Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

At the Traffic Accident Law Center, our attorneys are committed to helping you after an accident. We have successfully represented victims of car accidents throughout San Diego County for more than 35 years.

It is difficult to "prepare" for an accident. However, we believe it is important to help you understand what steps to take after a crash and what information to understand if you have been injured in a car accident. Below is a list of frequently asked questions and our responses:

What should I do after a car accident?

First, call 911 if you or anyone needs medical attention. You should also report the accident to the police. Then exchange information with the other driver and any witnesses to the crash. Learn what to do after a car accident by reviewing our Glove Box Download. After reviewing, print this document and keep it in your vehicle.

How do I know if I need a lawyer?

The insurance companies have thousands of employees working against your claim from the moment it's received, including inspectors, appraisers, adjusters, consultants and lawyers. Frequently, they contact victims to get authorizations for them to obtain private documents, such as medical records or employment records that are protected by privacy rights. Almost always these authorizations go too far. They also insist on taking a "recorded statement" about the accident, but then ask many questions about things other than the accident. Potential clients who hire us after this barrage by the insurance companies are often surprised to learn that frequently none of these items were necessary. Since we do not charge an initial consultation fee, why not contact us to protect you from the start?

What is a contingency fee?

A contingency fee means the lawyer's fees are paid out of the client's final recovery based on a percentage agreed to in writing by the attorney and the client at the time the representation starts. The client is obligated to pay attorney fees only if there is a recovery or judgment. In contingency fee cases, we do not charge you any initial consultation fee or any upfront cost to hire us. This is similar to how a real estate agent is paid only after his or her work is completed.

In many cases, there is no out-of-pocket charge to clients to have us start to represent them. While clients are responsible for their case costs, if there is no recovery or judgment, then the client does not pay us a fee for our time and professional services. You will not be billed for the costs you incur to prosecute your claim.

When should I hire a lawyer?

People often call us from the side of the road or from the emergency room after an accident. This is important because we want to start helping you right away.

If you want a lawyer to maximize your recovery, then why engage in handling the process on your own? We can help. We will start working for you on day one to protect your rights and find you the best recovery.

Even if a person is not injured in an accident, he or she may have claims relating to an accident, such as repair costs or rental car charges. Therefore, we recommend everyone involved in an accident consult with an attorney. Initial consultations with our office for casualty claims are free.

If a person is injured, the best time to hire a lawyer is immediately after the incident. Many insurance companies take advantage of claimants who are not represented by lawyers. This is frequently done by taking a recorded statement when it's not necessary for the claim, obtaining authorizations for records that are not properly tailored to the claim and, in egregious situations, obtaining a signed form, often known as a release. This will prevent you from any further recovery despite your injuries and need for care. Lastly, claims against certain defendants must be perfected in as little as six months following the incident. In those cases, waiting to hire a lawyer could really hurt you if your claim is barred.

How much is my case worth?

At the early stages of an injury claim, it is very difficult to accurately evaluate what the claim will be worth at its conclusion. This is because several factors are considered when evaluating cases that, at the early stages, are unknown, such as how long it will take the victim to get better, whether the victim permanently disabled, how much treatment is needed and how much that treatment costs, how will the injuries and treatments affect the victim's life and work, and the available insurance to cover the victim's losses. Our experience enables us to inform clients how insurance companies frequently evaluate injury claims and how jurors view these types of cases.

If someone tells you what your case is worth at your first meeting without having reviewed your medical records and other documentation, he or she is lying. Don't fall for this.

Are consultations really free or is that only if you sign up with the attorney?

Nothing compares to buyers remorse more than after you settle your case. You need to trust that your attorney has your back and that he or she is competent. We provide an initial personal injury case consultation with an attorney at no charge whether you hire us or not.

We frequently meet with people with absolutely no obligation from them to hire us. We allow people to take our retainer agreement and have it reviewed by other lawyers or family members. We do not engage in a hard sell for your business. We do this because we are more concerned about creating a positive experience and good relationship with our clients.

Why should I hire the Traffic Accident Law Center?

We get results. Our years of experience, client dedication and willingness to fully litigate our cases through trial when necessary show why we are award-winning leaders in this area of the law. Please see our client testimonials to hear what our former clients say about our work; then look at our Case Results page to see how we've helped others from all walks of life.

We know how insurance adjusters review claims. We have handled hundreds of claims in Southern California with every major auto insurance carrier. We know who their adjusters and attorneys are, how they will approach litigation and what settlement trends are occurring. The volume of personal injury cases we handle puts us in front of more judges so we know how they will view the case and how they will conduct trials.

Contact Us

If you or someone you care about is considering hiring an attorney for an injury case, then give us a call at 619-882-1111 or 619-431-3248 or 800-941-1111 so that we can answer all of your questions. You may also contact us online.