Attorney Portrait Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Insurance Settlements – What You Can Expect After Filing a Claim

| Read Time: 3 minutes

After a motorcycle accident in California, you need to file a claim for damages. You do this with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Notify your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault party of the crash. This will begin the claims process. Don’t assume that because the other driver caused the accident injured you that your claim will settle quickly. In many instances, it will take months if not a year or two before your case resolves. Here’s what you can expect after filing a claim:         1. The At-Fault Insurance Company Will Contact You After you file your initial claim, the at-fault person’s insurance company will contact you. They are seeking more detailed information about the facts of the accident. They want to know the facts of the crash, your injuries, and your treatment. Many times, the other person’s insurance company may ask you to give a recorded statement. Before giving any information you should NEVER do without speaking to an attorney first. 2. Investigation to Assess Liability and Damages The next step in the process is to gather all information to assess liability and damages. Liability is who is at fault for the accident. This is the time to get the traffic collision report and read the officer’s opinion on the crash. In addition, gather photos of the scene and vehicles are important to determine fault. Finally, investigators and experts may write an analysis on the facts of the crash. Both property damage to your motorcycle and bodily injuries need to be addressed during this step. Your motorcycle may need extensive repair. Or, if it is badly damaged it may the company may total it and you pay off. For your injuries, you may need to visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. 3. You’ll Make a Demand Depending upon the extent of the injuries you have suffered, it is a smart idea to work with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney. They can assist you in constructing and sending a demand package. A demand package consists of a letter or brief, and exhibits. The letter or brief is a detailed writing to the insurance company. It addresses negligence and the extent of injuries you have suffered. It also requests an amount of money to compensate you for your losses. Exhibits included are your medical records, bills, loss of earnings verification, photos, and police report. 4. Negotiations Begin After you make your demand, it is possible that the insurance adjuster will contact you with a settlement offer that meets your demand. Usually, this is the case where your injuries and demand is greater than the at-fault insurance company policy limits. More likely than not, however, they will offer an amount less than what you requested. In response to the settlement offer, you will reject the offer and make a counter offer. This can go back and forth until parties agree on a fair settlement. 5. Settlement Is Not Reached – Going to Court In the event that a settlement is out of reach, you have the option to file a lawsuit and take the case to court. Filing a lawsuit will help flesh out the facts and damages of the case. However, it will increase your involvement, costs and time before you may receive your compensation. Do not take the filing of a lawsuit lightly. It may be the right decision for the at-fault insurance company to take your case seriously. Contact Us Today for Assistance During the Motorcycle Claims Process If another driver causes motorcycle accident in Long Beach while you’re riding, our law firm wants to help. We will navigate the claims process and recover your maximum settlement amount. For a free consultation where you can learn more about the settlement process and what to expect, contact our Long Beach motorcycle accident law firm online today. You can also call our offices at (562) 452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

