FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is collision deductible waiver coverage?

Generally, if you get into an accident, you will have to pay a certain amount to fix your car. This is called a deductible. If you obtain this type of coverage, the insurance company will waive your mandatory deductible, as long as you are found not to be at fault for the accident.

If I am renting a car while my car is being repaired, should I take out extra insurance for the rental car?

Generally, you do not need to take out extra insurance as long as you have insurance coverage for the vehicle that is being repaired. However, please consult with one of our attorneys so that we can review your insurance policy to determine whether you need additional insurance.

 

Should I get rental car coverage?

Rental Car coverage will pay for a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. Although this varies based on the insurance company, some insurance carriers cover up to $50 a day for 30 days for a rental car. If you obtain this coverage, you will be able to use a vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired.

The attorneys at the Frish Law Group will advise you as to when and how to obtain a rental vehicle at the expense of the insurance company. If you obtain a rental vehicle before the body shop can start repairing your vehicle, you may be stuck paying hundreds of dollars for the rental. Don’t let that happen to you. Consult with one of our attorneys.

Should I get underinsured motorist coverage?

This is an optional insurance coverage that covers property damage and/or bodily injury caused by another driver when that driver’s insurance policy is insufficient to cover your damages. If you drive a car that is worth more than $10,000, I highly recommend that you get this coverage.

Should I get uninsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your damages if you are involved in a hit and run accident, or when the other driver is responsible for the accident and does not have automobile insurance. Our attorneys highly recommend that you get this coverage. You will be thankful that you did.

A recent study found that 1 out of every 7 (or 13.8%) drivers do not have automobile insurance. Therefore, if you happen to get into an accident with one of these drivers and you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll have to pay for all of your damages yourself.

What is collision coverage?

This is a type of coverage that will pay for only for your property damage when you are involved in an accident with another vehicle – it will not pay for the damage to the other vehicle. This insurance only takes effect when you are at fault for the accident. This coverage will pay for your repairs.

 

What is comprehensive coverage?

This is a type of insurance coverage that is available to you for property damage. It does not cover injuries, rental cars, or anything else other than property damage. If you collide with a dog and damage your car, comprehensive coverage will be used to fix your car. This coverage only covers repairs and not stolen items.

The attorneys at the Frish Law Group can help advise you as to the amount and type of automobile insurance that we recommend.

I got into an accident recently and feel fine. Should I still see a doctor?

Yes. Most doctors will tell you that the effects of a car accident may take a few days, or even a month, to manifest. Also, the initial shock following an accident may block some of the pain that you would normally feel. A doctor will be able to examine you closely to make sure that you really are OK.

If you call the attorneys at the Frish Law Group, we can refer you to a doctor who will conduct a full evaluation of your injuries for free. If you are injured, that doctor may even treat your injuries without any upfront payment. Instead, the doctor will get paid only when we recover money for your accident.

What happens if the amount of my losses is higher than the insurance limits of the other driver?

Let’s say you are involved in an accident where the damage to your car is $10,000. The minimum property damage coverage that California drivers must have is $5,000. Obviously, $5,000 is not enough to repair your car in this scenario. If you have what’s called “underinsured property damage” coverage, your insurance will pay for the remainder of the necessary repairs. If you do not have underinsured coverage, you may have to sue the other driver to collect the remainder of your damages.

If the other driver doesn’t have any property or any assets, you may be stuck paying for the remaining repairs yourself. If you contact one of our attorneys, we can review your entire claim and make sure that you pay as little as possible out of pocket for your repairs and your injuries.

Will my insurance premiums go up if my insurance pays for any of my losses?

It depends. Your insurance will go up only if you are found to be at fault for the accident. If you are found not to be at fault, your insurance will not increase. But be careful, your insurance company may have initially found you to be at fault for the accident. If you do not follow up with the insurance carrier, they may accidently fail to update the person actually found to be at fault for the accident, and your insurance may go up.

The attorneys at the Frish Law Group closely monitor your accident claim and ensure that every claim is handled properly and carefully.

How will the insurance company figure out who is at fault for the accident?

There are numerous factors that an insurance company will look at in order to make a liability decision. A video of the accident is probably the best way to determine who is at fault for the accident. However, videos of accidents are not very common. The use of witnesses is a very good, and the most common, method of determining the person liable for an accident. Police reports are also a helpful way to establish liability. The driver’s statements can also help insurance carriers determine liability.

