Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Car, Motorcycle, Truck, Bicycle, Pedestrian, Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Other Vehicle Accidents
- I had a car accident. Why should I hire a lawyer?
- So I need an attorney. But there are so many attorneys. Why should I hire your firm?
- Do your lawyers work on a contingency fee basis on car accident cases and, if so, could you explain how contingency fees work?
- I just had a car accident. What should I do?
- I just had a car accident. Should I call the police?
- I just had a car accident, but the other party is uninsured. May I make an uninsured motorist (UM) claim?
- I just had a hit & run car accident. I did not get any information on the other car. May I make an uninsured motorist (UM) claim?
- What should I do if the other party’s insurance adjuster calls me?
- I had a car accident in California. Do I need report it to the California DMV? Do I need file a SR 1 form with the DMV?
- My car was damaged and I need it repaired ASAP. What should I do?
- What should I do if I told the other party or police officer that I was not hurt, but now I feel pain?
- I was injured in a car accident. What kind of compensation should I receive?
- How much is my car or motorcycle accident case worth?
- I was not wearing a seat belt. May I still make a claim?
- What should I do if I think I caused or contributed to causing the accident? May I still make a claim?
- If I make a claim, does that mean I have to go to court?
- I had a Car Accident. Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
The easy and short answer is because many insurance companies do NOT act fairly and they use claims adjusters who are trained to look for every hole in your case to pay you nothing or as little as possible. It makes sense to try to level the playing field, or even get an advantage, by using an experienced car accident personal injury attorney to handle your claim, conduct investigation, assist with medical care and negotiate against the insurance company’s claims adjuster.
Further, with the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney, you usually recover more money, while at the same time also receiving the attorney’s valuable guidance with respect to dealing with insurance companies, including their forms and authorizations to obtain your private records, your duties and obligations (including regarding providing oral & written statements, authorizations, release of your own private medical & employment records, etc.), managing your own medical care and records, property damage resolution and settlement.
For further information about why it may be wise in your case to use an experienced attorney, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- So I Need an Attorney. But There are so Many Attorneys. Why Should I Hire Your Firm?
You are right. There are many attorneys, but not so many who have over 40 years’ experience successfully handling thousands of car accident and other personal injury claims. Our entire law firm concentrates in handling serious injury cases and we have a proven track record in winning over 95% of our cases! Our entire firm is dedicated to not only obtaining the best monetary result possible, but also assisting our clients with obtaining medical care (often without any payment until their case is resolved) and providing excellent, compassionate service to our clients. Our senior attorney is a graduate of the UCLA SCHOOL OF LAW, has served as a temporary judge and arbitrator with the Los Angeles Superior Court, and Chairperson of the Civil Litigation – Tort Section of the Westwood Bar Association. He also was selected as the Personal Injury Attorney of the Year for 2010 by the Editorial Staff of the Business Review. We invite you to read his profile by clicking here or to read some of our many testimonials by clicking here.
For further information about our experienced car accident attorneys and law firm, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- Do Your Lawyers Work on a Contingency fee Basis on Car Accident Cases and, if so, Could You Explain How Contingency Fees Work?
Yes. We handle car accident and other accident injury cases like truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and also uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) claims on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee in a car accident personal injury case means that there is NO legal fee charged or due unless and until your lawyer wins your case and recovers money or other things of value. While many attorneys charge their clients an hourly fee, often $200 to $700 per hour (the amount is usually based on the lawyer’s experience, expertise and complexity of the legal matter), and request payment monthly regardless of the result, with our personal injury law firm there is NO fee on car accident and other injury cases unless and until we win your case and recover money or other things of value for our clients. The fee that is then received from the recovered funds is an agreed percentage of the recovery and, with our car accident personal injury firm, there also is NO fee or charge for the initial consultation. While we have won over 95% of our cases, we must advise that past success is no guarantee or promise about any future case. If you have any questions about this, please contact us for an absolutely FREE consultation.
One reason for contingency fees is that many victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents and other accidents sustain serious and/or disabling injuries, incur hospital and other medical charges and/or loss of earnings and simply cannot afford to pay their attorney for services rendered until they obtain money from the responsible party or his or her insurer by way of a settlement or judgment. Thus, contingency fees allow injured victims to obtain legal representation when they might otherwise not be able to afford to hire a lawyer against huge corporations and powerful insurers.
