FAQ - California Injury Lawyers

FAQ

1
What will happen after my accident?

If the negligent party’s insurance company called you, do not agree to a taped conversation. This will be used against you. They will do their best to show good faith, however, your interest is not the same as theirs. Despite what the insurance company adjuster might give you assurances regarding the taped conversation, do not agree. Be very nice and kindly decline taped interviews.

2
How is property damages handled?

Most insurance companies are fair about property damage claims. If you are still in possession of your car, they want to come and take pictures. Do not discuss your injuries with this adjuster even if this adjuster is not the same as your injury adjuster. Often they want to discuss your injuries also while taking picture of the car to get something out of you to use against you. If your car is at tow yard, the adjuster will visit the tow yard. After he has done his job, you will receive an estimate of cost of repair or if it is total loss, hopefully a generous offers to buy a new car. If the adjuster recommends places to fix your car, you do not have to accept. In a repaid case, not only you have a claim against the damage, you can also have a claim against diminished market value of the car after the accident. Most adjuster will not tell you that. Remember we now have Car Fax. What does this mean? It means people are now aware you have had a major accident and the car might not be as valuable as it was before the accident. If we are involved in discussing this with your insurance company, we will make sure you get the difference between what your car was valued before the accident and what is now valued after the accident. This might sound tough negotiations but we are ready. If your car is total loss, we will get three estimates from Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds.com and also an expert appraiser. Insurance companies usually offer the lowest value and this is not fair if you are the original owner or other facts are involved or if you have upgraded the car for example.

3
What if I am sure this was not my fault but they say I am to be blamed?

If you are persuaded to believe you are at fault, call a lawyer or call us immediately. This is even more important if you are injured. If they say police did not issue a citation against us or our client that does not mean they are not at fault. In fact many times the citation may have been issued falsely to the victim and not to the negligent driver. We have successfully fought many cases such as above.

4
How does insurance company evaluate my injury claim?

Insurance company will rush to settle your injury claims before the full extent of your injuries are known to you. It is not wise to accept any offers before you know exactly what happened to you. In most injury cases an injury and pain shows itself many days after the accident. The shock of the accident, confusion, and many other factors mask the pain and depth of the injuries. We strongly recommend you consult with us before you accept any offer.

5
What if the negligent party is not carrying insurance?

Hopefully you have Uninsured Motorist coverage. If you do, your insurance company will cover the cost. The uninsured or under-insured at fault driver is complex and we strongly urge you to call us to get guidance. If you don’t have Uninsured Motorist coverage, you can always bring a lawsuit against the negligent or at-fault driver. If your case is more costly than the coverage granted to at-fault driver, your Uninsured Motorist coverage can be used to cover the rest. Both at-fault driver policy and your policy need to be carefully examined to make sure you get the most benefit. It is best to call us or speak with a lawyer if you are certain your injury costs will surpass by what is afforded by the coverage of the at-fault driver.

6
Who is ultimately responsible for my medical bills?

As your medical bills are incurred, you are ultimately responsible to pay them. If you settle or win your case in court, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay you a lump sum to be used to pay for your bills. If you have health insurance, you should be fine. If you have no health insurance, we can help you find ways to pay your bills until we win the case for you. If you delay in securing legal representation, you might make your case even more complex. We need to investigate your case as quickly as possible before vanishing evidences and other adverse circumstances against your chance of winning at trial or getting the best settlement. So do not delay calling us.

7
How much is my injury case worth?

After careful examination of the evidences and extent of the injuries, an experienced personal injury lawyer should be able to assess an estimate of the case value at the outset of the matter. Most important your compensation will depend largely on the length and extent of your treatments. An experienced lawyer with similar cases should be able to give you at least an estimate. As more damaging facts against at-fault driver come to light, the estimate might increase to your advantage. Most lawyers who don’t have much experience in personal injury cases often avoid answering this question. We strongly urge the victim to focus on his/her treatments and trying to get better and let us worry about compensations and damage recovery. YOU WILL GET MAXIMUM ALLOWED BY LAW!

8
How long will my case take?

This all depends on the length of your medical recovery. If your recovery is quick, we’ll request your medical records and we go from there. If your medical treatment takes long periods or even years, we will track the case and delay negotiation to get a better sense of your recovery. The average time period for most light cases is in 6 months to a year period. Some cases with significant injuries and longer recoveries involve more complex legal issues and might take one to three years.

9
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

Most personal injury Attorneys work in a contingency basis; which means the client does not pay. The attorney receives a percentage of the recovery.

10
What are my responsibilities?

Your responsibilities are to your family and to get better and follow your treatments as best as you can; do as your medical providers guide you to do. Communicate any medial restrictions to your employer and/or school. Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer and cooperate and communicate with him or her.

11
Why do I need to make any injury claim?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer to manage your claim is a multi-faceted decision. One reason may be that the experience and skill the attorney possess’ in all the details involved in personal injury claims can translate to an easier process with one less thing to worry about.

12
Personal Injury Process

  • Investigation: We will start by investigating your claim. This will include gathering relevant medical records and other documentation, interviewing witnesses, collecting and preserving physical evidence, and collaborating with investigators or other appropriate experts
  • Settlement negotiations: We will then engage in negotiations with insurance company to reach a fair settlement
If a fair settlement cannot be achieved after negotiations, we will initiate legal action.

13
Litigation process

  • Complaint and Answer: The Complaint document is filed on your behalf that details the circumstances of your injuries and the extent of damages. The defendant (insurance company) must then file the Answer document to acknowledge or deny our claims
  • Discovery and fact-finding: We will then exchange facts, evidences and relevant information with the defendant in order to establish relevant facts in the case
  • Pretrial motions: In pretrial motion the case might be resolved through pretrial motions. The motions will ask the court to take a certain action regarding your case. These could be dismissing specific claims made by the insurance company based on information provided during the discovery step
  • Mediation: Mediation may be requested in which all attorneys from both sides meet with a court-approved legal mediator to arrive at a fair settlement. Mediations are non-binding. Either party is free to accept or reject any settlement offer.
  • Trial: If the mediation and negotiations during trial fail, we will present your case in court.
14
How Long do Personal Injury Cases Take to Settle?

The maximum time you have to take legal action after your accident is governed by the laws of statutes of limitations. The actual time frame for reaching a settlement varies depending on the case. We generally prefer to begin settlement negotiations after you reach what doctors call Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI. Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI is the point at which you are discharged from medical care or the medical condition has stabilized. Next it may take one or two more months to gain medical records. Next we will conduct a thorough investigation and submit a fair settlement package. Next is to let the insurance company evaluate the case. Subsequent negotiations may then take an additional one to two months. If we have to file a lawsuit, this might take an additional 12 months or more depending on court schedules and the scope of your case. Rest assure we will make sure you are informed of what to expect based on your individual circumstances. Most important we will make sure you receive the medical care you need while your case is resolved.