Do NOT settle or sign anything until you guys speak with a personal injury attorney.
Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and thus this answer is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice. Since all facts are not addressed in the question, this answer could change depending on other significant and important facts. This answer in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with my colleagues. Do not sign any documents or speak to any insurance representatives. Consult with a personal injury lawyer immediately. Most attorneys offer free consultations. Best of luck!
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Your dad needs to go back for medical care if he is still having problems from injuries in this crash. get an atty. if the cost to repair exceeds fair market value, the car is totaled. then they pay the fmv. if you are dealing with your dad's ins, try to get the other persons ins co to look at vehicle. if they think its totaled, they may offer more. Do some homework and find out what the car was worth. if you have documentation that the car is worth more than ins co says, present that to them. Just because he paid 19k in '10 doesnt mean it is worth more than 10k now. If your dad overpaid, or has put a lot of miles on it, has other damage etc, all affects fmv.
You should not settle a claim if your damagea are still not determined. What if a surgery comes next? You usually have a two years Statute of Limitations on personal injury law suits, but talk to an attorney.
It cannot be said too often... insurance companies exist to make money and they make money by paying out less on claims than they collect in premiums... a very easy to understand business model.
Personal injury lawyers seek cases where their client was rear-ended - as that takes a lot of guess work out of who caused the accident... and also seek cases where someone is physically injured and gets medical treatment as that takes some of the guess work out of whether there were true injuries or not... The smallest policy limit in California is $15,000 which is really not a lot at all if someone is hurt... so, a general rule... a very general rule... accidents with provable bodily injury and ongoing medical treatment are worth at the very very least... 15 grand... the experienced personal injury attorney will know how to find out the policy limits, whether there are other sources of recovery, and how to get the fair amount for his or her client.
Fortunately, most of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take such cases on contingency no matter where the case is in California, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
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Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
I live and work in California and deal with accidents like yours all the time, so I am happy to answer your question. The answer to your question is that the best thing to do is to hire an attorney and have the attorney deal with your your request for payment of pain and suffering and payment of medical bills. Do you feel that your dad is the same medical condition that you were before the accident? As a basic premise I wouldn't handle your claim by yourself. The attorney you hire can likely refer you to a doctor, if you ask for one, who will see you with no upfront payment! I've done this many times to help my clients out. You should not wait a single day to hire a lawyer, we will advise you on the strategy of your case and get you a rental if you need one.
You have some great facts, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. You should hire an attorney so you're not bullied around! There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney. With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled many of these cases in the Ceres area.
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