Long Beach Personal Injury Victim FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about Accidents and Personal Injuries
Below are answers to our clients' most commonly asked questions. If
you have a question that is not answered below,
contact our firm for a free consultation.
How much is my case worth?
At the beginning of a case, no lawyer can accurately tell you how much
your case is worth. If he does, he's only telling you what he thinks
you want to hear in order to get your case. You're better off with
an attorney who's honest with you.
Generally, the dollar value depends on the type and severity of your injuries.
You are entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost
wages, and pain and suffering. You may also be entitled to compensation for the
diminished value of your vehicle and compensation for the
loss of use of your vehicle. If you incur incidental expenses as a consequence of
the accident, for example, you had to hire a home health care assistant,
a housekeeper, a driver, an errand-runner, a babysitter, a gardener, etc.,
you my be entitled to compensation for these expenses.
How much does it cost to hire you?
It costs you nothing up front. We work on a contingency fee basis. That
means that the legal fees are paid for out of the settlement or jury award
in your case. If you recover nothing – you pay us nothing.
Will I save money by not hiring an attorney?
The insurance company will not offer you fair value on your claim unless
you have an attorney advocating on your behalf who is making sure that
you are being compensated for all of your losses.
The Insurance Research Council found that on average, attorney-represented
claimants get 3-1/2 times more money than unrepresented claimants.
Will my case go to trial? How long will it take to resolve?
Approximately 95% of our cases settle before trial, so it is unlikely that your
personal injury case will go to trial. However, it is difficult to predict which cases
will have to be tried. Assuming yours is one of the 95% of our cases which
settle before trial, approximately half will settle within the first year
of our retention, and the remaining half will settle within two years.
Should I go to my own doctor or to the lawyer's doctor?
If you have your own doctor, and you are happy with that doctor, we recommend
that you get treated by him or her. But if you don't have a doctor,
or don't know what type of doctor to see, or can't afford to pay
a doctor, our office can
refer you to a medical provider who will treat you on a lien basis, which means that the doctor agrees
to wait to be paid until your case settles.
We can refer you to a doctor near you, sometimes even for a same day or
next day appointment.
The adjuster seems nice and concerned about my injuries. Should I trust
Absolutely not. The insurance adjuster will try to lull you into believing
that you don't need an attorney because he or she will take care of
you. Don't be suckered. The adjuster's real goal is to save the
insurance company money by delaying payment and giving you as little as possible.
The insurance adjuster has asked me to give a recorded statement. Should I?
No. It will likely hurt your claim. The insurance adjuster's goal is
to lock in your story, and then use it against you later, at deposition
or trial, to reduce the amount of money they have to pay you. Your statement
will only benefit the insurance company in its mission to shortchange you.
The insurance adjuster has asked me to sign a medical authorization. Should I?
No. It will give the insurance company unfettered access to your entire
medical history, which would be an invasion of your right to privacy.
They want to get their hands on as many of your medical records as possible,
then comb through them looking for anything they can use against you to
further their goal of paying you as little as possible.
Who will pay my medical bills and repair my vehicle if the other driver
has no insurance?
Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you may still be covered.
We will look into whether you have
uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy. If you do, then your insurance company
will compensate you for injuries and damage caused by an uninsured driver.
Making such a claim will not cause your insurance carrier to raise your
premiums or cancel your policy.
Contact a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney for information about personal injury compensation.