In addition, we find most of our clients are just more comfortable with our contingency fee arrangement. They like not having to pay any legal fees each month and some feel their lawyer will work harder knowing his or her fees depend on the result and amount of the recovery. We understand all of this so we offer contingency fee representation to victims of car and other accidents.
Insurance companies are often worth many millions or even billions of dollars. They have the funds and resources needed to hire top adjusters, investigators and attorneys to defend and delay and sometimes even wrongfully deny claims. With the benefit of experienced car accident personal injury lawyers who are willing to work on a contingency fee basis and wait for payment, victims of car accidents now have the opportunity to even or level the playing field and fight wealthy insurance companies. Further, experienced car accident personal injury lawyers should know doctors and other medical specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, chiropractors, dentists, psychologists, and also pharmacists and x-ray facilities who will agree to wait for payment and treat car accident personal injury victims on a lien basis (which means the doctor or other medical provider will provide medical care and services without expecting payment at the time of service and will wait for payment until the case is resolved).
Thus, car accident and other injured victims of accidents can obtain our lawyer services on a contingency fee basis and medical care on a lien basis so our clients can get immediate legal advice and medical care without paying anything for legal advice or medical help until their cases are resolved!
- I Just had a Car Accident. What Should I do?
There are several very IMPORTANT things to do and also, just as importantly, NOT to do when you have a car or other vehicle accident. Here are a few key pointers:
- Be prepared – have a camera, pencil and paper in your car. Remember, most cell phones have camera and video functions.
- Get the names and contact information of everyone involved, including all drivers and witnesses.
- Take photographs and videos of the scene, all damaged vehicles, all visible injuries and of the other parties involved in the accident.
- Call the police (911). The police will make a record of all persons involved and what occurred. Even if there will be a wait, if you are NOT at fault, it could save you much time and aggravation later on if you obtain a favorable police report (In vehicle accident cases, it’s called a Traffic Accident Report).
- Obtain all appropriate medical care and, if needed, go to the closest hospital emergency room or urgent care center.
- Contact an attorney experienced in handling serious car accident injury cases. Many of our clients call us from the scene of the incident.
- Do NOT admit fault, as there may be factors and laws of which you are not aware (such as the other vehicle may have been speeding or operated by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a traffic light may have malfunctioned). Call us for immediate advice, including about what to say and NOT say.
- Do NOT speak or otherwise communicate with the other party’s insurance adjuster. For your protection, you should NEVER speak with the insurer’s adjuster without the prior knowledge and permission of your own attorney.
Also, for a more complete answer to this question, please click here for our Legal Advice Section– What to do When You Are Involved in a Car Accident.
And for further information about your particular claim, including what to say or not say to the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- I Just had a Car Accident. Should I Call the Police?
Yes. The police are responsible to document what happened, including documenting the Identities of everyone involved, including drivers, passengers and key witnesses, obtaining statements of the parties and witnesses, ascertaining what occurred, giving their opinion as to whom was at fault and why, then recording it all in its police report. In a traffic accident case, the police report usually is called a “Traffic Accident Report.” After the report is prepared it is then available to you, your attorney and the insurer for a fee. It should help your attorney in making a claim on your behalf and expediting recovery, especially car repairs. If you had an accident and do not have a copy of the police report, our firm will obtain it.
In some circumstances, even when the other party admits liability at the scene of the accident, they might change their story later. This could cause you significant delay and other serious problems. Thus, having a police report clearly and accurately documenting what occurred and what was said by the parties post collision may save you considerable time later on when trying to establish liability (i.e., who is at fault).
In fact, in one fairly recent case we handled, the other party gave a statement to the investigating police officer that showed he clearly caused the collision, but later, when his deposition was taken, he surprisingly not only changed his position 100%, but came up with a story that not only differed from what he told the police (that fortunately was documented in the police report) but also differed from the evidence at the scene (eg., location of the vehicles after they came to rest, the location and nature of damage to each vehicle, etc.) that also was documented in the police report. As a result, and by using the traffic collision report, we were able to convince the insurer’s defense attorney and adjuster that their client was not credible so the case settled without trial.
