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Personal Injury FAQ

Our attorneys have the answers

After a personal injury accident in California's Bay Area, many injury victims have lots of questions. Many of these questions concern their legal rights as injury victims. But finding accurate information can often be a challenge. That's why our Walnut Creek personal injury lawyers created this page devoted to some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury accidents.

We realize at Clancy & Diaz, LLP that you want answers so you can move on with your life as soon as possible. That's why we also encourage you to contact us right away to schedule a free case evaluation at our office in Walnut Creek, Antioch, Pittsburg, or Benicia. We're here for you when you need us most.

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    Frequently asked questions

    What is a personal injury accident?

    Personal injury accidents can cover a wide range. In general, the term applies to any incident that occurred due to someone else's reckless or negligent behavior. Such accidents can include:

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    What are common causes of personal injury accidents?

    Personal injury accidents happen for many different reasons. But in general, they happen for two primary reasons:

    • Reckless behavior - This can include someone being distracted, intoxicated, speeding or behaving in a reckless manner.
    • Negligence - Not doing something can be just as dangerous as behaving in a reckless manner. Negligence can include not cleaning up water on a slippery floor, not properly maintaining a property or failing to provide security on a dangerous property.

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    How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

    Hiring a lawyer from our law firm costs no money out of pocket. We work on a contingency fee basis so people who are in need of legal representation have access to professional help. Our fees are based on a percentage of the settlement or verdict awarded to you at the close of your case. So if we do not win your case, you owe us nothing.

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    How much is my personal injury accident worth?

    There's no set dollar amount for personal injury accidents. Each one is different. Some are worth a few thousand dollars. A lawyer will calculate medical bills as well as other damages to come up with an estimated financial sum. Others can potentially be worth millions of dollars. The amount of compensation depends on many different factors, including:

    • The severity of the injury
    • The financial toll of the injury
    • How long the injury is expected to last

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    How are personal injury settlements paid out?

    At the close of your case, the settlement amount can be paid in one lump sum or in a series of regular payments over time. As your attorney, we can negotiate settlement terms that work for you.

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    Can I file a lawsuit against someone after a personal injury accident in California?

    Yes. You can and should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit in California. Sometimes, that's the best way to obtain the financial compensation you rightfully deserve for your accident, especially if the person responsible for your accident refuses to cooperate or acknowledge that he or she did anything wrong.

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    How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in California?

    To file a lawsuit, you must be within your state’s statute of limitations, or legal deadline. In general, you have two years from the date of your accident in California. If you did not realize you had an injury right away, the deadline is one year from the date of when your injury was first discovered. That might seem like a long time. But the reality is building a successful personal injury case often takes much longer than many people might realize. And the longer you wait to file a personal injury lawsuit in California, the harder it often becomes to find the facts you need to build a strong case.

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    Should I talk to an insurance investigator if they contact me after my personal injury accident?

    No. Anything you say to an insurance investigator could be used by them or other insurance companies to reduce or deny your claim. Simply tell them you have hired a lawyer and direct them to ask your attorney any questions they might have.

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    Should I accept a settlement offer from an insurance company for my personal injury accident?

    Always be suspicious of settlement offers from insurance companies. What might seem like a generous offer at first might turn out to barely cover your medical bills and all other accident-related expenses. That's why it's critical that you talk to a lawyer before you agree to accept any accident settlement.

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    Can I ask an insurance company for more money for my personal injury accident?

    Yes. You can and should ask for additional money for your personal injury claim. Accidents can be extremely expensive. And if your settlement offer does not include all your accident-related expenses, you will be the one that ends up paying the bill.

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    Can I ask for additional money in the future for my personal injury accident?

    In most cases, once you agree to accept a settlement offer for your personal injury accident, you cannot ask for any additional money for that incident for the rest of your life. Insurance companies know this. They also know that many injury accidents have costs that will not come up for many years to come, including additional surgical procedures, ongoing physical therapy or lost future income. Your settlement offer should reflect all these future expenses. And our attorneys can help make sure your offer includes all of these anticipated costs.

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    What expenses can I be reimbursed for after my personal injury accident?

    A personal injury settlement or verdict can and should cover all your accident-related expenses. These expenses can include:

    • Emergency medical care
    • Lost income
    • Vehicle repairs or replacement costs
    • Physical therapy
    • In-house nursing care
    • Transportation to and from doctors' appointments
    • Future lost income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Funeral expenses

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    Why should I hire a lawyer to help me with my personal injury accident?

    California's legal system can be complicated. Trying to navigate your way through this system on your own after a car accident or other personal injury accident can be nearly impossible. That's particularly true since insurance companies often employ entire teams of attorneys to defend their rights - and keep their payments to you and other injury victims to a minimum.

    An experienced personal injury attorney can level the playing field. They can challenge statements made by insurance companies. They can demand to see evidence from insurance companies to explain why they want to reduce or deny your claim altogether. And if insurance companies or anyone else refuses to cooperate, an experienced lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit against them.

    Our Walnut Creek personal injury lawyers at Clancy & Diaz, LLP know how the system works throughout California's Bay Area. That's why we have such a strong track record of success. That's why we're eager to meet with you. We strongly believe injury victims should not have to pay for someone else's mistakes. We're here for you when you need us most.

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    Clancy & Diaz, LLP
    2855 Mitchell Drive Suite 203
    Walnut Creek, CA 94598
    p: 925.835.7500 f: 510.768.7203
    2006 A St
    Suite #223
    Antioch, CA 94509
    p: 925.667.3659
    420 Railroad Ave
    Pittsburg, CA 94565
    p: 925.568.8707
    1060 Grant St #3B
    Benicia, CA 94510
    p: 707.418.3809