Frequently Asked Questions
Answering All Your Personal Injury Queries
Injured? Thinking of filing a personal injury claim? Do you even know what a personal injury claim is? Thousands of Americans suffer accidental injuries every day and preventable deaths claim over 450 lives per day in the U.S. If your injury was caused by someone’s else’s negligence or carelessness, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them in order to receive monetary compensation to cover your losses. Yet, filing a claim isn’t as simple or straightforward as it should be. And you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person or entity was despicable for your injuries using evidence and legal procedures that don’t come naturally to…well, anyone!
The Law Offices of C. Bradley Hallen can help. I’ve assisted Californians from all walks of life in myriad personal injury cases from traffic accidents to slip and falls for almost 40 years. Below I have collected some of the queries I hear most often. Feel free to read to through to get a better idea of where you stand. You’re also more than welcome to reach out to me directly at any time.
Personal Injury FAQs
Pursue this page to learn the basics of personal injury. If you still have questions or would like to discuss your specific situation, I’m available 24/7.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim allows an injured claimant (the plaintiff) to request compensation from the party responsible for their injuries (the defendant). This allows the plaintiff to cover losses that they suffered because of the accident at no fault of their own, such as the cost of paying for medical bills and vehicle repairs. If the defendant doesn’t comply, then the personal injury claim can become a lawsuit and you and/or your attorney can present evidence that supports your claim that your injuries were not caused by your own negligence or wrongdoing. The ideal result is the defendant paying the plaintiff a fair settlement to cover their losses.
How long do I have to file a personal injury case in California?
The statute of limitations, or time limit, to file a personal injury claim in California is two years from either the date of the injury or the discovery of the injury. However, the sooner the better because cases are easier to investigate when the evidence is still fresh.
The main thing to do after an accident is to seek medical attention. Everything else should be considered secondary.
If you are relatively unhurt after your accident, do the following as soon as possible:
- Take photos of your injuries, any property damage, and the accident scene.
- Write down what you can remember about how the accident occurred while it’s still fresh in your head.
- Make a list of people who were directly involved in the accident. Also, write down witness names and their contact information.
- File a police report or accident report (depending on the circumstances).
- Contact a lawyer and discuss your case during a free consultation.
- Visit a doctor if you haven’t already.
- Once you have visited a doctor, follow their care plan and attend all follow-up appointments to a T.
Do I have a case if I do not feel hurt?
Just because you don’t feel hurt doesn’t mean you aren’t. Internal injuries can be difficult to detect at first. And if you’ve been in a car crash or another traumatic event, the adrenaline and other chemicals in your system could be dulling down the pain of your injuries. For these reasons, always head to a clinic or hospital after an accident just be sure you understand the scope of your injuries.
Personal injury claims generally do rely on bodily injuries to have a valid claim. However, you may be able to file a claim for things like property damage or emotional pain and suffering.
What damages are available in a personal injury case?
Damages vary depending on your specific economic and non-economic losses related to your accident. However, damages typically include compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage repair costs, and “pain and suffering” which covers mental and emotional anguish.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
The full worth of each claim will vary based on its unique factors, so there is no way to tell exactly how much your claim is worth without reviewing the details of your specific situation. However, after reviewing your case with an attorney (or calculating the damages yourself) you should have a good idea.
What do I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?
Don’t speak to them! If the defendant’s insurance adjuster calls you, they will use anything you say to discredit your claim, so it’s best not to speak with them at all. Unfortunately, many insurance adjusters will feign concern or compassion to lure you into a false sense of security. I highly recommend consulting with an attorney before speaking to anyone representing an insurance company—even your own.
What if I was partly at fault for the accident?
California law operates based on the concept of “comparative negligence,” meaning anyone injured in a sudden accident can recover damages—even if they are partially to blame. However, your compensation will be reduced based on the percentage the court deems you were at fault. For example, if you are believed to be 20% at fault for the accident, you will only receive 80% of the available compensation.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Unfortunately, just like no one can predict the value of your claim beforehand, the same goes with the duration. Personal injury claims tend to take a few to several months to process completely, but this can vary wildly depending on how complicated your case becomes. If the insurance company refuses to pay a settlement for your car accident injuries, for instance, we may have to do many rounds of negotiations before taking them to court, which could take years. Alternatively, simple cases may take only a few weeks or months.
Will my personal injury case go to trial?
Probably not. Only about 10% or so of personal injury claims make it all the way to court. I am, however, prepared to go to trial on your behalf if necessary and have represented accident victims in court over 200 times.
Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury case?
The choice is entirely up to you. Working with an attorney makes the claims process much easier since you don’t have to concern yourself with any legal paperwork or procedures. An experienced lawyer already knows how to conduct an accident investigation, collect evidence, interview witnesses and experts, and build your claim. This way, you can focus more on your recovery and other things during the claims process. However, if you feel confident handling the legal side of your claim on your own, you do not require hiring an attorney to represent you.
Want to Know More? Call Law Offices of C. Bradley Hallen Now!
There is no risk in giving my firm a call and inquiring about your claim. I operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that I only require payment if you win your case. If you lose, you don’t owe me a thing. If you win, I take a previously agreed-upon percentage of your settlement and you get to use the rest to cover your accident-related expenses. I will do my best to ensure your legal representation falls within your budget and needs.