Therefore, anytime you have a traffic accident, especially if it’s not your fault, we urge you to call the police, wait for the officer to come and make a clear & full report.
For further information about making and obtaining police and traffic accident reports, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- I Just had a Car Accident, but the Other Party is Uninsured. May I Make an Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim?
Yes, if you had uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage on an auto insurance policy at the time of the incident. California law requires that every auto insurer offers uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage when it sells its insured a policy of car liability insurance and provides such coverage unless it obtained a signed waiver of UM coverage from its insured. If you have auto insurance and did not purchase UM coverage, but never signed a waiver of UM coverage, then pursuant to California law you may have UM coverage. If this is an issue, then you should discuss this with your insurance agent or consult an attorney at our offices now for a FREE consultation.
So if you had a vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist you may make a UM claim if you had auto insurance and bought UM coverage or if you never signed a waiver of UM coverage.
UM insurance coverage also usually protects you and your resident family members when riding in someone else’s vehicle or even if not in a vehicle (such as when riding a bicycle or walking as a pedestrian) and struck by an uninsured motorist.
Resident relatives of the named insured are usually insured and covered as well, such as children and parents of the insured if residing with the insured at the time of the incident. So if anyone is hurt by an uninsured motorist, even while riding in someone else’s car or walking or on a bicycle, we advise you to contact us right away to see if there is any applicable UM insurance coverage.
UM coverage provides similar benefits as would a liability insurer for the responsible driver and/or owner of another vehicle, including for hospital & other medical charges, loss of earnings, and pain & suffering, but does not cover your property damage or a rental unless the insured also bought collision coverage, UM waiver of deductible and/or rental reimbursement coverage. You should discuss and review your insurance coverages with your insurance agent whenever you have a question, change in vehicles and at least once a year.
If the accident is not your fault, we strongly advise making a police report and reporting it to your insurer. It is wise to often let your lawyer’s office advise you how best to communicate with your insurer or actually report it to your insurer for you. But do not wait. There are time and procedural rules that must be followed.
In California, if the accident is not your fault, your insurer cannot raise your premiums for making a claim. Also, for more information on UM law and coverages, please click here. We offer FREE consultations and with our firm there is NO fee on injury claims until you win!
- I Just had a Hit & Run Car Accident. I did not get any Information on the Other Car. May I Make an Uninsured Motorist (UM) Claim?
In general the answer is yes if you had uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on an auto insurance policy and there was some “contact” between your vehicle and the other hit and run vehicle.
First, for more general information on UM coverages please see the FAQ above on making an uninsured motorist (UM) claim and also, for more information on UM law and coverages, please click here.
Second, if the other vehicle is a hit and run, then there usually must be some type of physical contact or “touching” between the vehicles. One reason for this “contact rule”, is to avoid fraudulent claims. There was and is concern that drivers who fell asleep at the wheel and crashed or just lost control of their vehicles and hit something might claim it was the fault of some “phantom” hit & run car or other vehicle. So, to try to avoid fraud, proof of actual contact with the “hit & run” vehicle is required. There are interesting exceptions, such as when something flies off a truck and strikes the insured vehicle there is legal authority that this impact constitutes the required “contact” to find valid and enforceable UM coverage. Thus, it is important to discuss all of the facts and circumstances with an experienced car accident personal injury attorney and you may contact us now for a FREE consultation.
Third, there usually is a requirement that the hit & run incident be reported to the police with a written police report prepared which for traffic collisions is usually called a “traffic collision report”. The incident must also be reported to the UM insurer. There are strict time rules in which to do this so if you have not yet reported it to the police and/or the UM insurer, we urge you to contact us now for advice. Our car accident lawyers offer FREE consultations on accident claims, including hit & run and UM accident claims; and many times it is wise to have your attorney have all communications with the UM insurer.
