Answering Your Personal Injury Questions
Personal Injuries are physical or mental injuries to a person resulting from another’s negligence or intentional acts. Property Damage is damage to your vehicle or other personal property. Most insurance companies cover their insured driver for both Personal Injury and Property Damage.
When you are injured in an accident, it may have been caused by the negligence or legal wrongdoing of another party. This is true in car, motorcycle and truck accidents, as well as any other type of accident. Do not assume you have no legal claim without first talking to an experienced lawyer.
The most important thing is to get any necessary medical treatment and follow your medical provider’s orders. Do not discuss the accident or give a statement to the insurance company or attorney representing the other driver. Your statements may be used against you in the event of a lawsuit. Instruct the other driver’s insurance company to call your own insurance company or attorney. Joshi Law Firm will speak to you free of charge after an accident so you understand your legal rights.
Often Property Damage claims can be settled without the necessity of a lawyer. However, you should never settle a Personal Injury claim directly with an insurance company without the benefit of speaking to a lawyer first. Often clients believe their injuries are minor only to discover later – they are worse than initially believed. No claim is too big or small for Joshi Law Firm to handle. We handle all types of injury cases ranging from minor to serious injuries including wrongful death claims. We review any case free of charge so you and your loved ones can receive a thorough evaluation and just compensation for your injuries.
Most Personal Injury claims do not result in lawsuits. Of those claims resulting in a lawsuit, nearly 90-95% are settled prior to trial. Once you have recovered from your injuries, we will file a claim with the appropriate insurance company. In most situations, we will negotiate a fair monetary settlement for your injuries and only settle them with your approval.
Personal Injury victims are entitled to recover monetary damages for their losses and expenses incurred as a result of an accident. The following is a partial list.
- Medical bills (doctor bills, hospital bills, surgery expenses, diagnostic charges, physical therapy, personal care nursing fees, prescription medicines, and others),
- Lost Wages, including overtime,
- Pain & Suffering,
- Physical Disability,
- Permanent Scars
- Emotional Trauma,
- Mental Anguish,
- Loss of Enjoyment,
- Loss of Love & Affection,
- Mental Disability,
- Property Damage,
- All out-of-pocket expenses (transportation charges, house cleaning, grass cutting, and others).
Depending on state law and the type of insurance coverage in your policy, your medical bills can be paid under your Personal Injury Protection coverage, your Medical Payments coverage, and your Health Insurance Coverage. Under most policies providing these types of coverage, the insurance company is entitled to reimbursement from the settlement funds of your Personal Injury claim for the medical expenses actually paid on your behalf. For people with no insurance and who are unable to pay for medical services, if prior arrangements are made, there are doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities that will agree to be paid out of the settlement. You may be required to sign a medical lien against your settlement funds. Joshi Law Firm can assist you in seeking necessary medical treatment under these circumstances.
Generally, most Personal Injury cases are handled on a contingent fee basis. A contingent legal fee is conditioned upon the attorney successfully resolving the case by settlement or trial. Contingent fee cases are often referred to as: “No fee owed unless you win”. However, the client is generally responsible for the “out-of-pocket” costs of litigation. The normal Personal Injury contingent fee is 33% if your case is settled and 40% if a lawsuit is filed. In complex cases (such as Medical Malpractice), the typical fee maybe 40% if your case is settled and 50% if a lawsuit is filed. In extremely complex cases, the fee might be higher. Joshi Law Firm will provide you with a written attorney-client fee contract for your Personal Injury case.
It is important to quickly retain a personal injury lawyer to evaluate your injury claims. This also allows you to set any necessary strategy concerning your personal situation. Property Damage and Personal Injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations (“SOL”). The SOL is the legal timeframe within which you must file a lawsuit or your claims will become time-barred. In California, most Personal Injury lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of injury. If a lawsuit is not timely filed, you waive your right to legal compensation.
After an accident, you may be contacted by the other driver’s insurance adjuster or attorney. The adjuster may tell you the reason for the call is to conduct a preliminary investigation or to settle any Property Damage or Personal Injury claims. The other driver’s insurance adjuster doesn’t represent your interests and may try to get you to settle for too small a settlement. Unless you are ready to close your claim, DO NOT SIGN THE RELEASE AGREEMENT.
The information you discuss with Joshi Law Group is protected by the doctrine of attorney-client privilege. This means what we discuss about your case will remain confidential, even if you do not choose to retain our legal services for your case. Since what we discuss will be kept private, it is imperative that you help us best represent you by fully disclosing all facts as you know them. That way, we can avoid any unforeseen surprises that may harm your claim or jeopardize your right to receive the compensation you need.
Further, bring all documents and evidence you have that relate to your accident and resulting injuries. This includes accident photographs, witness information, police reports and medical records that will help evaluate your case.