The doctor advises several months of rest and rehabilitation, making it impossible for you to continue working in your physically demanding job. Your employer, unable to keep your position open indefinitely, is forced to let you go. Suddenly, you find yourself without a job, facing mounting medical bills and the loss of regular income.

In another instance, consider a professional violinist whose hand gets severely injured in a car accident. The damage to their hand means they can no longer play the violin, leading to an end of their career as a musician.

These examples illustrate the direct link between car accidents and job loss. But how does this translate into a personal injury claim?

Personal injury law in California allows you to recover economic damages–quantifiable monetary losses resulting from an injury. These damages are not limited to medical expenses and property damage but extend to lost wages and loss of earning capacity.

Lost wages refer to the income you would have earned had you been able to work during your recovery period. In our construction worker example, this would be the regular income lost during the months of rest and rehabilitation.

Loss of earning capacity is a bit more complex. It refers to the reduction in your ability to earn in the future because of your injuries. For our violinist, this would be the income they would have made from their career as a musician but are now unable to earn due to their hand injury.

It’s important to note that calculating these damages can be complex and often requires the testimony of economic experts. For lost wages, you would need to demonstrate your regular income before the incident versus after the incident. For loss of earning capacity, an expert might consider factors like your age, skill level, occupation, and the labor market to estimate the income you could have earned in the future.

Proving Your Claim: What You Need to Know

The journey to compensation for a lost job due to a car accident is paved with evidence. It’s not merely about stating your case; it’s about proving it. But how do you go about this? Let’s break it down.

Personal injury claims revolve around the principle of negligence. You need to establish that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries and subsequent job loss.

To prove negligence, you’ll need to show that the defendant had a duty of care, they breached that duty, and that breach resulted in your injuries. Evidence can include traffic violation tickets, witness statements, police reports, and any other documentation that supports your claim.

Next, you need to connect your injuries to the accident. This is where medical records come into play. Doctor’s reports, X-rays, MRI scans, and any other relevant medical documentation can serve as concrete proof of the injuries you sustained from the accident.

So far, so good. But here’s where things get tricky—proving that your job loss directly resulted from the car accident. This requires a two-pronged approach. First, you need evidence that you were employed at the time of the accident, like pay stubs or an employment contract. Then, you need to demonstrate your inability to work is due to the injuries from the accident. This could be in the form of a doctor’s note recommending time off work or a statement from your employer that they let you go because of your inability to perform your duties.

If you can prove this, you’ll be eligible for economic damage. To claim these damages, you’ll need to prove your regular income and your potential future earnings. Pay stubs and employment contracts can help establish your regular income. For loss of earning capacity, you might need the testimony of an economic expert who can calculate your potential future earnings based on factors like your age, skills, occupation, and the labor market.

How PARRIS Law Firm Can Help

If you’ve lost your job due to a car accident, the path to recovery can feel like an uphill climb. You’re dealing with physical injuries, emotional distress, and now the loss of income. The legal process might seem like another complicated burden you don’t need. But that’s where PARRIS Law Firm steps in.

At PARRIS, we specialize in personal injury claims. We know the ins and outs of California’s legal landscape, and we understand the nuances of proving negligence, establishing damages, and securing compensation for our clients.

We have a proven track record of helping individuals who’ve lost their jobs because of car accidents. Our attorneys are not just knowledgeable; they’re persistent, dedicated, and committed to getting you what you deserve. They know how to gather evidence, construct a compelling case, and advocate for your rights in court.

At PARRIS, we believe in personalized service. We understand that every client, every accident, and every claim is unique. We take the time to understand your specific circumstances, your employment situation, and how the accident has impacted your life. We then tailor our approach to suit your needs, ensuring that we’re not just fighting for compensation, but for your peace of mind as well.

We’re here to guide you through the legal process, to help you understand your options, and most importantly, to fight for the compensation you deserve. We’re committed to ensuring that the law works for you, not against you.

If you’ve lost your job due to a car accident, get in touch with PARRIS Law Firm. Let us handle the legalities while you focus on your recovery. Because, getting you back on your feet is what matters to us. That’s not just our job; it’s our mission.

Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney Before Hiring One
Personal Injury, General
Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney Before Hiring One

When you’re hunting for a personal injury lawyer, it’s about more than just checking boxes. It’s about understanding who’s going to be in your corner.

