1. What should I do if I’m involved in an auto accident?
Document the entire situation making daily notes of the effects of your injuries. Also report the accident to the DMV, do not admit responsibility, and do not discuss it with anyone other than your attorney.
2. Can I get ticketed for speeding even though I am going the posted speed limit? California’s “Basic Speed Law” says that you must never drive faster than is safe for the current conditions. California’s speed limit signs state maximum speed under good conditions only.
3. How long will it take to get money in my case?
Settlement negotiations for your personal injury generally do not begin until you have completed all necessary medical treatment. The property damage portion of your claim is frequently resolved very soon after your accident.
4. I didn’t go the doctor right away and now I have pain?
You should always see a doctor after an accident even if you’re not feeling pain right away. Be sure to document when you noticed the pain and when you went to the doctor.
5. Do I need an attorney?
It is always in your best interest to consult an attorney. Remember, the insurance company on the other side will have a very experienced adjuster or lawyer negotiating for them.
6. The other driver doesn’t have car insurance; how am I supposed to collect money from him now?
If a person is uninsured or underinsured in an accident in California, their personal assets become at risk. If you have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy, we may be able to proceed against that insurance policy.
7. Will my insurance company pay for my medical bills while I wait to go to trial?
Often times, yes, to a certain amount and then they will get reimbursed once the case is complete. We will review your medical coverage option with you.
8. How am I supposed to get back and forth while my car is in the shop?
Check your insurance policy; many will have a clause that allows you to rent a car. Be sure to track the expense involved as this is considered a cost that you suffered and ultimately compensable.
9. I can’t work; can I file for unemployment even though litigation is pending?
No, however, you may file for state disability benefits.
10. My car hit a pothole; who is responsible?
Damage caused by Improper maintenance or repair of roads and highways may be responsible for damage to your vehicle. Generally, responsibility lies with the government agency responsible for this maintenance. (For example – if it was a pothole in a city street, the city would be responsible.)
11. How much money can I expect to get in a settlement?
There are many factors considered in the amount of a settlement. In California, loss of wages, pain and suffering, property loss, etc. may all be considered. Your attorney must look at the facts in your individual case to arrive at an estimated amount of reasonable settlement.
12. Should I settle ahead of trial?
A court trial in California can be a lengthy proposition but the judgment in court may be much larger than in an agreed settlement. You must weigh the benefits and risks of trial in making your decision.
13. The other driver’s insurance company offered me money. I haven’t even hired an attorney, but I could really use the cash. Should I take it?
No. Tell the insurance company that you’ll get back to them. In the meantime, contact an attorney immediately. Often times an insurance company will offer a minimal amount of money in return for your signature stating that you won’t sue them. Never take an insurance check without first consulting an attorney.
14. Can I afford an attorney?
Normally, in cases such as these, you don’t pay the money upfront. When we win your case, your lawyer will receive a percentage of the settlement amount as payment in full. You and your attorney will agree upon this percentage amount at the time you retain your attorney.