Former U.S.M.C. JAG Officer Handling Injury Claims

jfrank-profileSince 1985, San Diego personal injury lawyer Jeffrey R. Frank has offered his expert legal services for individuals and groups in the many areas of personal injury–including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip & fall accidents, and dog bites. As a San Diego personal injury attorney, Jeffery Frank also represents cases in the complex areas of workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, wrongful death, and the Federal Tort Claims Act. Jeffrey Frank’s legal representation has successfully secured judgments in excess of $20 million dollars for his clients including:

  • A Personal Injury Judgement for Traumatic Brain Injury $8,000,000
  • A High-Speed Freeway Vehicle Rollover Accident Judgement $8,000,000
  • A Spinal Cord Injury Settlement $2,000,000
  • A DUI Passenger Injury Car Accident Settlement $400,000
  • Legal Malpractice Case $200,000
  • Federal Tort Claims Act $175,000
  • Medical Malpractice Case $150,000

As your San Diego personal injury attorney, Jeffrey Frank and his dedicated staff will work diligently and aggressively on each and every aspect of your case to ensure that all your concerns are given the appropriate attention, including:

  • The payment of your injury related medical bills
  • Your medical care and on-going treatment
  • Your physical rehabilitation
  • Insurance claims and coverage
  • The possible reimbursement of your missed paychecks or lost job

As a leading personal injury attorney in San Diego, Mr. Frank has established an excellent reputation for his consistent ability to obtain fair and just compensation for his clients. He is highly regarded for his extensive legal experience, with service as a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps Reserve prior to the establishment of his personal injury law practice. Jeffrey Frank keeps his practice small in order to provide highly personalized service standards to each and every case. With Jeffrey Frank as your injury attorney you can be sure your case, and your questions, will be addressed by an attorney and not given to a paralegal or an assistant.

In order to establish the strength of your case, San Diego personal injury lawyer Jeffrey Frank will work with you to consider every aspect of your case in order select the best strategy for obtaining compensation, whether it means accepting a settlement or pursuing your claim through to trial. The law offices of Jeffrey Frank work on a contingency fee for all personal injury cases, meaning that you will pay no attorney’s fees unless there is a cash recovery for you.

Types of Cases Handled By A Personal Injury Attorney

Some years back I can recall agreeing to take on a new case…specifically, the case involved an elderly gentleman, who while carrying a wheel/tire from his bicycle to the repair shop to be fixed, was hit by a car while crossing the intersection on a green light.  The injured  man had been referred to me by another San Diego attorney who did not have a practice in personal injury law.  My injured client had spent 2 weeks in the hospital and was in the process of going through physical therapy as part of his recovery process.  So far so good, right?

Little did I suspect that my client had been staying up late at night watching television wherein the primary advertiser was a San Diego personal injury attorney who claimed to specialize in personal injury law involving bicycle or bike accidents!  My client saw this and figured, without speaking to me first, that he was a lot better off being represented by a San Diego personal injury lawyer with a bicycle accident specialty practice!  The next thing I knew I received a letter in the mail substituting me out of the case in favor the San Diego personal injury attorney who claimed, at least in his advertisements, that he was the one to go to if you were the victim of a  personal injury on your bike.

The aforementioned client, obviously, was the victim of nothing more than clever advertising on the part of this lawyer.  All of which brings us to the very point of this blog entry, specifically, just what types of cases do personal injury lawyers handle and what do they, or should they, not handle?

Typically, most any capable personal injury attorney in San Diego county will handle just about any injury case caused by the negligence of another party.  A personal injury lawyer should be able to represent clients in any such injury situation, be it an  injury as the result of a car, motorcycle,  bicycle, or slip and fall event. Injury lawyers also will handle injuries from the result of a dog bite, or even injuries resulting from medical malpractice.  Legal malpractice cases, although typically involving a financial loss instead of a personal injury, are another type of case handled by many personal injury attorneys.  Naturally not every personal injury lawyer will handle every single type of case.  Also, not every personal injury attorney will be comfortable representing injured parties in every type of case even though it may be of a type that they normally will handle.