Car Accident Injury Symptoms You May Overlook

| Read Time: 2 minutes

Car accidents can lead to traumatic injuries that are easy to detect. For example, a broken leg is not only incredibly painful but may even be evident to the naked eye. Similarly, a puncture wound or laceration is both painful to the victim and obvious for others to see. But not all car accident injuries have such evident symptoms. In fact, there are a handful of car accident injury symptoms that you might overlook. Consider the following injuries and their symptoms, and if you are in a car accident, be sure to see a medical professional as soon as possible. Concussions Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be difficult to diagnose. This is true because they are not painful to the victim. The symptoms can appear mild to both the victim and others. If you or someone you love has any of the following systems following a car accident, it could be a concussion or closed head injury: Headache; Ringing in the ears (tinnitus); Dizziness; Fatigue; Confusion; Nausea or vomiting; Slurred speech; Sensitivity to light; Depression; Crying; Trouble sleeping; and More – you can read a full list of symptoms at MayoClinic.org . Whiplash and Other Soft Tissue Injuries Soft tissue injuries may have few symptoms, especially when they first occur. It may take a day or two for the pain and discomfort of a whiplash injury to really set in. Some signs of a soft tissue injury may demand medical attention, but a car accident victim may dismiss as insignificant, include: Swelling; Bruising; Discoloration of skin at injury site; Muscle spasms; Muscle weakness; Limited mobility; and Pain. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Emotional Disorders If you develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another emotional disorder following a car accident, it can be easy to dismiss the systems of these as “normal” or as “unrelated” to the crash. For example, feeling stressed about the claims process is standard. Being afraid to ever enter a car again, is not. And scary flashbacks are certainly not normal. You may dismiss symptoms like avoiding people or places, depression, lack of desire to do things you used to love, difficulty sleeping, feeling jumping, and being easily agitated. However, these symptoms could be indicative of something more serious that you should seek professional help for. Contact Our Long Beach Car Accident Attorneys After a Crash After a car crash in Long Beach or elsewhere, the most important thing that you should do is seek medical care. If you develop symptoms of a concussion, a soft tissue injury, or a psychological injury, do not hesitate to meet with a medical professional. Not all injuries are acute, traumatic, and obvious. Some injuries take the time to show themselves, but they are no less serious. At the offices of The Beliz Law Firm, our experienced Long Beach car accident attorneys want to help you recover the compensation award you deserve for all of your injuries. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation today.

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Attorney Portrait Bike Accidents

5 Steps for Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Long Beach

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Your life can change within a split second if you get injured in a bicycle accident in Long Beach. There’s the initial trauma, followed by pain and suffering as you recover. Plus, you may be out of work due to your injuries. This adds financial hardship during these difficult times. You do have options to get compensation from the responsible party, but the process can be complex. Therefore, your first step – after seeking appropriate medical care – is to hire an experienced Long Beach bicycle accident attorney. A lawyer can then guide you through these five steps for filing a claim. 1. Obtain Information from the Responsible Party You should get the names, phone numbers, and insurance information from all drivers involved in the car crash. Don’t converse with anyone beyond the exchange of information. Do not speculate on fault or contributing factors in the incident. 2. Gather Medical Records When filing a claim for injuries due to a bike accident, you must support your position with appropriate documentation. Collect all medical records showing the diagnosis of your condition. This includes treatments used by healthcare providers, and any documents showing your medical prognosis. In addition, if you missed work as a result of your injuries, submit your payroll information for lost wages at the time you file your claim. 3. Document Your Experience Your own experiences after the bike accident can be useful when approaching an insurance company about a claim. Keep a journal while recovering from your injuries. Include such topics as your level of pain on a scale of 1-10, your emotional well-being, and how you’ve had to change your routine. 4. File Your Claim with the Responsible Party’s Insurer There are forms that you need to fill out to file a claim with an insurance company. You may also include a cover letter that goes into more detail about your demand. Make sure you include the dollar figure on what you’d be willing to accept to release all claims. 5. Await the Insurance Company’s Response – and Expect to Counter Once the insurer receives your claim, the company will process it. In most cases, you will receive a rejection or counteroffer for a lower amount. When you cannot resolve your claim with the insurance company, don’t delay in filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations on these cases is three years in California, so you cannot recover compensation if you wait too long. You Have a Right to Compensation for Your Injuries Suffering injuries in a Long Beach bicycle accident can have devastating consequences. Under California law, you have the right to compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses. But it is difficult to file and claim. The insurance company may also treat you unfairly. The key to your success is retaining a dedicated, compassionate lawyer. You need someone who will aggressively pursue your interests. At the Beliz Law Firm, our Long Beach bike accident attorneys have extensive experience handling claims and the in-depth legal knowledge necessary to obtain the highest compensation allowed by law. Please contact us online or call (562) 452-3772 today to discuss your case.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

How Much is My Bike Accident Injury Claim Worth?

