Palm Desert Personal Injury Attorney

Susan Handel

San Diego Serious Personal Injuries from Accidents LawyerPersonal injury laws exist to ensure economic recovery when another party has injured you. A Palm Desert personal injury lawyer is your best available resource when another party has caused physical injury, illness, or economic losses due to negligence or an intentionally harmful act. If you or a loved one are in this position, it’s essential to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to determine your best options for legal recourse.

At the Law Offices of Susan Handel, we provide robust and reliable personal injury representation to injured clients throughout the Palm Desert area. We know the uncertainty and frustration these cases can cause and do everything in power to streamline our clients’ paths to recovery after suffering personal injuries. If you need a legal representative who can provide personalized attention to your case, Attorney Handel and her team offer more than 20 years of professional experience in California civil law.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

The primary goal of a personal injury lawsuit is for the plaintiff to obtain compensation that restores them to as close as possible to their state prior to the incident that caused their damages. A personal injury lawyer’s goal is to handle a plaintiff’s legal proceedings on their behalf. They must establish liability for damages and work to maximize the recovery their plaintiff secures through their legal proceedings, whether that entails assisting them with an insurance claim, civil action against a liable party, or both.

A Palm Desert personal injury lawyer can perform various legal services for a client, including filing all of their court documents on time, preparing them for hearings and court appearances, and gathering evidence to support their cases. A Palm Desert personal injury attorney will basically handle all of the client’s legal matters so the client can focus on their recovery.

When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Some personal injury matters can be settled without legal representation, such as a mild fender-bender that only requires a small insurance claim for minor vehicle repairs. However, if a personal injury involves substantial or unclear damages, it’s best to hire legal representation to help you handle this type of case. Most personal injury attorneys offer their clients contingency fee billing, meaning legal representation costs nothing if the client loses their case.

If you are uncertain about any aspect of your claim or do not know the best approach to recovery for your losses, reach out to an experienced Palm Desert personal injury lawyer. Our firm will review your case and determine the best possible approach to securing compensation for your losses.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

Many personal injuries, especially those resulting from car accidents, may involve insurance claims on some level. For example, after an auto accident, an injured driver may file an insurance claim against an at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy to recover their losses. In some cases, this can be enough to satisfy a plaintiff’s damages, but dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy or pleasant for injured claimants.

Hiring a Palm Desert personal injury lawyer means having a legal advocate who can handle your interactions with insurance companies on your behalf. Legal representation also adds strength to an insurance claim and reduces the chances of an insurance claim adjuster pushing back against a claim without clear cause. If you need to file an insurance claim after a personal injury, hiring a Palm Desert personal injury lawyer is one of the best ways to streamline the experience and increase the chances of an acceptable claim payout.

What Makes a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?

Finding the right attorney to represent your personal injury case can seem like a daunting challenge, especially when you are already exhausted and stressed from managing the pain of your injuries. There are a few key criteria to consider that can help you narrow down your search for an attorney:

  • Availability. It’s common for attorneys to manage multiple cases at once. There are often long lapses of time between proceedings for some cases, allowing attorneys to devote attention to other clients. However, attorneys must devote adequate time to each client. Make sure your attorney has a caseload that allows for the intricacies of your claim.
  • Responsiveness. Ask a potential attorney how often you can expect to hear from them and how easy you can expect it to be to get in touch with them when you need updates on your case. Most modern attorneys are accustomed to communicating with clients via email, phone, and text messaging every day.
  • Cost. Most personal injury attorneys charge their clients with contingency fees, meaning the client’s legal fees are a percentage of their recovery, and the attorney receives nothing if the client loses. If an attorney has a different billing policy, such as per-hour billing, this can significantly increase the cost of legal representation for your case.
  • Approach. The vast majority of personal injury claims settle outside of court, and litigation is risky in any personal injury case. Find out how a potential attorney intends to approach your case and how they expect you to resolve it.

Taking advantage of complimentary consultation offers from reputable local attorneys is one of the best ways to narrow down your search for the right legal representative. Develop questions unique to your personal injury claim to ask during these meetings, and they can help you determine the best attorney to represent your case.

What Can I Expect From a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury lawsuits are civil claims that unfold according to the statutes set forth by the California Code of Civil Procedure. Some personal injury claims may only take a few weeks to conclude, while others may require months or even years of complex negotiations and litigation. Ultimately, what to predict when it comes to your personal injury claim comes down to your claim’s specific elements, the extent of the damages you are claiming, and the severity of the defendant’s behavior. Your claim can also be influenced in unpredictable ways by the presence of multiple defendants or conflicting evidence.

