Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases

Why should I hire Ehline Law Firm PC to represent me?

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We are run by a former U.S. Marine infantryman who has the spirit and discipline to win your case and impress your jury. We are compassionate about you and your family’s mishap. We answer your calls and we are computer savvy about responding to your e-mails, even if we are in court. We have an excellent reputation for getting great results in all types of tort claims. Hiring us will eliminate the difficulties faced in your case.; We have won millions of dollars for injury victims over the years. The choice is clear, a Marine who is a cut above, or a civilian who spent his life in college and law school with no real life experience. Semper Fi do or die, or silver spoon from cradle to grave. Ehline Law Firm PC is the only real choice.

In a California traffic collision, how can I recover under proposition 213 for my personal injury when I failed to maintain a valid “liability insurance” policy?

In California, unless the other driver was drunk, you can usually only recover for your medical bills and future medical care, but not for pain and suffering. If you were a passenger in a vehicle you don’t own, you are not barred from recovering for pain and suffering. If you were a pedestrian, you can always recover. There are a few other exceptions to these rules that should be explored. Call us now and get free advice.

If I retain Ehline Law Firm PC, how will I pay for my legal fees and expenses?

Ehline follows the sacred method of advancing costs on your case if you and Ehline agree on legal retention to represent you. This means if we achieve a settlement or verdict for you, we recover the costs at the end of the case.

What if Ehline Law Firm PC can’t take my case?

Yes, there is always the possibility that we may not handle your unique case. We do handle most personal injury cases, but if we don’t, or can’t handle your case, we can refer to a competent attorney who may be able to help in your unique situation.

Can I learn the law without Los Angeles personal injury attorneys?

Many free legal resources are available on websites discussing relevant California law, and even out of state laws such as Justicia, Lawcore, and Ehline Law.

What is the statute of limitations in California personal injury cases?

In most cases, the statute of limitations for serious injury is two (2) years from the date of the injuries; Often, the statute is one year for defamation of character cases, false light and false imprisonment. The statutes are different for minors. But for most adults, you must settle within the statute, or file a lawsuit in either federal or state court within the statutory time frames, or you will be barred from recovery. Keep in mind that state and local government agencies require you to file a government claim within six (6) months from the date of the accidents. The same statutory rules applies to adults and underaged minors. In uninsured motorist (UM) cases, there is a two (2) year statute for minors as well as adults. The above rules generally apply in all accidents arising in the State of California. Your state may have rules that are similar and you are encouraged to speak to an attorney in your home state if it is not a California accident. Last, there are different time rules for malpractice and fraud in California. We will give you a free legal consultation so you can determine the statute of limitations that applies to your potential California civil case at no charge to you.

What if I sustained catastrophic injuries and there is not enough insurance to pay?

The key is to never stop looking for additional insurance coverages. If you were a pedestrian for example, you may be able to recover from the defendant’s home-owner’s insurance. It could also happen that the tortfeasor was engaged in the course and scope of employment when he injured you. This means he could have a policy of liability insurance covering the accident through his employer. There could be an excess or umbrella insurance policy. There could be more than one potential defendant, such as injury from a defective car, or car brakes, or seatbelt; Once the suit is filed, we can conduct discovery and see if there are other insurance policies to get money from.

Since I am paying a contingency fee shouldn’t I just handle the case on my own and not pay the lawyer?

No way! That is exactly what the insurance company wants you to do! We know how to make the insurance company pay you more than you could ever possibly get without a lawyer. We will maximize the settlement value of your personal injury case. Insurance companies have a reputation for breaking promises and stringing unrepresented parties along until the statute of limitations expires so they can get out of paying anything; or the shifty insurance adjuster will offer you a sham settlement that only a fool would agree to. After all Abraham Lincoln said it best. “The man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Excellent lawyers like Ehline Law Firm PC have excellent reputations; we know what to say to the adjustors to set them up for a bad faith claim and use investigators and retain skilled expert witnesses to set up your case for a top dollar settlement. We also know where to find doctors who work on a lien basis if you are unable to afford a doctor, or don’t have the luxury of health care insurance. Insurance companies only understand exposure to them and their clients if they try and screw you. That takes an attorney who can evaluate the potential jury verdict and then take the case to trial if the insurance company won’t do the right thing by paying you what is fair and reasonable.

So how much money is my case is worth?

It depends. Obviously, if you suffered a laceration, you will get more than if you only got whiplash. The more serious the injury, the more the case is usually worth assuming the liability is clear and your degree of fault is not that great, or even exists at all. Assuming there is enough insurance, or assets, the greater the person’s ability to pay the full value of your serious injury case.

What if I don’t have health insurance; how do I pay for a doctor and hospital bills to treat my wounds?

Many doctors, hospital and other health care providers like board certified specialists in medicine, X-Ray center and MRI centers, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists and even some pharmacists offer the medical services to our clients on a lien basis. This means these caring health care providers agree to await payment until you either settle or win a jury verdict. Sometimes you may elect to use you PPO, or HMO coverages under your private health insurance policies. The problem is that most HMO’s &r PPO’s have contracts that allow them to get reimbursement out of your recovery, and they often refuse to negotiate down their bills, unlike many lien basis providers. Obviously, your choosing a lien doctor could significantly increase how much money you actually put into your own pocket in the end.

