F.A.Q. PERSONAL INJURY
1. What is the Personal Injury Claim Process?
A personal injury claim generally starts by filing a claim with Insurance adjuster of the driver at
fault. If the case cannot be settled directly with the at fault driver’s insurance Adjuster, a
personal injury a summons and complaint is filed in the appropriate California court. The
complaint and summons is personally served on the at fault insured driver.
2. What to do after a personal injury accident? Take photos of your injuries; Visit a doctor if you
haven’t already. If you have visited a doctor, follow their care plan and attend all follow-up
appointments. Write down a narrative of what happened while it’s still fresh in your head. Make
a list of witnesses and their contact information if you know it.
3. Will my Personal Injury Case go to Trial? The vast majority of personal injury cases don’t go
to trial. Most resolve by settlement before the trial date arrives. A case is most likely to go to trial
when the facts are in dispute or when there’s a contested legal issue, and the court may rule either
way. The more carefully you build your case, the more likely it is that you and the other party can
agree on the strength of your evidence and reach an appropriate settlement. If your case is in the
minority of cases that go to trial, your attorney can help prepare you for what to expect.
4. How Much is my Personal Injury Case Worth? There’s no way to precisely value your claim,
but you can guess the approximate value. The value of your claim includes your economic
damages like costs for medical treatment, lost wages, paying for help you need around the home,
and physical therapy. You total these losses and then apply a multiplier of 1-1.5 for moderate
injuries and up to 5 for severe cases to account for pain and suffering. You should also evaluate
the defendant’s resources and their ability to pay.
5. What Happens if I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident? You may have played a role in
causing your injury. If that’s the case, you may still be able to recover using California
Comparative Negligence law. As long as you’re not more to blame than the defendant, you can
recover for a proportional share of what you would have recovered otherwise.
6. How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to get a Settlement? The shortest cases
resolve in only a few weeks to a few months without Court litigation. Sometimes, your attorney
can work directly with the other party or the insurance company to reach a swift resolution. In
other cases, litigation can continue for a year or more.
7. How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim? A statute of limitations is the time
limitation that you have to bring the case. For most personal injury cases, the period of limitation
is two (2) years. You are within the time limit if you file even one day before the two year period
of limitation expires.
8. What can I expect during my Personal Injury Case? Once you file the case, you serve the other
side with a copy of the paperwork. You wait for them to file a answer. After that, you have time
to build your case by contacting witnesses, gathering medical evidence, and even collecting
evidence from the other party. You may participate in dispute resolution like mediation. If you
resolve the case, you collect payment and the case is over. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer
presents your case and asks the jury for a fair outcome.
9. How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost? Most personal injury attorneys want to work
with you so that you can get justice through the legal system. Many California personal injury
attorneys agree to work on your case with no money up front. If you succeed in your case, they
take a percentage of your recovery for their services. They also deduct any costs that they paid up
front so that you could proceed with the case. Your attorney should be happy to speak with you
to make sure that you understand how they’re going to get paid. It’s important to ask any
questions that you have so that you’re all on the same page.
10. Is California a Comparative Negligence State? Yes, California is a comparative negligence
state. Because California is a comparative negligence state, you may still win some compensation
even if you’re partially to blame for the accident. The amount that you recover is reduced by the
percent that you’re at fault. Unless the parties reach an agreement, it’s up to the jury to decide
who is to blame for the accident.
11. How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in California? An insurance
company has 30 days to investigate a claim and issue a decision. However, you may contest their
decision if you disagree with it. If you’re in negotiations with the insurance company, it’s
important to remember that you have only a limited amount of time to file a personal injury
claim. The insurance company may try to delay negotiations in hopes that you miss the deadline
to file a formal legal claim.
12. How Do I Maximize My Personal Injury Settlement? You maximize your injury settlement
by carefully building strong evidence in your case. It’s essential to understand all of the
categories of damages that apply and build the evidence of each category of loss that you’re
claiming. It’s also important to carefully prepare court filings that comply with the law in your
state. When the other side files court motions, you must respond aggressively and appropriately
to maximize your injury settlement.
13. Does Pain and Suffering Include Medical Bills? No, pain and suffering doesn’t include
medical bills. But you have a right to claim full compensation for all of your medical bills as part
of your injury case. In fact, your pain and suffering compensation is on top of and in addition to
your compensation for medical bills.
14. What Is Fair Compensation for Pain and Suffering? Fair compensation for pain and suffering
is proportional to your injuries. The more severe and permanent your injuries are from the
accident, the higher your pain and suffering compensation must be to be fair. In a case with
severe injuries and lifelong suffering, you may claim pain and suffering damages that are as
much as five times or more of your amount of financial losses. In minor injury cases, your pain
and suffering may be slightly less or equal to the amount of your financial losses.
15. What Is Considered a Personal Injury? A personal injury is considered any injury that gives
rise to legal liability of the responsible party. When one person gets hurt because another person
or company acts negligently, the victim has a personal injury. A personal injury accident is a type
of accident that is a legal fault. The victim may bring a claim for financial compensation against
the wrongdoer (Tortfeasor). The lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought by the victim (Plaintiff). The
victim/Plaintiff may receive financial compensation for their injury.
16. Can I File a Civil Lawsuit Without an Attorney? Yes, you can file a civil lawsuit without an
attorney. However, if you bring your case on your own, you’re subject to the same standards as
you would be if you had an attorney. You must follow the formalities for your case filing
documents. The rules of discovery, admission of evidence, and civil procedure all apply to you. If
you make a mistake, it may ruin your case even if you have a strong case. While you can file a
civil lawsuit without an attorney; usually, your best bet to recover the maximum amount possible
is working with an experienced attorney.
“I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.”
Banking agencies have elevated the importance of the treatment of CSI by emphasizing concerns in enforcement actions and by issuing guidance and rules, but have not provided consistent and coherent definitions and guidance across the industry.