How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer

How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLP

Dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury in San Diego can leave victims and families feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about where to turn for help. But having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side can make all the difference in seeking fair compensation and justice.

This article provides detailed information on how to find the best San Diego personal injury lawyer to handle your case. It outlines the key areas of personal injury law, the qualities to look for in a reputable lawyer, advice on conducting your search, and factors to consider when evaluating potential attorneys.

Getting to Know Personal Injury Law in San Diego - How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPGetting to Know Personal Injury Law in San Diego

When navigating the complexities of personal injury cases in San Diego, it’s imperative to have a knowledgeable San Diego personal injury lawyer by your side. 

The local legal landscape encompasses a wide range of statutes and regulations specific to California, making the expertise of a seasoned San Diego personal injury law firm invaluable. 

Personal injury law in San Diego is designed to protect people who have been injured, physically or psychologically, as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, government agency, company, or other entity.

Practice Areas

A proficient San Diego personal injury attorney specializes in various practice areas to cater to the diverse needs of clients. 

Here’s a closer look at these areas:

Bicycle Accident

San Diego’s bustling streets and scenic bike paths, while offering an eco-friendly commuting option, also present hazards leading to bicycle accidents. A skilled San Diego personal injury attorney can navigate the complexities of these cases, ensuring victims receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Car Accident

Car accidents are among the most common types of personal injury cases in San Diego. From fender benders to severe collisions, a reputable San Diego personal injury law firm has the expertise to handle the intricacies of these cases, advocating for the rights of those affected.

Catastrophic Injury

Injuries classified as catastrophic have life-altering consequences for the victim. These require a San Diego personal injury lawyer who understands the legal nuances and the long-term care and compensation needed for such profound impacts.

Motorcycle Accident

The freedom of riding a motorcycle in San Diego comes with risks, particularly given the city’s heavy traffic. Motorcycle accident cases demand an attorney with specific knowledge of both local traffic laws and the unique challenges faced by motorcyclists.

Pedestrian Injury

Pedestrians injured in San Diego due to negligent drivers or poorly maintained public spaces need a personal injury attorney adept at proving liability and securing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Premises Liability

This area covers injuries occurring on someone else’s property, from slip and fall accidents to inadequate security measures. A San Diego personal injury attorney with experience in premises liability can help victims hold property owners accountable.

Truck Accident

The complexities of truck accident cases involving commercial vehicles and possibly multiple liable parties require the specialized knowledge of a San Diego personal injury law firm experienced in navigating federal and state transportation laws.

Wrongful Death

In the tragic event of a wrongful death, families in San Diego seek justice and compensation for their immense loss. An empathetic and diligent San Diego personal injury lawyer can guide them through this challenging process with sensitivity and legal acumen.

Wildfire Lawsuits

Wildfires, increasingly prevalent in California, lead to devastating personal and property losses. Victims can rely on a personal injury attorney in San Diego who understands these complex cases’ environmental, regulatory, and legal dimensions.

Qualities of a Top San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPQualities of a Top San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer

Selecting a top San Diego personal injury lawyer is imperative for the success of your case. The right attorney brings legal expertise and a compassionate understanding of your situation. Here are key qualities to look for:

Expertise in Personal Injury Law

A top lawyer in this field has a deep understanding of personal injury law, especially as it applies within California. This includes familiarity with local statutes, case law, and procedural rules that could affect your case.

Successful Track Record

The best San Diego personal injury attorneys have a history of securing favorable verdicts and settlements for their clients. Look for an attorney who can demonstrate their ability to successfully navigate cases similar to yours.

Client Testimonials and Reviews

Positive feedback from past clients can provide insight into an attorney’s ability to handle your case with the care and dedication it deserves. Look for reviews that highlight the lawyer’s professionalism, empathy, and communication skills.

Strong Communication Skills

Your attorney should be an excellent communicator, not just in court but with you as well. They should be able to explain complex legal concepts in understandable terms and keep you informed throughout the legal process.

Ethical and Professional Standing

A reputable San Diego personal injury attorney is recognized for their integrity and professional conduct. Check their standing with the local bar association to ensure there are no red flags.

How to Search for the Best San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm - How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPHow to Search for the Best San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm

Finding the best law firm for your personal injury case involves several steps, each aimed at ensuring you partner with a firm capable of meeting your needs and securing the best possible outcome for your case.

Start with Referrals

Personal recommendations can be invaluable. If you know someone who has successfully worked with a San Diego personal injury law firm, start there. Personal experiences can give you insight into what it’s like to work with a particular attorney or firm.

Use Online Directories and Legal Associations

Online legal directories and the websites of legal associations, such as the San Diego County Bar Association, can be excellent resources. They often provide lists of attorneys categorized by their areas of practice, along with their credentials and contact information.

Research Law Firm Credentials

Once you have a list of potential firms, research their credentials. Look for information about their attorneys’ education, areas of specialization, and any awards or recognitions they have received. A firm’s website is usually a good source of this information.

Read Reviews and Testimonials

Online reviews and testimonials can offer additional insights into a law firm’s track record and how it treats its clients. While a single negative review shouldn’t necessarily disqualify a firm, consistently poor feedback is a red flag.

Schedule Consultations

Most reputable San Diego personal injury law firms offer free initial consultations. This is your opportunity to discuss your case and get a feel for the attorney’s expertise and demeanor. Prepare a list of questions to assess whether the firm is a good fit for your needs.

Evaluate Communication and Compatibility

During your consultation, pay attention to how the attorney communicates. Are they attentive and responsive to your questions? Do you feel comfortable discussing the personal details of your case with them? Your attorney should be someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

By following these steps and keeping your specific needs in mind, you can find a San Diego personal injury law firm that is well-equipped to represent you effectively and compassionately.

Evaluating Potential San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys - How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPEvaluating Potential San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys

Choosing the right San Diego personal injury attorney is a pivotal step in your journey to justice and compensation. Here’s how to critically evaluate potential attorneys to ensure you’re making an informed decision:

Initial Consultation

Your first meeting with a San Diego personal injury lawyer is more than just an opportunity to present your case; it’s a chance to assess the lawyer’s competence and fit. Come prepared with all relevant documents and a list of questions that cover your case’s scope, the lawyer’s approach, and the expected timeline.

