WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT
Oct. 7, 2014
The following questions and answers are the plain facts to the most commonly asked questions after an accident. Each case is different and determining value requires your talking to an experienced attorney. My office offers a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to help you understand your rights and provide a more detailed explanation of how the personal injury (PI) claim process works in the Coachella Valley.
If you’ve been injured in an accident case of any kind, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries.
WHO SHOULD I TALK, OR NOT TALK, TO ABOUT THE ACCIDENT?
Remember that "Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver". This applies equally to an accident or criminal case. Don’t talk to anyone…it can only hurt you. It is not just what you say but what the insurance company or officer thought he heard you say. Remember the police sometimes do not prepare the report for several hours after the accident and they may confuse or forget the facts.
Say as little as possible at a motor vehicle accident scene. Exchange information (insurance companies, driver’s license), make a police statement as required, then call us and let us talk with all the insurance companies. That way if something you said could hurt you, we can always say we must have misunderstood what you said and apologize. If you said it directly to someone you can be impeached. Let us be the strawman that takes the heat.
Anything you say to the other person’s insurer could be introduced as evidence in the event you proceed with a claim, so the less you say the better. Worry about your health and seek medical assistance immediately if required, then contact my office so that there’s someone on your side and let us do the talking.
WHAT WILL THIS COST ME?
Our consultation is free and if we represent you we will do so on a contingency. We don’t get paid until you get paid. We will pay all costs during the case and when the case settles we will then be paid our fees and costs. We normally can work with your medical providers to see that you are not charged for their services until such time as we settle or bring your case to judgment.
HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE?
We’ll work to settle your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible, but the process takes time. Your injuries need to be completely healed or become stable. Then a long-term prognosis can be established and a fair assessment made of what compensation is appropriate. Small injury claims can be resolved quickly and more serious injuries take longer to heal and thus settle. No matter how long it takes to settle your claim, you won’t be required to pay any fees to us, nor will you be asked to pay any expenses that are required throughout the process.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I EXPECT?
This is the most common question we receive on an accident case. The amount of an eventual settlement is dependent on many factors, including the severity of your injuries; the cost of your medical care; the number of medical visits; your age and the long-term physical, financial and emotional impact your injuries had on your life. An experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine what a claim and eventual settlement might look like.
WILL I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
More than 90% all accident claims are settled out of court, but in some situations, reaching the most favorable settlement requires litigation.
DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYLER? WON’T THEY SETTLE WITH ME DIRECTLY?
Without an experienced Accident Lawyer there is a high risk of not getting the settlement you deserve for your injuries. If an insurance company deals with you directly you must remember their objective is to process your claim quickly and cheaply. They will deny and delay settlement. The best strategy is to call me asap after an accident, and avoid any direct discussions with the insurance company.
WHAT IF I CAN’T COME TO YOUR OFFICE?
Our office accommodates clients who face physical challenges due to an injury or disability. If for any reason you’re unable to meet at our office, we will come to you, wherever you are, at no charge. If you or a loved one has been in a motor vehicle accident or suffered a personal injury, it won’t cost anything to come talk with a lawyer.
"DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE OR TEXT AND GET A DUI OR ACCIDENT, CALL A TAXI OR UBER………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME"
If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at
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