You were injured in a personal injury accident, and you are ready to discuss filing an injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your injuries. We encourage you to contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento personal injury attorney if you have not already done so. Below is a checklist that you can use as you prepare for your first meeting with our attorney.
However, we want to be very clear. We care more about you, your recovery, and your story. While it is very helpful to have the information and documentation below, it is not necessary. We want to talk to you about your accident and your current situation. Our focus is on helping you understand your legal rights and your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.
Therefore, if you have the information or documentation below, please bring it with you to the first appointment, but do not let a lack of anything on the checklist keep you from speaking to an attorney.
Checklist for Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney
- Copy of police report and accident report
- Copies of insurance policies related to the accident (i.e. homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, disability insurance, medical pay, etc.)
- The name and contact information of each insurance adjuster or other party who you have talked to about the accident or your injuries
- Copies of any medical records and statements from physicians or medical providers
- Copies of any correspondence from attorneys or insurance providers
- Information obtained from the accident scene, such as photographs and names of eyewitnesses
- Medical bills and other evidence of expenses and costs related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery
- Proof of income and the dates you have missed work because of the accident
- A list of all medical providers who treated you after the accident
It can also be very helpful to make notes about what you remember about the accident. Small details could be very important. Your notes do not need to be full sentences or paragraphs. The information is to help you relate to your personal injury attorney what happened before and after the accident.
You may also want to include a list of questions you want to ask the personal injury attorney. We want to learn about you during the appointment, but we also want you to leave with answers to the questions you have about accident claims.
Get Peace of Mind and Learn About Your Legal Rights by Calling a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
Being injured in an accident can turn your life upside down. If you are unsure about what you need to do to protect your rights, contact our office for a free case review. You do not need to handle an insurance claim alone.
For a free consultation with one of our Sacramento accident lawyers, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000. We are here for you to listen to what happened to you and provide you with the legal advice, guidance, and support you need as you continue to recover from a tragic accident.
The severity of the injuries sustained in an accident typically determines whether a person misses time from work. Some accident victims may miss a few days or no time from work after an accident. However, other accident victims may be out of work for weeks or months after a crash, especially if they require surgery to treat their injuries.
If an accident victim does not cause the collision, he or she is entitled to compensation for their injuries, losses, and damages. Lost wages is common damage included in accident claims. However, accident victims do not receive immediate reimbursement for financial losses, including loss of income.
When Does the Insurance Company Reimburse Me for Lost Wages?
Unfortunately, you will not receive compensation for your lost wages until your claim is settled. An accident claim should not be settled until you complete medical treatment for your injuries. Settling the claim before your doctor releases you could result in a much lower settlement amount.
It is impossible to know the exact total of your out-of-pocket losses until you are released to go back to work or your doctor tells you that you have a permanent disability that prevents you from working. If you are unable to return to work because of an impairment, your damages will be much higher. When you settle your claim without this information, you could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
Therefore, even though you may need the money, it is not in your best interest to settle your accident claim too soon. However, you also need to be aware of the deadline to file lawsuits in California. If you have not settled your claim before the deadline expires and you do not file a lawsuit, you can lose your right to recover compensation for your claim.
Calculating Loss of Income After an Accident
Calculating the loss of income sustained because of an accident and injury can be complex. An accident victim could have several types of lost income to include in the claim. Examples of damages in this category include:
Past Lost Wages
Past lost wages equals the total of all lost income from the date of the accident through the date of settlement. When calculating past lost wages, you can include bonuses, overtime, commissions, and other forms of income that you would have earned had it not been for the accident.
Future Lost Wages
If you are unable to work because of a permanent disability caused by the accident, you can also receive compensation for future lost wages. Future lost wages are more difficult to calculate. In many cases, we consult a financial expert to calculate future lost wages based on several factors such as your age, occupation, anticipated age of retirement, and life expectancy.
Loss of Earning Capacity
A loss of earning capacity may result when you suffer a disability that impairs your ability to earn the same income as you did before the accident. We also may consult a financial expert to calculate the loss of earning capacity.
Contact a Sacramento Accident Attorney for More Information
In some cases, loss of income may equal a substantial portion of an accident claim. You need to ensure that you calculate the value of your lost income correctly to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your accident claim.
When another party’s negligence or recklessness injures you, you may receive compensation. California’s personal injury laws allow accident victims to file a Sacramento injury claim for a variety of losses and damages. Damages that are compensable in a Sacramento injury claim include:
- Cost of medical care
- Loss of income
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional and mental suffering
- Other financial losses and expenses
Calculating the Value of a Sacramento Injury Claim
The value of your Sacramento injury claim depends on several factors. Four of the top factors that impact the value of your personal injury claim are:
Whether you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident.
Under California’s pure comparative fault laws, your compensation decreases by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident. For example, if you are 30 percent at fault for the accident, the maximum compensation for your claim is 70 percent of your damages.
The available insurance coverage.
If the other driver carries minimum insurance coverage, the insurance provider is only obligated to pay compensation up to the policy limits. You can try to collect compensation from the driver. However, if the driver carries minimum insurance coverage, he may not have assets that could be seized to satisfy a judgment.
Therefore, it is wise to carry maximum uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect against drivers who carry the minimum insurance coverage or drive without insurance coverage.
Type and Severity of Injuries
In most cases, the value of a Sacramento injury claim increases when the victim suffers a permanent disability. Ongoing medical costs, future lost wages, and a loss of earning capacity can substantially increase the value of an accident claim. In addition, the value of pain and suffering damages increases for traumatic injuries and permanent impairments.