You’ll want to scrutinize their track record, discuss their fees, understand their communication style, and gain insight into their specific strategy for your case. Knowledge is power, and understanding their plan of action is non-negotiable.

Transparency is another major player in this game. Make sure they provide a clear breakdown of their fees and can walk you through the legal process without the jargon.

When looking for the right personal injury attorney for your case, there are many questions you should ask. Here are the top 13 questions to ask a personal injury attorney before you hire one.

1. How many years have you been practicing in California, and have you always practiced personal injury?

The number of years an attorney has been practicing and their area of specialization are important factors to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer. This question gauges the depth of the attorney’s experience and their familiarity with the local legal landscape.

An attorney who has been practicing for many years in California would have a comprehensive understanding of the state’s personal injury laws, court procedures, and legal community, which can significantly impact your case. If they’ve always focused on personal injury law, it indicates a dedication to this field, suggesting they possess specialized knowledge and skills, which could be beneficial for your situation.

2. Can you provide examples of similar cases you’ve handled and their outcomes?

An attorney’s past performance is a reliable sign of their future competence. By asking this question, you can assess whether they have a proven track record in managing cases akin to yours. It offers a glimpse into their strategic approach, their negotiation skills, and their ability to secure favorable outcomes.

While success in past cases is encouraging, it’s not a guarantee of future results. Each case has its unique set of circumstances. However, an attorney who has consistently achieved positive outcomes in similar cases is likely better equipped to navigate the complexities of your case effectively.

3. What percentage of your cases settle out of court versus going to trial?

Most personal injury cases are settled before they reach the courtroom. This can be advantageous for the client, as settlements often mean less stress, lower costs, and quicker resolutions. However, the willingness and ability to take a case to trial if necessary is equally important. It demonstrates the lawyer’s commitment to securing the best possible outcome for their client.

The answer to this question can provide insight into the lawyer’s approach and strategy. An attorney who mostly settles might excel at negotiation, while one who frequently goes to trial is not afraid to stand up in court and push for a better result.

4. How often will we communicate, and who will be my point of contact?

This question allows you to understand the attorney’s communication style and frequency. Regular updates are not just about staying informed; they also provide reassurance that your case is being actively managed. You’re not just another file in a stack but a person whose life has been impacted by an injury.

Knowing who your point of contact is can eliminate potential confusion. Will you be speaking directly with the attorney, or will a paralegal or assistant handle most communications? A dedicated contact person ensures a smoother flow of information.

5. What is your approach to handling personal injury cases like mine?

Personal injury cases are not one-size-fits-all. Each case comes with its unique set of circumstances, requiring a tailored strategy. By posing this question, you get into the attorney’s thought process. You can gauge whether they take a meticulous, proactive approach or if they prefer to react as events unfold.

Are they aggressive, pushing for maximum compensation, or do they lean towards quick settlements to avoid protracted legal battles?

6. Can you walk me through the legal process I should expect?

This question allows you to gauge the attorney’s ability to clearly and concisely explain complex legal procedures. It’s paramount that you understand the road ahead. You need to know what steps will be taken, from filing the lawsuit to negotiation, settlement discussions, or even trial.

Their response will provide insight into their experience. An attorney well-versed in personal injury law should be able to outline the process with relative ease, demonstrating confidence in an otherwise daunting journey.

7. What is your fee structure, and are there any additional costs I should anticipate?

This question cuts straight to the chase. It clarifies what you’ll be paying for the attorney’s services and when you’ll be expected to pay. Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency basis, meaning they get paid only if you win your case. However, the percentage they take can vary, so get this clarified upfront.

Don’t forget about potential additional costs either. These could include court fees, expert witness fees, administrative costs, and more. While your attorney cannot predict an exact figure, a ballpark estimate can help your expectations.

8. How long do you estimate it will take to resolve my case?

This question serves multiple purposes. First, it allows you to plan your life accordingly. Legal proceedings can be long-winded and disruptive. Having a rough timeline helps in managing expectations and mitigating stress.

Second, the response to this question reveals much about the attorney’s experience. Seasoned attorneys, familiar with the complexities of personal injury law, can provide a reasonable estimation based on their past cases.

However, remember that law is not an exact science. Each case is unique with its own set of variables. An estimated timeline is just that—an estimate.

