Laguna Hills Personal Injury &

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Phone

949.586.6682

Listed below are some of the many questions we receive regularly. We hope our answers are clear and concise, but understand that each situation is unique. If you would like clarification on any matter, please do not hesitate to call, e-mail or visit our Laguna Hills Personal Injury law offices and we will offer you specific help.

 

  • Without a doubt, some people have chosen to attempt pursuing personal injury cases without the assistance of a lawyer, but doing so is extremely difficult and more often than not results in failure. You will almost always be going up against the best seasoned experts insurance companies have on hand, and without fail they will attempt to compensate you as little as possible. Without an attorney who has experience dealing with insurance company tactics, most likely your case will be treated unfairly and without remorse. Remember, this is a business you’re dealing with, and every cent they pay you is a cent taken from their annual profits. Though you are certainly free to pursue the case on your own, the results will, in all probability, not be in your favor.

  • The short answer: for cases involving minor injuries and when there is sufficient insurance to cover all expenses, generally between 3 to 6 months. For cases involving major injuries, it can take significantly longer.

    The long answer: There is no formula for predicting how long a particular personal injury case will take to resolve. A number of factors come into play in these situations, one of the most influential is going to be the severity of your injuries and the amount of time required for your recovery. Other factors will be level of insurance coverage, disputes over fault, time lost from work and the amount of medical treatment required to resolve the case.

  • Though many firms conduct themselves differently, we believe direct attorney-client communication is an extremely important part of any legal case. Though office staff will be working on your case regularly, John Rosenbaum will ultimately be the one making decisions about you and your legal battle, and will also generally be the one who is communicating matters of importance to you. All of our clients are encouraged to call or e-mail us regularly for updates regarding their case.

  • Most likely, no. About 99% of all civil cases settle before trial. The reason for this is that trials are very expensive and time consuming (not to mention very often unpredictable). It is primarily for these reasons that both parties involved in a case will do what they can to avoid the inside of a courtroom. With that said, attorney John Rosenbaum has and will continue to do battle in court whenever it is necessary for attaining a favorable outcome.

  • For personal injury cases, you are entitled to any costs/damages that are directly the result of your injury. These include:

    • Actual out-of-pocket repair costs for your vehicle (or fair market value in the event of a total loss)
    • Rental expenses or loss of use costs of your vehicle
    • Most medical bills (for injuries that are the result of the personal injury incident)
    • Loss of earnings for past, present and future
    • Damages for the pain, suffering and emotional distress caused by the incident

    You are not entitled to compensation for attorney fees. However, at the law offices of John Rosenbaum we have a policy that if we don’t win your case, you will not be charged for anything.

  • Yes! If you were injured as the result of your personal injury case, you should seek appropriate medical attention. Often times, certain injuries will not be felt for days following the incident. The quicker you seek medical attention for injuries the better, as it will help to avoid incurring more significant complications as a result of neglect. Clients are advised to never intentionally incur additional medical bills. Insurance fraud is a felony, plain and simple.

  • Yes I can. Most attorneys will have a trusted network of healthcare professions that have proven their worth. With that said, if you are in need of medical attention, please do not wait to be referred. Find yourself a family doctor or Emergency hospital if immediate care is warranted.

  • For Personal Injury cases, a doctor will generally offer “lien” care. In these situations, the care you receive will not be charged until the case settles and the payment is issued to you. That said, it is often advisable to use your private medical insurance when available. Assuming that the at-fault party is determined to be accountable for medical expenses, the insurance company will not pay for certain things. These include medical records/record reviews, unrelated treatment, unreasonably high treatment expenses or unnecessary exams. You will want to keep an open dialog between your doctor and your attorney regarding whether the medical expenses being incurred would be considered reasonable.

  • This simply cannot be known without a comprehensive review of your case. Some attorneys might attempt to offer a ball park figure to prospective clients, often in an attempt to pull them in. In our opinion, this is a mistake. The value of a case cannot be accurately determined prior to a review of all medical documentation, photographs, liabilities, loss of earnings and the potential for future medical expenses. Any estimate made before reviewing these items is entirely subject to change.

  • If your vehicle is repairable (rather than salvageable), then you can take it into any shop for repair. Insurance companies are not permitted to dictate a specific shop for repairing a vehicle. If it is necessary to have your vehicle repaired quickly, sometimes it is advisable to do so using your own insurance. You have the option of waiting for the at-fault party’s insurance to cover it, but doing so will potentially take much longer. The at-fault party’s insurance company will be responsible for reimbursing your deductible.

  • If your car is a total loss, the amount of money you’ll receive for your vehicle is determined by the “fair market value”. You will not receive the amount of money you paid for the vehicle, unless your vehicle has appreciated in value (at the time of the crash is worth more than when you purchased it). If you were still making payments on the vehicle, the lender will need to be paid. On rare (and devastating) occasions, the amount of money owed on the vehicle is greater than or equal to the fair market value. This means that all of the money being reimbursed for the loss of the car must go to the lender and sometimes more. You are able to purchase “gap insurance” for exactly this scenario. The insurance industry has an index used for determining value (this index is not Kelly Blue Book).

  • The at-fault party’s insurance company is responsible for your rental expenses. Sometimes you’re able to have expenses billed directly to the at-fault party’s insurance company, but this is not a guarantee that these bills won’t find their way back to you. The more likely scenario is that you’ll need to front the bill and count on being reimbursed later on. Again, it is sometimes easier to just go through your own insurance company in these situations (assuming you have rental coverage). You should not rent a car for more time than is necessary. If you do, you may not get compensated for time determined to be unnecessary. Additionally, your rental should be comparable to the vehicle it’s replacing. Insurance companies won’t consider a Lamborghini to be a comparable replacement for a Honda Civic.

  • Lost past and future earnings are recoverable in personal injury cases. In order to be eligible, it must be demonstrable that you lost these earnings. Sometimes this can be difficult, particularly if you are self-employed. Keep the best records possible of your employment and missed employment. Additionally, due to the unpredictability of recovering these earnings we generally advise clients to return to work as soon as possible.

  • At the law offices of John Rosenbaum, our charging of clients is solely contingent upon winning the case. So if for some reason we don’t win, you won’t pay any attorney fees. The amount we charge will be a portion of the gross recoveries, which will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

  • These costs are the responsibility of the client. Depending on the strength of the case and likelihood for victory, either we will advance the money required (to be reimbursed at the case conclusion) or we will require advancement by the client. This will be determined upon your consultation.

  • In California, it is important for all drivers to carry liability insurance. Not having it, even if another party is at-fault, can be devastating. Unless the at-fault driver is convicted of driving under the influence, an uninsured plaintiff will be entitled only to out-of-pocket expenses. This means there will be no reimbursement for pain, suffering and emotional distress. An uninsured driver may also be subject to the suspension of their driving privileges.

  • Definitely yes. You should document through photographs the scene, vehicle/property damage and any injuries sustained as a result of the accident. These photographs will be incredibly important to your case. They should be taken from multiple angles and with a camera capable of taking high quality images. Avoid blurry photos or ones that are difficult to make out.

  • Your insurance company or your attorney will obtain a copy of the police report. This requires sending a formal request and the appropriate fee to the agency responsible for the report. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is usually pretty quick – producing a report within 10 – 14 days. Other agencies like the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) may take several months.

  • Generally, no. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the settlements acquired through personal injury proceedings are not taxable. There may be exceptions to this, so it is best to consult your tax preparer in order to be absolutely certain.