Law Offices Of Davd ReinardContact UsFAQWhy Us Home David Reinard


Questions

What should I do if I've been injured?
Can I get treatment if I don't have health insurance?
What if I am contacted by the other party's insurance company?
What if the other driver doesn't have insurance?
Can I afford an attorney?
What about expenses?
Will I have to go to court?
Will I hurt the person I'm suing by bringing a personal injury claim?
How much will my case settle for?
How long will my case take?


What should I do if I've been injured?

1. Don't delay seeing a doctor. Sometimes, seriously hurt people will "tough it out" and wait to see a doctor. Because you can't be sure how serious your injuries are, you should have a professional take a look. And, if you file a claim, the insurance company will use any delay in seeking treatment against you by arguing that you could not have been hurt if you didn't go to a doctor immediately.

2. Tell your doctor about all of your complaints. People often only mention their worst injury when they see a doctor. However, you should make sure that you tell your doctor about every pain, no matter how minor. Sometimes, what seems like a minor problem at first turns out to be the most serious injury. And, of course, if you don't mention an injury when you first see a doctor, the insurance company will claim that the injury didn't happen in the accident.

3. Take pictures and save documents. Take pictures – ten times more than you think you need – of everything: your car, your injuries, you on crutches, you in bed. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Many times, people have horrible bruising, which clearly shows just how traumatic an event was, but they don't take pictures. And too often people will take just one poorly-focused picture. Take the time to take the best pictures you can. The pictures are evidence that even an insurance company can't deny.

4. Seek legal advice. Having good advice soon after you are injured is the only way to protect your rights. Your attorney can preserve evidence that might be lost, or contact witnesses before memories fade, or inspect an accident scene before it is changed. The lawyer will also tell you about "statutes of limitations" that require you to file a lawsuit within a certain time. If you don't file in time, you will not be allowed to sue. For example, if you were injured by a government agency, you must file a claim within six months of the incident.

Can I get treatment if I don't have health insurance?

Yes. There are many compassionate health care providers who are willing to treat accident victims without demanding immediate payment. Instead, these providers "work on a lien," and wait until the case is over to be paid. (Some people make the mistake of thinking the responsible party's insurance company will pay for their treatment if a bill is submitted. Insurance companies don't do that.)

What if I am contacted by the other party's insurance company?

Be very careful. The insurance company will act as if it wants to help you, but it doesn't work that way. What they really want is to settle your claim for as little money as possible. To do that, they will twist anything you tell them. DO NOT GIVE ANY INSURANCE COMPANY A RECORDED OR WRITTEN STATEMENT. These statements might be incomplete or taken out of context and be harmful to your claim at a later date. For example, the claims representative may ask how you are feeling. You might say "OK." But what does "OK" mean? The insurance company will argue that it means you weren't injured. It is unfair for an insurance company to take a statement from an injured person in the days after an accident, but they do it all the time. There is no reason to agree to a statement. They are not entitled to it, and they only want to use it against you. Also, do not sign any papers or agree to any settlement, as this may affect your right to pursue your claim. Seek competent legal advice first.

What if the other driver doesn't have insurance?

You can probably collect for your bodily injuries through your own insurance policy if you have what is called "uninsured motorist" coverage. Making a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage is complicated and it is best to have a lawyer represent you. You can get your vehicle fixed under your own collision coverage.

Can I afford an attorney?

We are not paid unless and until you win your case. Your case will be handled on a "contingent fee" basis. This means that the legal fee is a percentage of the amount recovered, and there is no fee charged until money is actually collected.

What about expenses?

There are certain expenses, such as costs of medical records, court costs and expert witness fees, involved in bringing a personal injury claim. In almost every case, we advance the expenses and are reimbursed after the case is resolved.

Will I have to go to court?

Probably not, because most cases settle. However, it is always possible that a case will go to trial. (Which is why you need to hire a trial lawyer.) If the case does go to trial, you will need to be present for the trial. It is important to remember that not every case is appropriate for trial, and sometimes the best result is a settlement. We will advise you on the best approach for your case. Rest assured that if your case is one that should be tried, we will absolutely take your case to trial.

Will I hurt the person I'm suing by bringing a personal injury claim?

No. Your claim will be paid by the defendant's insurance company. Only very rarely do we collect from the defendant personally. For example, we have forced drunk drivers to make personal payments to resolve a case.

How much will my case settle for?

It is difficult to say at the beginning of a case. The value of your claim depends on a wide variety of factors, such as the severity and permanency of your injury, the amount of your medical expenses, the liability of the defendant, and whether the case is to be tried or settled. Certainly, we would not take your case unless we believe it is worth your time and our time. We try to give you a range as soon as we can, but that can change as the facts of the case develop. We promise that we will go the extra mile to get you the best settlement possible.

How long will my case take?

Some cases can settle within a month or two after you have recovered, assuming the insurance company acts in good faith. In most cases, however, because insurance companies do not like to settle fairly, we have to file a lawsuit. We do this as soon as possible, because the longer you wait to file a lawsuit, the longer until the case is over. Remember, the best way to force an insurance company to fairly settle the case is to show them that you are willing to win at trial. In Los Angeles County, most judges set a trial within one year of the day the lawsuit was filed. At least 50% of cases are resolved within a year and 90% are completed within 18 months.
IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS CALL US AT (310) 903-8438


Mulit-Million Dollar Advocates Forum - Lifetime Member David ReinardPeer Review Rated - David Reinard Consumer Attorneys of California - David Reinard Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles  David Reinard Avvo Rating -  David Reinard American Board Of Trial Advocates David Reinard Super Lawyers - David Reinard
Home  |  About David Reinard  |  Why Us  |  Case Evaluation  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us
Copyright © 2013 Law Offices of David Reinard, P.C. Website Developed By Vivid Concept Web DesignVivid Concept