Q. People injured in car accidents often ask: Why Do I Need an Attorney?
A. If you answer yes to the following questions, then the answer is yes. Were you in an auto accident causing you physical injuries? Did you seek medical treatment for these injuries? If you were the driver, were you insured at the time? The insurance company has experienced claims adjusters they trained to work hard for them to convince you to settle for the amount they offer you. Like most people who are not lawyers, you may not know what you are entitled to for your injuries. Call us before you discuss your claim with any insurance company representative. If you have been given an offer to close your claim soon after the accident, note that it may take months to fully recover from injuries causing pain to your back, shoulders and neck. If you settle your claim too early, then there will be no insurance coverage for your future medical treatment, lost wages or pain and suffering. You would have settled your claim for less than it was worth and saved money for the insurance company. Note also that there are deadlines in your case that, if not met, will prevent you from collecting any money at all. First consultation is always free for personal injury matters. In contingency fee cases, attorneys are paid at the end and receive no fee if nothing is recovered for you. Generally claims result in more for the client even after the attorney’s share is deducted because the insurance company must pay more for your injuries. Settlement amounts for two people for the same injury can be different. Do not rely on what others tell you they got for their accident settlements. For a free legal consultation and evaluation of what your claim for personal injuries is worth, call our office at (916) 939-5151 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Singh will contact you right away.
Q. Do I Have A Personal Injury Case?
A. You must have suffered an injury to your person, not just to property. Was your injury the result of someone else's actions? Call us at (916) 939-5151 to discuss this if you are not sure. If you were the driver, you will need to have had at least liability car insurance to collect more than your medical bills from the other company due to Proposition 213. If you were a passenger, you will be paid by the driver’s insurance or the other car’s insurance depending on who is at fault because you were not driving and not at fault.
Q. How Do I Get A Rental Car And Get My Damaged Car Repaired?
A. The insurance company of the driver who caused the accident should provide you with a rental for your loss of use of your damaged vehicle. If they won’t, your lawyer can get them to act faster in handling your claim. The insurance adjuster you may be dealing with has hundreds of cases and is probably not going to spend much time with you explaining your rights or the process if you are seriously injured and going to cost their employer, the insurance company, a lot of money for your claim.
Q. Should I Wait Until I Am Done With The Doctor Before Contacting A Lawyer?
A. No. As soon as you hire a lawyer, he can get started working for you. Your doctor’s office may want to have a lawyer on the case sign a lien so that the doctor’s office will get paid, or they will not treat your injuries. Some greedy therapists or chiropractors will tell you that you need to come to them for the rest of your life. Also remember the insurance adjuster you may be dealing with settled hundreds of cases in the past year and is highly trained at negotiating. It important to be careful and cautious when talking with an insurance adjuster since they take the information you give them and can use it in determining what to offer you. Letting your claim languish, without a lawyer’s assistance, will affect its value as often witnesses and memories of the accident fade away. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible about any potential claim because you should get legal advice on your time limits for filing a lawsuit or claim. The investigation of claims can be lengthy. You should not accept legal advice about your claim from anyone other than a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer.
Q. What Do Lawyers Charge?
A. Most personal injury lawyers take cases on a "contingency-fee" basis, which means they take a fee out of any recovery that is made. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. All accident cases accepted by our law firm are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is no fee charged by our office to you unless we recover money and if nothing in collected, nothing is owed as legal fees. Fees and expenses are paid at the conclusion of your case from the settlement or judgment obtained against the other party.
Q. Do I Have to Report an Accident?
A. Yes. First, you may need to call the CHP or the local police. Second, report the accident to your insurance company. Ask your agent what forms you should fill out and to help you make other necessary reports on the accident. Third, you and the other driver must report the accident to the DMV within 10 days if: • the damage to either car is more than $500, or • anyone is injured or killed in the accident. Get an SR-1 Report of Traffic Accident form from your local DMV office, CHP, police, or insurance company.
Q. Should I Give A Recorded Statement to the Insurance Adjuster?
A. You are not obligated to give a recorded statement, and if you do, it my later be used against you. If you do choose to give a recorded statement, be sure to ask for a copy of the transcript.
Q. What Should I Do If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
A. If the other driver caused the accident and is not insured, your own policy will pay for your personal injuries—if you have "uninsured motorist" or "medical payments" coverage. If the other driver's insurance is not enough to pay for all of your damages, your own insurance may pay the difference—if you have "underinsured motorist" coverage. If you do not have these kinds of insurance or if your damages are more than the policy's limit, you can sue the other driver. However, even if you win the case, you cannot be sure that the other driver has the money to pay.
Q. What If I Want to Make a Claim for My Injuries?
A. If the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries, pain and suffering, car damage, and other expenses, such as lost wages or the cost of a nurse needed after the accident. You should make a claim with the other driver's insurance company. But, if you are not satisfied with the amount they offer, you may want to sue. If you plan to sue, there are time limits for filing various types of claims, so act quickly. If you want to sue for a large amount, you will need your own lawyer. An insurance company lawyer cannot represent you if you are the person suing. Our office takes auto accident cases on a "contingent fee" basis. That means you do not pay the lawyer if you lose the case. If you win, you pay the lawyer a percentage of the money you get. We charge a smaller percentage if the case is settled before the lawyer does all the work necessary to go to trial. When we agree to a contingent fee, the lawyer must put the agreement in writing and give you a signed copy. The contract should explain what percentage the lawyer will get if you win and how it may vary and how any court related costs will be paid.
Q. What Is My Claim Worth?
A. This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the nature of the injuries and the several other factors such as your health and physical condition prior to the accident. What is most important to remember, however, is that you want to be sure your condition is stabilized before you sign any sort of release. Problems often take months or even years to fully develop. For a free in-depth case evaluation, contact us at (916) 939-5151 via email sent to email@example.com.
Q. What Does It Mean To Settle A Case?
A. Settling a case means that you agree to accept money in return for dismissing your claim against the person who injured you. You'll actually sign documents releasing the other side of any further liability. To help you decide whether to accept the settlement offer, your lawyer will be able to provide a realistic assessment of whether a lawsuit based on your claim will be successful, a range of possible verdict amounts and how long it will take to get through trial. Settlement also can take place at any point in a lawsuit once it is filed, including before trial or even after a case has been tried but before a jury reaches a verdict and after trial while the case is on appeal. At Singh Law Office, we believe that you are the person who must make the final decision to accept or reject any offers, but we will give you our advice. Sometimes we will recommend a settlement and sometimes we will recommend that you reject a settlement offer. The final decision is always made by you, the client. Please call our office at (916) 939-5151 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Singh will contact you right away, evenings, holidays and weekends included.