Frequently Asked Questions

Law Offices of David A Kaufman, APC |3162 Via Alicante St ESan DiegoCA92037 | (619) 865-8648

Personal Injury FAQs

I have been injured, and it was someone else’s fault. What do I do?

 

If you have been hurt because of third-party negligence (dangerous condition of a property, professional negligence, product defect, etc.), the first thing to do is get medical care.

It is imperative to get into the emergency room or an urgent care center to obtain a proper diagnostic workup so that you can be made aware of the extent of injuries and then start treatment to manage the recovery process effectively. It is also important to determine your medical treatment program or therapy in order to optimize recovery.

How do I pay for treatment?

 

If the client has no medical insurance, an attorney will assist the client needing treatment on a lien basis. If the client has medical insurance, the commercial or government health plan will typically seek recovery of the amount paid for the treatment of injuries that resulted from third-party liability. The law firm will assist the client in negotiating down the lien amount sought against any third-party recoveries.

What information does my attorney need to get started?

 

Typically, in case of an injury caused by third-party negligence, it is imperative to obtain photos of the incident or location where the claimant was injured. Obtaining all evidence of third-party negligence, injuries, and causation is extremely important. This is essential to prove a claim for damages and assist in obtaining full and fair compensation.

It is also helpful for the attorney to have any photos of any property damage and injuries and a statement from the client describing how the incident causing injuries occurred and actions taken by third parties that may have contributed to or caused the injuries. Witness statements are also critical as part of the initial investigation.

The attorney also needs a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant authorization for the release of medical records and bills so that complete medical and billing records for treatment of the injuries related to third-party liability can be obtained.

What happens when I finish treatment?

 

When you have received treatment, the attorney will make a demand on the insurer of the other party to settle the claim during pre-litigation, if possible. If a reasonable offer is forthcoming, then the claim will be settled at this stage.

What if the insurer tries to lowball the settlement?

 

If a reasonable offer is not forthcoming from the negligent party's insurer, the attorney will file a lawsuit and pursue recovery via litigation. Once the lawsuit is filed, there is a strong possibility that the matter will be settled out before trial and verdict.

According to statistics, 98% of cases filed are settled before they go to trial. With this, it is more likely for a case to settle once a lawsuit is filed.

How long will it take to obtain a recovery?

 

There is no easy answer. It depends on the facts of the case and the opposing party. Typically, if liability is clear and the parties both have a similar appraisal of damages, the case will likely settle soon.

If there are differing opinions or appraisals of liability and damages, the case will require litigation for the parties to come to terms. If the parties are irreparably far apart, then the case will likely have to be tried. However, owing to the time and expense of litigation, it puts pressure on both sides to be reasonable and attempt to negotiate the dispute.

Auto Accident FAQs

I was injured in a car accident. What do I do?

 

If you are hurt in a collision, the first thing to do is to get medical care. It is crucial to know the extent of your injuries. Remember to get a proper diagnostic workup and treatment to manage the recovery process. You also have to determine the medical treatment program or therapy for optimized recovery.

How do I pay for treatment?

 

For clients with no medical insurance, an attorney will assist them on liens. Clients with medical insurance are asked by the commercial or government health plan to pay for the treatment. We will then assist you in negotiating a lower amount of liens against any third-party recoveries.

What information does my attorney need to get started?

 

The attorney would need a collision report in an auto accident case if the CHP or local police were called to the scene. This collision report usually contains the names of the parties, insurance information, witness statements and the investigating officer’s assessment of the collision, and determination of cause and fault.

It is also helpful to have photos of the property damage and injuries and a statement from the client describing how the collision occurred. The attorney also needs a HIPAA compliant authorization to release medical records and bills to obtain the complete medical and billing records related to third-party liability.

What happens when I finish treatment?

 

After the treatment, the attorney will make a demand on the insurer of the other party to settle the claim during pre-litigation. The claim is then settled once a reasonable offer is made.

What if the other driver’s insurance tries to lowball the settlement?

 

For instances when the parties could not get a reasonable offer from the other driver’s insurance, the attorney could file the case and pursue it in litigation. Once the suit is filed, there is a high possibility that the case will be settled before trial and verdict.

According to statistics, 98% of cases filed are settled before they go to trial. It is more likely for a case to settle once a lawsuit is filed.

If we have to file a lawsuit, will I have to go to court?

 

If the claim is unresolved at pre-litigation, you will be deposed by opposing counsel. The deposition does not take place in court but rather in the attorneys’ or court reporters’ offices. However, the chances are that the case will resolve at some point before it goes to trial.

How long will it take to obtain a recovery?

 

It depends on the facts of the case and the opposing party. If liability is clear and both parties have a similar appraisal of damages, the case will likely settle soon.

If there are issues such as differing opinions or appraisals of liability and damages, the case will be moved to litigation in order for the parties to come to terms. In case the parties can’t resolve the case at litigation, the suit will push through trial. In some cases, the time and expense of litigation put pressure on both sides. This pressure urges them to be reasonable and settle the dispute.

Employment Law FAQs

What should I do if I feel that I am being discriminated against or harassed at work?

 

The first step in a situation where you feel that you may be experiencing unlawful harassment or discrimination is to document the occurrence. First, document it with your employer and, if necessary, with an administrative complaint filed to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is also advisable to contact an experienced employment attorney and determine what steps can be taken to address the situation strategically. Sometimes, before permanent adverse employment events such as terminations, it is possible to be proactive and take steps to protect the employee's interests and use the system to the employee's advantage. This is said with the understanding that the typical prerogative of Human Resources is to protect the company and not necessarily to assist the individual employee. In fact, helping the individual employee is rarely an item on the Human Resources Agenda. However, if one knows how employers and Human Resources operate, it is possible to use these systems and processes to the employee's advantage. Therefore, at the early stage of a potential case, it is hugely important to document what is occurring and inform the employer, allowing them to take effective resolution steps. Failure to take action even after a reported instance of harassment or discrimination can result in an imputed liability.

