|California Personal Injury FAQ|
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in Los Angeles area and believe it was caused by someone else, you may have a personal injury case. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury lawsuits and the steps you should follow in determining your next course of action.
What should I expect when I contact your law firm?
Any questions you may have about your personal injury matter will be answered. This can be achieved via a telephone call, e-mail or by coming in for a free in-person consultation with an attorney in our Los Angeles offices. Your case will be evaluated by an attorney and not a "legal assistant" or paralegal.
Should I contact the insurance company myself?
At Liberman Law Group we handle the whole claim process for you, starting with the first call reporting your claim to the insurance company, all the way to settlement or trial if necessary. We do not advise speaking with insurance companies without your attorney present, especially the other party’s insurance company. All insurance adjusters are trained to immediately try to obtain a recorded statement from accident claimants and if a lawyer is not present they could turn what should be no more than a short interview into a full-length deposition. Once the recorder is turned on, they may ask questions that are not relevant to your injury, may be an invasion of your privacy and may be calculated to put you in a bad light. Just because you provided a truthful statement, the insurance company does not have to pay your claim and very often still proceeds to deny that claim. The statement you already provided could be used against you in the future and any inconsistencies between that statement and future testimony at deposition or trial will be used to discredit you and your claim. At Liberman Law Group we counsel you before any interviews with insurance company’s representatives and the attorney is always there with you protecting your rights.
If I was in an auto accident, what should I expect?
In California if you were not at fault in an auto collision and sustained injuries, the insurance carrier for the adverse party will reimburse you for the cost of repairing your vehicle; while your vehicle is not available, you will be entitled to a comparable rental vehicle at no cost to you. If you were injured as a result of the automobile accident you are entitled to have your medical bills paid, your lost income reimbursed and to be paid for your "pain and suffering" or what is known as general damages.
What if the accident was partially my fault?
California is a "comparative negligence" state, which means that even if you are partially to blame for the collision, you may still be able to recover. If the accident was 50% your fault and 50% the fault of the adverse party (e.g. a disputed red light intersection accident with no witnesses where each party claims to have entered the intersection on a green), the insurance company for the adverse party should still pay 50% of all your losses, including 50% of your property damage, rent-a-car expense, medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. The amounts would be adjusted accordingly depending on the percentage of fault attributed to each party, e.g. 20%-80%, 30%-70%, etc.
What if I have no medical insurance and cannot afford to pay?
There are doctors in almost every medical specialty who accept patients on what is called a "lien basis". These doctors will accept a lien or a written promise from you and your attorney that their services will be paid for out of the future proceeds of your settlement. The patient pays nothing until his case is resolved, at which time the attorney contacts the doctor and settles the outstanding bill. At Liberman Law Group we have worked on a lien basis with hundreds of medical providers including orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, oral surgeons, facial reconstruction surgeons, burn specialists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, psychiatrists, radiologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and registered physical therapists. Lack of medical insurance should not stop you from getting the treatment you deserve and at Liberman Law Group we will make sure you get the best possible treatment for your injuries.
I was injured as a result of a slip and fall, do I have a case?
In a slip or trip and fall case, also known as a premises liability case, your attorney has to prove that your injury accident was the result of a dangerous condition on the premises of which the owner of the property knew or should have known about and failed to either fix the condition or warn or otherwise protect the public from the danger. To help the attorney to properly respond to this question and evaluate the dangerous condition that may have been the cause of your injuries, we recommend taking good photographs of the condition itself as well as the surrounding area. At Liberman Law Group we have handled hundreds of slip and trip and fall cases against private as well as public entities and have litigated lawsuits against various cities, counties and land or building owners. If you were injured on a public sidewalk or some other public property, make sure you contact an attorney as soon as possible as the statute of limitations for public entities in California is shortened and the claim must be presented within 6 months of the date of the accident and if your claim is subsequently denied by the governmental entity, you will have only an additional 6 months within which to file a lawsuit or you may be barred from recovering anything. This differs from the usual 2-year statute of limitations against private owners of property. At Liberman Law Group you will receive a free consultation with an attorney regarding the particular facts of the dangerous condition involved in your fact scenario.
What is a product liability case?
Product liability law pertains to injuries sustained as a result of using dangerous or defective products. Besides the usual negligence cause of action, there is also a breach of warranty that can be the basis of your claim. In product liability cases everyone in the chain of custody of the product (i.e. manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler and seller) can be liable for the injury resulting from the intended use of the product. As an illustration, below are only a few examples of the product liability cases that we handled at Liberman Law Group:
How long will I have to wait to receive my settlement?
This question is one of the most frequently asked and yet one of the hardest to respond to. The reason is that no two personal injury cases are exactly the same. Every person experiences their own subjective levels of pain and takes his or her own amount of time to heal from the injuries. The length of the pain and suffering is an integral part of the personal injury evaluation process as some people heal within weeks, months or years while others have to live with and adapt to their injuries for the rest of their lives. An attorney may give you a range of time within which your case can be resolved, but only after obtaining a thorough understanding of your injuries and the facts of your particular case. So contact Liberman Law Group to have a free consultation with an attorney regarding your accident case.