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Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Rehm represents victims of accidents, specifically car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian and bicycle accidents. If you are the victim of another’s negligence and have been injured in an accident, and you are reading this site, you already realize the need for obtaining strong counsel. You most likely have already accepted the reality of the situation.
The unfortunate reality is that you are injured, your life has changed, and you have no realistic choice but to put your daily life and ambitions aside, and focus on your recovery.
You also realize you need an attorney, because without a strong attorney, the other sides insurance company is clearly not going to look out for your best interest and you need someone that can, while you focus on your health and the financial ramifications that can come from missing work and sudden medical bills. You understand this, what you might not understand is how it will work with an accident attorney and what can be done.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
To understand what can be done, you must understand the underlying principle in personal injury litigation. The underlying concept is that the victims of another negligence should be made whole, as if the accident never occurred. Of course, in regards to serious injuries and death, this cannot occur, so the legal system attempts to compensate financially for physical injuries and the pain and suffering associated with such injuries to the best extent possible. So if there are medical bills associated with the accident and/or there will be future medical care associated with the accident, the cost should not be on you.
If you lost wages because of the accident, you should be reimbursed for the wages you lost. If you experienced pain and suffering, you should be compensated for the pain and suffering. If the accident will limit or preclude personal and/or professional opportunities in the future, you should be reimbursed for the professional opportunities, and compensated to the extent possible for the personal opportunities you will no longer experience.
The goal is to make you whole to the extent possible. No money in the world can compensate for the harsh consequences of health problems, but all the legal system can do is try. So, that is the underlying concept in these cases, and that is the principle the court will look at in these cases, and that is how your Accident attorney should approach the case in settlement talks and/or in front of a jury. Michael Rehm takes a very simple approach to these cases.
First, every case is prepared as if it is going to trial. Second, negotiations take place with the insurance company, or the defense firm hired to represent the insurance company. Third, if the insurance company or defense firm is reasonable, we will be reasonable and settle the case. If they are not reasonable, we will go to court. It’s really that simple. The goal is to maximize your recovery and resolve the case in the most efficient manner possible so you can move on with your recovery and not have to deal with lawyers and insurance companies any longer than needed.
HOW DO YOU MAXIMIZE RECOVERY IN THE MOST EFFICIENT MANNER POSSIBLE?
Practically speaking, every case and injury is unique, so there is no set formula, but the steps and strategies below are a good foundation to maximize the recovery in the most efficient manner possible.
First, you sign a release allowing Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Rehm to obtain the medical bills and treatment records, any employment information in regards to lost wages, the auto accident report, and any other information that is relevant to your case.
Second, a determination is made as to the issue of liability. The car accident report may be determinative of liability depending on the quality of the report. The police many times have bigger fish to fry, so the time dedicated to the report and the attention to details in the report can be lacking. If liability is not in dispute, which is actually common, you start to have an idea as to the value of the case. If liability is in dispute, you also have an idea as to the value of the case, it is just generally less.
The important point to remember with liability is that the police report is not always conclusive proof. In fact, the police report is not allowed into evidence in court as a matter of law. To determine liability, you must analyze all the evidence. This includes the police report, witness’ s statements, the credibility of the witnesses who provide statements and any video evidence that may be obtained.
Third, we must speak with the appropriate medical professionals to determine the anticipated future medical care and the how this will change your life.
Fourth, depending on your profession, we should obtain information from an economist or occupational expert witness as to what impact this will have on your career and the financial opportunities you will miss out on.
All the above helps determine the amount of financial compensation you should be entitled to.
At this point, you have to determine how much compensation you can realistically hope to collect. For example, if the medical bills and lost wages total $35,000, and the negligent party has a car insurance policy maximum of $15,000, no assets, and no excess insurance policies in existence, it is going to be hard to collect more than $15,000 even though you are clearly entitled to at least $35,000.
It is the Attorneys job to find sources of recovery. The potential sources of recovery include the negligent driver’s car insurance policy, any excess insurance coverage the negligent driver possesses, and any assets the negligent driver may own. Other sources of recovery include the vehicle’s insurance policy (if the negligent party was not the owner), the negligent driver’s employer’s insurance (if the negligent driver was driving during the course of employment), the government (if the conditions or design of the roads or intersection were a reason why the accident occurred), and potential products liability suits if a manufacturing or design error of the vehicle is a part of the cause as well.
There are multiple sources of recovery, and it is the lawyers job to find them.
In regards to the hypothetical above, where the bills exceed the sources of recovery, it does not preclude a recovery. It simply means you will recover less, but it is also possible to have those medical bills reduced to still allow for the injured party to recover financially, not simply recover money that will go straight to the medical bills.
For example, under Civil Code 3040 the lien-holder of the medical bills is entitled to no more than one-third of the recovery/settlement/judgement for an injured party who has an attorney and had their own medical insurance.
What does this mean for the hypothetical above? Well, if the medical bills are $35,000 and the settlement is $15,000, under Civil Code 3040, the lien-holder of the medical bills would only be entitled to $5,000. If the medical bills are one million dollars, and the recovery is $15,000, the, lienholder would once again be entitled to $5,000. Understanding the law surrounding the reduction or elimination of medical liens is essential for any lawyer in this area of law.
The steps above are some of the steps to take to ensure a maximum recovery in the most efficient manner possible.
The law surrounding personal injury cases is not overly complicated once it is understood. Unfortunately, it can be counter intuitive to most people when they first are exposed to it. The whole idea that a completely innocent victim, that is now suffering health and financial issues, can be treated so poorly by the other sides insurance company can be completely unexpected. But that is the reality.
Michael Rehm offers free consultations in person or by phone. He is available for office, home or hospital appointments, depending on the convenience of the injured person. For more information on what can be done, call (916) 476-9781 and start the process to maximize your recovery in the most efficient manner possible.
Attorney Michael Rehm represents clients in Car, Truck, Pedestrian and Motorcycle Accidents in Sacramento, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Rocklin, Woodland, Davis, Yuba City, Marysville, Auburn, Colusa, West Sacramento, Placerville, Stockton, Modesto and all of California.
Sacramento, CA 95825
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