1. What should I do if Iím 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 didnít go the doctor right away and now I have pain?
You should always see a doctor after an accident even if youíre not feeling pain
right away. Be sure to document when you noticed the pain and when you went to
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 doesnít 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
7. Will my insurance company pay for my medical bills while I wait to go to
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 canít work; can I file for unemployment even though litigation is
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 driverís insurance company offered me money. I havenít even
hired an attorney, but I could really use the cash. Should I take it?
No. Tell the insurance company that youíll 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 wonít 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 donít 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.
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