| Read Time: 2 minutes

When you’re injured in a bike accident, the impact can be life-altering. It’s likely that you’ll need immediate, urgent medical treatment. The trauma of colliding with a much larger vehicle can be serious. Long-term care may also be necessary to bring you back to health. Plus, some bike accident injury victims never fully recover. The accident can lead to a lifetime of therapy. You may not be able to work at your normal job if your injuries are severe. This can lead to financial difficulties at a time when medical bills are adding up. California law allows you to recover compensation from the person who caused the incident through negligent conduct. The amount of your settlement or verdict depends upon the legal theory of damages. In bicycle accidents cases, they generally fall into one of two categories: 1. Economic Damages: “Economic” damages are those supported by documentation. When determining how much your bike accident injury claim is worth, you would include: Medical Expenses: You will likely visit different healthcare professionals that treat your injuries. Each of these providers will bill you for their services. Your claim will include costs related to practitioners such as doctors, ER physicians, medical specialists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, and others. You can ask for both past medical expenses and future medical cost. Lost Wages: If you miss work due to your bike accident injuries, you may recover the lost wages. To prove lost wages as an economic loss, you can present pay stubs, canceled checks, or tax records. Like medical expenses, you may ask for both past and future lost wages. In addition, you can request loss of earning capacity from the negligent party. 2. Non-Economic Damages: You would also include damages that fall in the non-economic category. These are damages where there are no receipts. They include: Pain and Suffering: It’s hard to put a value on the trauma you will experience after a bike accident. However, you can be sure that there will be lingering effects. Your case is worth compensation for pain and suffering that may result from the inability to sleep, chronic soreness, and lack of mobility. Emotional Anguish: You will include the impact of a bike accident on your daily routine and lifestyle when considering what your case is worth. Loss of Relationships: The value of your bike accident claim also includes losses you suffer with respect to your loved ones. A Long Beach Bike Accident Lawyer Can Help Being involved in a bike accident is horrific. But California law protects victims by allowing them to recover losses. However, it is difficult to prove your right to compensation. It usually requires an extensive legal background in personal injury cases. When you’re up against a pushy insurance company or in court, it’s necessary to have a strong advocate at your side. The dedicated attorneys at The Beliz Law Firm have the experience and skills to ensure you’re fully compensated for the various types of losses you sustain, so please contact us about your case. We’re available at (562) 452-3772 to answer your questions, or can schedule a case evaluation for you at our convenient Long Beach, CA location.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

How Do You Handle a Back Injury After a Car Accident?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

One of the most common areas of injury in a car accident is the back. Direct force may cause the injury. Or, the accident may snap the victim’s body in an unnatural position. Either way, the injuries are often serious. How you handle your back injury after a car accident will depend entirely on the extent of the injury. Some injuries may require taking it easier than normal (but never bed rest!) and mobility exercises. Others may require intensive surgeries and have permanent consequences, such as paralysis. In all cases, though, the following are smart steps to take if you have hurt your back in a crash– See a Doctor You should promptly see a doctor. Even if you’re back only hurts when in a certain position, you want to get checked out. Of course, if you need emergency attention, you will see a doctor immediately. Your doctor will diagnose your back injury using a variety of methods. These include physical examinations, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or other diagnostic tools. Go to Treatment Doctors usually prescribe the most conservative method possible to treat your back injuries. In many incidents, a doctor will first prescribe rest and pain medication. If the pains do not subside, the doctor may then send you to physical therapy or chiropractor. If the pains are more severe, your doctor may refer you out to an orthopedic or neurosurgeon. The specialist may need further diagnostic testing like an MRI of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spines. The next most conservative treatment is a series of three epidural shots directly into the spine. The final type of treatment is surgery on the back. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders If your doctor recommends that you refrain from lifting heavy things for two weeks, do not go to the gym and attempt to deadlift. They may also suggest that you go to physical therapy twice a week Sign up and actually attend. Your doctor tells you that you can return to your daily activities as normal, but that you should pay attention to things that cause you pain. Follow these instructions closely and go back to the doctor if necessary. Not following your doctor’s orders is a bad idea for two reasons: First, your doctor is an expert. If you do not follow a prescribed treatment plan, your injury may not heal as fast as it would otherwise. Second, it can cause problems with your claim. The adjuster may argue that your injuries have worsened or failed to heal as a result of your own negligence. File a Claim and/or Lawsuit It is important that you notify the other person’s insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. You want to open your claim right away. A demand letter states why you deserve compensation. You need to serve this to the other person’s insurance company. It must include details about your back injury. And medical evidence should support your claim. Many back cases become very litigious due to the dispute of the causation of the injuries. Therefore, you may need to file a lawsuit in the court system so you may receive fair compensation for your injuries and pains. Hire an Attorney Your attorney can help you to gather the evidence that you need for pursuing a successful claim. They can write a demand letter to the insurance company and negotiate for a settlement amount. Working with an attorney improves your chances of recovering your maximum compensation award. At The Beliz Law Firm, our knowledgeable Long Beach car accident attorneys have experience handling back injury claims. We care about helping you to get the money you deserve after a crash. Whether your back injury is severe and expected to affect you for the rest of your life, or just serious enough to cause you pain and impair you from doing household chores for a short amount of time, we can help.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