How long will it take to either settle or try my case?

There is no litmus test. As a general rule, the more devastating your injuries and the more complex your case is, the more time it will take to get a result for you. A rear end collision causing whiplash will normally take less time than a disc burst fracture. When there are multiple defendants in a serious injury case, these can take as long as two to even four or more years to resolve.

In a traffic collision where no one contests liability, does defendant’s insurance company pay for car repair right away?

With few exceptions, the answer is yes. Normally you will get rental car reimbursement for up to 30 days while your car is in the repair shop. If you elect not to get a rental, you can seek recovery for loss of use. Usually you would get what the fair rental value for a car like yours would be while you don’t have your car.

If I slipped and fell on another person’s property, will they be liable for paying my bills and pain and suffering?

Normally, the only way you can recover is if there is a known dangerous condition to the owner you weren’t aware of, or if there is circumstantial evidence of dangerous conditions by the landowner’s failure to make reasonable inspections for safety. If you want to collect money damages, you must establish the property owner was negligent. This would include a loose floor board, a wet floor that is not mopped up like from a spill for example is a common slip and fall injury; this includes unleveled sidewalks, slippery stairs, loose handrails, etc; You should have made an incident report, told a manager, taken pictures and got witness phone numbers to prove you were there and that you were injured.

What about sports injuries, can I still recover even though I may have assumed the risk?

Generally you can not recover for sporting injuries. In most states including California, this is known an “assumption of the risk” inherent in the sporting activity. This rule is riddled with exceptions, such as when the risk exceeds one that would be inherent in the sport. For example, someone punches you in the face in a game of golf. This would not be a risk inherent in the sport and is in fact an assault and battery.

In a traffic collision, can I say who repairs my car, or is it up to defendant’s insurance company?

Easy. You get to choose who gets to repair your car!

Shouldn’t I give a recorded statement to defendant’s insurance company?

NEVER. Sneaky insurance adjustors are trained to trick you into making an inconsistent statement, or to say your not even really hurt. At the very least, they will attempt to discredit you and make it harder for you to recover. They will use the statement against you later to impeach you if the case gets filed and goes to court.

If I am at fault, how can I get money for my damages and injuries?

Under California’s pure comparative negligence rules, you can almost always recover something based upon your percentage of fault, no matter how great or small. Yes you can recover, but you need to speak to a lawyer

If I retain Ehline Law and not go in pro per on my own behalf, will it take longer to get a settlement?

No way. In fact, it may take longer to settle without competent legal representation. Of course you can always settle for much less than your case is worth. Insurance companies will expect you to be as convincing as a lawyer and will hold you to that same standard in proving your injury claims. Good luck! If you aren’t an attorney you are stuck with a bad legal representative, you. In insurance company hopes you will go it alone. In fact, they are banking on it. Literally.

I chose to represent myself. Now the insurance adjustor says I have to have a defense medical exam by their own doctors before they can offer me money. What do I do now?

Tell them sure, if you can examine the insurance adjustor and his hired gun medical examiner first! The insurance company will send you to their bought and paid for doctors who have zero regard for their Hippocratic oaths.

If I lost time off work, will I be reimbursed for lost wages?

Yes you can. This is true even is you are collecting disability pay, or sick leave. This insurance company is not entitled to a set off.

If injured in a traffic accident, how do I get paid if the liable defendant didn’t have car insurance?

In many cases, you can get money from your own comprehensive insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist, or “UM” coverage. You can get vehicle repairs from your collision coverage, if you have bought that type of coverage. If you purchased medical pay coverage, or have health insurance, you can pay some, if not all of your medical bills that way. Your lost wages may even be covered by California State Disability Insurance in some cases. In fact, every motor vehicle liability insurance policy in the State of California must be sold with uninsured motorist coverage. The only exception to this rule is if you signed a waiver of exclusion. If the insurance company can’t produce the waiver of uninsured motorist coverage, the insurance company may be on the hook for the bills. In all events, UM claims are a pain even for a lawyer. Get a lawyer represent you.

I already had pre-existing injuries prior to my injuries. Can I still recover if the injury was made worse?

Yes you can recover. Under the eggshell skull theory, the tortfeasor takes the plaintiff as he finds him. If you are more likely to be injured as the result of a pre-existing condition, you get paid for the exacerbation. There is no set of available to the insurance company because of that pre-existing injury/condition.

If I hire Ehline Law, who deals with the DMV reports and my insurance company?

If you retain Ehline Law, we will report the accident to DMV and make the claim with your insurance company. We take care of all the red tape, so you can focus on recovering and physical therapy rehabilitation.

Who decides who is at fault for my accident injury case?

Circumstantial evidence like skidmarks is used, and direct evidence from witness statements usually is how we do it. In motor vehicle collisions, assuming you made a police report, that can be helpful in determining fault. Sometimes there may be pictures from security cameras. It really depends on each unique case presented. In all events, you must be vigilant and get license plates, drivers license information and descriptions of parties. Call the police, take pictures with your cell phone camera. Get witness names and their contact info too.