Instructions to Clients
KEEP US INFORMED
Your cooperation is important in making certain that your case proceeds smoothly. Keep us informed. If you have learned any new information regarding the facts of the accident, the names of witnesses, insurance information, or additional information you feel would be helpful, call us and let us know. We will act on the information as soon as possible.
Insurance companies do not pay money willingly. The insurance company defending your claim can be expected to thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident, your medical treatment, and any past injuries and past claims. They will obtain copies of all past medical records, and they will easily obtain records of any and all prior claims against any other insurance company. Therefore, it is extremely important that you advise us now of any such injuries and claims (instead of learning about it later from the insurance company).
YOUR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE
As soon as possible please provide our office with a copy of your automobile insurance declaration sheet showing what coverage you have. This is very important. If you have any questions about this please call our office immediately.
DO NOT TALK
Do not discuss your case with anyone. The reason for this is that what may appear to be an innocent remark on your part may be distorted or changed by others, especially the other party’s insurance company. If anyone calls you regarding the accident, obtain their name and phone number and advise them that your attorney will contact them. As soon as possible, call us and advise us who called. We will call them back immediately.
DO NOT SIGN
Do not sign any papers. Do not sign any statements, forms, reports or any other documents unless we tell you to do so. If you are ever in doubt, call us first.
Photographs are important. Pictures are worth a thousand words. We need photos of the damage to the car you were in and of any visible injuries you received, such as cuts, bruises or lacerations. If you cannot take the photos, call our office and we will arrange to have the photographs taken. Do not hesitate to call us to do this.
Advise us if you change doctors or see another medical provider in addition to your treating physician or if you are unable to keep your doctor appointments. We need all medical information and billing in order to obtain full compensation for your injuries.
Keep receipts of all monies you spend for prescription medication, orthopedic collars, casts or braces and mail us copies of the same in order that our file will be complete.
If you have group medical insurance through your work or your spouse’s employment, be sure to obtain the information regarding the group insurance and give it to your doctor so he may process it for you.
We want to get your car repaired as soon as possible. Let us know which auto repair shop you want the car repaired at so that we may arrange for the insurance company adjustor to inspect it and approve the work needed. If the car is a total loss, we will need the pink slip and clippings from the classified ads of the Los Angeles Times, the Recycler, or any other publication to establish the market value of the car. Of course, you should get ads which are for vehicles that are similar to yours in make, year, model, mileage, and equipment. Please remember that if your car is totaled, you must continue to make your finance payments until insurance pays off the loan balance. If your car is not driveable due to the damages sustained, please provide us with your collision insurance information in order that your car can be repaired as soon as possible. We will collect the deductible from the responsible party as soon as possible.
California Law requires that you do everything possible in order to keep your expenses reasonable. This means that when you rent a vehicle, you should rent one for a reasonable price. Insurance companies will generally reimburse rental expenses of $15.00 to $20.00 per day. They will not pay for the insurance sold by the rental company.
TIME OFF WORK
If you miss time from work due to the accident you are entitled to be compensated for this loss. In order for us to obtain maximum compensation for you we will need a letter from your employer verifying the time you lost and the amount you earn. If you used up sick time, vacation time or holiday time from your job due to the accident but received your regular pay in full or in part there is still a loss to you and you are entitled to be compensated for it. If this is your situation, advise us and we will do whatever is necessary to process this aspect of your case. Copies of check stubs and tax returns are helpful in establishing your loss of earnings. If you are self employed we will need other documents to verify the loss. When you return to work call us to discuss your loss of earnings.
If you are claiming lost earnings or lost time away from your occupation due to your injury, you must advise us of the date of your return to work, and who we should contact for a written verification to be used as proof of your loss (regardless of whether or not you were reimbursed by salary, sick time, vacation time, etc.).
KEEP A DIARY
Since a component part of your claim for damages is the disruption of your daily life, a record of these disruptions will help you remember specifics. These disruptions may include activity restrictions (from jogging to house chores), inconvenience, as well as great pain causing you to be bedridden. Writing short notes in a calendar on the days the disruptions occur will be helpful to refresh your recollection.
These notes will be extremely useful later in presenting your claim, and should be saved and forwarded to this office.
Once we have received all the papers necessary to process your case we will forward them to the insurance company and begin negotiations on your case. Please be patient, successful negotiations with insurance companies is an art and the process can take time. We will keep you advised of all offers on your case and it will be your decision whether to accept or reject any settlement offer. Of course, we will advise you of our opinion regarding the amount being offered. In every instance we will continue to fight for your rights and deserved compensation.