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.
We've added a new video to our "Get Started" page. It 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.
In a recent post on my "Library" page, I ranted about insurance adjusters who view cases myopically. They refuse to see things from any other paradigm except their own.
Well, today I wrapped up a case with State Farm, and I must say, the adjuster (Chris) was a joy to deal with. He was always responsive and occasionally viewed the case from different points of view but stuck to his guns on other issues. However, when he stuck to his guns, he always explained his reasoning in a polite and reasoned manner.
I could tell Chris had reviewed the case carefully, looked at all the medical records, learned more about my client, and sought explanations when needed. I had to respect his decision because I could tell he was actually evaluating the case after digesting all the information - not based on a short-sighted or knee-jerk analysis - or blind allegiance to an insurance company. He worked very hard to try and resolve this case. I appreciated his dedication and hard work.
As you may know, I'm a former attorney for State Farm Insurance. I was a defense lawyer, defending the company and their insureds against personal injury cases. Chris and others like him restore my faith in insurance adjusters who understand their job is to evaluate cases fairly, without predisposition.
Sometimes people confuse the basic speed law in California with the speed limit. The "speed limit" is the fastest speed one can drive in a given zone. Driving the speed limit is NOT a defense to a violation of California's basic speed law which is codified in California Vehicle Code section 22350.
If you've been involved in a serious car accident, call Santa Clarita accident lawyer Robert Mansour for a consultation at (661) 414-7100.
I have some clients who call me on a weekly basis. They say, "My knee (or whatever body part) is killing me from the accident. The doctors don't know what's wrong. The physical therapy isn't helping. I'm in tremendous pain...." Of course, I'm not happy to hear about these things, but as a lawyer, there is only so much I can do. I don't have a medical degree so I can't prescribe medication or do surgery on the client. I empathize as much as I can with my clients, but I remind them that I'm handling the legal aspects of their case and they really should tell their doctors about their injuries.
Some of these same clients also want their case to be over as soon as possible. They say things like, "I just want to settle this case soon. I can't believe the insurance company hasn't made an offer yet! What's wrong with that adjuster? When is this all going to be over?!" In my 20 years as a lawyer, I've found that some clients believe that resolving their personal injury claim is going to "make everything better." They think there is a connection between the settlement of their case and their injury.
Over the years, I've had to explain to many clients that their knee (or whatever injury they have) is still going to bother them even if we resolve the case. I explain, "Just because we resolve your claim doesn't mean your neck or back isn't going to hurt tomorrow." Therefore, it is important to understand that rushing your personal injury claim to "put it behind you" or just be "done with it" isn't going to make you feel better. You need to focus on your injury and the medical treatment required to make you better. Getting a check in the mail from an insurance company is not going to help your injury.
Some people get into a car accident and think they've won the lottery! They expect lots of cash to roll their way. However, reimbursement and compensation in personal injury cases often doesn't live up to the tall tales some may believe. Years ago, I actually had a client who thought her sprained neck was going to get her $250,000. After this encounter, I make sure my clients have reasonable expectations about their personal injury case.
I'm not really sure why some clients have such unrealistic expectations about their personal injury cases. Perhaps they've heard stories from others who got a lot of money or perhaps they've watched one too many late night TV commercials from attorneys who make personal injury cases look like some kind of lottery system. I suppose the average personal injury cases don't make the news, so people naturally aren't aware of them. They hear about the occasional person who recovers millions from McDonalds for spilled coffee. Without knowing more about such cases, they figure THEIR case must be worth a great deal too.
The trouble is there are still some people out there who think their personal injury case is their path to riches. Your accident case is NOT your lottery ticket, NOT your pension plan, and NOT a retirement plan. If you have unreasonable expectations, you need to reevaluate your position and talk to an experienced attorney who will give you reasonable expectations. Don't go to any lawyer who will tell you what you want to hear.
Attorney Robert Mansour handles personal injury cases in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, Palmdale, Lancaster, Northridge, Chatsworth, and surrounding communities. If you want a candid assessment of your personal injury case, call (661) 414-7100 for a free consultation.
