How much is my case worth?
There is no way to estimate the value of your case at the beginning. Any attorney that attempts to do this is not serving you well. An attorney who does this may be simply trying to “buy” your case by giving you a high estimate to get you to sign up with him. We don’t do that here. Estimating too low is bad of course because it means you are leaving money on the table. But estimating too high a value can be just as bad as estimating too low. If the insurance company makes an offer that is substantially less than your attorney’s estimated value, you may be tempted to file a lawsuit, which can run up your costs into the many thousands of dollars. Attorney’s fees are usually much higher also. In the end, you may lose the money you might have had if you had settled for a reasonable amount.
The value of your case depends upon many factors that should be reviewed only after all the information about your injury is documented. We completely review all the facts of your case with you once you have completed your medical care. If you require ongoing or future care, we almost always will obtain a doctor’s report that indicates the necessity, cost and extent of future care.
What is the process?
Typically, once the client has retained us, we investigate the facts of the case and begin gathering the information necessary to properly present the claim to the responsible parties. At the same time, the client is usually going through a course of medical care or treatment. During the time of the treatment we work hard to establish liability and tackle any issues regarding the client’s injuries. Upon the completion of the client’s treatment we completely review the facts and the treatment history with the client. The medical records, all of the bills, and we prepare a “demand package” to present to the insurance company or the responsible parties that includes legal analysis and documentation to establish liability, medical records and bills, photographs and any other thing necessary to prove the client’s case in the best possible way. After the demand package is completely reviewed and evaluated with the client, we present it to the responsible parties and negotiate a settlement, which often includes the participation of the client. Typically cases are settled, avoiding the expense and time necessary to bring the case to court; however, in the event a reasonable settlement is not forthcoming, we fully discuss the advantages and disadvantages of filing a court case with the client.
What if I don’t live in Northern California?
We handle cases throughout the state of California and Nevada. If your accident occurred in either of these states we have the resources to get the best results for you. Because we specialize in personal injury, we can handle cases throughout a large geographic area. We make house calls at your home, office, or hospital at your convenience.
What if I don’t have car insurance?
If you have sustained a serious injury please call us immediately. We can help you even if you have no insurance coverage on your car. Although your claim may be limited to your medical bills and out of pocket expenses, we can successfully negotiate and reduce any outstanding bills and reimbursements to make your case a success.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
“Wrongful death” is a legal term that refers to a death that occurs as a result of someone’s negligence, or a reckless or intentional act. For example, a wife may sue for death of her husband and the loss of companionship, loss of material support and for emotional pain and suffering. A dependant child may make a claim for loss of a parent’s love and financial support. In most states, only certain close family members may sue for wrongful death.
What is a “tort”?
Simply put, a tort is an act, or failure to act, which is recognized by the law as wrong. If the wrongful act (tort) causes a loss or damage, the law allows the damaged party to bring a lawsuit to get compensation. Some torts are unintentional, such as those based on negligence. Others are based on someone’s wilful, reckless or intentional conduct. Most accident claims are based on the negligence of another person or persons. A person harmed by another’s negligent conduct may collect compensation for things like medical bills, lost earnings and car damage, but may not claim punitive damages, which are designed to punish and discourage recklessness or wrongful intentional conduct. As a matter of public policy, Insurance companies are legally not allowed to insure people for their intentional conduct because it might encourage people to engage in wrongful acts.
What is “negligence”?
The term negligence is essential to tort law. Everyone has a duty to take ordinary care to ensure that their actions or the actions of others under their control do not cause harm. If a persons actions fall below that standard, and someone is injured or property is damaged, they are considered negligent. Negligence does not mean that the person deliberately intended to cause harm, it only means that they did not take reasonable care or they did not act as a reasonably prudent person would have. An example would be the homeowner who decides to plant a tree next to the sidewalk. He digs a huge hole, then leaves to pick up the tree. While he is gone, someone steps into the hole and breaks a leg. Reasonable care would have called for the homeowner to cover or mark the hole to prevent accidents.
What is “Strict Liability”?
Strict liability means that one does not have to prove negligence to recover damages. In California, pet owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their pets. It is not necessary to prove that the pet owner did not use reasonable care to control his pet. Product liability law holds that you do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent if someone is injured while using a product. You only have to prove the product was defective. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture and distribution for that product, from the designer, to the manufacturer, distributor and to the retail store – all can share in the liability. Anyone participating in an act that is inherently dangerous, such as the transportation of hazardous substances, will be held strictly liable for any injuries they may cause while engaging in that act. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.
Did I Waive Liability?
A waiver of liability is an agreement, usually in writing, in which you give up your right to sue for someone’s negligence. Event promoters, and businesses offering sporting or athletic activities usually require you to sign waivers to protect the business owners from the results of their own negligence. In most cases, when you sign such a waiver, you do not give up all your rights. If anyone intentionally or recklessly causes an injury during an activity for which you have signed a waiver, you may still be able to make a claim. If you are concerned about the consequences of signing a waiver, don’t wait around thinking about it. Time may be an essential element of your claim. Get advice from an attorney, and find out if making a claim is possible.
What is a “Product Defect” and the “Manufacturer’s Liability”?
When a company designs and manufactures a product, they have a responsibility to ensure that anyone exercising reasonable care within the expected parameters of usage expected for the product will not be injured. In a product injury case, you do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent. You only have to prove that the product was defective or that the manufacturer did not provide sufficient warning of potential risks or failed to provide adequate instructions. They may be held liable for the medical costs, pain and suffering, and loss of wages.
Personal Injury Specialists
Unlike many auto accident and personal injury attorneys, the INJURY LAW CENTER understands that most people involved in car accidents such as rear-end collisions, sideswipes, broadside accidents or fender collisions, or even some head-on collisions do not have broken bones or loss of blood. We believe that every injury needs to be taken seriously, including whiplash and back and neck injuries and other muscle strains and sprains. Accident victims with these so-called “minor” injuries still must deal with basic issues of medical treatment and bills, lost wages or income, a totaled or damaged vehicle, insurance claims, and other concerns.
From our Walnut Creek, California, and San Jose, California offices our attorney represents injury accident victims throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Pittsburg, Hayward, Richmond, Dublin, Concord, Fairfield, Benicia, Vallejo, Napa, San Jose, and other communities in the counties of Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, and Solano. Contact us today, or call Toll Free 1-800-300-8561 for immediate assistance.