SANTA CRUZ PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY –
MICHAEL DANIEL REHM LAW
FREE CONSULTATIONS — (831) 420-8082
Santa Cruz Personal Injury Attorney Michael Rehm is a law office that represents the victims of negligence. The most common negligence cases relate to accidents, whether those accidents are in a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, bike, or a pedestrian simply walking down the street, the law of negligence applies. The law of negligence is thorough and complex, but in essence the concept is that one party acted negligently and the other party is a victim of such negligence, and the victim has suffered damages.
Poor driving constitutes negligence. Victims of accidents can suffer serious injuries, including death, and can have other aspects of their life forever changed, including quality of life and professional opportunities. So personal injury law is simply trying to right a wrong to the greatest extent possible.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS IN A SANTA CRUZ PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
The short answer is that it varies. If you have been injured in an accident, you will most likely need counsel to help you in this process. For most people, this will be the first and only time they need a lawyer in this capacity. So there is unfamiliarity with the process. The beginning of the process is most focused on your health. You need the best medical care you can receive. Focus on your health first and foremost. For most people, that means obtaining medical care, taking time off of work, and not engaging in their normal activities, like taking care of their family, exercise, things to that extent. There is nothing worse than health problems, all you can do is take care of yourself , and document how it is affecting your life. Clients of Accident Lawyer Michael Rehm will sign releases that allow him to obtain your medical treatment records and information from your employer as to the amount of work you missed, but the ability to not exercise or cook for your kids, etc. ideally is documented by the client or a loved one of the client in a journal or something to that extent.
On the legal side, Santa Cruz Motorcycle Accident Attorney Michael Rehm will obtain the medical information and lost wages information as discussed, inform the insurance company that you have an attorney who is representing you and start the process of determining what damages are appropriate. This involves an analysis of your actual damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. and the amount that is realistically recoverable. The minimum limit of insurance coverage on automobiles in California in $15,000. For commercial trucks, the minimum amount is $750,000. Insurance is not the only route for recovery however, your personal uninsurance or underinsurance policies might also be available, and of course the negligent parties’ personal assets are available where appropriate. This can be a crucial part of your personal injury case, especially in the situation where one has high medical bills, and the negligent party only has $15,000 available, information on the negligent parties’ assets is crucial. This information can be obtained through background check companies, or many times the negligent party will fill out a statement of assets and liabilities as a condition of settlement.
As just discussed, your personal uninsured or underinsured policy comes into play as well, including in wrongful death actions, where it can be used for funeral expenses.
The other factor in looking at the amount of damages that are appropriate is the issue of liability. Who is at fault in the accident? This is determined by witness statements, including the negligent party and the injured party, the officers report (which your attorney will obtain), and any other evidence that is available such as surveillance cameras in the area which in today’s society are more common and very often captures the accident.
Once the facts and information related to your case and damages are determined, an analysis of local jury verdicts and settlements becomes crucial information as well. For example, if a Santa Cruz jury just returned a verdict with a specific dollar amount for the same injury you are now suffering, that information can be vital to a successful settlement.
HOW DO YOU NEGOTIATE WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO OBTAIN THE DAMAGES?
Santa Cruz Personal Injury Attorney Michael Rehm will negotiate with the insurance company in regards to a fair settlement. This generally starts by sending the insurance company a letter that you have a lawyer. Once all of the reports, medical records and insurance information is obtained, negotiations will begin. If you have all of your facts straight, negotiating should not be extremely difficult. Keep in mind the injured is an innocent victim. You did not do anything wrong. Medical bills are expensive.
That is not your fault, blame the hospitals. It’s not your fault you missed work, couldn’t exercise, or spend quality time with loved ones. So the negotiations should not be contentious, but many times they can be. At that point, it is generally advantageous to sue in court. Your personal injury attorney will then get the chance to talk with the defense attorney about the case, who are generally more realistic about settlements than the insurance adjuster. If the other side is acting unreasonable, there should never be a fear of a jury trial. Santa Cruz Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Rehm has extensive courtroom experience throughout California and New York, so he is more than willing to go to trial, if that is what it takes.
Once again keep in mind the injured party is completely innocent in this situation and now is suffering health issues which most reasonable people would not want. On top of that, the billion-dollar insurance company is now haggling over the medical bills. Getting the general public involved through a jury trial can be the best decision in your case if the other side s acting unreasonable. If the other side is not acting unreasonable, a settlement is appropriate and the legal case is over.
WHAT DO YOU CHARGE?
It depends on the case, but the main principle you must understand is that there is no upfront fee, and no fee if there is no recovery. Attorney Michael Rehm receives a percentage of the recovery. What percentage that is depends on the complexity of the case, and the point in time when the recovery is obtained. But, generally speaking, if the case is settled without having to go to court, the percentage is normally a third of the recovery. If we have to go court, the percentage normally goes up to forty percent. But those percentage are not set in stone, and can be less or more depending on the actual case. The percentages are determined before you decide to hire Michael Rehm. But remember, if you do not recover anything, you will not pay anything and that is pretty common with most Personal Injury Attorneys.
Just remember to focus on your health and getting better. If you have been injured, contact Michael Rehm or another attorney before making any statements. For more information on how to proceed, call (831) 420-8082 to speak with Santa Cruz Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Rehm for a free consultation and let him explain how the law will apply. For information on Attorney Rehm’s criminal practice, see his Santa Cruz DUI Attorney website.