Usually, the driver’s statements are the sole basis of an adjuster’s liability evaluation. For this reason, regardless of whether you are asked to give a statement to your insurance carrier or the other driver’s insurance carrier, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney first. This way you can have an idea of the types of questions that will be asked.

The attorneys at our law firm will meet with you and explain the most common questions asked of you so that you won’t be caught off-guard when speaking to an adjuster. Sometimes, we’ll even advise you to not make a statement to the insurance carrier. Every accident is different and must be evaluated based on the specific facts of that accident.

What is the minimum policy limit requirement for automobile insurance in California?

By law, all California drivers must have a minimum of a 15/30 personal injury liability policy. This means that the insurance carrier will pay each injured person up to $15,000 per accident and will pay no more than $30,000 per accident for all persons involved in the accident. So, if there are three people in your car and each of them suffers $15,000 in injuries, there will be a coverage issue because there is a total of $45,000 in damages, but the insurance carrier is only responsible for paying $30,000. This means that the insured may be liable for the difference of $15,000.

Californians are only required to maintain $5,000 limit for property damage. Therefore, if you get into an accident and the other driver has a $5,000 policy and you have $10,000 in damage to your car, there may not enough money to fix your car.

Please called the attorneys at the Frish Law Group so that we can help you fix your car, even if the other driver’s insurance coverage is too small to cover all of your damages.

What should I do if I was involved in an accident and I didn’t have automobile insurance?

Hopefully no one was hurt and the police were not called. However, if the police find out you are driving without automobile insurance, you will receive a ticket.

If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault and you were injured, you can still go after the other driver or his/her insurance. However, you will only be able to recover money that you spent treating your injuries or replacing property (your out-of-pocket expenses). You will not be able to recover your damages for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident. This is the case because Californians passed Proposition 213, which prohibits the recovery of damages for pain and suffering if you did not have valid automobile insurance at the time of the accident.

If you are at fault for the accident and someone is injured, you will be personally responsible for all damages that you have caused. This means that your wages could be garnished, a “lien” could be placed on your house, or your property could be sold to pay for the injuries you have caused. You should call an attorney immediately to determine your options.

What is subrogation?

Subrogation is the process by which an insurance carrier tries to recoup the money it has paid for a claim. If you are involved in a car accident, your insurance carrier pays to repair your car, and the accident is not your fault, your insurance company will try to recoup the money it paid for your car by going after the opposing party, or their insurance carrier.

The attorneys in our office will work with the insurance adjuster to help him/her recover that money from the other insurance company.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my car accident?

The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for a car accident depends on something called the “Statute of Limitations”. In California, the SOL for a car accident that was caused by the carelessness of the other driver is two (2) years from the time of the accident. This means that if you do not file a lawsuit within two years of the accident, it’s possible that you’ll never be allowed to file one in the future. There are exceptions to this rule, but to be on the safe side, you should file within two years of the accident.

If you contact one of our attorneys, we will tell you how much time you have to file a lawsuit. In certain situations, we must file a lawsuit the same day that you visit our office.

 

My attorney was able to win my case but I still have not received any money. What should I do?

If you win your case in court (called a “judgment”) and you haven’t received payment, you should ask the attorney what the hold up is. It’s likely that the defendant does not have insurance or sufficient property or money to pay you for this judgment. If this is the case, you should consult an attorney with our office who deals in the “collection” of judgments. We will help you search for the other driver’s property and bank accounts in order to help you recover this money.

What is negligence?

This is a legal theory used by courts in America. This theory is often used to establish that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Negligence is a theory that has a number of parts that must be established to win and be compensated for your injuries; these parts are called “elements”. The elements of negligence include 1) a legal duty to use care while doing some action, 2) a breach of that duty, 3) a reasonably close causal connection between that breach and your injury, and 4) actual loss or damage to you.

Generally, it is based on the carelessness of the defendant that led to your injury. If the driver is determined to be negligent, then oftentimes you were not at fault and could recover for your injuries. Usually, accidents are not caused intentionally, but negligently. Regardless, you have a right to receive compensation for the carelessness of another person while driving a vehicle or doing any other action.

I was at a bar, got very drunk, and on my way home caused an accident. Can I sue anyone for the accident?