9. How do you determine whether to accept a settlement or go to trial?

This question probes the attorney’s decision-making process. It evaluates their ability to make calculated moves, balancing risks and rewards. A good attorney knows when to negotiate a settlement and when to fight it out in court.

But it’s not just about their decision-making ability; it’s about your involvement in that decision. A reputable attorney will include you in this process, considering your comfort level, financial situation, and long-term goals. They will also tell you when a settlement is in your best interest.

10. What potential challenges do you foresee with my case?

Asking this question will provide you with a roadmap of potential obstacles in your case. It’s about identifying the bumps before hitting the road. The response will offer a glimpse into the attorney’s analytical skills and their ability to anticipate and prepare for challenges.

But this is not just about hearing the challenges; it’s about understanding them. A competent attorney will not only list the challenges but also explain them in a manner that makes sense to you, and explain with clarity how they plan to overcome them.

11. If we lose the case, will I be responsible for any legal expenses?

This question addresses the elephant in the room—the possibility of losing. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s a scenario you must prepare for. The answer to this question will clarify who shoulders the burden of legal expenses if the case doesn’t swing in your favor.

It’s not just about knowing who pays; it’s about understanding how much they pay. An experienced attorney will explain the potential costs involved, giving you a clear picture of your financial obligations to pay them back for any costs.

12. Why should I choose you as my personal injury attorney?

This question allows you to assess the attorney’s confidence in their skills and their ability to articulate why they stand out from the crowd. You’re not looking for arrogance, but assurance that they possess the knowledge, experience, and dedication necessary to handle your case effectively.

A capable attorney will provide concrete examples of past successes, strategies they employ, and their unique approach to personal injury law.

PARRIS Law Firm Welcomes Your Questions

Each of these questions is a starting point for a broader conversation with potential lawyers. Ultimately, if you don’t feel comfortable with one, move on. This person will be your advocate and you need to trust them.

PARRIS Law Firm has focused on California personal injury cases since 1985, securing billions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Is it Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal Injury, General
Is it Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?

When you’ve been injured, the path to recovery can be daunting. Legal complexities add another layer of stress to an already difficult situation. If you’re in California and find yourself in such a predicament, hiring a personal injury attorney could be your best decision yet.

Understanding Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases come in many forms, all hinging on the premise that a person has suffered harm due to another’s negligence or intentional misconduct. If you’ve been injured physically, emotionally, or financially because of someone else’s actions, you may have a personal injury case.

In California, personal injury cases take all kinds of forms. They can range from auto accidents (which are notoriously common given our state’s high traffic volumes), to slip and fall incidents often resulting from poorly maintained properties. Workplace injuries are also prevalent, especially in industries involving manual labor. Medical malpractice, product liability, and dog bites are other common types of personal injury cases in California.

The Role & Benefits of a Personal Injury Attorney

When you’re facing the aftermath of a personal injury, it can feel like you’ve been thrown into a labyrinth of legal complexities. This is where a personal injury attorney comes in. But what exactly does a personal injury attorney do?

A personal injury attorney is a legal professional who provides representation to those who have been injured because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. They are experts in tort law, which includes civil wrongs and economic or non-economic damages to a person’s property, reputation, or rights.

Navigating the complex legal system is no simple task, especially when you’re dealing with the physical and emotional toll of an injury. A personal injury attorney steps in to guide you through this maze. They handle everything from filing the legal documents to negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Here are some key benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney:

  1. Knowledge of Personal Injury Law: This is their field of practice. They know the ins and outs of the legal procedures, documentation, and other requirements of your case. This experience can help you feel more comfortable with the process and know that you have a trusted advocate fighting for you.
  2. Negotiation Skills: Insurance companies often attempt to offer the lowest possible amount for a settlement. Your attorney will skillfully negotiate on your behalf, working diligently to try to get you a fair deal.
  3. Court Representation: Your attorney will represent you in court, advocating for your rights and fighting for your best interests, even all the way through trial if necessary.
  4. Peace of Mind: Having a professional handle your legal worries can give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  5. No Upfront Fees: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. This ensures they will work hard fighting for you.

Each of these points underscores the immense value a personal injury attorney brings to your case. They guide you through the complex legal system, negotiate on your behalf, represent you in court, provide peace of mind, and work on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Common Misconceptions about Hiring an Attorney

There are several misconceptions concerning the hiring of personal injury lawyers. These myths can deter injured individuals from seeking the legal help they need and deserve. Let’s address some of these common misconceptions and set the record straight.