Assess Expertise and Specialization

Ensure the attorney has a focused practice on personal injury law, with specific experience in cases like yours. Specialization in personal injury law ensures they are up-to-date with relevant laws and can navigate complex legal issues effectively.

Inquire About Strategy and Approach

Each San Diego personal injury law firm may have a different approach to handling cases. Discuss potential strategies for your case, including negotiation with insurance companies and readiness to go to trial if necessary. Understanding their approach can give you insight into how they will manage your case.

Understand Fee Structures

Most San Diego personal injury attorneys will work with you on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. Clarify the fee structure, including any costs you might be responsible for upfront or if the case is unsuccessful.

Communication and Availability

Evaluate the attorney’s availability and willingness to keep you informed. A good attorney should provide regular updates and be accessible to address your concerns.

The Role of Experience and Success Rates - How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPThe Role of Experience and Success Rates

The experience and success rates of a San Diego personal injury attorney are critical factors in their ability to secure favorable outcomes for their clients.

Importance of Local Experience

An attorney with extensive experience in the San Diego area will be familiar with local courts, judges, and legal procedures, which can significantly impact the strategy and success of your case. Local experience also means a network of professional contacts and resources that can be advantageous in building your case.

Analyzing Success Rates

An attorney’s track record is a strong indicator of their capability and effectiveness in personal injury law. While past successes don’t guarantee future results, a history of favorable settlements and verdicts suggests that attorney knows how to effectively advocate for their clients.

Specialized Experience Matters

Consider the attorney’s experience with your specific type of injury or accident. Specialized experience means the attorney is well-versed in the nuances of your case type, from technical medical issues to specific legal precedents that may apply.

Reputation in the Legal Community

An attorney’s reputation among peers and within the legal community can also be a valuable indicator of their expertise and effectiveness. Recognition, awards, and leadership positions in professional organizations reflect an attorney’s commitment to excellence in the field of personal injury law.

When evaluating potential San Diego personal injury lawyers, consider their experience, success rates, and how they plan to approach your case. Choosing an attorney with a proven track record and a strategy aligned with your goals is essential for achieving the best possible outcome.

Conclusion - How To Find The Best San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPConclusion

Finding the right San Diego personal injury lawyer can make all the difference. The importance of this choice cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the trajectory of your case and, ultimately, your recovery and future.

The best attorney for you is one who not only understands the intricacies of personal injury law in San Diego but also respects your individual journey and is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

Partner with Gingery Hammer & Schneiderman LLP

If you’re seeking a trusted and experienced legal partner in San Diego, consider Gingery Hammer & Schneiderman LLP. With a proven track record of success and a deep commitment to their clients, they stand out as a leading San Diego personal injury law firm. Their team of dedicated attorneys is well-versed in handling a wide range of personal injury cases with the expertise, empathy, and personalized attention you deserve.

Reach out to Gingery Hammer & Schneiderman LLP for a consultation now!

Frequently Asked Questions for San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers

San Diego personal injury lawyers specialize in a wide range of cases, including car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian injuries, truck accidents, catastrophic injuries, premises liability cases, wrongful death claims, and wildfire lawsuits. They are adept at handling cases involving physical or psychological injury due to another party's negligence or wrongdoing.

If you've suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence or intentional act in San Diego, consulting a personal injury attorney can be extremely helpful. Whether it's a slip and fall, a traffic accident, or any other incident causing significant harm, a personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case, advise on your legal rights, and guide you through the compensation claim process.

For your initial consultation, it's beneficial to bring any documents related to your case, such as medical records and bills, police reports, photographs of the scene and injuries, correspondence with insurance companies, and any witness contact information. This information will help the attorney assess your case more accurately.

Most personal injury attorneys in San Diego operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only receive payment if they win your case. The fee is usually a percentage of the settlement or award. Ensure you understand the fee structure and any other potential costs during your initial consultation.

In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. However, there are exceptions, such as claims against government entities, which have shorter timelines. It's imperative to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing critical deadlines.

Yes, California follows a "comparative fault" rule, meaning you can still recover damages even if you're partly at fault for the accident. However, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you navigate these complexities and maximize your compensation.

Compensation in personal injury cases may include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and punitive damages in cases of egregious negligence. The specific amount depends on the case's circumstances, and an experienced personal injury attorney can provide a more personalized estimate based on your situation.

The timeline for resolving a personal injury case in San Diego can vary widely depending on the case's complexity, the extent of your injuries, and the willingness of the other party to settle. Some cases resolve in a few months, while others may take several years, especially if they go to trial. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to give you a more accurate timeline after reviewing the specifics of your case.

What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego

What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLP

Getting into a car accident in San Diego can be a frightening and stressful experience, even for the most seasoned drivers. With adrenaline pumping and emotions running high, it’s easy to make missteps or forget key information that could impact any insurance claims or legal action down the road.

That’s why it’s so important to know exactly what to do after a car accident happens, step-by-step, so you can protect yourself and others involved and exercise your rights. The process is especially crucial in a large metropolitan area like San Diego, where multi-vehicle pileups are not uncommon on crowded freeways.

While no one anticipates getting into a car accident, being prepared with the right response plan makes all the difference in achieving the best possible outcome for your unique situation. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a major collision, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential next steps to take if you find yourself involved in a car accident within San Diego city limits. Follow these tips, and you can improve safety, follow the law, gather the right documentation, streamline insurance claims, and determine if consulting a San Diego car accident lawyer is advisable depending on fault and damages.