And remember that one can make a hit & run UM claim even when the injured person is not in their own car. Victims with the benefit of UM coverage, including resident relatives of insureds, such as children and elderly parents, may make UM claims even when hit while walking, riding a bike and in non-owned vehicles. It is wise to provide all facts as soon as possible to an experienced hit & run injury lawyer to learn your rights. If one delays, due to the very strict time rules on reporting hit & run accidents, the claim may be denied, rejected, barred or ended so please do NOT wait. Our consultation is FREE and there is NO fee on accident claims until you win!
- What Should I do if the Other Party’s Insurance Adjuster Calls me?
Do NOT give any statement to the other party’s insurance adjuster. Often adjusters will try to appear very friendly and helpful to try to get you to give them a statement. However, remember their job is to save money for their employers, the insurance company. They are NOT there to help you. They often look for any facts or reasons to either pay you less money or to even deny your claim. The rules of evidence are often very technical, so please do NOT communicate with the other party’s adjuster as you may make some critical mistakes.
Thus, if you are ever called or otherwise contacted by the other party’s insurance adjuster, we advise you NOT to speak to them and to contact us right away by calling us toll free at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
If you are already represented by our law firm, or any firm, and an insurance adjuster contacts you, simply ask them to call us (assuming we represent you) at our direct telephone number 818-222-3400. NEVER speak to the other party’s insurance adjuster unless it’s with the prior knowledge and permission of your attorney.
- I had a Car Accident in California. Do I Need Report it to the California DMV? Do I Need File a SR 1 Form With the DMV?
The short answer is yes (when certain conditions are met), but the more complete answer is you first should provide all information about your car, motorcycle or other vehicle accident, including your own auto insurance coverage, to your attorney and let your attorney’s law firm prepare the SR 1 form and file it with the California DMV, if actually required.
California law requires that when anyone has a car, motorcycle, truck or other motor vehicle collision resulting in property damage over $750, injury or death, they must report it to the California DMV using the SR 1 form. It is also necessary to file the completed SR 1 form if the other party is an uninsured motorist and you need to prove this to your insurer to receive uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage. The SR 1 form is usually prepared and filed by the person involved in the collision or that person’s insurance agent or broker or other legal representative. We advise that the attorney’s law firm handling the case does it for its client. The SR1 form must be completed and sent to the Calif. DMV within ten (10) days of the accident whenever someone is injured (no matter how minor the injury) or killed or there is any property damage over $750. 00. The SR 1 report is required in addition to any other report made to the police, CHP or any insurance company. The Calif. DMV SR 1 form is available at all DMV offices, at CHP offices, or online at www.dmv.ca.gov. Also, the SR 1 form is required whether you caused the collision or not, and even if the collision occurred on private property. Your driving privilege may be suspended if the DMV learns of your accident and you do not complete the SR 1 form and timely file it with the DMV or if you did not have the proper insurance coverage at the time of the vehicle collision. Should you receive a notice from the DMV that it knows you had an accident but did not timely file the SR 1 form, you immediately should contact your attorney to prepare the SR 1 form and immediately file it with the DMV and ALSO, due to the importance of properly doing this to be sure your driving privilege is not suspended, you should follow-up with your attorney’s office to be sure the SR 1 form is actually filed with the DMV.
- My Car was Damaged and I Need it Repaired ASAP. What Should I do?
We all need safe, reliable transportation, especially those living in California. If your car, truck or motorcycle was damaged, it may be either non-driveable or unsafe to drive. Therefore, you should contact us now for FREE advice about your specific case, including how best to expedite repairs and/or compensation for your damages, including for a rental car. Our initial consultation is absolutely FREE. To speed-up the process, in general you should take photos of your damaged car or vehicle (and, if possible, all damaged vehicles involved in this accident), obtain repair estimates from two (2) reputable repair shops and provide all this information to our offices for review and processing. We shall review it and if it’s OK then we shall send it to the property damage adjuster at the insurance company and help coordinate inspection and repairs to expedite resolution. We also may be able to arrange a FREE loan car for you. Please also be sure to provide us with a copy of your own auto insurance coverage declaration page(s) for our review as there may be additional helpful coverage for you! Please always keep copies of everything that you provide.
