Do Lawyers Work on Contingency in Los Angeles ?

Many plaintiff attorneys take on cases on a contingency basis. What this means is that the attorney will not get paid a fee unless the client wins the case either by settlement or verdict. A typical case on this basis is a car accident. Many injured people do not have the financial resources to litigate a case against the responsible party. They do not have the financial power to go to doctors, retain other experts and pay filing fees. Attorneys assess the merits of a car accident and may decide to represent the injured party on a contingency. The Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer (if the claim goes into litigation) will front the costs of the litigation (filing fees, service of process fees, expert costs, etc). When the case resolves, the client will be responsible for the fees to the attorney and to reimburse the attorney for the costs that had been fronted by the attorney.  Depending upon the complexity of the case, this could run into thousands of dollars.

Contingency Lawyers in Los Angeles

Doctors in personal injury cases also take cases on a lien basis. What this means is that the doctor will treat the patient and wait for payment of his/her fees until the case resolves. This is of crucial importance if the client does not have independent means to pay for their medical treatment, or do not have health insurance. Another advantage of the use of medical liens for personal work injury cases is that attorneys are sometimes able to negotiate down medical costs after settlement or verdict.

In cases where the medical expenses approach and/or are equal to or greater than the settlement or jury award, an attorney has the option of negotiating with the medical providers to lower the costs.  This is how it works.  For example, let us say that a plaintiff was injured in a car accident where she was sideswiped.  The Plaintiff has had to go to the hospital on a couple of occasions and has had to see a specialist that performed surgery on her.  Therefore, she had extensive medical bills which ended up costing her around $30,000.  Her attorney, in order to ensure that she gets some compensation, is able to negotiate a settlement with the Defendant who will have to pay $25,000.  If the doctors treating Plaintiff were not working on a lien system, then the Plaintiff and the lawyer would get no compensation and the Plaintiff would have to pay another $5000 in medical bills.  In a lien-based system, the Plaintiff’s attorney can negotiate with the doctors to get them to reduce their medical bills based on the size of the award, in this case $25,000.  The Plaintiff’s lawyer should be able to negotiate so that the Plaintiff does not have to pay her medical bills out of pocket and will still get some compensation for her injury.

Outside of the personal injury field, attorneys rarely take cases on a contingency basis, yet almost all attorneys that practice personal injury law will take on contingency cases.

Are you looking for a lawyer to work on contingency basis for your case? Call or email LA Jewish Lawyer Now and will gladly spend a free hour of consultation with you to see how we can help you. 855-977-1212 or email below……

 

Should Religious Doctrine Override the Law?

A recent California case provides a real dichotomy in logic vs doctrine. A mother and her husband agree that after the birth of their second child, they did not want any more children. The mother is to give birth in a Catholic Hospital and the Hospital will not perform a tubal ligation which would prevent future pregnancies because it violates church doctrine. If this is allowed to stand, the mother will have to drive 150 miles to another hospital to have this procedure. Is this right? Which of the competing interests is number one here? Is it the patient and her husband’s rights? Is it the church because it is their hospital? Is it the insurance company who is paying or may pay the medical procedure? Should patients/families have the right to get health care without having to worry about religion at the health care facility?

On a related note, a court clerk in Kentucky will not perform same sex marriages because this would offend her religious beliefs and would cause a “searing” injury to her beliefs. How can the simple ministerial task of issuing a license have this type of effect on a person? If it does have this effect, can’t the clerk just pass this task onto someone in the office who would not suffer from this “injury”? Can clerks dictate policy when the Supreme Court has already sanctioned same sex marriages? Will the city, county or state be sued if they condone this action by one of their employees? Should the employee suffer personal liability and free the government from responsibility? Is not the exercise of religion a personal one that should be conducted personally and should not interfere with the exercise of others legal rights?

What say you?

What Do Angelenos Want: Bike Lanes or Traffic Lanes?

The Los Angeles City Council has changed the Southern California lifestyle and experience by changing streets to create more bike lanes. It has been argued that this would make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, increase bus lanes and attempt to get us out of our cars. The key question is: Do we want to do this?

As Will Rogers once said about buying real estate, “there is only so much there.” This is the same a rationale. Our existing streets cannot (for the most part) be modified to carry more vehicular traffic. They can be modified to carry less by the use of these lanes. However, do motorists want to have increased traffic in decreased lanes?

The City has a “legacy of shame” by not acting more aggressively to decrease traffic fatalities involving children and senior citizens. Once again, do we want to give up our cars? Do we want to worry about this when the city goal to accomplish this is over a 20 year period? The goal of “Mobility Plan 2035” is to decrease speed of traffic. Supporters cite that only 5% of pedestrians/cyclists in accidents with cars going 20 miles per hour die, while 80% of people involved in the same accidents with cars going 40 miles per hour die. Do we have the problem raised in urban planning of NIMBY (not in my back yard)? Do we want to slow ourselves down or lose parking spaces? The City council voted 12-2 to proceed with this plan. Is this a good use of city resources?

Experts say that reducing all types of crashes is possible if the city is willing to radically change streets by adding medians, widening sidewalks and putting in dedicated bus and bike lanes. The question is do motorists want this? Do businesses want this? Government claims that by enacting this measure and forcing people to use alternate means (bike, public transportation) the number miles driven will decrease. Once again, do motorists want this?

What say you?”

Do We Need More Black & Latino Prosecutors?

With the increasing number of criminal defendants being black and Latino, a question has arisen: would there being more black and/or Latino prosecutors change how the criminal justice system is viewed by people? Prosecutors are charged with seeking “justice”, not just to win as most other attorneys are. If a black and/or Latino prosecutor was representing the people in a criminal case, would this alone change the perception of the criminal justice system? It would appear no. A prosecutor is merely a representative of the people. It would seem that a change in the composition of the race of the prosecutor would do little if anything to change the perception in the black and Latino communities.  Yet, we find that prosecutions are at times racially motivated and that prosecutors are far from “color blind” when it comes to deciding whether and to what extent to prosecute and/or sentence offenders.

Prosecutors in the United States Department of Justice are in an awkward position now. It has come to light recently that prosecutors in that office withheld exculpatory evidence in a criminal case. The prosecution has been under a duty to do this since 1963. Therefore, their duty to do so hardly snuck up on the prosecutors. It has been said that when the prosecutors act in such a manner it contributes to the harmful notion that the criminal justice system is a game, and that victory rather than justice is a prosecutor’s goal”. The people making this argument are not hardened criminal defense lawyers. They are 20 former Justice Department officials. They feel that the role of prosecutor’s is to not simply to always win convictions. That role requires a prosecutor in order to assure a fair trial, to make broad disclosure to a criminal defendant of the information the government possesses.

The case above demonstrates the lie of those that say that a prosecutor is merely a representative of the people.  Therefore, it is time to consider how we can ensure that district attorneys and assistant district attorneys can ensure that more of their members are minorities.  In doing so, we not only ensure that the prosecutors look at cases from a different perspective, but also that those who are in the criminal justice system view the prosecutor’s office in different ways.

Does the public want fairness or convictions? Societal attitudes toward the criminal justice system are changing. The key question is which way?

What say you?