Trustworthy Help for Accident Victims in Bay Area and Central Valley Counties
The time following a serious accident can be traumatic, stressful and full of uncertainty. This is especially true when you feel that you or a loved one’s rights are being ignored or taken advantage of by the other party involved or by an insurance company. Here at Haberkorn & Associates, I have dedicated my personal and professional careers to helping injury victims in and around San Mateo recover the compensation and seek the justice they deserve after a serious accident. I understand what you are going through during this challenging time and I am here to help.
When you trust my firm with your personal injury case, you can rest assured knowing that myself and my legal team will work earnestly and diligently to bring about a successful resolution of your case. You don’t have to face the pain and difficulty of your accident alone, and I will be by your side during every step of the claims process. Below, I have taken the time to answer some of the questions frequently asked by accident victims and clients. For additional information and answers, please do not hesitate to call Haberkorn & Associates for a personal consultation!
Questions About Injury Claims in California
How much is my injury claim worth?
Every injury claim must be evaluated on an individual basis before this question can be honestly answered, and you should stay away from injury attorneys who promise you a certain amount of compensation without first learning about your case. Some injury claims can result in very substantial settlements, whereas others are worth less because there is less long-term impact on the injury victim. When you schedule your free consultation with my firm, I will review your accident, injuries, and additional circumstances to give you a better idea of what to expect with regard to a settlement or verdict.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Contact a reliable attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you call my firm, the better off you will be. I will immediately jump on your case and investigate your accident to gather the critical evidence needed to file an injury claim. My firm will also counsel you throughout the entire legal process and will guide you past many of the obstacles that are common in personal injury cases.
Will my case be settled or will it go to trial?
Many personal injury cases are settled prior to trial with the help of a skilled lawyer, but other cases are drawn out because the negligent party involved refuses to pay a fair amount of compensation. This is an unfortunate reality in today’s society, but your chances of having a quick and stress-free case are greatly increased when you enlist the help of a legal professional. This will also make a difference in your interactions with insurance companies, as they are more likely to work with you and give you a fair settlement if they know you have experienced lawyers on your side.
Why should I take advantage of the evaluation form?
At Haberkorn & Associates, I have chosen to offer potential clients the chance to fill out a free case evaluation form for several reasons. First, I believe it gives injury victims an opportunity to discuss their case confidentially with an outside party who can bring unique insight and provide legal counsel. Secondly, a free case evaluation allows you to learn more about your rights and your legal options without the obligation of hiring an attorney. This form also gives my team a better understanding of how we can meet your specific needs.
Should I accept a settlement from the insurance company?
If you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company, you should never automatically accept it without first consulting an accident attorney. It is very likely that your case deserves more than the insurance company is willing to give, and your attorney can determine if you are being taken advantage of by a greedy insurance company.
What is the statute of limitations?
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, you must be aware of the statute of limitations and how it affects your claim. The statute of limitations puts a limit on the amount of time that you have to take legal action and file an injury claim after an accident. In a personal injury case involving negligence, you will only have two years following the date of the accident to file a claim.
Personal injury and product liability claims have a two-year time limit. Medical malpractice claims are different and are governed by CCP section 340.5 which provides as follows, in relevant part:
In an action for injury or death against a healthcare provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first. In no event shall the time for commencement of legal action exceed three years unless tolled for any of the following: (1) upon proof of fraud, (2) intentional concealment, or (3) the presence of a foreign body, which has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the person of the injured person. Actions by a minor shall be commenced within three years from the date of the alleged wrongful act except that actions by a minor under the full age of six years shall be commenced within three years or prior to his eighth birthday whichever provides a longer period.
Section 340.5 includes three specific clauses applicable to medical malpractice cases. First, the statute targets actions against a health care provider. A “health-care provider” includes physicians and acute care hospitals. (Code Civ. Proc., § 340.5 [¶ 2](1).) Second, the last sentence of the first paragraph specifically applies to actions in which minors are plaintiffs.
Finally, within that sentence, there is an even more specific limitations period: For minors who are under six years old when they are injured, they have until their eighth birthday or within three years of the alleged wrongful act, whichever provides the longer period.
Talk to a San Mateo injury attorney today!
My firm is sensitive to the many difficulties that are related to injury claims, and I am confident that I can provide you with the compassionate, effective legal representation that you need. In order to help you understand your rights and legal options to the fullest extent, contact Haberkorn & Associates today and schedule your case evaluation!