If I hire The Injury Legal Center, P.C. to handle my case, how are my legal fees and case costs paid?
Our firm only takes cases that we believe in and will pay for all case expenses and legal fees up front. Our firm also works on a contingency fee basis, which means that our fees are a percentage of the awarded settlement. If your case doesn’t settle, you won’t be liable to reimburse any advanced costs or legal fees.
Do I have a case?
There are many factors in determining whether or not you have a case. The best thing to do is contact our office immediately for your free consultation to see if you have a case.
What is the California Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Settlement?
Within two years of the date of your accident, you must either settle your bodily injury case or file the case in court. Minors receive an extension until two years after their eighteenth birthday. If your case is against a government entity, a claim must be filed within six months of the date of your accident. There are many exceptions depending on the particular case which our office can advise you about.
What is my case worth?
The extent of your injuries and the amount of your medical bills is a very large factor in your settlement amount, but there are many other factors as well. If you were involved in an automobile accident, insurance companies always consider the amount of property damage to your vehicle. They also look at when you started medical treatment and if you had any gaps in your treatment. It is always best to not delay in seeking the medical attention that you need for your injuries. Furthermore, the defendant in your case has policy limits with their insurance company. In many cases when a defendant does not have high enough policy limits for a case’s value, we look into the defendant’s assets as well. We always recommend that our clients have Uninsured Motorist / underinsured Motorist coverage with their own insurance companies, that way you are protected if the defendant doesn’t have insurance or high enough policy limits for the value of your case. Liability is also a factor in determining what a case is worth. Our firm will have a good idea of the value of your case when we know all of the above mentioned factors.
Is the Insurance Company on my side?
Insurance companies are obligated to their company and their insured, not to you. It is in their best interest to form a case against you for the benefit of their company. One of the tactics that insurance adjusters use is appearing cooperative to claimants so the claimant will avoid seeking attorney representation. This cooperation will soon change when they have formed a case against you. Adjusters will frequently tell claimants that they should not hire an attorney and that the insurance company can provide a doctor for them. The doctor that the insurance company refers you to is also on the insurance company’s side, not yours. Insurance companies frequently delay in getting claimants a doctor’s appointment to form a case against them as well. It is our job to protect you from the insurance company’s tactics to make your case worth a lower value.
Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company?
In most cases it is not a good idea to give a recorded statement to the insurance company. There are many tactics that insurance companies use during a recorded statement that will make your case worth less. They are looking for any flaws in your case to form a case against you. Typically the insurance company already has the police report and/or the defendant’s recorded statement. We usually only advise our clients to give a recorded statement when liability is an issue, and we are always present during the statement to make sure that the insurance companies tactics to make your case worth less are avoided.
Should I hire an attorney, and will I receive a smaller settlement amount if I pay an attorney for their representation?
In most cases, claimants obtain a higher settlement with an attorney than without one. It is important to remember that our office is on your side and will fight to get you the highest settlement possible. The insurance company is not on your side and doesn’t want to pay out on claims. They settle cases to avoid litigation. If you try to settle your case without an attorney, there will be no threat to the insurance company of filing a law suit if they don’t make a high enough offer. Insurance companies will frequently offer claimants a low settlement offer immediately before they even start treatment to make the case worth much less. If you take this offer, you cannot attain a second settlement later. This is why in most cases our firm waits until our clients are finished with all of their medical treatment to settle the case, since the settlement is largely based off of your medical bills incurred.
How long will my case take to settle?
Every case is different, but a large factor in the length of your case is how long you treat with a doctor. Some cases settle immediately while others take several years. Our firm can give you a better estimate when we know the extent of your injuries.
Will I have to go to court?
It is our goal to settle all cases outside of court to avoid the extra time and fees that it takes to bring a case before a judge and jury trial. Most of our cases settle pre-litigation. However, if the insurance company isn’t offering a fair amount for your case, we will file the case in court. Many other law firms drop cases that don’t settle outside of court.
How are my doctor bills paid, and should I treat with doctors through my health insurance?
Our office works with many top medical specialists in California including some of the most reputable Orthopedic and Neurological Surgeons in the state, who treat our clients on a lien basis. This means that the doctors are paid out of your settlement, and you don’t owe them anything up front. In most cases, we do not recommend that you treat through your health insurance. The Hanif law in California penalizes claimants for treating through their health insurance. For example, if you treat with a doctor on a lien basis, your medical bill could hypothetically be $10,000. If you had the same treatment through your health insurance, the bill might be reduced by your health insurance to $1,000 hypothetically. The health insurance company would then claim a third party lien on your case and ask for reimbursement for even less than what was paid. For example, they might ask for reimbursement in the amount of $700. Under Hanif law, the defendant’s insurance company now only has to pay pain and suffering based on the third party lien amount from your health insurance in the amount of $700. If you had the same treatment on a lien basis, the insurance company would make an offer based on $10,000 in medical bills, making your pain and suffering settlement much higher.