The primary point of this article, therefore, is that when one is seeking a personal injury attorney in San Diego one would be well advised, in my opinion, to seek out a tough, experienced injury attorney who you are comfortable with and normally without regard to the specific manner in which the personal injury happened.  A San Diego injury lawyer who is adept at handling car accident injury cases in San Diego will normally be just as capable representing injury victims in San Diego whose personal injury occurred in a motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or dog bite situation.

Do I Need To Retain An Injury Attorney?

From time to time prospective clients will consult with me on their personal injury case and ask if, in fact, they really need a personal injury attorney to handle their personal injury case?. After all, the insurance adjustor who contacted them the day after the accident “seemed so nice.” The answer to this question, in a nutshell, is YES, absolutely you need an attorney if you have been injured in an accident!!! As an injury victim you are entitled to collect for reasonable and necessary present and future medical treatment, current and future lost wages, as well as a sum for pain and suffering and emotional distress. If the defendants conduct was particularly outrageous the victim might be able to claim punitive damages, an amount to punish the wrongdoer. Further, your personal injury attorney will handle all issues relating to the damage to the car if the injury, as many are, is the result of an automobile accident(my personal injury law firm in San Diego charges no attorney fees for settling property and, or, car damage). In those cases where our client does not have either medical insurance coverage or the funds to pay for medical treatment we can help arrange for their medical care to be done on a “lien” basis, i.e. a promise to pay when the case settles.

In summation, an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney will secure for his client a far greater settlement than the individual can do without a personal injury lawyer. In fact, without question, the net amount the personal injury victim will receive after attorneys fees will be, without question, far greater than they can receive if not represented by personal injury counsel. In addition, the injured victim will not have to be concerned with dealing with the myriad of details on their own. The personal injury attorney should give his client not only a fair settlement but peace of mind during a difficult time as well

Will My Case Settle or Go To Trial?

At some point in the lifespan of most personal injury cases of merit the personal injury plaintiffs lawyer will make a demand of a certain amount of money to the defendant. If the case is a meritorious one(and sometimes even if it isn’t a meritorious case!!!) the defendant will make a counter offer. Typically a certain amount of negotiation will take place. When the plaintiffs attorney is convinced that the “top dollar” has been offered for that case at that point in time the injury client will be confronted by a decision: should they take the offer and settle the case at this point or should they proceed onward toward trial? The personal injury lawyer must then make a cost-benefit analysis and discuss this with his client so that the personal injury client can make an informed decision on their best course of action.

As a general rule the longer a case goes on, the more it costs. Trials are often extremely costly. In addition to filing fees, there are deposition costs, expert witness fees, etc., to consider. Often (but not always) a smaller settlement will net the client a greater sum of money than a higher court verdict.Further, trials are risky and often unpredictable. Although an attorney can offer informed advice about their clients chances at trial, there are no guarantees. Settlements, on the other hand, are certain.

Is it likely that the case is worth so much more than the offer that it will be worth the additional expense and risks of proceeding?

Obviously, it remains absolutely essential that the personal injury lawyer is ready willing and able to go forward with litigation in order to have the best chance of receiving a fair settlement offer from defendant.

The foregoing are merely some general thoughts. There are other factors to consider based upon the twists and turns in the individual personal injury case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have a detailed discussion with his client at an appropriate point in time in the case. The ultimate decision, settle or proceed onward, however, belongs to the personal injury plaintiff themselves.

Alternative Dispute Resolution In Personal Injury Cases

As anyone with even a passing knowledge of the legal system knows, going to trial is time consuming, expensive, and risky. This holds true for both sides in the dispute. Consequently, alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, has become an increasingly popular and effective means for the parties to a lawsuit to attempt to resolve their grievances. ADR typically takes the form of either an arbitration or mediation hearing. The arbitration hearing, in my experience with San Diego personal injury cases, is used far less than mediation.

In an arbitration hearing each side presents their case, often in short hand form (to save money) to an independent hearing officer (the arbitrator), who will render a decision. Consequently, there is a winner and a loser. If the arbitration is “non-binding” then either side may choose to reject the award and continue on towards trial. If the arbitration is “binding” then both sides must live with the result.

