Common Questions: Car Accidents San Diego Car Accident Lawyer For more information about specific topics, click one of the titles below or keep reading for answers to common questions! 1. WHAT TYPES OF CASES DO YOU HANDLE? WILL YOU HANDLE MY CASE PERSONALLY? I handle all types of cases involving serious injury or death, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, boat accidents and pedestrian accidents. Over the past 24 years, clients with serious orthopedic and neurological injuries have come to rely on me to ensure they get justice under the law. Sometimes justice comes at the negotiating table, and other times it comes in the courtroom. I devote 100% of my practice to litigation. I meet with all my clients personally and will keep you informed about your case from start to finish. My staff is trained to help, but its never a problem if you prefer to speak to me directly. Each client is treated with respect and each client's case is important. I respond personally to all client emails and I answer my cell phone. 2. I WAS VISITING SAN DIEGO AND WAS INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT. DO I NEED A SAN DIEGO CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER? Hiring a San Diego car accident lawyer may substantially increase your overall compensation. In most cases, if a lawsuit is necessary, it must be filed in San Diego County Superior Court. A lawyer in the state where you live is not qualified to litigate your claim in a California court. It is in your best interest to hire a San Diego car accident lawyer who is familiar with the local courts and judges. I have successfully represented clients from 32 states and countries. 3. DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER? The insurance companies will tell you that you don't need a lawyer, but what they won't tell you is that hiring a lawyer means you will receive far higher compensation for your injuries. Insurance industry studies prove that accident victims with a lawyer receive substantially higher settlement offers. That's something the insurance companies don't want you to know. The American Association for Justice recently published a study entitled, "The 10 Worst Insurance Companies in America." Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, and AIG all made the 10 worst list. According to AAJ, these companies have learned they can boost profits by refusing to pay claims. The bottom line for these big insurance companies is profit. They may advertise themselves as "good neighbors" or "you're in good hands" but when it comes to protecting their bottom line, they will intentionally deny your claim, or try to get away with paying as little as possible on your claim. In the case of Allstate, there were corporate training manuals that instructed claims adjusters how to deny claims and cash incentives to the claims adjusters who deny the most claims! People who try to fight the big insurance companies alone often are faced with aggressive claims reps who will attempt to delay or derail your case so you will give up and go away. To make sure that you're not taken advantage of, talk to me and know your rights! I know the rules, I know the claims process, I can tell you what you're entitled to, and I will fight for every penny of compensation you deserve. 4. THE INSURANCE COMPANY ISN'T COOPERATING. WHAT SHOULD I DO? Insurance companies are not in the business to cooperate. No matter how much they tell you that they will work with you to get your claim resolved, it is their job to minimize your compensation. The only way to get the big insurance companies to cooperate and treat you fairly is to force them to do so by hiring a tough San Diego car accident lawyer. 5. THE INSURANCE COMPANY WANTS TO SETTLE. WHAT SHOULD I DO? Do NOT settle before talking to an experienced car accident lawyer. "Low ball" offers are common. An experienced lawyer can help you determine the true value of your case and tell you whether a settlement offer is reasonable. Don't underestimate the true, long-term cost of your injuries, including future medical treatment and lost income. You've got nothing to lose by talking to me. 6. WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH? Each client is unique and each case is unique. That's why I offer a free, no pressure consultation by phone or in person so I can get to know the particular facts of your case. Each case is evaluated on over 20 factors, including physician's diagnosis, MRI/CT or other imaging studies, length and cost of medical treatment, need for future medical treatment or rehabilitation, lost income, physical and emotional pain, impact on lifestyle, and other factors. 7. WHAT ARE YOUR FEES? Like most attorneys, my fee is a percentage of the settlement or judgment. This type of fee is called a contingency fee, because it is contingent upon recovering money for you. If I don't recover money for you, you don't owe me anything. A contingency fee means you will not have out of pocket expenses to pay for legal services when you may be out of work due to your injury. The exact percentage depends on how long it take to resolve your case, whether its resolved by settlement or trial, and other factors. Fees range from 25% to 40%. I am completely transparent about my fees because I deliver results that exceed the cost of my fees. Remember, you do not pay me a fee until I win your case ... and I will win it. 8. WHAT AREAS OF SAN DIEGO DO YOU SERVE? I represent clients throughout San Diego County and the surrounding