Sometimes my clients ask, "I don't know....I'm not sure if bringing a claim is even worth all my time. I've heard that this can drag on a long time, and I may not get much money out of it. Should I even bother?"
Since I cannot guarantee the result of a personal injury claim, and since the value of a claim depends on many factors, the answer to this question comes down to expectations. If you are expecting a certain monetary figure from your case, you will probably be disappointed. If all you want is to make sure you get some medical care and some compensation for your trouble, then perhaps it's worth it. Generally speaking, if you have "high expectations" and monetary figures in mind at the outset of your case, you are generally going to be disappointed with this journey.
Here is a quick example of someone who decided NOT to bring a claim. A client came to the initial consultation and explained that he had been in a moderate rear end impact. There was sufficient damage to his car to cause injury and he was indeed injured. However, the injuries were primarily "soft tissue" (sprains/strains - nothing terribly serious) in nature and he was already feeling better after a week post accident.
I explained to him that the case might not be worth very much since it was primarily soft tissue in nature and he was already feeling much better. The client explained that he would not want to proceed with the case unless I could guarantee him $15,000 in his pocket when all is said and done. I told him that there was no way I could guarantee that kind of net settlement, and that kind of number was unlikely given the facts he was giving me. Therefore, I told the client that the personal injury case will probably not worth this time. I could not guarantee such a recovery, and he would've been dissatisfied with anything less. Therefore, we simply were not a good match for one another.
Also, the client probably saved himself a lot of time by choosing not to bring a claim since he was going to be disappointed. Therefore, you have to ask yourself if a case is worth proceeding. If you're expecting at least a certain amount of money in your pocket, then you're setting yourself up for disappointment. If you have realistic expectations of these kinds of cases, and you are not primarily after money, then maybe you will decide to proceed with your case. Discuss with the lawyer and decide if it's right for you. You may indeed have the kind of case where there is a strong chance of decent economic recovery. Then again, you may be dealing with a small case. Either way, talk to an experienced lawyer to see if it is worth your time and effort. A good lawyer shouldn't steer you into making a claim.
If you want to discuss your Santa Clarita personal injury case with Rob Mansour, call (661) 414-7100 and set up your initial appointment.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hi. My name is Robert Mansour, and today I'm broadcasting from my home office here in Los Angeles, California. I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area, and one of my areas of practice is personal injury. One of the major Vehicle Code sections that pops its head up in police reports in accidents is Vehicle Code Section 22350.
In fact, if you have a police report dealing with your personal injury matter, you might see that cited by the police officer somewhere in the report, 22350. That means that somebody was driving too fast for the circumstances.
And a lot of clients ask me what is this exactly. What is California Vehicle Code Section 22350? And basically, it's the basic California speed law. And what it says is that you should not be driving too fast for the circumstances. You should drive in a reasonable fashion given the circumstances around you.
So a lot of clients will call me and they'll say, "Well, I was driving the speed limit. I don't see what the problem is." But, you see, the California speed law, Vehicle Code Section 22350, doesn't say anything about the speed limit. It just says you need to be driving in a reasonable fashion given the circumstances, and there's no mention of the speed limit.
So if the speed limit is 35, that simply means that's the fastest you should be going ever in that particular location, not that's how fast you should be going all the time, because if it's a school day and there's kids walking around, people crossing the street, other cars stopped for some reason, or the weather is not very good, or whatever the case may be, driving 35 miles per hour, which might be the speed limit, may not be reasonable for that particular circumstance.
I had a case long ago where I was able to prove that the other party, although driving the speed limit, was partly negligent in the case because that was too fast for the circumstances. Vehicles in the number one lane had come to a stop. Vehicles in the number two lane had come to a stop. And this woman was barreling down the number three lane, arguing, "Look, my lane was clear. I'm driving the speed limit." But we were able to successfully argue to a jury that that wasn't reasonable for the circumstances given the fact that other vehicles were stopped in other lanes.
So sometimes the Vehicle Code can be misleading. The speed limit can be misleading. California's basic speed law, codified in Vehicle Code Section 22350, says nothing about the speed limit.
Thank you very much for watching this brief video. Again, my name is Robert Mansour, and thank you very much for joining me.
* Call (661) 414-7100 for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,