Frequently Asked Questions

Southern California Personal Injury Attorney

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Disclaimer: All legal information presented at this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Your receipt of the information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a contract for representation by The Law Office of Adam L. Marangell.

Table of Contents

  1. How do I know if I have a good case?
  2. What if I can't afford legal fees?
  3. The insurance company representative says I don't need an accident lawyer. Is this true?
  4. I don't have health insurance. Who will pay for my medical bills?
  5. What can I do if the person who caused the accident doesn't have insurance?
  6. The person who injured me only has minimum coverage and my medical bills and wage loss are more than his policy limits. He has no other money. Doesn't it make sense for me to settle for the minimum now?
  7. How much is my claim worth?
  8. Will I have to go to trial to collect what is due to me or can we settle out of court?
  9. How long will it be until settlement negotiations start?

How do I know if I have a good case?

 

You probably need expert legal help to determine the merits of your case. Please call for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will give you our honest opinion as to whether we think you have a good case and have a chance of recovering money for your injury or situation.

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What if I can't afford legal fees?

 

That isn't a problem, as we take accident and injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you don't pay a fee unless and until we recover money for you.

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The insurance company representative says I don't need an accident lawyer. Is this true?

 

Insurance companies have very experienced representatives, who are highly trained and skilled at handling claims. They of course want to deal with claimants who have no training or experience. To protect yourself, it is always advisable to discuss your claim with an accident lawyer before dealing with an insurance company.

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I don't have health insurance. Who will pay for my medical bills?
 

In some cases, the insurer for the at-fault party will advance payment for initial accident-related medical bills; however, very often after the payment for a few visits, they will stop, hoping that you will take a lower settlement to make sure that your bills get paid.

 

We can help you get medical care, which you won't have to pay for until your case is concluded.

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What can I do if the person who caused the accident doesn't have insurance?

 

Unfortunately there are many uninsured drivers. The best way to protect yourself from losses caused by an uninsured driver is to have adequate collision coverage to pay for damage to your vehicle, medical payments coverage to pay for medical bills, and uninsured motorist coverage which will pay for additional medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering in the event that the at-fault driver is uninsured or doesn't have enough insurance to pay for your claim. Uninsured motorist coverage is often difficult to understand and in the event you are injured by an uninsured driver, you should immediately contact our office.  We can handle your uninsured motorist claim.

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The person who injured me only has minimum coverage and my medical bills and wage loss are more than his policy limits. He has no other money. Doesn't it make sense for me to settle for the minimum now?
 

NO! In the event that the at-fault driver's insurance coverage is far less than the value of your claim, you may be able to recover additional monies from your own insurance company if you have adequate underinsured motorist coverage. But, know that once you settle with the at-fault driver's insurance you may lose your right to pursue this additional coverage.  We routinely deal with this type of situation.

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How much is my claim worth?

 

This answer varies greatly depending on the nature of the injury and the circumstances of the case. The value of the claim is usually determined by many factors:
    ~the severity and impact of the injury
    ~the likelihood of prevailing (winning) at trial
    ~the amount of medical bills and lost earnings incurred
    ~the length of treatment
    ~the degree of severity of the pain or discomfort experienced
    ~whether the problem is permanent in nature and results in a permanent disability

Only after these factors are evaluated can an estimate be made of the value of a claim. Sometimes people listen to rumors of settlement amounts that create unrealistic expectations. Our office will help to determine a reasonable value of your case, taking into consideration all of the many variables. We will give you an honest assessment of the value of your case.

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Will I have to go to trial to collect what is due to me, or can we settle out of court?

 

The vast majority of injury claims are settled without having to go to court. Certain situations are more likely to be tried, especially when there is a disagreement as to responsibility for the accident or as to the extent or permanency of the injuries. Since litigation is long and expensive, we recommend in most cases that a suit not be initiated until it is clear that settlement is unlikely. A decision to go to court will be extensively discussed with you, and only done so with your express approval.

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This depends on many factors. Generally, we do not recommend settlement negotiations until your recovery is complete or your condition has stabilized and there won't be any unanticipated medical expenses, income loss, or additional pain or discomfort we don't know about. This is important because a settlement is the final disposition of your claim without future recourse.

Unfortunately, many injuries result in permanent or chronic conditions, which sometimes mean lifelong discomfort or even disability. In order to maximize recovery in these cases, persuasive medical documentation must be obtained. In these situations, doctors often like to wait and see what happens before they give an opinion as to the permanency, degree of disability or likelihood that the condition will not improve or worsen. However, our experienced staff will do everything possible to ensure that your case is prepared for settlement negotiations at the earliest possible point.

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If you have additional questions, please call our office for a free consultation.