How To Reject an Insurance Offer for a Car Accident

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Getting help as soon as possible is important after a car crash. Personal injury lawyer Michael Beliz provides free consultations. Reach out today if you need help. Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer? If you have been in a car accident and followed the proper procedures for filing a claim, then the next step is waiting for the car insurance adjuster to offer you a settlement. Settlement offers offer compensation for your injuries and damages. They also “settle” or “end” your claim. By accepting the settlement, you also release the insurer and driver from further liability. Most people assume they have no option but to accept an insurance company’s offer. Even if they think that it is lower than they deserve, they feel pressure to accept. However, this is not the case. In fact, rejecting the first settlement offer almost always happens. Here is what you need to know about how to reject an insurance settlement offer for a car accident– Step One: Determine What Your Accident Is Worth When you make a claim through the other party’s insurance company, you should know the claim’s value. If you have not met with a legal professional who can help you determine the value of your claim, now is the time to do so. You and your attorney should work together to determine the amount of compensation that you are willing to accept. To find this, you should calculate: Past and Future medical expenses; Lost wages and lost of earning capacity; Property damage; and Noneconomic damages (e.g. pain and suffering damages) you have suffered. Step Two: Make a Demand for Compensation in Writing You want to put all the details of the your accident and your losses in a writing. This writing is a Demand Letter, and should include the following: How the accident took occurred; Reason why the insurance driver is negligent for the accident; A summary of your damages; and Your demand amount. In addition to a Demand Letter, you want to put together a Demand Package. A Demand Package consists of documents to make your claim stronger. The documents should include the following: Traffic Collision Report; your medical records and bills; loss of earning receipts; and photos of the accident scene and your injuries. The point of the Demand Letter and Package is to persuade the other person’s insurance company to compensate you for your injuries. Step Three: Negotiate After the insurance adjuster receives your Demand Letter and Demand Package, they will likely contact you by either phone or mail. The insurance adjuster will accept the demand, reject the demand, or offer you a compensation amount lower than your demand amount. This is when the negotiations process begins. This is where you need to understand and know the value of your claim. When negotiating, you will always want to start out high since you will probably have to compromise and lower your demand during talks with the insurance company. You also need to know the minimum amount you will accept. Negotiations may last days, weeks, or even months. It depends upon the nature of your case and how much you are seeking. If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, you may have to engage in mediations with a third party. Finally, you may have to file a lawsuit and take your case to court. Again, you should work with an attorney during the negotiations process. An experienced attorney will bring negotiation skills to the table. They will represent you and speak on your behalf during the process. Our Law Firm Can Help You Reject a Low Settlement Offer It is common to receive a settlement offer that is lower than you expect. But you don’t have to accept that first settlement offer from the insurance company. Our law firm can help you to reject this offer and negotiate for one that matches the extent of your losses. Long Beach car accident lawyer Michael Beliz is ready to talk. Call us today at (562)452-3772 to schedule your free consultation.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