Misconception 1: Hiring an attorney is too expensive.

Fact: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they win something for you—either through settlement or trial. You won’t have to pay anything upfront, and their fees will come out of your settlement. Therefore, hiring an attorney doesn’t have to be a financial burden.

Misconception 2: I can handle my case on my own.

Fact: Personal injury law is complex and navigating it without professional help can be challenging. An experienced attorney knows how to build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

Misconception 3: Lawyers drag out cases to make more money.

Fact: It’s in the best interest of attorneys to resolve cases as efficiently as possible. Prolonging a case unnecessarily can damage an attorney’s reputation and client relationships. They strive to get you the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.

Misconception 4: All personal injury cases go to trial.

Fact: The vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. Your attorney will work to negotiate a fair settlement with the opposing party. Only if a satisfactory agreement can’t be reached, will the case go to trial.

These misconceptions can prevent you from getting the legal help you need. It’s important to base your decisions on facts, not myths. A personal injury attorney is a valuable ally in your fight for justice and compensation. The PARRIS Law Firm is here to provide the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

Costs Associated with Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

One of the primary concerns when considering hiring a personal injury attorney is the cost. Many people fear that legal representation will be too expensive for them to afford. However, it’s important to understand the costs associated with hiring a personal injury attorney and why these costs are justified.

Contingency Fees: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only charge a fee if they win or settle your case. The fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or award up to 40%. This arrangement ensures that you don’t have to pay anything upfront in exchange for the risks that the attorney takes putting their time and costs into your case. It also means you and the attorney share the same goal: to maximize your recovery.

Court Costs and Other Expenses: Besides the contingency fee, there can be other costs related to your case. These may include filing fees, costs for obtaining medical records, expert witness fees, and other court-related expenses. It’s important to note that these costs are often advanced by the attorney and later deducted from the final settlement or award.

Now, let’s address why these fees and costs are justified.

Experience: Personal injury attorneys bring their extensive knowledge and experience to your case. They understand the intricacies of the law, how to negotiate with insurance companies, and how to present your case in the best possible light.

Time and Effort: Building a strong personal injury case takes time and effort. Your attorney will spend countless hours researching, gathering evidence, consulting with experts, drafting documents, and negotiating on your behalf.

Risk Mitigation: By working on a contingency basis, your attorney assumes a risk. If they don’t win your case, they don’t get paid. This arrangement aligns your attorney’s interests with yours, ensuring they are incentivized to fight for the best possible outcome.

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney

Choosing the right personal injury attorney is a crucial step in your journey towards justice and compensation. But how do you know which attorney is the right fit for you? Here’s a guide on what to look for and some key questions to ask when interviewing potential attorneys.

Experience in Personal Injury: Look for an attorney who practices in personal injury law and has a proven track record of successful cases. While a history of success is not a guarantee they’ll win your case, a proven track record shows their dedication to their clients and the case.

Reputation: Consider their reputation in the legal community. Check online reviews, ask for references, and find out about their standing among peers and clients.

Communication: Your attorney and their team should be someone with whom you feel comfortable communicating. They should be able to explain complex legal terms in a manner that you understand and keep you informed about the progress of your case.

Fees: Understand their fee structure. Ask if they work on a contingency basis (where they only get paid if they win your case) or if there are any other costs you should be aware of.

When interviewing potential attorneys, here are some important questions to ask:

  1. What is your experience with personal injury cases similar to mine?
  2. How will you communicate with me throughout the case?
  3. Do you work on a contingency fee basis, and what does that mean for me?
  4. Are there any other costs I should anticipate?
  5. How long do you expect this case to take?
  6. If necessary, are you prepared to take my case to trial?

PARRIS Stands Ready to Help You

Hiring a personal injury attorney in California is not only worthwhile but often crucial for securing the justice and compensation you deserve. Choosing the right personal injury attorney can make all the difference. Look for experience, reputation, communication skills, and a clear fee structure. Ask questions and ensure they’re the right fit for you.

Now, it’s your turn to take action. If you or a loved one has been injured and you’re considering legal representation, don’t hesitate. Contact PARRIS Law Firm today. We’re here to stand by your side, fight for your rights, and help you navigate this challenging time. Your journey towards justice begins with a single step—make that step today.

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