VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hello everyone. This is Robert Mansour, and I'm broadcasting from my home office here in Los Angeles, California. I'm a practicing lawyer here, and one of the areas I practice is personal injury. There is an issue that has cropped up the last couple of client meetings that I think is worth bringing up and it's the issue of property damage. Clients come to my office and they have an older car and it gets into the accident and the insurance company evaluates the car and makes them an offer. For example, on a case that I recently had, the client had an older car. It was worth about $10,000 and the insurance company made an offer of about $10,000. The client comes to me and says, “Well, how am I supposed to buy a new car with that?” I said, “You're not supposed to buy a new car with that.”
You don't get a new car after an accident just because you were in an accident. If that was the case, then everybody with an older car who felt like trading up would just go get into some kind of car accident and get money from their insurance company and go buy a new car with it. I told the client you get the fair value of your car on the date of the accident. In other words, if you had sold the car the day of the accident before the accident happened, how much could you fairly get for it? How much could you have reasonably expected for a car that old, with that much mileage on it, with whatever options it had?
Basically, I tell them to go to resources like kelleybluebook.com or edmunds.com or cars.com. Another one is autotrader.com. These are nice online resources where you can plug in the information about your vehicle and see what comes up. If the insurance company's offering you roughly the same, go ahead and take it. You're not going to be able to buy a new car with it, but you can go maybe get a used car or put it towards a new car. Remember, you don't get a new car just because you were in an accident.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the insurance adjuster, the property damage adjuster doesn't really have a lot of leeway. They generally use a third party company. They hire this company and this company spits out a number and gets them a computer generated printout. Generally speaking, that's pretty much it. They don't have a lot of leeway from that number whereas perhaps on a bodily injury claim they might have more leeway.
When it comes to property damage they don't really move very much, so don't be terribly surprised or terribly disappointed if your experience with respective property damage is not that great. Frankly, the car or the vehicle will never be worth what you think it's worth. Most of the time my clients think their car is worth a lot more than it really is. Again, use objective resources, see how much the car would have bore in the marketplace, how much you could have gotten from a fair market value standpoint and that's pretty much it.
Thank you very much for watching this video. I appreciate it. My name is Robert Mansour, and I'll see you next time.
Robert Mansour handles personal injury cases in Santa Clarita, Newhall, Castaic, Canyon Country, Valencia, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch and surrounding communities. Ca (661) 414-7100 to make an appointment.
There is a new tactic be employed by some insurance companies that I thought I would share with you. Basically, even when liability is perfectly clear, they will stall the process by insisting that they need to "speak with their insured."
That simply means that they are trying to delay the settlement process. They will say things like they can't accept liability unless they speak with their client, even when liability is clearly against their client. They do this even when the police report is clearly against their client.
They simply state, "Well it's our policy to speak to our insured first before deciding whether or not to accept fault for this accident." In the meantime, there's damage clearly to the front of their clients car, damage clearly to the back of my clients car, and a police report that puts the blame squarely on their client. In truth, there really is no "need" to speak to their insured. What they're trying to do is delay the settlement of the case and defer the acceptance of liability. In the meantime, my clients are incurring bills, may be unable to rent a car, or other problem simply because the responsible party's insurance company won't accept liability until they "speak with their client."
I can understand the need to speak with their client when liability is disputed or there are serious questions about the case. However, interviewing their own client when liability is obviously clear is nothing more than a stall tactic. It is very sad to see how low some insurance companies will stoop an effort to avoid paying out what is owed.
Please call my office if you want to discuss your personal injury case. The phone number is (661) 414-7100.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hi, this is Robert Mansour, and I’m broadcasting to you today from my home office in Los Angeles, California. I wanted to spend a couple of minutes talking about one of the ways that you can be misinformed by friends and family.
I got a call from a client the other day and he says, “Listen, I was in a very bad accident some years ago, and I was hospitalized then I had physical therapy, and I was on crutches for a long time…” Basically, it was a big accident. And so I said, “Well, how can I help you?” He goes, “Well I settled with the insurance company a while ago and I didn’t’ quite accept the money yet, they haven’t sent me the check, and I haven’t signed any paperwork.” And I said, “So, why not?” He says, “Well, I wasn’t sure if I was okay, and I wanted to make sure I was okay first, before I signed any paperwork and I accepted their settlement.” And I told him I said, “That sounds very reasonable, so what’s the problem?”