Who Can File a Long Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

| Read Time: 2 minutes

A sudden death of your loved one is shocking and upsetting. When the death results from someone else’s fault, it is normal to have questions about your legal options. For surviving family members a wrongful death lawsuit may be in order. It is impossible to replace a loved one whose death occurred due to another’s negligence. Before you bring a suit, it is important to meet with a Long Beach wrongful death lawyer. Discuss your case and legal details, including specifics of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Be aware, however, that only certain family members can do so. Only Certain Parties Can Bring Forth Wrongful Death Actions in California Each state sets its own laws regarding who can bring forth a wrongful death action. In California, only certain family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These parties include the decedent’s: Spouse; Children; or Domestic partner. If none of the above parties exist, there are special circumstances. Section 337.60 of California Code of Civil Procedure, allows for any person “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession” to bring forth a claim. In some cases, other parties may bring a claim. This includes stepchildren or parents of the deceased. The parties must prove they were dependent on the decedent. You Must File a Suit within Two Years There is a two-year statute of limitations on filing wrongful death lawsuits in California. This applies to all parties who may be eligible to file. If you wait longer than two years to bring forth your action, you will lose your right to the claim. When a minor child faces injury, the child has until the age of 18 years old plus 2 years to either settle the claim or file a lawsuit for injuries. This is not true for wrongful death cases. A minor child who has standing in a wrongful death claim only has 2 years. There is one exception to the two years. If the wrongful party is a government agency than the time frame is shorten to six months. Are there specific types of compensation surviving family members can recover? A person with standing to sue may recover damages from the responsible party, based upon: ● The value of the deceased’s contribution to the household, financially and otherwise; ● The losses that will result from anticipated financial support; and, ● Emotional losses, including loss of affection, moral support, and guidance. Contact Us Today If a family member has died to the wrongful acts of another and you believe you have the right to file a lawsuit based on the information above, contact The Beliz Law Firm for a free consultation. Our Long Beach wrongful death lawyers are available by phone 24 hours a day.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

How Does Compensation Work for a Shared Liability Car Accident in California?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

In California, the at-fault party for an auto accident is responsible for damages. The theory is straightforward in concept. However, it often becomes far more complicated in reality. There are many confounding factors that can make car accident liability difficult to calculate and assign. For example, what happens when two or more drivers share blame for the same crash? Here, our Long Beach car accident lawyers will discuss this issue and explain California’s comparative fault rules. California is a Pure Comparative Negligence State The History Prior to 1975, liability for California car accidents was assigned under an ‘all or nothing’ standard of contributory negligence. If a car accident victim was responsible for even a small part of their own crash, they could not pursue recovery. In the case of Li v. Yellow Cab Co., the Supreme Court of California issued the decision that dropped the ‘all or nothing’ standard. The Court replaced the old rules for pure comparative fault rules. Comparative Negligence Explained Negligence is the failure to take due care in the course of action. A driver can be negligent for many different reasons, from speeding to distraction. If a driver’s negligence contributed to a crash, then that driver is at least partially liable for the resulting damages or injuries. This is where comparative negligence rules come into play. California’s comparative negligence standard states that the percentage of fault defines liability. For example, imagine that two drivers collided in an accident on Interstate 405. In total, the crash caused $100,000 of damage. After assessing the case, a Jury finds one driver at-fault for 90 percent of the accident. The second driver is responsible for the remaining 10 percent. In this circumstance, the first driver would be liable for $90,000 worth of damages. The other driver is responsible for the remaining $10,000. Shared Liability Examples Shared fault in an accident is incredibly common. In fact, it could be argued that most accidents involve some degree of proportional responsibility. Here are some examples of accidents that are caused by the fault of two parties: Four-way stop crash Consider a situation in which two drivers arrive at a four-way stop at the same time. One driver intends to pass straight through the intersection; the other is planning on making a left-hand turn. Rather than waiting to see which driver is going to proceed or yielding the right of way, both drivers immediately proceed through the intersection. Another example is a crash in which both drivers actually signal to the other driver to proceed, and in the confusion, both proceed and hit each other. Distracted driving and speeding crash Consider a crash in which a texting driver fails to signal before changing lanes, side-swiping the vehicle to its right. The driver in the side-swiped vehicle suffers serious injuries. Initially, it would appear that the texting driver is wholly to blame. However, a review of the evidence unveils that the side-swiped driver was traveling much too fast at the time of the accident – 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. As such, both drivers may be found comparatively negligent for the damages that resulted from the crash. Pedestrian and distracted driver crash The notion that the pedestrian ‘always has the right of way’ is untrue; drivers often have the right of way (although most drivers will yield if not doing so means hitting a pedestrian). Consider a situation in which a driver is proceeding through an intersection, and takes a moment to look down at an incoming text. At exactly that moment, the pedestrian may not have the right of way steps off the curb, directly into the driver’s path. Even though the driver had the right of way, they breached their duty to others on the road by driving while distracted, meaning both parties could be to blame. Compensation for a Shared Liability Accident Apportionment of liability becomes extremely important in shared fault auto accident claims. If you are assigned even a few extra percentage points of the blame for a wreck, you could lose thousands of dollar of compensation. Do not let this happen to you. You need to protect yourself and your family. Contact an aggressive car accident attorney after a serious car accident. Especially if the other party disputes liability. Your attorney will review the specific facts of your case. Then they’ll determine what to do to protect you from an unjust share of the blame. What if I Disagree with a Fault Determination in a Shared Liability Car Accident? It’s very possible that the insurance adjuster(s) responsible for investigating your case may reach a conclusion about the fault that you do not agree with and therefore offer you a settlement that is reflective of your supposed proportional fault that you do not think is fair. When this is the case, you have the right to reject a settlement offer and renegotiate your compensation award. You also have the right to reject the settlement and file a lawsuit for compensation. However, keep in mind that if your case goes to trial, you will need strong evidence in your favor in order for a court to side with you to overcome the defense’s point of view based on their investigation. Our law firm strongly urges you to hire an experienced car accident settlements lawyer if you have not already done so at the point in the process when you are considering going to trial. Request Your Free Consultation Now The Beliz Law Firm has experience handling California accident claims. This includes complex cases involving shared liability. If another driver injured you in a crash, you deserve help. Our lawyer will do as much as possible to help you understand what has shared liability and to maximize the amount of compensation you receive by proving the fault of the other party to the greatest degree possible. Please call our Long Beach office today at (562) 452-3772. Schedule your free, no-obligation initial case evaluation.