Ensure Safety First When Car Accident Happens - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 1: Ensure Safety First When Car Accident Happens

The moments following a car accident are critical. Here’s what you need to do to ensure safety first:

Check for Injuries

  • Self-Assessment: Immediately assess yourself or someone with you for car accident injuries. Be cautious; adrenaline can often mask pain or discomfort.
  • Check Others: If there are passengers in your car, ask them if they are okay. Then, if it’s safe to do so, check on the occupants of the other vehicles involved.
  • Call for Medical Help: If your passenger or someone is injured, dial 911 without delay. Mention the nature of the car accident injuries to ensure appropriate emergency services are dispatched.

Move to a Safe Location

  • Assess Vehicle Placement: If the car accident is minor and cars are operable, California law recommends moving them to the side of the road to avoid blocking traffic.
  • Use Hazard Lights: Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights, especially if the car accident happens in a less visible area or during nighttime.
  • Set Up Road Flares: If you have road flares or warning triangles, and it’s safe to set them up, do so to warn other drivers.

Ensure Personal Safety

  • Stay Away from Traffic: Move to the sidewalk or another safe place away from the road. Keep a safe distance from moving traffic.
  • Be Cautious of Surroundings: Watch out for broken glass or leaked fluids that might be hazardous.

Prevent Further Accidents

  • Signal to Other Drivers: Use your vehicle’s lights or road safety equipment to alert incoming traffic.
  • Guide Traffic if Necessary: If the car accident is blocking traffic and it’s safe, guide vehicles around the accident scene until help arrives.

Key Takeaways

When a car accident happens, your first priority should be safety. Check for injuries and call 911 if necessary, ensuring immediate medical help. Move vehicles to a safe location if possible, use hazard lights and road flares to alert other drivers, and stay away from traffic to avoid further hazards.

Report the Accident - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 2: Report the Accident

Call the Police

Even for minor car accidents, it’s imperative to have an official report for legal and insurance purposes. Call the local police or highway patrol. In San Diego, the non-emergency number is 619‑531‑2000 or 858-484-3154. For emergencies, dial 911.

Information for the Report

When the police arrive, provide them with your full name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, vehicle registration information, and insurance details. Be prepared to explain what happened, but remember to stick to the facts without speculating or admitting fault.

Police Report

Ask the responding officer for a copy of the car accident report or the report number. This document will be important for insurance claims and any legal proceedings. In San Diego, police reports can also be obtained later through the San Diego Police Department’s Records Division.

Witness Statements

If there are witnesses, encourage them to stay until the police arrive so they can give statements about the car accident. Their accounts can be valuable in determining what happened.

Road Conditions and Traffic Signals

Inform the police about any relevant road conditions, such as wet roads, obscured traffic signs, or malfunctioning traffic lights. This information can be crucial in the accident investigation.

Key Takeaways

It’s essential to report the car accident by calling the police. Provide them with accurate information and obtain the police report number, which is crucial for insurance and legal purposes. Also, gather witness statements and inform the police about any significant road conditions.

Exchange Information and Document the Car Accident - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 3: Exchange Information and Document the Car Accident

After ensuring everyone’s safety and reporting the accident, the next crucial step is to exchange and document information. This step is vital for insurance claims and, if necessary, legal proceedings.

Gather Essential Information from the Other Driver(s)

  • Full Name and Contact Information: Make sure to get the full name, address, and contact numbers.
  • Insurance Details: Ask for the name of the insurance company and the policy number.
  • Driver’s License Number: Politely request to see the driver’s license and note down the license number.
  • Vehicle Information: Record the make, model, color, and year of the other vehicle(s) involved.
  • License Plate Number: Write down the license plate number of the other vehicle(s).

Collect Additional Information

  • Witnesses: If there are witnesses, ask for their names and contact information. Witnesses can provide valuable statements that help establish the facts of the accident.
  • Police Officer’s Details: Get the name, badge number, and contact information of the responding officer. Also, ask for the police report number, which you’ll need to obtain a copy of the report later.

Document the Scene

  • Photographs: Take comprehensive photos of the car accident scene from various angles, capturing the positions of cars, skid marks, traffic signs, and any relevant street names or landmarks. Don’t forget to photograph the damage to all vehicles involved.
  • Environmental and Road Conditions: Note any environmental conditions like rain, fog, or glaring sun that might have contributed to the accident. Also, document road conditions, such as potholes or wet surfaces.

Make Notes

  • Your Account of the Accident: As soon as possible, write down your recollection of the accident. Include details like the direction you were traveling, the speed, actions you took to avoid the accident, and any other relevant information. Memories can fade, so doing this promptly ensures accuracy.

Avoid Conflict

  • Stay Calm and Courteous: Emotions can run high after an accident. Stay calm and avoid arguing or discussing faults. Focus on gathering the necessary information.
  • Non-Admission of Guilt: Be careful not to admit guilt or liability. Statements made at the scene can be used later in legal or insurance proceedings.

Key Takeaways

Exchange vital information with the other driver, including contact and insurance details, and document the car accident scene with photos. Collect witness information and note down environmental conditions. Avoid admitting guilt and maintain a calm demeanor throughout the process.

Notify Your Insurance Company - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 4: Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the car accident as soon as possible. Provide them with the information you gathered and the police report number.

Understand Your Coverage

Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy to understand what is covered. In San Diego, policies often include coverage for medical payments, collision, and liability. Check if you have comprehensive coverage, which can be helpful if your car is damaged due to non-collision incidents like theft or natural disasters.

Discuss the Claims Process

Ask your insurance agent about the specific steps for filing a claim. This may include submitting photos of the damage, a copy of the police report, and any medical records if car accident injuries were sustained.

Inquire About a Rental Car

If your car is not drivable, ask your insurance company about rental car coverage under your policy. Many policies in San Diego include rental reimbursement coverage, which will cover the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.

Be Prepared for an Assessment

Your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to assess the damage to your vehicle. They will determine the extent of the damage and estimate repair costs.

Key Takeaways

Inform your insurance company as soon as possible when a car accident happens. Understand your policy coverage and discuss the claim process with your insurer. If your car is not drivable, inquire about rental coverage and prepare for an assessment by an insurance adjuster.