An experienced Palm Desert personal injury lawyer can help you better understand what to expect as your case unfolds. It’s likely that your Palm Desert personal injury attorney will prepare you for settlement negotiations if liability is clear in your case. If not, your attorney may recommend that you accept the possibility of more intense litigation in the near future.

Damages and Compensation in California Personal Injury Claims

The plaintiff in a personal injury claim must provide a full accounting of the damages they have experienced as a result of the defendant’s alleged actions. California state law allows personal injury plaintiffs to seek repayment for any economic losses and expenses incurred due to the negligence of others. It is also possible to secure compensation for immeasurable, noneconomic losses like pain and suffering.

Compensatory damages in a personal injury claim generally include several elements. Medical expenses for treating the plaintiff’s alleged physical injuries or illness, lost income from time the plaintiff could not work due to their injuries, and compensation for the value of damaged or destroyed personal property are a few. However, these are just the immediate compensatory damages a plaintiff may claim.

These damages can also include projected future losses in some cases. For example, a plaintiff can claim immediate medical expenses but also projected future medical expenses for necessary treatments they require. A plaintiff can not only recover wages lost immediately following an injury but also lost future earning potential if they are left unable to work at all due to their injuries.

Exemplary Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Some personal injury cases involve defendant behaviors that fall well outside the scope of typical negligence. In some cases, a defendant’s behavior is criminal, such as a personal injury caused due to driving under the influence. In others, defendants may face punitive or exemplary damages due to the nature of their negligence or for when they acted with harmful intent. California state law allows a plaintiff to receive punitive or exemplary damages alongside their other damages with no upper limit. It is ultimately up to a judge’s discretion to determine a suitable amount of punitive damages in a personal injury claim.

Causation in Personal Injury Claims

It is not only crucial for a plaintiff and their Palm Desert personal injury lawyer to prove the full extent of their damages in a personal injury claim. They must also show causation between their claimed damages and the defendant’s alleged negligence. The aim is to prove these damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause. For example, if a plaintiff has a preexisting injury that is exacerbated by a personal injury, they can claim the increased cost of their medical expenses. However, they cannot claim compensation for medical expenses accrued before the accident.

Proving causation is more difficult in some cases than others. A defendant may accept liability for a personal injury while disputing causation of certain claimed damages to reduce their liability for those damages. A Palm Desert personal injury lawyer can clarify causation in your case and ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your losses.

How to Win a Personal Injury Case in Palm Desert

Some personal injury claims are more straightforward than others, and the quality of your legal counsel could be the determining factor between securing the compensation you need to move on with your life and winding up with unpaid damages you cannot afford. The first step in winning a personal injury case is working quickly to secure legal representation as soon as possible. California’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims might seem generous. However, it is best to err on the side of caution and begin building your personal injury claim as early as possible.

Once you have legal representation on your side, your Palm Desert personal injury attorney can gather evidence to support your claim and help you prepare for the legal proceedings ahead. To succeed with any personal injury claim, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s losses. This means providing the court with an accurate accounting of the plaintiff’s losses and proof that the defendant is fully responsible for those losses.

One California law that can pose a problem to some personal injury claimants is the state’s pure comparative negligence statute. This law upholds that a plaintiff who is partially to blame for causing claimed damages still has the right to secure compensation for their losses. However, the plaintiff must lose a portion of their case award equal to their degree of fault. For example, in a $1,000,000 case in which the plaintiff is found 10% at fault, the plaintiff would lose $100,000 or 10% of the case award to account for their fault. If comparative negligence is alleged or otherwise comes into play in your case, your Palm Desert personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best way to minimize your potential liability.

Finding the Right Attorney to Represent Your Personal Injury Claim

It’s vital to have reliable legal representation after experiencing a personal injury of any kind. Even a personal injury claim that seems perfectly straightforward at first can evolve into an incredibly complicated legal battle, leaving an injured victim unsure of what to do next. You can prevent this from happening in your situation by contacting an experienced and reliable Palm Desert personal injury attorney as soon as possible after experiencing any type of personal injury.

The sooner you connect with legal representation and start building your case, the better your chances of securing compensation for your losses. At the Law Offices of Susan Handel, we are confident in our team’s skills, experience, and ability to guide you to a satisfying conclusion to your personal injury matter.

Our firm has extensive experience with all types of personal injury claims, including car accident claims, product liability claims, slip and fall injury claims against private property owners, and much more. Rest assured, our team will carefully analyze your case and let you know exactly how we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Susan Handel today if you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced and compassionate Palm Desert personal injury lawyer.