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Attorney Portrait personal accident

Effects of Lane Splitting on Motorcycle Accidents in California

| Read Time: 2 minutes

Lane Splitting and California Motorycle Accidents Motorcycle accidents remain a serious safety problem in California. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that in 2014, motorcycle accidents injured 11,000 people. All too often, the general public simply assumes that bikers must be at fault for their own accidents. There is an unfair perception that motorcyclists often engage in ‘risky’ or ‘dangerous’ behavior. Yet, often, a lack of knowledge on motorcycle operations leads to that position. For example, ‘lane splitting’, which many drivers assume to be dangerous, is actually a safe and legal road practice. Here, our Long Beach motorcycle accident attorneys discuss lane splitting and its effects on California accidents. When Done Properly, Lane Splitting is Safe Lane splitting is the practice of a riding a motorcycle in between the middle of two lanes of stopped (or slowly moving) traffic. Bikers may engage in lane splitting to save time by quickly bypassing the traffic congestion that is all too common in Southern California. The evidence suggests that lane splitting is actually more safe for motorcyclists than is stopping behind vehicles in slow moving traffic. Indeed, in a study of more than 6,000 crashes, researchers from the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center at the University of California Berkeley found that lane splitting riders were less likely to be rear-ended and less likely to suffer concussions, serious torso injuries or death. Lane Splitting is Legal in California Under California law, lane splitting is legal. Riders must be safe and follow certain guidelines, though. The California Highway Patrol instructs lane splitting bikers to be: Reasonable; Responsible; and Aware of road conditions. As a general rule, lane splitting should only be done at a speed that is under 40 miles per hour, and no more than 10 miles per hour faster than the traffic in the other lanes. Motorcyclists also have other duties when lane splitting, such as avoiding erratic movements. Who is Liable for a Lane Splitting Accident? Since lane splitting is a legal practice that can be done safely, motorcyclists are not inherently liable any resulting accidents. Ultimately, liability for these crashes will always depend on the specific facts of the case. Investigators will need to determine exactly why the accident occurred and which, if any, parties failed to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. Many factors can complicate assigning fault in accidents. As a California is a comparative negligence state, sometimes two or more parties may even share liability for the same crash. To protect yourself from an unfair share of accident liability, you need to get your case into the hands of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a lane splitting accident. Get Legal Help Today At The Beliz Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling motorcycle accident claims. Call our firm today at 562-452-3772 to request a free review of your case. From our primary office in Long Beach, we serve communities throughout the region, including Westminster, Riverside, and San Diego.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