It's probably one of the top five reasons people screw up their own personal injury case - waiting too long before seeing a doctor after they've been injured in a car accident. How long is too long? Generally, anything beyond a week is too long. Some insurance companies believe three days is too long.
The point is this - if you've been injured, and even if you are not sure, you MUST go seek health care immediately because any delay will be used against you. However, even if you did delay, all is not necessarily lost. Some insurance companies will entertain any kind of self-help you did as "active" treatment. In other words, you have to demonstrate what you did at home to alleviate your pain. Did you ice the injury, did you sleep in and rest, did you take ibuprofen, did you lay down on your couch to rest, etc? You need to explain that you didn't just sit around and do nothing for two weeks, then decide to see a doctor.
However, the key is "convincing" an insurance adjuster you did more than sit around. How can you do that? Well, the best way to convince the adjuster is by telling your doctor about your self-help remedies during your first visit. Therefore, you must not only tell the doctor or the intake person at the doctor's office but also write it down on any intake forms. Documentation is everything. Remind the doctor to include such information in any reports generated by the doctor. At the very least, it needs to be in your records. For example, the doctor's report can say, "Mr. Smith came to seem me two weeks after his accident. He tried pain medication and ice at home to no avail. He tried hot showers and laying down, again without significant improvement. He eventually decided to visit with a doctor as his pain wasn't getting better." Do you see how this is much better than the inference that you just sat around doing nothing? Remember one of the biggest rules when it comes to personal injury cases: If something is not in your medical records or the doctor's reports, then it basically never happened as far as the insurance adjuster is concerned.
Robert Mansour handles personal injury cases in Santa Clarita and its surrounding communities including Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, Palmdale, Lancaster and beyond. Call (661) 414-7100 for help with your accident case.
During my initial consultation with a potential personal injury client, the fundamental question that I'm thinking about during our first conference is whether or not I can bring any VALUE to their case as their attorney. In many cases, the answer is "no." That doesn't mean I don't want to help the injured client or I won't offer them my advice....it just means that if I take the case and act as their attorney, it won't do them much good. In fact, in some cases, bringing a lawyer on board can complicate matters and result in a negative financial result for the client. Some lawyers will take almost any case if they feel they can make some money....they unfortunately do not consider whether doing so would be helpful to the client.
Here is a perfect example of how this usually happens. A client will come into my office and present me with a property damage estimate of less than $1000. Upon further inspection, we realize that less than half of that estimate is for "parts" and the rest is for "labor." Furthermore, photos show minor damage to the car and now the client comes to me expecting me to perform some kind of "magic" for them. In some cases, they fought with the adjuster and now they've come to me. Truth is, no matter what I do, the insurance company for the responsible party is going to treat their case as a "MIST" claim. MIST stands for "Minor Impact Soft Tissue." As such, insurance companies rarely offer much money on these kinds of cases unless the client's case is very unique in some way. Some insurance companies have a policy where they don't offer any more than $500 to $3000 on MIST cases, no matter what. If you have minor property damage, you're going to get a small offer. That's just the way it goes.
Every so often, a jury will disagree with the insurance company, but in most cases, the insurance companies know that juries are stingy and won't give much money to the injured party either. The insurance companies are banking on the fact they are probably going to win 80% of the minor cases that go to trial.
Therefore, if I can't bring any value to the case, I generally won't get involved. I tell the clients, "If I take a third of your recovery as my fee (which is a common attorney's fee), then you will be left with little to nothing after this case is done." In these cases, I generally give the clients some tips about how to resolve their case without a lawyer. Remember, if I can't bring value, then I'm reluctant to get involved.
Keep in mind that all cases are different and unique, so you should take this blog post (and anything else you read on the internet) with a grain of salt. At least talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer and get some advice. That way, you can make an educated decision. In some cases, you may even want to get two opinions just to make sure.
Santa Clarita accident attorney Robert Mansour discusses some basic things to keep in mind after an auto accident on "Out of the Rough" with local lending professional Fred Arnold. Fred asks Rob about basic things to keep in mind, what to say to the insurance adjusters, the importance of photographs, getting medical attention early in the game, being wary of recorded statements, fixing your car, the importance of the police report and much more.