Seek Medical Attention - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 5: Seek Medical Attention

Get Checked by a Doctor

You should see a doctor immediately after a car accident, even if you don’t think you’re injured or you think it’s not fatal. Some car accident injuries, like internal bleeding or concussions, are fatal and may not show symptoms right away. Visiting a doctor also provides a medical record of your condition, which can be important for insurance or legal purposes.

Finding Medical Assistance in San Diego

  • Urgent Care Centers: For non-life-threatening injuries, urgent care centers in San Diego can provide prompt medical attention.
  • Emergency Rooms: For more serious injuries, visit the emergency room at hospitals.
  • Follow-up with Your Primary Care Physician: Even after an initial check-up at an urgent care or ER, schedule a follow-up appointment with your primary care physician. They can monitor your recovery and refer you to specialists if needed, such as chiropractors or physical therapists for whiplash or back injuries.

Document Your Injuries

  • Keep all medical records and receipts related to the treatment of your injuries. This includes hospital visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and any other related expenses.
  • Take photographs of your injuries at different stages of healing.
  • Maintain a journal documenting your pain levels, mobility issues, and how the injuries impact your daily life. This can be vital evidence if you pursue a car accident injury claim.

Consider a Specialist for a Detailed Evaluation

  • In cases of severe injuries, you might need to see specialists. San Diego offers various specialists, such as orthopedists, neurologists, and physical therapists. Getting a thorough evaluation can help in understanding the extent of your injuries and the projected recovery time.

Mental Health Considerations

  • Don’t neglect the potential psychological impact of a car accident. Symptoms like anxiety, sleep disturbances, or PTSD are common after traumatic events. Consulting a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or counselor, is beneficial. San Diego has numerous mental health professionals specializing in trauma and accident recovery.

Taking care of your health is a priority after a car accident. Timely and appropriate medical care not only aids in your physical recovery but also plays a crucial role in any car accident injury insurance claims or legal proceedings that may follow.

Key Takeaways

Seek medical attention immediately, regardless of whether injuries are apparent. Document all medical treatments and keep records of your injuries, including photos and notes on your recovery. Consider consulting specialists for a detailed evaluation, and don’t overlook the importance of mental health care.

Consider Legal Assistance - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 6: Consider Legal Assistance

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

If the car accident resulted in significant injuries or there are disputes about who is at fault, it’s important to consider legal assistance. In San Diego, personal injury lawyers specialize in car accident cases and can help navigate the complexities of insurance claims and potential lawsuits. Look for car accident attorneys who have experience with car accident cases similar to yours.

Research and Choose the Right Car Accident Attorney

Start by researching car accident lawyers in the San Diego area. Consider their experience, client reviews, and success rates. Many law firms offer free initial consultations, so take advantage of this to discuss your case and understand their approach.

Understand Legal Fees

Most car accident attorneys in San Diego work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. Ensure you understand the fee structure and any other costs that might be involved.

Gather Necessary Documentation

Prepare for your car accident lawyer consultation by gathering all relevant documents. This includes the police report, medical records and bills, photographs of the accident, witness statements, and any correspondence with insurance companies.

Discuss Your Case Thoroughly

During your car accident lawyer consultation, provide a detailed account of the accident and its aftermath. Ask your car accident lawyer about the likely outcomes of your case, the legal process, and the timeframe for settling or going to trial.

Make an Informed Decision

After consulting with potential San Diego car accident lawyers, choose the one whom you feel most comfortable with and who you believe will best represent your interests. A good car accident attorney will offer legal representation and guidance and support throughout the process.

Key Takeaways

If the accident resulted in significant injuries or disputes, consult a personal injury lawyer. Research and choose the right car accident attorney in San Diego, understanding their fee structures. Gather all necessary documentation for your consultation and discuss your car accident case thoroughly.

Follow-Up - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPStep 7: Follow-Up

Keep Detailed Records

Maintain a comprehensive file of all documentation related to the accident. This includes:

  • Police report copy
  • Exchange of information form from the other driver
  • Witness statements and contact information
  • Medical records and bills, including any diagnoses, treatment plans, and prescriptions
  • Records of any psychological evaluations if you experienced trauma
  • Documentation of time missed from work or other activities
  • All correspondence with insurance companies, including claim numbers, adjuster’s name, and any settlement offers

Monitor Your Insurance Claim

Actively engage in the insurance claim process:

  • Regularly check the status of your claim with your insurer.
  • Keep a log of all interactions with the insurance company, noting dates, times, and a summary of conversations.
  • Ensure that your insurance company has all the necessary documentation to process your claim.

Repair and Damage Assessment

For vehicle repairs:

  • Obtain multiple estimates for vehicle repairs from reputable auto shops in San Diego.
  • If possible, use a repair shop that your insurance company approves or recommends.
  • Keep copies of all repair estimates and final invoices.
  • Photograph your vehicle’s damage before and after repairs for your records.

Seek Legal Advice If Necessary

If you encounter any issues with your insurance claim or if the other party disputes the accident details:

  • Consider consulting with a San Diego-based attorney specializing in car accidents.
  • Bring all relevant documentation to your consultation for the attorney to review.

Post-Accident Health Follow-Up

Monitor your health closely following the accident:

  • Follow up with your healthcare provider as recommended.
  • Keep records of any ongoing symptoms or new health issues that arise post-accident.
  • Inform your doctor and insurance company of any changes in your health condition.

Final Settlements

Before agreeing to any final settlements:

  • Review the settlement offer thoroughly and ensure it covers all your expenses and damages.
  • Consult with your car accident lawyer or a trusted advisor to ensure the settlement is fair and comprehensive.
  • Understand that accepting a settlement means giving up the right to pursue further claims related to the accident.

By meticulously following these steps, you can expect that all aspects of your car accident aftermath are properly managed, protecting your rights and interests in the process.

Key Takeaways

Keep detailed records of all documents related to the accident, including medical records, insurance correspondences, and repair estimates. Actively monitor your insurance claim and follow up on repairs. Seek legal advice if necessary, especially if encountering issues with claims or disputes, and carefully consider any final settlements before agreeing.

