Auto Accident Personal Injury Case Process Overview
There are a lot of moving parts to achieving the best financial results for you in your Auto Accident Case. Many of those moving parts are critically sensitive in their time and manner.
Auto insurance companies (including your own) are always trying to find ways to increase their profits at your expense. Having us on your side and keeping you informed will prevent them from taking advantage of you. The below information is designed to help you understand the case process and address common questions and concerns you may have. Please review it in its entirety and let us know if you have any outstanding questions and/or concerns.
I. Bodily Injury and Medical Treatment
If you haven't already received any medical treatment for your injuries since the date of your accident, it is important that you do so right away. It is normal for your body's fight or flight response to take over and numb you from your initial pains/injuries anywhere from 1-3 days after the accident.
In every personal injury case, it is urgent that you be seen by a doctor right away because this is the only way that we can prove your injuries to the insurance company or a court of law. You can choose to go to a provider of your liking or we are happy to help you find a doctor nearby that will not require you to pay anything out of pocket.
Stay on schedule with your medical provider's recommended treatment plan, not only to ensure your optimal long-term health/recovery, but also because waiting more than a few days to seek medical treatment, missing treatment sessions or having gaps in treatment will cause negative and irreversible consequences toward your settlement amount.
Please also remember to keep up-to-date records of your medical services/providers since your lawyer will need to request medical records and bills from all facilities in order to ensure that we can get you the best settlement possible.
II. Property Damage
If you were the owner of a vehicle involved in the accident, there will be an additional property damage portion along with your personal injury case. 911 Legal Team, PC Personal Injury Law Firm and Attorneys do not charge any fees or take any percentage of your property damage recovery. We assist you with this portion of the case as a courtesy to help make life easier for you.
Tow and Storage
If your car was not drivable after the accident, you may have had it towed, stored, and/or incurred rental fees. There are tricky nuances and industry standards and limits that vary from body shop to insurance companies.
Tow yards and body shops can take advantage of clients by not informing clients of the process and later billing clients for storage and/or tow that will not be reimbursed from the insurance company; meaning you can be stuck paying out of pocket and not being reimbursed.
Insurance companies have a strict policy of only covering what is "reasonable and necessary" amount of storage days at a tow yard or body shop. We frequently have to fight insurance companies on the meaning and amount of what "reasonable and necessary" is.
Our 911 Legal Team, PC Personal Injury Law Firm and Lawyers help make sure you understand how the property damage process works so that you get the most money back possible and pay out of pocket the least amount possible.
You will be entitled to reimbursement for the rental of a vehicle "comparable" to the one you were driving at the time of the accident. Our 911 Legal Team, PC Law Firm and Lawyers negotiate with the insurance company what is "comparable".
Also, a critical nuance that insurance companies and/or car rental companies fail to tell you is that gas, taxes and additionally purchase insurance coverage will not be reimbursed. A lot of people think that they need to pay the car rental company daily for additional car rental insurance coverage even though they don't need to because usually their own car insurance covers such damages.
Loss of Use of Vehicle
If you were unable to drive your car at anytime due to the damage from the accident but did not get a rental car, we can request additional money for the days you could not use your car.
Child Car Seat
If you had any car seat(s) in your vehicle at the time of the accident (whether or not your child was in the seat at the time of the accident), provide us with a picture, receipt and/or make and model number so that we can attempt to have you reimbursed for your car seat(s).
III. Loss of Earnings
If you had to take time off of work do to your accident, it is critical that you keep a legally certifiable record of your time and wages lost so that we can seek reimbursement for you in your settlement. We know how the insurance companies and courts want to see these records in order to get you the most compensation for them possible.
IV. Social Media
We understand that what is on social media isn’t always what it seems. However, insurance companies will use anything you post against you to pay you less money, so be mindful of your posts and the image they portray of you and your injuries.
V. How Long Will Your Case Take to Finish and How Much Money You Will Get
Every case is different and negotiations for settlement can't begin until you are done with medical treatment and all of your medical providers have provided us with their bills and records.
A settlement can be reached as soon as one month after we have received your medical providers' final reports and bills and as long as two years after we have received your medical providers' final reports and bills.
VI. Attorneys Fees
911 Legal Team, PC Personal Injury Law Firm does not get paid unless and until you get paid. We will always inform you of any settlement offers immediately and settlement is always your decision. Our contingency fee is the best of the industry standard. Our attorney-client agreement states that we charge a one-third settlement fee if your case is settled prior to litigation or a forty percent settlement fee if your case is settled during litigation or arbitration proceedings. In practice however, as our previous clients can attest, our services and fees often go beyond what our attorney-client agreement states in favor of our clients, because we believe a one size fits all approach doesn't fit cases any better than it does people. And quite frankly, as any highly skilled and experienced auto accident personal injury lawyer will tell you, we don't know the size of our settlement, until we get to the very end of our case.
In rare cases, due to unforeseen circumstances, no settlement will be reached. In such a rare case, you still pay nothing out of pocket for the time and resources our firm spent on fighting for you in your Personal Injury Auto Accident Case.
We know hiring an Auto Accident Personal Injury Lawyer takes a great level of trust and we take that trust seriously.
VII. California Statute of Limitations
California has a 2 year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. This means you have 2 years from the date of your loss to file a lawsuit.
As always, should you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us as it is our number one goal to serve you throughout this process as best as possible.