And so he says, “Well, we’re coming upon the three-year statute and I want to make sure we file the case in a timely fashion because they’re not returning my calls, and I can’t seem to get them to address the situation.” I told him, “Wait a minute, did you say ‘three-year’ statute?” He says, “Yeah, a buddy of mine says I have three years to file a lawsuit, and if I don’t file within that three years, I’m out of luck.” I said, “Actually, it’s two years.”
That’s right, as I record this video the statute in California is two years, not three years, and this is the danger, one of the dangers of listening to friends and family - they could give you the wrong information. Not just the wrong information from an opinion point of view, sometimes they’ll make it sound like they know the facts. Here is the thing: When you’re involved in an accident that requires some kind of medical attention, etc., go talk to a lawyer who’s been doing this for a while. Get their information, get their opinion, get some guidance from them because then at least you can make an educated decision. This poor fellow who talked to me, he’s out of luck. It’s well past the two-year statute. He settled with the insurance company, but what do they care, they’re not there to protect his rights. They’re there to protect their money. So, once again, always talk to a professional at the outset of your case to make sure you get all the facts and all the information that is relevant to you and your matter.
This is Robert Mansour, thank you very much for watching this brief video. (Keep in mind there are different rules for medical malpractice cases and matters involving municipalities.)
When it comes to personal injury cases, I cannot stress the importance of photographs enough. Most people don't seem to understand why photographs are important when it comes to accident cases. The old adage holds true - a picture speaks a thousand words. This is extremely true when it comes to proving your accident case.
You're probably not going to have a camera with you at the time of the accident. However, many cell phones now have the ability to take decent pictures. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. However, don't forget to take pictures of the damage to all other vehicles involved in the accident. Also try to take pictures of the scene if you can. It is very important when he comes to convincing in insurance adjuster that your accident involved more than a minor bump.
If you take pictures with your cell phone, make sure you know how to get the photos off your cell phone. In many cases, you can email the photos to yourself and download them to your computer. You can also email them to your attorney or burn them onto a disc. When taking photographs, it's important to take photographs from every conceivable angle. Take pictures of the left side, the right side, from above, from below, from various distances, etc. Don't just take a close-up of the damage because that will not convey the entire story. Remember, in many cases you'll be trying to convince an insurance adjuster that this accident was more than minor. They will do everything they can to minimize your claims. You need to do the opposite - everything to maximize your claims. If the accident was major, you definitely want to document that fact using photographs.
Proving lost earnings is more difficult than you think. You can't recover for "speculative" lost earnings. This affects folks who get paid on commission because it's hard to show you were going to get paid when commission is, by its nature, a hit-or-miss proposition. However, when it comes to lost earnings, you have to show concrete losses. You have to show you were GOING TO GET PAID but did not BECAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT!
Also, it helps to get verification of inability to work from your doctor. If you are unable to work due to your accident, do not leave your doctor’s office without written verification of your working status from your doctor – in other words, get a “note” from your doctor! Claims for lost wages from work are dependent upon your doctor’s written verification of your work status. It is your responsibility to get this information from your physician. Oftentimes, the lawyer's office doesn't get notice of these. Without such notes from the doctor keeping you off work, your claim for wage loss, if any, will be severely hampered.
If you are going to allege lost wages, you also need verification from your employer of the dates missed and your rate of pay. If you are missing work due to the accident, your employer (the person offering verification) should know WHY you are missing work. They need to know it is accident-related. Provide your lawyer with the name/address/phone of the person who can assist with verification of your lost earnings. If your claim is significant, providing tax returns from the past 2 or 3 years is helpful to show the decline after the accident. Insurance companies often won’t pay for lost wages unless they have verification from your employer AND your doctor. Otherwise, they will simply assume you just decided to stay home, eat ice cream, and watch Seinfeld re-runs. They don't pay lost earnings because you are a nice person.