The mediation hearing, used far more often for San Diego personal injury cases, entails both sides appearing before an impartial hearing officer (a mediator) who will attempt to resolve the case. Typically both sides will meet with the mediator at the mediator’s office. Each side, personal injury lawyers and their clients, will be put in separate offices. The mediator will shuttle back and forth conveying offers and counter offers, as well as advising each side on the strengths and weaknesses of their respective personal injury case and the appropriateness of the offers and counter offers based upon the actual facts of the case.

Mediation has proven to be extremely effective in resolving personal injury cases, at least here in San Diego. Mediation saves time, money, and gives each side a certain and definitive result. Often this proves to be a more attractive solution to the parties than the time, expense, and uncertain outcome of a trial.

Obviously mediation is not suitable in all cases. Other times the parties are simply too far apart in terms of the facts, issues, and amount in dispute to make mediation a worthwhile undertaking for a personal injury case. My own experience is that mediation is almost always worth doing. It’s “worth a try” to get the case settled. Even if the case does not settle one often learns valuable information about the facts and contentions as the other side sees them. To the personal injury victim I would suggest discussing alternative dispute resolution with your personal injury lawyer to see if this can be an effective tool in helping to resolve your particular case.

Can I Afford To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?

The words free initial consultation are literally trumpeted in virtually all San Diego personal injury lawyer advertising, as well as in personal injury lawyer advertising in virtually all parts of the nation. While it is true that many lawyers see this as an effective marketing tool for their prospective injury clients who may be somewhat reticent about speaking with an attorney about their personal injury case lest they incur significant attorneys fees, the fact remains that the free initial consultation is an extremely beneficial tool for both personal injury client as well as personal injury lawyer.

The free initial consultation permits the prospective injury client to speak with an attorney to evaluate if that lawyer is the right one to handle their case. It also allows the personal injury attorney to evaluate the case and the client to see if it is a case that they feel they are willing to represent.

One must remember that both personal injury lawyer and prospective client typically do not know each other prior to the initial consultation. Often the client learns of a particular personal injury lawyer through their website, or other means, and has no personal knowledge of them. The attorney, likewise, does not know the client or anything about their case. The free initial injury consultation permits both the lawyer and injury victim to evaluate each other in order to determine if they are confident in one another to effect a strong outcome resulting in maximum monetary compensation.

The Location of Your Personal Injury Attorney

The site of a personal injury lawsuit generally lies either where the accident took place or where the defendant (i.e. the person who caused the accident) lives. This holds true even if the injured party lives in a different city or even state.

Does it matter if your personal injury attorney is located in San Diego yet your case occurred in San Francisco? Can a San Diego personal injury attorney represent an injury case in, say, Massachusetts? Remember the choice of an injury lawyer is a personal one and it is important for the plaintiff to be represented by the attorney of his/her choice.

A personal injury attorney in San Diego can represent an injured victim anywhere in the State of California. In fact, it is not uncommon for personal injury lawyers in San Diego to travel throughout California on behalf of their injured clients.

It is less common, although not terribly unusual, for personal injury lawyers to represent clients in accidents that occurred in other states. The most typical way this comes to pass is the attorney is known to the injured party already and/or the injured party resides in a location near the plaintiffs choice of personal injury lawyer. In order to represent personal injury victims in other states it is necessary for the i.e. California lawyer to apply to be admitted to practice in the courts of that state for the specific case only. The court will require the out of state personal injury attorney to have “local” counsel to be officially active and involved in the case.

It is not uncommon for me to travel both in and outside of San Diego on behalf of personal injury clients. We are happy to evaluate potential personal injury cases wherever the accident took place.

Contact A San Diego Accident Lawyer For A Free Consultation

Conveniently located in Downtown San Diego, Jeffrey Frank is close to clients throughout Southern California. The personal injury law office of Jeffrey Frank is pleased to provide free consultations in English and Spanish. To contact San Diego personal injury attorney Jeffrey R. Frank right away for your initial consultation simply fill out the contact form. Or, dial (619) 251-8102 to speak with Mr. Frank today.