Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
The Law Offices of Shaffer and Gonor is committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. We achieve this by applying the knowledge and expertise we have from more than 50 years of combined experience in the industry.
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For any questions or concerns, get in touch with us today. We would be glad to assist you.
If you are injured, do not hesitate to call 911 and seek medical attention. Otherwise, we suggest you do the following:
- Make sure you are in a safe place
- Call the police
- Obtain information from the person you were involved in the accident with, including their name, address, phone number, and insurance information
- Take pictures of everything, including cars, the people involved, and the scene
- Get witness names and contact information
- Look around to see if there are any homes or businesses with a camera that has captured the accident. If so, note the names of those establishments and their address.
- Call The Law Offices of Shaffer and Gonor at (818) 783-3333
Before worrying about filing a case, make sure you are safe first and gather whatever evidence you can. Once you are able, call us and we will gladly spend the time going over the facts of the accident with you and give you an honest assessment of your case. However, the three pillars of a case are typically:
- Someone else is completely or partially at fault
- You suffered damages
- The person-at-fault has the ability to pay those damages, which usually means they have insurance
According to California Prop. 213, motorists need valid insurance to drive on public roads in the state. This law has also been applied to passengers in some circumstances.
If you are injured in an accident, and you don’t have liability insurance. that is someone else's fault, you can still receive recovery but it will be severely limited. Some exceptions apply, but as a general rule, you will not get fully compensated and you might end up with a traffic ticket as well. This is why many firms will not take your case if you do not have insurance. However, our firm will gladly handle these cases.
These are both legitimate questions but they can't be honestly answered at the outset. The amount of your recovery and the time it will take are directly tied to many things, the most important being the extent of your injury.
No one knows how severe your injury is or how long it will take for you to heal at the beginning. If someone gives you an amount of money or a time frame at the outset, they are just telling you what they think you want to hear.
It would be easy for us to make up a number that would make you feel good, but we will never do that to you. At our firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with honest and accurate counsel that allows them to make informed decisions.
You can recover damages that you can prove came from the accident, within reason. The main things you can be compensated for are:
- Property Damages
- Pain and Suffering
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Doctor Co-Pays
You should not speak with an insurance adjuster or someone else from the other side. They will appear friendly and sympathetic to your case. However, their job is to get information that helps them.
Tell the claims representative to contact your attorney, if you have retained one, or contact your insurance company. This also applies to attorneys who try to contact you for other parties.
You must remember that these people cannot force you to talk to them, even though they might try to intimidate you into thinking otherwise.
As mentioned above, the other person who is at fault is only responsible for the damages they cause. There will likely be some adjustments in the evaluation if the pre-existing condition is to the same body part that is now injured.
We will need your prior medical records in order to paint the picture of where you were before and after your accident. Gathering them as soon as you can would be helpful to your case.
If there is no recovery, there is no fee.
Yes, we will. However, you will have easier access to some things that we will have trouble getting.
For example, we will need your medical records. Once you sign the paperwork, we will have access to them but our copy service charges us and it takes time. The cost will be reimbursed out of a settlement. Therefore, it often makes sense for the client to get the records themselves to save time and money.
If you lose time from work, it is often faster and easier to ask your employer for the lost wages to be documented rather than having us call them. We will never make decisions on our own, and we’ll always talk with you to see what makes the most sense.