Call (661) 414-7100 if you have any questions or would like help with your personal injury case.
After a car accident, Santa Clarita lawyer Robert Mansour discusses why it's almost always a good idea to get a police report. If there are no injuries, most officers will decline to come to the scene. Parties are encouraged instead to "exchange information."
However, even if you think you might be injured, it's a good idea to ask for the police so you can get a report. The report is helpful because it documents the event. The responsible party is less likely to change their story later on if they know it's been documented on a police report. Also, witness statements are preserved. If you complained of any injury from the accident, your injuries will be documented in the report, therefore bolstering your credibility when you are later complaining of injuries from the accident. In other words, if there is mention in the police report of injury, it is more likely you were truly injured and not just claiming injury to sustain your personal injury claim. Also, some insurance companies and some drivers have been known to completely deny being involved in an accident. This is easier to do when there are no witnesses and no police report. Call (661) 414-7100 for help with your personal injury case.
Many insurance companies are encouraging their insurance claims adjusters to meet with victims of accidents shortly after the accident occurs. Basically, you get a call from the from the insurance adjuster who seems to have your best interests in mind. He will explain that he wants to "learn more" about your accident. He will say that he's concerned about your medical bills. You'll be reassured, "Don't worry...we'll take care of everything." The next thing you know, he's offering to meet for coffee at the local Starbucks. Be very careful because in most cases, the insurance adjuster does not have your best interest in mind. Surprise! What they're really trying to do is put a quick settlement before you in an effort to close their case. I used to work for the insurance companies, and the mantra we heard over and over again was, "A 'closed file' is a 'happy' file!"They will often offer you $250 or $500 in an effort to put a quick end to the matter. They will dangle the check in front of you and hope you take it. There is no pressing reason to meet with the adjuster so early in the case. You are certainly not obliged to do so. You might not even sure what the extent of your injuries are. Actually, that is why they offer to meet you so quickly. If they wait much longer, you might become more fully aware of your injuries and less likely to accept their paltry offer. While there are some very conscientious insurance adjusters out there, there are many who have no interest in justice or doing what's right. They just want to close their file quickly. Remember, a closed file is a happy file!If you've been involved in a serious car accident, seek legal assistance before talking with the insurance company. Call our office at (661) 414-7100 for a free consultation. Read some of the other information on this website and make sure to check out the video page.
After you hire an attorney for your personal injury case, make sure you keep in touch with the lawyer during the claim process. It is important to provide your attorney with the actual evidence used to prove your case. This includes medical bills, expenses, and loss of income documentation from your employment. Regular communication is important. If your attorney calls you, make sure you return their call as soon as you can since they may be seeking to obtain further information or update you about your case.
Here are some other suggestions:
Make sure to thoroughly read all correspondence from your attorney.
Keep all medical appointments with your treating doctors and physical therapy appointments.
Maintain a file of all medical bills records, lost wages, and other expenses in relation to the incident.
Make sure to keep a list all of witnesses who can testify about your injuries or the events of the accident. These people may be called upon especially if litigation is necessary.
Collect any and all photos that were taken at the scene of the accident and any photos depicting damage or injuries. Make sure your lawyer gets copies - digital photos are best.
Make sure you notify your attorney of any changes in address, phone number, marital status, change of employment, or significant change of your physical condition.
If you receive any correspondence, bills, etc. in the mail relating to your case from anyone or any facility, send a copy to your lawyer. Don't assume your lawyer is automatically getting copies unless you see them specifically copied on the correspondence.
Keeping your lawyer in the loop helps your case run smoothly.
Be sure to answer all your attorney’s questions truthfully and honestly. There is nothing to be gained from hiding information from your lawyer. If you need help with your personal injury case, call our office at (661) 414-7100 or click here to get started
After a serious accident, many people feel that they can heal on their own, or that the injuries suffered from the car accident are not that serious. In many cases, they are correct. In many cases, they are flat out wrong. Then when they try to pursue their claim, their inaction is used against them by the responsible party's insurance company. Insurance companies don't want you to seek care, so they can use that against you in the future.
