Questions We Frequently Ask You
What is the date of the incident?
The date of the incident influences not only the statute of limitations, but also what type of investigation can be completed, the facts of the incident, as well as the identity of witnesses and/or reporting agencies. If you do not have a copy of the investigative report (traffic collision report, operative report, coroner’s report, fire investigation report, etc.), our office, with your signed authorization, can obtain the report on your behalf.
When someone contacts a lawyer’s office, they are seeking justice. They may not know the legal terminology or what type of remedy is available, but they want justice. You don’t need to know all of the facts, just tell us what happened and why you feel wronged and who you believe is responsible. It is our job to follow up with the right questions so we can get the information necessary to determine whether our office is right for your type of case.
Who are the persons or entities you believe to be responsible?
The person or entity, such as whether they are a public entity or a healthcare provider, can influence the statute of limitations
What are the nature of your harms and losses, and who are your treating physicians?
Our law office, with your signed authorization, can obtain copies of your health and/or employment records, but if you have already gathered some of your records, let us know.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, do you have your own automobile insurance?
Potential clients often are worried when this question is asked because they don’t want to make a claim on their own policy, but there are certain back up protections in your own policy if the at fault party is uninsured. Also California law limits the right to recovery injury for drivers of uninsured vehicles. Some policies have Medical Payment (MP) which acts as sort of a small health insurance policy when you are involved in a vehicle accident. So we usually ask if you know the terms and limits of your policy. California law requires drivers to maintain a minimum policy of $15,000/$30,000, but you need to know if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) and/or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage and the applicable limits. You also need to know whether you have Medical Payment (MP) coverage and if so, the amount and the terms. Most of this information can be found on your declaration page of your policy or by contacting your insurance company. If you do not know the answers to these questions, just provide us with a copy of what you have or the name of your insurance agent and we will gather this information for you.
Do you have health insurance?
If so, you need to know the terms of their rights to reimbursement. Some health insurance companies, especially self-funded plans, require full reimbursement out of any potential recovery. Sometimes this information is difficult to figure out, but if you give us the contact information for your policy we can usually get that information with a written request.
Who is paying your medical bills?
Oftentimes, healthcare providers want to bill your Medpay (MP) insurance rather than your health insurance or they offer to take your case on a lien. If you have health insurance, your provider has usually negotiated lower rates with the provider, so it is usually best to make sure your provider submits the bill to your health insurance and save your Medpay for out-of-pocket losses and only resort to liens if there is no other way to get treatment. Our staff works with clients who have health insurance and also those who are uninsured. We can help ensure your bills are being submitted, paid and/or put on a lien in a way to best protect your financial interests.
Are you missing time from work? How long will your employer hold your job?
A lawsuit takes time to complete. When you take time off from work, make sure you understand the conditions of your employment and whether your absence is jeopardizing your position and benefits. Typically, employers are not required to hold your job for more than four (4) months. Our staff can confirm your employer’s policy to ensure you are fully informed about your options.