If and when you receive any payments from the insurer, be sure that you carefully review and read all checks very carefully and also that you provide a copy of them to us for our review and that you then confer with us about them before you deposit or use any checks as there be wording on the checks that may prejudice (hurt) your rights. For example, sometimes insurance checks that are supposed to be just for an advance or partial payment or just for repairs and not injuries are incorrectly miscoded or actually marked “Full Payment.” In such instances, your attorney should contact the adjuster immediately and such checks must be corrected and NOT used.
For further information about vehicle repair, loan cars, insurance checks and insurance coverage, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- What Should I do if I Told the Other Party or Police Officer That I was not Hurt, but now I Feel Pain?
The good news is that you STILL MAY MAKE A CLAIM. In fact, many of our clients tell us that they did not feel any pain right away or were perhaps so agitated and nervous right after their accident that they did not realize they were injured or there was some pain but it was so minor they did not think it even worth mentioning. It is not unusual for certain pains to start or get much worse several hours later and sometimes even days later. Clearly, it is better if you do not make any statements at the scene stating you are not hurt when you may have injuries that just may have not yet clearly manifested themselves. However, if you made any such comments, we still can help you. It is common knowledge that some pains, especially sprains and strains associated with what some call “whiplash injury” appear or get much worse later. Therefore, with proper medical care, treatment and documentation, you still may make a claim. In such circumstances, you should go to the local emergency room, urgent care center or contact us ASAP for assistance in finding a doctor who treats accident claims, is set-up to provide appropriate physical therapy and knows how to write the report required by insurers to help evaluate and settle your case. Often we can provide names of doctors, including specialists, who are not only very close to where you live or work, but who will wait until your case is resolved before expecting any payment. Thus, you may not even have to worry about any co-payments or deductibles!
For further information about injuries, inaccurate statements at the scene, delay in getting medical care and obtaining appropriate medical care now, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- I was Injured in a Car Accident. What Kind of Compensation Should I Receive?
If you are injured in a car accident in California and it is not your fault, or not entirely your fault, then you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. In California, the money you are entitled to receive is usually called “damages.” Damages usually allowed in car accident injury cases include money for the following:
- All reasonable & necessary medical expenses, including for ambulance, paramedics, emergency room & hospital care, medical doctors (including specialists in orthopedics, neurology, plastic surgery, etc.), chiropractic doctors, dentists (including TMJ specialists), physical therapy, X-rays & scans (like MRIs and CT scans), private nursing care, medications & prescriptions, etc.
- Medical equipment, such as braces, crutches, wheel chairs, walkers, adjustable hospital beds, etc.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life activities
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity, both past and future, even if your employer paid you for your missed time and even if you were not working at the time of the incident you may be entitled to compensation.
- Property damage, including for car repairs and replacement when a total loss.
- Rental reimbursement and loss of use of your vehicle when deprived of its use even when no other vehicle is rented.
- Diminution in value of your property if after it is repaired it is worth less than it was worth immediately prior to the accident causing it to be damaged.
- Punitive & exemplary damages when the other party’s conduct was intentional, malicious or with a conscious disregard of the harm that might be caused, including when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For further information about compensation in car accident cases, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- How Much is my Car or Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?
Despite what some may have heard, there is no simple formula for determining the value of a case. If there was, there certainly would never be any need for courts or mediators to resolve personal injury cases. Nevertheless, most of our cases settle and there are certain key factors that help determine the value of a car accident personal injury case.
The first key factor is liability. That is, who is at fault? Also, sometimes more than one party may be at fault and that is called “comparative liability.” In such situations, the claimant usually recovers an amount based on total damages with a pro-rata reduction for his or her own share of liability, if any.
The total damages are based on the type and nature of injuries, medical care and charges, loss of earnings, pain & suffering, expected future care and other damages more fully described in our Answer to “What kind of compensation should I receive?”.
In determining damages for pain & suffering, the insurer will consider several other factors, too. For example, when handling a car accident case, the insurer will consider the forces of impact when trying to decide how badly it believes someone may have been hurt. In general, insurers often rely on the actual visible property damage to each vehicle in trying to place a value on the probable injuries sustained. In other words, the more visible damage to each car, the more believable it is that the claimant was injured. (That is one reason why taking photos of all damaged vehicle at the scene of a collision is so very important to assist in proving damages). Insurers will also consider the existence of any prior or subsequent injuries and claims; the type, length and reasonableness of medical care and charges; and whether any, and how much, work was missed.