If you have been involved in a serious accident and want some advice, free of charge, call the Law Office of Robert Mansour at (661) 414-7100 or visit our Contact page. We are happy to assist the entire Santa Clarita Valley.HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW:Fred Arnold: Welcome back to "Out of the Rough." I'm joined by Robert Mansour. Did I get that right, Mansour? Robert Mansour: Yes, Mansour, that's correct. Fred Arnold: A lawyer with the Law Office of Robert M. Mansour and, uh, a personal injury attorney – Robert Mansour: That's right. Fred Arnold: ‑ amongst other things. Robert Mansour: That's right. Fred Arnold: And I wanna, since the show is "Out of the Rough," I wanna talk to you about, um, something that happens in life, and it hasn't happened to me in a long time, but ooh, fender-benders or car accidents. Robert Mansour: Right. Fred Arnold: Um, what do you do? How do you, you know, where do you start? The first thing, if you get in a fender-bender or you get in an accident, uh, what do you do right away? What's the first thing, step you do? Do you call the police? Robert Mansour: Well, I think you should call the police if you suspect that you've been injured. And I, some people don't call the police because they figure they need to be bleeding all over the place. I say, look, if you suspect any injury at all, call the police, because there's several reasons. Number one, you document the event. The other party can't change their story later on because it's all written down. Number two, when you tell the police officer about your injuries it's documented, so that the insurance company for the other party will say, oh look, he did complain of injury at the scene of the accident. He was injured. It makes it more likely that you were injured. And finally number three, some insurance companies and some people will actually deny that they were even there. They'll say, "Well, I wasn't involved in a car accident. I, nobody, my car was in my driveway the whole time." If you don't have any witnesses and nobody else, it's kind of hard to prove sometimes that an accident actually happened. Fred Arnold: So you have a third-party report in case the person is not honest about the accident? Robert Mansour: That's right, and also the police officer's finding it's in your favor can be very, very helpful when it comes to making a claim for injuries. Fred Arnold: So let's, fender-bender, middle of the road, when do you pull over to the side, because don't you want to get pictures that'll – let's talk about two things. Robert Mansour: Yeah. Fred Arnold: When you pull over, don't you wanna get pictures with your phone? Robert Mansour: Yeah, the, the – I must say, I think the best thing to do is to move over as soon as you can, unless there is a very strong dispute about liability; who did what to whom. Take a couple of pictures and then get your vehicle out of the way for the safety of others, if you can. If you're immobilized and you can't get out of your car, there's nothing you can do. Fred Arnold: Obviously, and, and medical attention should be coming at that point. Robert Mansour: Hopefully, yes and, of course, if you can call for 911 or the police. If you think you've been injured, you should ask for medical attention at the scene of the accident, absolutely and take pictures. Fred Arnold: And then you can use the phone to document what's going on. Robert Mansour: That's the thing. A lot of people have cameras on their phones now. But, as I was telling a friend of mine, a lot of people take pictures with their phones but they don't know how to take the picture off of their phone. So you can email it to the lawyer or email it to yourself, but make sure you can take – and also with respect to pictures, take pictures from every conceivable angle. I have clients that come to me and they show me a picture of their car like very, very close up. I'm like that's great, but I don't understand the scene. Fred Arnold: What... Robert Mansour: Exactly. So take far, from the side, from every angle. Fred Arnold: And it's good to seek medical attention just, even if you don't know you're hurt, because you could be but you don't realize it because of the shock? Robert Mansour: I had a client with a torn rotator cuff. Six weeks going on he feels something is wrong with his shoulder. He waits six weeks before he goes to the doctor. The insurance company is now doubting that the, the rotator cuff injury is from the accident because he waited six weeks. They will use two things against you; gap in the commencement of treatment and gaps during treatment. So if you wait more than ten days to seek medical treatment, that's gonna blow up in your face. And a lot of people try to brave it. They say, oh, I'll