Answering Your FAQs About Accidents

Many of our clients have questions regarding their legal options after a motor vehicle accident. The Schenck Law Firm in Newport Beach, California, is an experienced personal injury law firm that does its best to guide clients and answer any of their questions.

We represent numerous clients throughout Southern California and have provided a list of frequently asked questions. Learn more about how we can help by reading on:

What should I do if injured in an accident?

Seek a competent, qualified and skilled legal professional for advice as soon as possible to determine if you have a personal injury claim. The Schenck Law Firm will help determine whether you have a valid claim and, if so, go after the negligent and responsible parties to secure fair and just compensation.

Why is it crucial to seek advice promptly?

Whether it’s a car, truck or motorcycle accident, it’s necessary to preserve evidence to support your case. You want to ensure it is not inadvertently destroyed or lost. You also need to comply with statutes of limitations and other legal requirements that may prevent claims if they are made too late.

How do you determine a valid claim?

We will review details of the accident to determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, we will aggressively represent you. Remember, we provide free initial consultations.

What if I am contacted by the other party’s insurance company?

Do not discuss your injury or accident details with the other party’s insurance agent or adjuster. They are not looking out for your best interests and are simply seeking a statement that is unfavorable to you. Do not sign any papers or agree to any settlement, either. It’s crucial to always seek competent legal advice from the beginning, and we can help.

Will there be a legal fee to evaluate my claim?

No. The Schenck Law Firm provides free initial consultations.

How does The Schenck Law Firm receive payment?

All personal injury claims are handled on a contingent-fee basis. This means that the legal fee is a percentage of the amount recovered. There is no fee due unless money is collected for you.

What type of expenses are there?

Expenses in personal injury claims may include costs of medical records, court costs and expert witness fees. Once we review your claim and determined it to be well-founded, we will discuss financial circumstances with you. In most cases, our team advances expenses to be reimbursed at the end of each case.

How much of my time will this take?

Your claim will not require a great deal of time, unless it goes to trial. After the initial interview, we will do most of the work for you. Typically, you would come to the office two or three times to answer written and oral questions about what happened. Aside from these questions, very little of your time will be required to get the case ready for trial. The final trial preparation process will, however, require a greater time commitment.

Will I have to go to court?

The majority of claims are settled before trial as we try to negotiate for the best settlement possible for our clients. However, if a settlement is not possible, we may pursue a jury trial. Then you must attend court, and your attendance at trial is necessary.

Will I hurt the person I’m suing by bringing a personal injury claim?

Almost all personal injury claims are defended by insurance company lawyers and paid by insurance, so the person or corporation you sue will not have to pay any money out-of-pocket. A personal injury claim is a civil case, not a criminal one, and the defendant will not go to jail because of the claim. However, one reason our personal injury system exists is to make people more careful. That can be a positive effect that your case can have on the defendant.

Is it ever too late to bring a claim?

Consult a lawyer as soon as an injury occurs, because there are statutes of limitations that prohibit old claims. Also, it is easier to gather information about a recent injury. However, even if you were injured some time ago — and especially if the injured person is a minor or disabled from bringing an action on their own — you may still be able to bring a claim.

Why should I bring a personal injury claim?

If injured due to someone else’s negligence, you are legally entitled to compensation. Such compensation is available not only for expenses you have already incurred but also for future losses. If you or someone in your family is severely injured, this compensation can protect against changes in family situations, so that the injured person’s future is secure. By bringing a claim, you may be able to prevent a similar injury from happening to someone else.

If my medical bills were paid by insurance, do I still have a claim?

You are entitled to be compensated for medical bills regardless of whether or not they have been paid. However, your health insurance company may claim reimbursement from you if any of your compensation represents bills that the insurer has paid. In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for other aspects of your injury. This includes lost earning capacity, scarring or disfigurement, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

What is the value of my claim?

The value depends on factors such as the severity and permanency of your injury, the amount of your medical expenses, the liability of the defendant, and whether a settlement takes effect or the case goes to trial. Because each case is unique, it is impossible to estimate the value of a claim until the case has been investigated. Sometimes the valuation fluctuates depending on developments during litigation. Be wary of anyone who tries to tell you the value of your claim early on. After we complete a thorough investigation, we will offer an opinion as to the value of your claim. If the insurance company seeks a settlement, we will discuss the proposal with you and provide advice about whether to accept it. Of course, the ultimate decision to accept a settlement or to allow a jury to determine the value of your injuries is always up to you.

How long does a claim take?

The initial evaluation takes a month, except for medical malpractice claims, which may take three to six months. After a lawsuit is filed, the length of time depends on how crowded the court docket is, and whether the insurance company is willing to settle the claim. Most cases take between one year to three years for resolution.

What geographic areas do your lawyers take cases from?

The firm handles cases primarily throughout California. However, Mr. Schenck has also tried several cases in states such as Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington. The firm is capable of litigating matters across the nation by associating in co-counsel or appearing “pro hac vice.”

Guiding Personal Injury Clients, So Call Now

With more than 20 years of experience in personal injury law, The Schenck Law Firm in Newport Beach, California, is ready to advocate for you. We can assist anyone suffering from a personal injury due to a work-related accident, slip-and-fall incident, motor vehicle accident or product liability situation. Mr. Schenck is an experienced litigator, ready to negotiate or go to trial. You pay no attorney fees if we do not win your case. For a free consultation, contact us at 949-652-7531. Se habla español.