The short answer is “No!” 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 you are consulting with an attorney, who will eventually contact them. Provide their information to any attorney you may retain so that they can monitor the process.
The short answer is still “No.” You have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company but that does not necessarily mean giving them a verbal statement. You can, and should, report the incident to your own insurance company, however you need not provide a verbal statement unless your insurance contract provides that you must.
Our practice is to offer a written statement to our clients’ own insurance carrier and if they insist on a recorded statement or any verbal statement we request that they first provide us the policy that reflects that their insured (our client) has an obligation to provide a verbal or recorded statement.
1) Although not allowed to, sometimes insurance companies share information with one another. How can this happen? You may be cross-insured with the person responsible for your injuries (insured by the same insurance). Or it may be an innocent mistake that someone working at the insurance company that insures you shares information you provided them. You don’t want the other insurance company to take out of context anything you shared with your own insurance carrier.
2) You may have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage from your own insurance that will kick in if the other party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. In that case your own insurance will be responsible to pay for your damages and although not supposed to be, often takes on an adversarial role against you.
Do not sign any papers. Do not sign any statements, forms, reports or any other documents. Insurance companies often try to settle your case prior to your ascertaining the full extent of your injuries and the full value of your case.
Sometimes it takes a while before one’s pain manifests after an accident. Sometimes people get temporary relief from therapy but have flare ups at a later date. At the Khorshidi Law Firm, when our clients are not 100% better we always advise our clients to wait as long as possible before settling their case so that they can appreciate the full extent of their injuries and only settle once they have recovered or understand their prognosis.
Should I wait for the other party’s insurance carrier to pay for my doctors?
Do not wait to seek medical care if you are injured! Not only will you impede your recovery and potentially aggravate your injuries, but the insurance company will use this against you and argue that you are not really injured alleging that otherwise you would have sought immediate medical attention.
If you don’t have medical insurance, our office can refer you to a qualified doctor who will treat you and will not request to be compensated for their services until your case has been resolved. We work with board certified doctors in every specialty.
It is impossible to evaluate the value of a claim until ALL the factors have been compiled and analyzed. Even then, we can’t always be certain, because each insurance company is different. The amount of the other party’s liability coverages play a factor. Other factors include the reputation of your attorney and your treating doctors. Does your attorney know how to try a case? Does your attorney settle cases very early to maximize his own bottom line? Does your attorney only try the big cases that financially make sense for the attorney and perhaps will not want to take your small or medium sized case to trial if necessary?
Whether you have treated consistently with a person who claims to have been injured. Who are your treating doctors? Are they board certified and reputable? Have your injuries resolved with conservative care? Do you need future medical care and how much will it cost according to your doctors or other experts such as life care planners that may need to be hired to testify? Do you have past lost earnings and will you have future lost earnings?
If you are able to work for example but not engage in the type of work you used to be able to perform due to injuries from your accident, a vocational expert would need to interview you to determine what types of work you can do with your education and training, what you can be trained to do, and how much the difference in wages would be compared to the work you were able to perform but for the accident. Has the insurance company recently been burned by not paying a fair settlement and being held accountable by your attorney (they have paid more than they could have had they been fair). Sometimes even the time of the year will effect the value of a claim.
You will NOT have to go to court! However, it is really up to you. All offers of settlement will be referred to you and you alone will decide whether to accept or reject an offer. If you do not wish to go to court, you can always accept the last best offer, if still available. The Khorshidi Law Firm will evaluate each offer extended to you and give you the tools you need to determine whether you wish to settle your case or proceed with litigation.
No one can predict when your claim will be concluded. Generally, most claims settle (if they are to settle at all) between 1 month and 2 years after you complete medical treatment depending on the type of injury, the issues of liability, the position and attitude of the insurance company, etc.
Omid Khorshidi is one of the best personal injury attorneys in California. Based in Beverly Hills, Omid has been practicing for 14 years for now because it won’t be 15 years until next month, November 20th with a 99.99% success rate in many different types of cases, including car accidents, spinal injuries, slip and falls, motorcycle accidents and many more. Get what you deserve, contact us now.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing within our website should be construed as legal advice. Every case is different, therefore results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. This website is for advertising purposes. No attorney-client relationship exists until a contract is signed by a prospective client and the Khorshidi Law Firm, APC.