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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 may 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 the adjuster?

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.