Conclusion - What To Do After a Car Accident in San Diego - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLPConclusion

Getting into a car accident can be an extreme and unsettling experience. Even minor collisions result in having to deal with insurance claims, repairs, injuries, and paperwork. More serious collisions lead to much higher levels of stress and many legal complexities.

By following the step-by-step guide above, you can make sure you know exactly what to do after an accident in San Diego. The most important thing is to ensure everyone’s safety first and get medical assistance for any injuries right away. Then, be sure to collect key information and document the scene thoroughly before reporting the incident to the police and your insurance provider.

As the dust settles, continue to actively monitor your claim, health, and any repairs or legal action needed. Keep detailed records and follow up on every loose end. If larger disputes or injuries are involved, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights.

While no one hopes to ever be involved in a collision, accidents do happen despite our best efforts. Following these tips will help you navigate the aftermath as efficiently and effectively as possible. Staying calm, being prepared with the right information, and knowing each step to take puts you on the best path to resolving the situation. With step-by-step guidance, you can move forward from a car accident feeling empowered and protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

To find the best car accident attorney near you in San Diego, you should start by researching local law firms that specialize in car accident or personal injury cases. Look for car accident attorneys with a strong track record of successfully handling similar cases, and read client reviews and testimonials to gauge their reputation and client satisfaction. It's also beneficial to check their credentials and whether they are members of relevant legal associations. You can use online legal directories, which provide ratings and reviews of car accident attorneys. Also, seeking recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had similar legal needs can be invaluable. Once you have a shortlist, schedule consultations with potential car accident attorneys to discuss your case and evaluate their communication skills, expertise, and comfort level with them.

If you're involved in a car crash accident in California, the first step is to ensure the safety of all parties and call 911 if there are injuries. Exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact details, and insurance information. It's also important to document the scene with photos and gather witness information, if available. Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of liability.

If someone else is driving your car and gets into an accident, in most cases, your car insurance policy will cover the damages, as insurance typically follows the car, not the driver. However, this depends on the specifics of your insurance policy and the circumstances of the accident. The driver's insurance may also be involved if the damages exceed your policy's limits.

The time frame to report a car accident to your insurance company varies by insurer, but it's generally recommended to do so as soon as possible, often within 24 to 72 hours after the accident. Prompt reporting helps with the efficient processing of your claim and ensures that you meet any deadlines set by your insurance policy.

After a minor car accident, ensure everyone's safety and move vehicles out of traffic if possible. Exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact details, and insurance information. Document the scene with photos and note any witnesses. Even for minor accidents, it's advisable to report the incident to the police and your insurance company.

If you're sued for a car accident and lose the case, the plaintiff can potentially claim damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Depending on your assets and insurance coverage, these costs might be covered by your insurance up to your policy's limits. Anything beyond that may require payment from your personal assets.

Car accident settlements can take a long time due to various factors: the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries/damages, the investigation process by insurance companies, and negotiations between involved parties. Delays can also arise if there's a dispute over fault or if additional evidence or medical records are required.

A lawyer typically gets a contingency fee from a car accident settlement, which is usually between 25% to 40% of the settlement amount. This fee structure means the lawyer only gets paid if you win your case or settle, and the percentage can vary based on the case complexity and the attorney's fee agreement.

The amount someone can sue for in a car accident depends on the damages incurred. This can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There's no set limit, as it varies based on the accident's severity, the extent of injuries, and the jurisdiction's laws.

To settle a car accident claim without a lawyer, gather all necessary documentation (e.g., medical records, repair bills, police reports), assess your damages accurately, and communicate directly with the insurance company. Be prepared to negotiate and understand the full extent of your entitlements. However, be cautious as this approach might result in a lower settlement than what a lawyer could negotiate.

A passenger in a car accident can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The amount depends on the accident's severity, the injuries sustained, and the insurance policies involved. Passengers are typically not at fault, so they may have claims against multiple parties.

The increase in car insurance rates after an accident varies based on the insurer, your driving history, and the accident's severity. On average, rates can increase by 20% to 40%, but this can be higher for serious or at-fault accidents. Some insurers offer accident forgiveness policies that prevent your first accident from affecting your rates.

To get a police report for a car accident, contact the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident. This could be city police, county sheriff, or state highway patrol. Provide the date, time, and location of the accident, along with any involved parties' names. There may be a fee for the report.

The duration of a car accident settlement varies widely. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the case's complexity, the severity of injuries, the clarity of fault, and the negotiation process. Settlements involving severe injuries or disputed liability typically take longer.

In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. If you're considering legal action after a car accident, it's important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible within this time frame. Waiting too long can jeopardize your ability to file a claim.

The time it takes to receive settlement money from a car accident varies, often depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, and the willingness of the insurance company to settle. It can take a few months to several years, but most cases are settled within 1-2 years.

If an unlicensed driver has an accident with your car, the insurance implications depend on various factors. If they have your permission to drive, your insurance may cover the damages. However, this could lead to increased premiums or policy cancellation. If they didn’t have permission, your insurer may refuse to cover the damages.

In California, you have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s advisable to seek medical attention immediately after an accident and consult a lawyer soon after, as delays can affect the validity and strength of your claim.

The average settlement for a minor car accident varies widely based on the extent of damage and injuries. Settlements can range from a few thousand dollars for minor damages and injuries to much higher amounts if there are more significant injuries or substantial vehicle damage.

If you're at fault in a car accident in San Diego, your insurance company will likely cover the damages and injuries sustained by the other party, up to your policy's limits. However, this can result in increased insurance premiums, and you may be personally liable for any amounts exceeding your coverage limits.

After a car accident that is your fault, you should report the accident to your insurance company. They will handle claims made by the other party and may cover the damages. You might face higher insurance premiums, and if the damages exceed your insurance coverage, you could be personally liable for the excess amount.

The duration for which insurance will pay for a rental car after an accident depends on your policy and the circumstances of the accident. Typically, insurance covers rental costs until your car is repaired or until they offer a settlement if your car is totaled. It’s important to check the specifics of your policy.