What Are Common Deposition Questions for an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Most car accident claims settle without ever going to court. However, when parties cannot come to a fair settlement, a claimant may  file an auto accident lawsuit to get the compensation amount they deserve. When they file suit, depositions will ensue and your personal injury lawyer will be able to interview the defendant. It is also likely that opposing counsel will interview you as well. The following considers what a deposition is, and what some common deposition questions are during an auto accident lawsuit– What Is an Auto Accident Deposition? Depositions are one of the tools that lawyers use during the discovery – or investigative – process of a lawsuit to gain information. Simply put, depositions are oral statements given by parties under oath, and deposing a person is the act of the lawyer asking the person questions. In an official deposition during the car accident lawsuit process, the deposition is recorded, and all persons questioned are required to answer truthfully. Multiple parties, including the plaintiff and the defendant, as well as any medical providers and witnesses, may be deposed. Auto Accident Deposition Questions for the Defendant Your car accident lawyer will be responsible for deposing the defendant, the person against whom you are filing a car accident lawsuit. In addition to several background questions, such as the defendant’s name and address, your attorney will probably ask: Where did you start your travels prior to the collision? Where was your destination if the car crash did not happen? Who else was in the vehicle with you? What were your activities prior to operating your vehicle that day? Had you consume anything alcoholic to drink, or taken any other impairing substances, including prescription drugs within 24 hours prior to the accident? Were you in scope of employment at the time of the car crash? How fast were you going at the time of the accident? Were you talking on a cellphone at the time of the incident? How large was the impact between the two vehicles? Did you see the other vehicle that was involved in the collision prior to the accident? The list of questions goes on and on, and will vary significantly depending upon the details of your crash. Your lawyer’s goal is to secure facts for an admission of fault from the defendant in order to prove negligence and strengthen your case. Auto Accident Deposition Questions for the Plaintiff You will also be deposed during the car accident process. Just like your lawyer will try to secure an admission of liability from the defendant, the legal representation for the defense will try to gain information to lessen their scope for fault and damages for your injuries. For this reason, it is very important that you are careful in what you say, do not provide more information that you are asked, and are prepared for even the most difficult of questions. Some common deposition questions include: Background questions regarding name, birthday, school and work history. Describe the details of your accident. Where were you going? Did you make any stops? What did you see before the accident happened? What were you doing at the time of the crash? How fast were you going? Did you see the other vehicle involved in the accident prior to the collision? Were you wearing a seatbelt at the time of collision? Did you call the police after the accident? When did you seek medical care after your accident? How much time had elapsed after the accident did you see a medical provider? Whom did you see for your injuries? How long did you see your doctors? What did the doctors do for your injuries? What are your bills? Describe the details of your injuries. Did you lose any time off of work? How much? Are you fully healed? What limitations are you now experiencing? What can you not do currently that you were able to do before the collision? Additional Depositions In addition to deposing the defendant, and being deposed yourself by the defendant’s lawyer, you should also consider deposing key witnesses and experts. Witnesses may be key to prove the defendant is at fault for the car crash and to strengthen your pain and suffering claim. Experts can make opinions on how your body moved due to the impact of the crash and future medical needs. Luckily, when you work with the experienced auto accident lawyers at the Beliz Law Firm, we will handle all aspects of the deposition for you, and help you to prepare for the defense’s questions. Contact us today for your free consultation and information.

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