When you are involved in an automobile accident you need to seek medical attention right away. Don't "wait and see." It will only harm your position. Many times when the insurance companies and juries don’t see proof of your injuries resulting from the accident, they often believe you do not deserve compensation. Therefore, if you don't seek medical assistance, they will assume you are fine.
Insurance companies hate it when you’re hurt in the accident and immediately go to the hospital to see a doctor. Why? Well it’s simple - it’s harder for them to argue that you were not hurt in the accident if your actions were consistent with someone who was hurt. Therefore, make sure you’re telling your treating doctor of all injuries, whether big or small, and do so sooner than later. Injuries could gradually get worse because they have not been properly treated, and it may be too late.
Call our office at (661) 414-7100 and be proactive about your personal injury case.
This video helps clients understand how to get started with their personal injury case. Here is a complete transcript of the video:
Hello, everyone this is Robert Mansour and this brief video is designed to introduce you to how to get started with your personal injury case. So obviously if you've come to this website, you've probably been involved in a car accident and you might be looking for an attorney's guidance regarding whether or not you have a case worth pursuing, whether you're better doing nothing, whether you should handle it on your own, or whether perhaps you should get a lawyer involved. So you've come to the right place and this the starting point. So the first thing you've got to do is call my office. The reason you want to call the office is to setup your initial personal injury consultation and the consultation should occur as soon after the accident as possible, because one of the reasons personal injury cases fail is because clients take too long before they become proactive about their case and sometimes these delays can come back to haunt you.
So during the initial call my office staff will probably ask you some basic questions about the accident just to make sure that it's something that we can help you with and then we'll pick a date that's convenience for you and for our office to meet.
So the next thing you need to do is fill out the personal injury questionnaire or the secure, online accident questionnaire. So, near the middle of the page you're going to find a secure, online accident questionnaire, and go ahead and click on that and it's going to open up a questionnaire in a new window that will walk you through all of the relevant information that I'm going to need during our initial conversation. And don't be overwhelmed by all the information, if you don't have it all, but gather as much as you can. Now, if you don't want to fill out the online form, right below that, you can click on the checklist and that will open up a checklist that you can print. Basically, the checklist will ask you for all of the relevant information including any and all photographs depicting damage to all of the vehicles involved in the accident, any and all photographs of your injuries, bruising, cuts, scrapes, those are the kinds of things that you want to be documented. It will be asking you for all of your auto insurance information, especially something called your declarations page, which shows a review of all of the insurance coverage that you have available to you on your vehicle. Also, we're going to ask you for insurance information for the other vehicle, the responsible party. If you have any property damage estimates to your vehicle, we're going to need those and if you don't have a property damage estimate, you might want to go get one sooner than later.
If you've already been to some doctors or a hospital or you've received emergency treatment, or you went to urgent care, we're going to need all of the doctors and facility information for those places that you visited. In fact, if you can, call those facilities and ask them for a copy of all of your records and all of your bills from your visit post-accident. It makes life a lot easier.
Also, if you've been a Medicare or Medi-Cal recipient, we're going to need your information. We also need your health insurance information.
If there is a police report of any sort, we will need a copy of that and if you don't have a copy, that's all right, we can order one for you, but let us know whether or not there was a police report. Also, if there were any witnesses, we're going to want their names, addresses and phone numbers as well.
Then it's time for our initial consultation where I will sit with you, review everything that you've provided to me and again, the more information you provide to me, the better I can advise you. So during this meeting I'll let you whether or not it's worth having a lawyer on your side, what your options are, what different paths you might want to take and how the case might unfold. And during that consultation you can ask any questions that you have and I'll do my very best to answer them. And then of course, the relationship may begin, if you choose to go forward. There will be absolutely no pressure for you to do one thing or another. It is a purely informational meeting and in most cases, there is no charge.
Thank you very much for visiting my website. Thank you for your interest and go ahead and proceed with the steps and we'll get started in assisting you with your personal injury consultation. Thank you very much, again this Robert Monsieur and I appreciate your time in watching this video.