Accident victims are typically entitled to receive compensation for financial losses related to the accident, their injuries, and their recovery. Other out-of-pocket expenses that are generally compensable in a Sacramento injury claim include travel expenses, help with household chores, personal care, medications, medical equipment, and personal care services. In many cases, the length of your recovery impacts the value of your accident claim. You continue to incur expenses during your recovery.
Do You Need a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney?
If another driver injured you, it is important to understand your legal options for recovering compensation. However, it can be difficult to calculate the value of a Sacramento injury claim if you have never filed an accident claim. Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney who understands the various factors that impact the value of a claim can increase your chance of recovering a fair and just amount for your accident claim.
For a free legal consultation, you can contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website. In most cases, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you do not need to worry about paying our attorney fees unless we recover money for your claim.
When you are injured through no fault of your own, California’s personal injury laws provide a way for you to recover compensation from the at-fault party. Examples of incidents that often give rise to a personal injury claim in California include:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Crashes
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Bus and Truck Accidents
- Slips and Falls
- Accidents Involving Defective Products
- DUI Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Dog Attacks
- Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Abuse
The Sacramento personal injury lawyers of The Tiemann Law Firm handle a variety of cases involving personal injuries. We help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses in the fastest and least costly manner possible.
Should I Accept A Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
If the insurance company for the at-fault party offers to settle your claim, you need to consider all your options carefully before accepting a settlement offer. Once you accept an offer to settle your claim, you cannot seek further compensation even if you discover additional injuries or damages after the settlement is finalized.
Some insurance companies recognize that they can save money by offering a quick, low settlement to an accident victim before that victim consults with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento or understands the full extent of the injuries sustained in the accident. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer before you accept a settlement offer to ensure you are receiving all compensation you are entitled to receive by law.
Hiring an Attorney Does Not Mean Going to Court
Many people assume that they only need to hire a California personal injury lawyer if they need to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, hiring an attorney to negotiate a settlement can increase your chance of receiving more money for your claim. When you consider it is free to talk with one of our attorneys, there is no reason why you should not obtain legal advice before settling a claim.
Our attorneys attempt to settle claims without the necessity of a lawsuit for several reasons. Some of the reasons we seek to settle your claim without a trial include:
- Filing a lawsuit increases the attorney fees and costs of a personal injury claim. In most cases, the costs and fees are less when a claim is settled without filing a lawsuit.
- Going to trial is more time-consuming than settling a claim out of court. Settling a claim without a trial usually results in faster
- When you go to trial, a jury decides your fate. You have no guarantee that the jury will rule in your favor. Settling outside of court gives you a say in the result.
- Trials can be incredibly stressful, especially if the victim is required to testify at the trial.
There are many benefits of settling your claim without filing a lawsuit. However, even if you file a lawsuit, you can still settle the claim before a trial is held. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers are skilled and talented negotiators, but they are also seasoned trial litigators. Therefore, whether your claim is settled outside of court or you must file a lawsuit, our office is prepared and equipped to handle your claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento
If another person or party has injured you, do not let your right to recover compensation be taken away from you. For a free consultation with an experienced California personal injury lawyer, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website.
Who has access to the money you receive from a personal injury settlement? You received the money for an injury. Therefore, no one should be able to take your money. You would assume this statement is true, but it is not true in all cases. However, there are some instances in which a creditor might be permitted to garnish a personal injury settlement.
You need to take steps to protect your personal injury settlement from creditors. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can help you take steps to protect the money you receive for an accident claim.
Hospitals, Medical Providers, and Health Insurance Companies
If you owe money to doctors or the hospital for treatment for injuries sustained in the accident, those bills must be paid from the proceeds of your settlement. Under some circumstances, a medical provider may agree to accept a lower amount to settle the medical lien.
In addition, if your health insurance provider, including Medicaid or Medicare, paid medical bills related to the accident, the provider is entitled to reimbursement of those funds from your settlement. As with the medical providers, there are some instances in which an insurance provider may agree to accept a lesser amount to satisfy is subrogation rights. Therefore, these “creditors” may receive some of your settlement funds.
Other Creditors and Personal Injury Settlements
If a creditor files a lawsuit and obtains a judgment, the court may issue an order to garnish assets. Under California laws, money received from a personal injury settlement is exempt from garnishment by general creditors. However, if you do not keep those funds separate from all other money, the creditor could gain access to the funds.
For instance, if you deposit the personal injury settlement check into your bank account, the funds become commingled with other funds. You continue to deposit funds into the account and use the account to pay bills. If the creditor discovers the account, the court could issue an order granting the creditor permission to garnish the account.
Therefore, before cashing a check for a personal injury settlement, talk to your Sacramento personal injury attorney about ways that you can protect that money from creditors.
Protect Your Injury Settlement Proceeds From Garnishment
One way you can protect your personal injury settlement is to open a new bank account for your settlement money. However, you need to keep the settlement funds separate from any other funds you may have now or may receive in the future. Do not deposit any other funds in that account from any other sources.
If you have an existing judgment against you, you should tell your attorney immediately. Your attorney can help you take additional steps to protect your settlement funds from a creditor. Even though personal injury settlements are normally not subject to garnishment, that could change if you are not careful. If you even think garnishment or collection actions could be an issue, tell your attorney.
Call a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney for More Information