The amount by which an accident devalues a car, known as diminished value, varies. It depends on the car’s make, model, age, severity of the accident, and quality of repairs. On average, a car loses 10-25% of its pre-accident value, but this can be higher for newer or luxury vehicles.

To prove you are not at fault in a car accident, collect evidence like photos of the scene, contact information of witnesses, and police reports. Seek legal advice, especially if the other party disputes your account. Consistent and accurate documentation is key in establishing your version of events.

Some injuries from car accidents can appear immediately, while others may take days or even weeks to manifest. Common delayed injuries include whiplash, concussions, and soft tissue injuries. It’s important to seek medical attention even if you feel fine initially, as some injuries may be hidden.

In California, a car accident typically stays on your driving record for three years. However, the accident may impact your insurance premiums for a longer period, often around five to seven years, depending on the insurance company's policies.

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of the accident. For property damage claims, such as vehicle repair, the limit is three years. It’s crucial to file claims within these time frames to preserve your legal rights.

Obtaining insurance after an accident won't cover that specific incident. Insurance policies only cover accidents that occur after the policy's effective date. Driving without insurance in California is illegal, and doing so can result in fines, license suspension, and other penalties.

Even if the car crash accident was not your fault in California, it's important to exchange information with the other driver and report the accident to your insurance company. Gather evidence, such as photos and witness contact information. Consider filing a police report and keeping detailed records of the accident and any expenses incurred, as these can be vital for insurance claims or legal action.

Immediately when a car accident happens, prioritize safety. Check for injuries and call emergency services if necessary. Move to a safe location if the accident is minor, and it's safe to do so. This ensures the safety of all involved and prevents further accidents or injuries.

Yes, you can sue after a car crash accident in California if you've suffered injuries, property damage, or other losses due to the negligence of another driver. You must file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which is two years for personal injury and three years for property damage. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can provide guidance on the viability of your case and the legal process.

The compensation for a car accident in California depends on the specifics of the case, including the severity of injuries, property damage, and other losses. Factors like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property repair or replacement costs are considered. There's no fixed amount, as each case is unique. The final compensation can vary greatly based on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of damages.

Accident forgiveness is a feature offered by some insurance companies in California, which essentially means the insurer won't increase your premiums after your first at-fault accident. However, this feature is not standard and must be part of your policy terms. It's often offered as an additional option or reward for a good driving record.

Car accident lawyers in California typically charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning they receive a percentage of the settlement or award if the case is successful. This percentage varies but is commonly around 33% to 40% of the settlement amount. Some attorneys may charge different rates or have different fee structures, so it's important to discuss fees upfront.

Driving without insurance and getting into an accident in California can result in severe penalties. These may include a license suspension, fines (ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars), and the requirement to file an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility. Additionally, you could be held personally liable for damages and injuries you caused in the accident.

It is beneficial to consult a lawyer if a car accident happens and that it isn't your fault, especially if there are significant damages, injuries, or disputes about the fault. A car accident attorney can help navigate the claims process, ensure your rights are protected, and assist in seeking fair compensation.

Yes, in California, you have the right to choose where to repair your vehicle after an accident. Insurance companies may suggest preferred shops, but the final decision is yours. Ensure the repair shop is reputable and provides quality service.

Yes, it's legal to settle a car accident privately in California. Parties involved can agree to resolve the matter without involving insurance companies. However, it's essential to document the agreement in writing, including damage payments and liability waivers. Be cautious, as private settlements can involve risks like insufficient compensation or future disputes.

For a minor car accident in California, hiring a lawyer may not always be necessary, especially if there are no injuries and minimal property damage. However, if there are any complexities, disputes about fault, or if you're facing significant financial losses, consulting a lawyer might be advisable.

Fault in an auto accident in California is typically determined by insurance companies based on evidence like police reports, witness statements, vehicle damage, and traffic laws. In some cases, the fault may be shared among drivers under California's comparative negligence law. If there's a dispute, it can be resolved through legal proceedings.

In California, an at-fault accident can affect your car insurance premiums for about three to five years. The duration varies by insurer and the severity of the accident. During this period, premiums may be higher, reflecting the increased risk associated with the accident on your driving record.

In California, contingency fees for personal injury lawyers typically range from 33% to 40% of the settlement amount. This percentage can vary based on the complexity of the case and the stage at which the case is resolved (pre-trial settlement vs. post-trial verdict). It's important to discuss and agree upon the fee structure with your car accident attorney before starting the legal process.

In San Diego, most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they receive a percentage of the settlement or award, usually between 33% and 40%. Some may charge additional fees for specific services or expenses. It's advisable to clarify all costs and fee structures during the initial consultation.

The average settlement for pain and suffering in California varies widely based on factors like the severity of injuries, the impact on quality of life, and the specifics of each case. California doesn't have a set formula for calculating pain and suffering damages, so settlements can range from thousands to potentially millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances.

Compensation for pain and suffering from a car accident in California depends on the specifics of the case, including injury severity and impact on daily life. There is no standard amount, as each case is evaluated individually. Settlements can vary significantly based on the extent of injuries and the negligence involved.

The amount of money you can claim for pain and suffering varies greatly and depends on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, and the laws in your jurisdiction. In personal injury cases, including car accidents, there's no fixed formula for calculating these damages, so amounts can vary significantly from one case to another.

The time to settle a personal injury case in San Diego varies. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the case's complexity, the clarity of fault, the severity of injuries, and the willingness of parties to negotiate. Some cases may settle quickly, while others, especially those going to trial, can take much longer.

In California, there's no cap on economic and non-economic damages (like pain and suffering) in most personal injury cases. The amount you can sue for depends on the specifics of your case, including medical expenses, lost wages, and the severity of your injuries. However, punitive damages, if applicable, might be limited based on the defendant's ability to pay.

The average car accident settlement in California varies greatly depending on factors like the severity of injuries, property damage, and fault. Settlements can range from a few thousand dollars for minor incidents to much larger sums for serious injuries. Each case is unique, making it difficult to state an average figure.