What would happen if I was fired, and I think that it was an unlawful termination?

 

The first step would be to contact an attorney who specializes in employment law. The next step is to assist them in obtaining a complete factual chronology of all the events surrounding the employment and its termination. The names, dates, and details are critically important. These pieces of information will enable the attorney to determine which potential claims are viable. In the event of actionable discrimination or harassment and other claims otherwise falling under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) Gov't Code §12900, et seq., filing a complaint and obtaining a Right to Sue letter are jurisdictional prerequisites to file a civil lawsuit and to seek recovery for any claims involved in this act.

How much will it cost to pursue a claim for recovery?

 

We will represent on a contingent fee basis and cover costs of litigation out of the recovery. This requires us to be intelligent in screening cases and determine those whose liability is strong and those whose claims for damages are fact-supported. The contingent fee structure followed by this law practice entails a graduated fee structure based on the case resolution time: pre-litigation, litigation before trial, jury trial.

What are the chances that the claim or dispute can be resolved at the pre-litigation stage?

 

Pre-litigation dispute resolution is always explored but still depends on the facts and the disposition of the employer. Many employment cases require some litigation before they can be resolved. Often, this entails filing suit and conducting some discovery before the parties assess the value of the underlying claims and, if possible, agree on a settlement that both sides believe is reasonable.

Will I have to go to court?

 

You are not likely to go to court because most cases are resolved before trial. Statistics show that 95–98% of civil cases settle out at this stage. An opposing counsel may depose you, but a deposition is merely a part of the discovery and not a part of going to trial or to court. A deposition typically occurs in a law firm or court reporter's office with an attorney asking the deponent questions under oath and the questions and answers noted by a certified shorthand reporter known colloquially as a court reporter.

How long will it take to get paid from my case?

 

The time depends on the nature of the case, the employer, the opposing counsel, and the current litigation requirements of the law practice. Some cases can be resolved quickly at the pre-litigation stage. Other cases require more time for investigation. Once the litigation begins, the case may take three to nine months, wherein the parties conduct discovery, with typically ongoing settlement talks. When the complaints and summons are filed against the defendants, it usually takes 12 to 18 months to get a trial date. The case is likely to be settled during this pre-trial period.

What is my case’s worth?

 

There is no hard and fast answer to this as the case’s value depends on many things. These include the nature of the underlying claims, facts that support liability, availability of evidence, the employer's misconduct and its perception by a jury, the identity of the employer, the damages on the employee, the employer's attitude toward a settlement, and many more variables. However, we can provide information based on jury verdicts from comparable cases, which can be a way to assess the potential worth of the case.

Insurance Litigation FAQs

I have been injured, and it was someone else’s fault. What do I do?

 

If you have been hurt because of third-party negligence (dangerous condition of a property, professional negligence, product defect, etc.), the first thing to do is get medical care.

It is crucial to get into the emergency room or an urgent care center to obtain a proper diagnostic workup so that you can be made aware of the extent of your injuries and then start treatment in order to manage the recovery process effectively. It is also important to determine a medical treatment program or therapy in order to optimize recovery.

How do I pay for treatment?

 

If the client has no medical insurance, an attorney will assist that client on a lien basis. If the client has medical insurance, the commercial or government health plan will typically seek recovery of the amount paid for the treatment of injuries that resulted from third-party liability. The law firm will assist the client in negotiating down the lien amount sought against any third-party recoveries.

What information does my attorney need to get started?

 

Typically, in case of an injury caused by third-party negligence, it is imperative to obtain photos of the incident or location where the claimant was injured. Obtaining all evidence of third-party negligence, injuries, and causation is extremely important. This is essential to prove up a claim for damages and assist in obtaining full and fair compensation.

It is also helpful for the attorney to have any photos of any property damage and injuries, as well as a statement from the client describing how the incident causing injuries occurred and actions taken by third parties that may have contributed to or caused the injuries. Witness statements are also critical as part of the initial investigation.

The attorney also needs a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant authorization for the release of medical records and bills so that complete medical and billing records for treatment of the injuries related to third-party liability can be obtained.

What happens when I finish treatment?

 

When you have received treatment, the attorney will make a demand on the insurer of the other party to settle the claim during pre-litigation, if possible. If a reasonable offer is forthcoming, then the claim will be settled at this stage.

What if the insurer tries to lowball the settlement?

 

If a reasonable offer is not forthcoming from the negligent party's insurer, the attorney will file a lawsuit and pursue recovery via litigation. Once the lawsuit is filed, there is a strong possibility that the matter will be settled out before trial and verdict.

According to statistics, 98% of cases filed are settled before they go to trial. It is more likely for a case to settle once a lawsuit is filed.

How long will it take to obtain a recovery?

 

There is no easy answer. It depends on the facts of the case and the opposing party. Typically, if liability is clear and the parties both have a similar appraisal of damages, the case will likely settle soon.

If there are issues such as differing opinions or appraisals of liability and damages, the case will require litigation for the parties to come to terms. If the parties are irreparably far apart, then the case will likely have to be tried. However, owing to the time and expense of litigation, it puts pressure on both sides to be reasonable and attempt to negotiate the dispute.

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If you or someone you know requires legal services from a dedicated personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to call us at (619) 865-8648 or fill out the form below. We’ll put our expertise to work in order to resolve your dilemma and attain a favorable outcome.

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