areas. My office is conveniently located in Mission Valley, within easy walking distance from the Rio Vista trolley station. I offer plenty of free parking and even free valet parking service. If you're not able to make it to the office during regular work hours, I can arrange for after hours or weekend consultations. If you can't make it to the office, I can come to you. 9. THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS GIVING ME LOW BALL OFFERS. WHAT SHOULD I DO? A "low ball" offer is one that is drastically less than your true damages, including reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages, and pain and suffering. The big insurance companies make "low ball" offers hoping that you will accept it before you realize the full extent of your damages. Do NOT accept a "low ball" offer which may cover only a small fraction of your expenses and will preclude your ability to seek further compensation. Do not allow the big insurance companies to sacrifice your health for the sake of their profits! Call a San Diego auto accident attorney to protect yourself from "low ball" offers. The first step in ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve is to call for a free initial consultation. Together, we will discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your case, including the types of compensation available to you. Do NOT trust the big insurance companies to settle your claim fairly. "Low ball" offers are routine, even though "fair claims settlement" regulations prohibit them. You need someone looking out for your rights. I know the tricks and tactics used by the big insurance companies and I can fight for maximum compensation for your injury and losses. 10. HOW CAN I MAKE INSURANCE COMPANIES TREAT ME FAIRLY? Following an accident, victims often are hurt, confused, and angry. It is a time when you may be very vulnerable and easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous insurance companies. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or other accident, the first few days after the accident is a critical time to protect your rights and ensure that you will be fairly compensated for your injury. Remember, the big insurance companies are NOT on your side. The big insurance companies will do whatever it takes to protect their profits, even if it means cheating you out of the compensation you deserve. Do NOT speak to an insurance adjuster before you have consulted a San Diego car accident lawyer whose job it is to protect your rights. I have seen the big insurance companies use many tricks and tactics to avoid paying for a client's injury. Know your rights and be wary of the big insurance companies. These are only some of the tactics I've seen over the past several years. DO NOT TAKE CHANCES WITH YOUR HEALTH. You may be facing months or even years of medical treatment for an injury that was not your fault. Protect yourself from unscrupulous insurance companies. Hire an experienced accident lawyer. 11. WHAT IS THE INSURANCE CLAIMS PROCESS? If you've been injured in an auto, motorcycle, or other accident, you know it can be a chaotic, painful, and upsetting experience. The experience is made worse by the fact that you've now got to deal with insurance companies, police, car repairs, car rental, etc. This is a critical time when you should be focusing on getting medical attention, not filling out claim forms. This is also a critical time for the insurance companies who know that they have a small window of opportunity to try to settle your case for pennies on the dollar before you realize how badly hurt you may be. Do NOT be victimized by big insurance companies who value their profits over your health. Do NOT fall prey to big insurance company lies and slimy tactics. You need a highly skilled San Diego auto accident lawyer who is committed to defending your rights and getting you the maximum compensation for your injuries. 12. WHAT SHOULD I DO IN AN ACCIDENT? If you have been injured in a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or other accident through no fault of your own, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. You deserve to be compensated for the cost of medical treatment for your injuries, lost wages when you're too injured to work, out of pocket expenses such as doctor visits and prescription co-pays, and don't forget pain and suffering. Remember, the big insurance companies are not looking out for your best interest, so protect yourself! 13. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS IF I HAVE BEEN HURT? If you were injured by another driver, know that this was not your fault. You deserve to be compensated and you deserve to be treated fairly during the claim process. DON'T talk to the insurance company and DON'T sign anything before discussing your accident with an experienced lawyer. You may be signing away important legal rights! Making sure my clients receive the compensation they deserve is what I do. Don't go it alone against the big insurance companies. You will not be treated fairly or compensated fairly unless you have an experienced lawyer looking out for you. Most people do not anticipate how much their injury will affect them months, or even years, later. Protect your future by defending your rights today. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, motorcycle or any other type of accident, call a San Diego car accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. to find out about your rights and to get the compensation you deserve!