Most car accident lawyers in California work on a contingency fee basis, typically charging between 33% and 40% of the settlement or award amount. Some might have different fee structures for cases that go to trial versus those settled out of court. Always discuss the fee arrangement with your lawyer upfront.

The Prudent Associate’s Guide to Bad Faith Strategy, Part 3

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLP

This article is intended to be Part 3 of a 5-part series to be read from the new or aged associate’s point of view. The first section Part 1 provided a 20000-foot view of third-party bad faith strategy for the prudent associate. Part 2 which appeared in the Fall 2022 Litigator focused on the demand phases and should be considered as a continuation of Part 1. This segment Part 3 addresses the relationship of the C.C.P. Section 998 to investigation and discovery. Part 4 will discuss late-stage litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Part 5 will pertain to post-judgment discussions, potential assignment and final thoughts.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - The Litigation Workflow - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLPI. The Litigation Workflow

In my experience, actualized or actionable bad-faith situations stem from clear and set expectations and communications from plaintiffs’ counsel. Once those expectations and communications are ignored often repeatedly, actionable bad faith starts to take form. There is no one-size-fits-all. Each case is different. However, once in litigation, the seeds of bad faith typically grow in my experience from memorialized acts of reasonableness (i.e., conveying your case and deadlines) by plaintiff’s counsel. Despite that reality, it is not unusual for an adjuster, primary counsel, or conflict counsel to claim that you “trapped them” or “set them up” for a bad-faith lawsuit. Such claims are inevitable as this is the fundamental defense to any allegation with a standard of “reasonable” action. With that in mind, you must be prepared to substantiate your actions and the reasons for your deadlines, statutory or otherwise. In my opinion, this strategy always involves a high level of transparency and cooperation and sometimes even extensions to allow defense counsel a true and reasonable opportunity to perform.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - Discovery and the 998 - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLPII. Discovery and the 998

For any civil attorney, let alone the illustrious prudent associate, it is vitally important to note the importance of the Code of Civil Procedure section 998 in the process of evaluating, attempting, and effectuating a resolution, especially one involving a policy limit. Written discovery and depositions (i.e., any process where each side has to say or do anything under oath with penalty of perjury) are only some of the natural junctures of a case that present opportunities to memorialize the unreasonableness of an “OPC” (i.e., opposing counsel or character). Therefore, it is important to understand the inherent relationship between basic discovery procedures (i.e., written discovery, depositions, IMEs) and your policy limit demand which [depending on the circumstances] will take the form of a Code of Civil Procedure section 998 “Offer to Compromise” once in litigation. This relationship was explained in Najera v. Huerta (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 872, 879. In that case, the court made a determination regarding enforcement of an early expired 998. In coming to a decision to affirm the lower court’s ruling and not enforce 998-related penalties, the court referenced a dissent from Barba v. Perez (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 445, 453. In that excerpt, the court re-stated “why it is ordinarily not reasonable to expect defendants to jam basic discovery into the 30 days following the service of a summons and complaint in order to respond to a section 998 offer… As a practical matter here is what typically has to happen within 30 days following service of a personal injury complaint upon a defendant: (1) The defendant has to deliver the summons and complaint to his insurance carrier; (2) A claims adjuster for the insurer has to review the allegations of the complaint with the insured; (3) The claims adjuster has to line up counsel for the defendant; (4) Defense counsel has to discuss the allegations of the complaint with the insured and prepare an answer.” This language is not cited as a cautionary warning regarding timing. Rather, it is intended to provide a guide as to the micro-factors a court or later a jury may consider when gauging your good-faith actions relative to the 998 and in the event of a “lid off” situation the policy limits. Make sure to consider, use, and take the next logical leaps necessary when timing your policy limit 998 around the discovery process.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - Reasonableness of the 998 - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLPIII. Reasonableness of the 998

But sending out a 998 is not enough. These interactions must be documented (i.e., highlighted through writing[s]) to preserve your client’s future leverageable options, especially those geared towards pre-trial resolution. As in any negotiation, leverage and diligence are reasonable means to accomplish a good result for your client. Any attorney that ignores those elements does so to their own and their client’s detriment. To that effect, for any defense attorney out there who would like to attempt to use such a reality against the prudent associate, I would simply advise them that the written theatre of bad faith is again focused on one thing: showing reasonable or unreasonable conduct. One way to memorialize this? Showing that your actions are effectuating the purpose of the 998, i.e., to promote early and efficient resolution of matters prior to trial. In this regard, “the policy is plain.” Section 998s are meant to encourage a settlement by “providing a strong financial disincentive to a party.” (Bank of San Pedro v. Sup.Ct. (1992) 3 Cal. 4th 797, 804, 12 CR2d 696, 700-701.) This is true despite the party status, i.e., “whether it be a plaintiff or a defendant–who fails to achieve a better result than that party could have achieved by accepting his or her opponent’s settlement offer.” (Id.) “This is the stick. The carrot is that by awarding costs to the putative settler, the statute provides a financial incentive to make reasonable settlement offers.” (See Id. [emphasis added]. See also Mesa Forest Products Inc. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. (1999) 73 Cal. App. 4th 324, 331, 86 CR2d 398, 401 [citing text].) In case it is not clear, bad-faith “strategy” is and should be focused on one question: “What is reasonable?” Depending on the circumstances, this question may arise at different stages of pre-litigation and litigation and sometimes repeatedly. Ultimately, especially when discussing the timing of 998s with a policy limit demand, it is important to treat any situation as if you are being judged by it in front of a judge and/or jury. In this specific but not exclusive manner, a reasonably timed 998 is the perfect tool to accomplish or encourage each of these goals.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - Timing Extensions and Repeats - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLPIV. Timing Extensions and Repeats

A. Early 998s
Despite the statutory and legal authorities that delineate the “earliest” a 998 may be sent, there are extenuating circumstances that may affect the enforceability of an early 998. For example, if you have memorialized the steps taken with the carrier pre-litigation, such a showing may be sufficient to avoid a taxation of costs following judgment. In the event that your 998 matches the pre-litigation policy limit demand (i.e., the “last chance 998), your opposition to a motion to tax will be even more persuasive, assuming you have put this chronology in writing. In short, if you are ever asking yourself whether you have provided enough time and information to the other side, or you believe there are other extenuating circumstances that take your matter outside the limitations of the statute or authorities, make sure you commemorate that on the written record.