be all right. I'll be all right. And the ten days, two weeks go by and they find that, wait a minute, I'm not all right. Fred Arnold: Yeah. Robert Mansour: And then it just explodes in their face. And then they start treatment and then they skip therapy sessions and they don't go to the doctor and they miss their appointments and those are also used against them by the insurance company. So yes, get treatment as soon as possible. Fred Arnold: And, and get advice, and this is sound advice that you're giving, but make sure you get advice. Robert Mansour: Yeah. Fred Arnold: Just a couple of last things. Um – Robert Mansour: Mm hmm. Fred Arnold: ‑ recorded statements to the insurance company. Robert Mansour: Never a good idea. I, in my 20 years of practice I've never seen somebody giving an insurance, an insurance company a statement to be in their favor. Uh, they'll call you. They'll call you really usually within 24 hours/48 hours. Hey, we want to take your recorded statement. Would that be okay with you? Because many of them know that you may not realize the extent of your injuries yet. They want to box you into a story and they'll, they'll use things against you. Like, you'll say "Well, I'm fine. How are you?" They'll say wait a minute. You said you were fine when we spoke to you on such and such a day. Fred Arnold: Right. Robert Mansour: And now you're saying that you're injured? Fred Arnold: Mm hmm. Robert Mansour: I always tell clients there is no legal obligation to give a statement and there is no pressing emergency to give a statement. Fred Arnold: Let me clarify that, your insurance versus their insurance? Robert Mansour: Yeah. Your insurance company when you're dealing with them to help fix your car and everything like that, that's fine. Talk to them. But even then be very careful about what you reveal about your injuries, because you may not know the extent of your injuries. Fred Arnold: Mm hmm. Robert Mansour: And, if the other party doesn't have insurance, you may need to turn to your own company for coverage. And if you've told them, "I'm fine. I'm okay. I think I don't have any injuries," it's gonna be very hard to claim that later on. So talk, but be very careful about what you say. Fred Arnold: Should you discuss your case with an attorney? Robert Mansour: I think that you can't get hurt by that, because most lawyers will provide you with a free consultation. Go to somebody who's been doing this a long time. And if, if they tell you, if they tell you that you don't have a case or that they have concerns about your case, that's a good lawyer. Because a good lawyer should anticipate the problems in your case and not just tell you what you wanna hear. And most of these free consultations you have no obligation to continue with the lawyer. Fred Arnold: Mm hmm. Robert Mansour: So what do you have to lose? Go spend 30 minutes and talk to somebody who's been down the river and can tell you what's, what's gonna happen. Fred Arnold: Yeah, get professional advice. Robert Mansour: Yeah. Fred Arnold: Because those you're going up against are professionals. Robert Mansour: Oh yeah, they've been doing this for years. They're trained. Fred Arnold: They're trained professionals. Robert Mansour: Mm hmm. Fred Arnold: One last thing and, and uh, um, we're going to jump to a quick break but – Robert Mansour: Yes. Fred Arnold: ‑ who should fix your car? Robert Mansour: I like to go to your own insurance company to fix your car and here's why. They'll generally act much more quickly, especially if you have the, all the comprehensive coverage under your insurance policy. And also, even though you incur a deductible, they have an obligation to you. They're your, you're employing them. You pay their, you pay the premiums. They have a, a loyalty to you and they have to do it right. Fred Arnold: Almost a fiduciary. Robert Mansour: A fiduciary duty. Fred Arnold: Yeah. Robert Mansour: Whereas, the insurance company for the other party they don't have any contract with you. Fred Arnold: Right. Robert Mansour: They can take their sweet time. They can say, well, we need to investigate, and by that time you're sitting there without a car. Your car is still sitting on your driveway all busted up. Fred Arnold: Yeah, and it affects you. Uh, those that wanna reach you, reach out to you, how can they reach you? Robert Mansour: Yes, they can reach me. I'm, I'm a local attorney here in Santa Clarita. They can reach me at www.valencialawyer.com, or they can just call my office which is 661-414-7100. Fred Arnold: Perfect. Oh, we're gonna jump to a break, uh, but do you mind sticking around? I want to talk about one more issue. Robert Mansour: I would love that, Fred, thank you. Fred Arnold: We'll be right back.