Then, and perhaps most interesting and arbitrary, is which insurance company and which adjuster at that insurer is handling or “adjusting” the case. Not too long ago, our firm had two very similar car accident cases, one of which settled for approximately $50,000.00 and the other about $100,000.00. The key differences between those two cases were dealing with two different insurance companies and the desire of one of the clients to settle without trial.
This is just a sample of some of the many factors that go into determining the value of a claim. It is no substitute for a careful analysis of the facts and issues that make-up each particular case. Therefore, we invite you to contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your own car accident or other personal injury case.
- I was not Wearing a Seat Belt. May I Still Make a Claim?
Yes. While California law requires that you wear appropriate safety restraining devices, often referred to as “seat belts,” it does not prohibit you from making a claim when you have an accident while not using them. Rather, while the insurer may argue that had you been wearing the appropriate seat belt you may not have been injured or you may have suffered less injury, it still must show the failure to wear a seat belt caused you to be injured or caused you greater injury than you would have suffered had you been wearing your seat belt. This is a matter of proof and, while the failure to wear a seat belt may have caused greater injury and it may reduce your total damages on a % basis, it still does not automatically negate you right to make a claim and recover compensation for your damages. While it is generally accepted that the use of proper safety restraining devices (seat belts, shoulder straps and child seats) reduce injuries, it may not be so in every case. Your attorney, through the use of experts and other resources, should know how to argue this to the insurance adjuster. Nevertheless, we do urge our clients to comply with the law and always use appropriate safety restraining devices.
For further information about seat belts, restraining devices and child seats and how the failure to use same may affect your rights, and counter-arguments, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- What Should I do if I Think I Caused or Contributed to Causing the Accident? May I Still Make a Claim?
Yes. The good news is that under California law you still may make a claim.
First, you NEVER should admit fault at the scene of the collision. Such statements may be used as evidence against you. Also, you may not know all relevant facts. For example, the other party may have been speeding, a traffic signal device may have malfunctioned or other product may have been defective, the other party may have been texting or otherwise distracted by the unlawful or improper use of a mobile cell telephone device while driving, or perhaps even under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances.
Second, you should obtain medical care to determine the extent and nature of your injuries.
Third, you should consult with our legal team to see if we think you have a case. Even if you contributed to causing the accident, that may just reduce your total damages on a pro-rata or % basis of your share of liability, but NOT negate your claim and your right to seek compensation for your medical charges, loss of earnings and property damage.
Over the years we have successfully represented clients who were accused of being at fault, including the following:
- Traveling too fast – But no admissible evidence.
- Rear ending another vehicle -- But the front car either made an unsafe stop or was stopped on the freeway without using its hazard lights and other warning devices.
- Subway passenger careless – But Metro operator started moving train before it was safe.
- Bicycle rider illegally riding on sidewalk or wrong side of road – But other party was shown to be inattentive or did not properly stop at a stop sign and should have avoided the collision.
For further information about determining who is at fault, comparative liability and recovering fair compensation, please contact our California Accident Car Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.
- If I Make a Claim, Does That Mean I Have to go to Court?
No. Most of our personal injury claims settle without our clients having to go to court or trial. With proper preparation and team work with the client, attorney, medical providers and other experts we usually are able to convince the other party’s insurer that it is better to settle than go to trial. Further, the California Insurance Code, Section 790.03(h)(5), requires that insurers make fair and equitable settlement offers when liability is reasonably clear. It is often up to our client whether to go to trial – that is, it is up to the client whether to take the last settlement offer or reject it and go to trial. In addition, even when the parties are unable to agree, there are some other good alternatives to going to trial, such as mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences. So, to either help prepare a claim, negotiate with the insurance adjuster and settle or be prepared to go to court, the injured parties are usually wise to have an experienced personal injury car accident attorney represent them.
For further information about settlements, mediations, arbitrations, settlement conferences, court and trials, please contact our California Car Accident Attorneys for a FREE consultation at 866 – INJURY – 2 or 866-465-8792 or simply complete our easy to use Contact Form.