B. Extending 998s

There are many ways to utilize policy limit 998s to progress discovery. Consider keeping the 998 open through mediation. Send an early 998 but provide that additional extension when requested on condition that they provide in writing EXACTLY what they require to make a reasonable determination during the extended time-period. The goals here are simple: take reasonable and necessary steps to resolve the matter, i.e., do not obstruct the discovery and deposition process and get the other side the information they need to make a reasonable determination. That being said… I want to make one thing clear… again… we ARE NOT talking about “setting the other side up.” The name of the game when it comes to bad faith, what “opens the policy up,” is being in fact reasonable in action and word. This, of course, is ultimately a question for the jury, but it is shown through your reasonable action throughout litigation.

C. Lowering 998s

To that effect, reasonableness is a two-way street. If a defendant serves an unreasonably low section 998 offer based on the damages of the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney may want to object to that offer, citing a lack of information about liability to be able to properly evaluate the offer. This objection should cite to the need to request more time for discovery and identify the additional information they need to evaluate the offer. Then again, the prudent associate also knows that an unreasonably low 998 can be used as a double-edged sword, especially when more unreasonably low 998s (i.e., the “I hope they take it 998s”) follow. But what happens to a plaintiff that reduces their 998 to under the policy limits? Does a 998 under the policy limits evidence unreasonableness of your previous offers? The frank answer: yes, it can have an impact… but if used appropriately with the correct memorialization of events… it shouldn’t. There are simply too many possible circumstances/combinations of what happens between prelitigation and litigation to identify a clear and concise workflow for all situations. However, to avoid the situation described above and depending on the liability facts/damages, I will often send a 998 at the top of my value range. This value may very well be in excess of the policy limits and that in of itself is obviously important. That being said, in the event your 998 drops under the policy limit, it is important to pair that with a letter clearly delineating that the 998 is being provided for the purpose of early resolution vs. reasonableness. This is especially relevant for purposes of finding a “trial 998.” When the other side has set their stakes into the ground and you have a real idea of where they want to resolve the case (assumedly at an unreasonable value), always keep the methodology of reasonableness in mind. If you are changing your valuation, express the reason for it in your paired letter. If that reason is consistent with the scope and intention of the 998 (i.e., encouraging reasonable attempts at resolution prior to trial), you can avoid any later claims that your initial 998s were unreasonable or reflected a pattern of unreasonableness.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - Conclusion - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLPV. Conclusion

The message of this article: find a reasonable position, document, repeat. Do so knowing that your actions will be reviewed and analyzed. Always maintain professionalism but spell out what you want and why you need it in writing. If defense says they need something, comply to the degree that is reasonable and document where required for objection or limitation. Use the Code of Civil Procedure and its deadlines as an ally and effectively combine your procedure workflows with your demand workflows.

The Prudent Associate’s Guide to Bad Faith Strategy, Part 2

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - Personal Injury Lawyers - Roseville & San Diego - GHS LLP

This article is intended to be Part 2 of a [growing] series. The previous section, Part 1, provided a 20,000-foot view of third-party bad faith strategy. Part 2 focuses on the pre-litigation demand phase. Part 3 will address litigation specific considerations (i.e., discovery timing, extension requests, etc.). Part 4 talks about CCP 998s, alternative dispute resolution, and mediation-related concerns. Part 5 pertains to trial considerations, post-judgment discussions, and assignment.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - INTRODUCTION - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLPIntroduction

In this article, we will explore just a few of the strategies available to the weary but bright-eyed prudent associate looking to develop their practice further into the world of “prospective bad-faith matters.” Utilizing the demand strategies discussed in this article will help the prudent associate learn to recognize the pressure points, leverage points, and factual showings necessary for the future prosecution of a bad-faith matter. This outlook will not only improve the efficacy of your efforts in pursuit of pre-trial resolution but will also prepare you further for the goal of going to trial and collecting a judgment in excess of the policy limits. I hope we can all agree that the prudent associate is not looking for a participation award when going to the boss with a potential bad faith situation. Rather, the prudent associate is going to the boss with one of two goals in mind: either you are handing over an airtight bad-faith case, or you have one that is close, and you want to update your boss. In either situation, you better be prepared. If you walk in only to say, “I sent a demand that they rejected… therefore bad faith,” you could be in for an afternoon of bad-faith seminars.

The Pre-Demand Phase – “PTG”

So what comes first? Parties, Types, Goals. When you first start as an associate, it is common to find yourself looking for cookie-cutter approaches to the job in an effort to make sure you are doing everything you should be doing. This, of course, is a foundational step for any young associate; however, what happens when that cookie cutter gets dull? Well, it is time to make yourself some new tools, of course. So how do you go about that? To put it simply, experience. Start today and get in the practice of evaluating your experiences with different people, be it attorneys, their staff, parties, or unrelated third parties and their counsel. You need to learn to speak with each of these folks, and find out what makes their job tick. Ask yourself: where is opposing counsel or this adjuster located along the Defense hierarchy? If I were in their position, what type of information would make me evaluate this matter in favor of Plaintiff? What would make me kick it up the food chain and bring to my boss? Ultimately, the more experience you get talking and dealing with each of these people, and LEARNING ABOUT THEIR JOB, the better. Don’t take this time for granted as it is the foundational stage for your eventual litigation in a given manner, as well as your long-term professional development. Breaking down and processing this readily available information immediately when you get a case [and updating as you move forward] will maximize your opportunities to not only steer a case towards resolution but also maximize your ability to pursue a recovery above the set policy limits.

The Prudent Associates Guide to Bad Faith Strategy - PRE-DEMAND LETTERS - Daniel Schneiderman, Gingery, Hammer & Schneiderman, LLP