Maybe. Most states have enacted the “Dram Shop Act.” This is a law that states that anyone who knowingly keeps serving a visibly drunk patron/guest may be responsible for any damages that person causes to themselves or another person. Call the Frish Law Group so we can give you a free consultation regarding your rights today.

Should I have my car towed from the scene of the accident?

If your car is drivable (i.e., in a safe and working order) you may not want to have it towed unless you have a free tow service. If LAPD or CHP tows your car, be ready to pay substantial fees (e.g., hook up fees, tow fees, storage fees, etc.).

Also, should your car be towed from the scene of the accident, you may lose evidence as a result of the tow company’s negligence. For this reason, we always suggest calling the Frish Law Group first so we can have one of our attorneys or experts come to the scene of the accident to properly document and photograph the scene. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged a dime unless we are able to get you a recovery. Call the Frish Law Group today for a free consultation.

I was wearing my seatbelt and was involved in a serious accident. My stomach was severely injured from the seatbelt. What should I do?

This may be a defective “window shade.” This is a device that is installed for the purpose of maintaining the correct amount of slack on your seatbelt. If defective, it could injure you in a serious automobile accident. You may have a lawsuit against the carmaker and the manufacturer of the seatbelt (called a “products liability” case).

My friend’s SUV rolled over and I was injured. I don’t think my friend did anything wrong. Is there any way I can be compensated for my injuries?

Yes. If your friend has something on his insurance policy called “medical payment coverage” (or med-pay) with his automobile insurance carrier, you can receive that money to cover your medical expenses. Most med-pay policies will pay up to $5,000 of your reasonable medical expenses. Your attorney can help you determine what counts as ‘reasonable” medical expenses and which ones may be unreasonable.

Also, you may have a possible lawsuit against the maker of the vehicle if it was defective in any way.

When can the other driver’s insurance carrier deny my accident claim?

Before denying a claim, an insurance company will undertake an investigation into “coverage” and “liability”.

Coverage investigations usually don’t take very long and relate to whether the insurance company will cover its driver for the accident. Most often, insurance companies will deny coverage if the other driver didn’t pay its insurance on time or if the driver was not allowed to be driving the car at the time (an “excluded driver”).

Generally, if the insurance policy was paid on time, there should be coverage. Also, usually even if the driver of the vehicle is not listed on the automobile insurance policy, the insurance company will cover the accident as long as the person on the policy made a timely premium payment.

Sometimes problems arise if the driver of the vehicle is an “excluded driver”. This is when the insurance policy specifically states that a certain person is not covered, or excluded, by the policy (generally a minor living in the same household as the insured). If that’s the case, and the driver is involved in the accident, the insurance carrier will deny coverage.

Liability investigations take longer than coverage investigations and there are many more considerations involved. Once an accident occurs, the insurance company will assign a person (called an “adjuster”) to investigate the accident and determine who was at fault for the accident. The adjuster will attempt to talk to all of the drivers and witnesses regarding the accident (called a “recorded statement”). The adjuster will also try to obtain any videos or photos of the accident. There may also be police reports that include the drivers’ and witness’s statements. Once all of these considerations are taken into account, the adjuster will make a liability determination. If the adjuster decides that you were at fault, don’t worry – the fight is not over. It’s your attorney’s job to make sure that the adjuster is proven wrong in court.

When can my insurance company deny my accident claim?

Your insurance carrier may deny your claim for several reasons. One of the most common reasons is for not doing something that you should’ve done pursuant to your contract with your insurance compnay. Your insurance contract tells you what your obligations are pursuant to the contract. These may include calling your insurance carrier to report an accident within 24 to 48 hours after the accident, calling your adjuster back in a timely manner when they have questions for you regarding your accident, paying your premiums on time every month, and/or refraining from drinking and driving.

I am a California driver and was driving in another state when I got into an accident. Will my automobile insurance cover me?

As a general rule, yes. The insurance coverage you have is not limited to one state. As long as you have valid insurance, it should apply to accidents that occurred anywhere within the United States. However, you should consult with one of our attorneys to determine whether your insurance premium will increase from the accident if you’re found to be at fault. All states have different rules about how they handle driving violations. An accident or a ticket in another state may be a “point” on your California driving record and cause your insurance premium to rise.

 

Is there anything in particular I need to tell my doctor about my accident?

Yes. You need to tell your doctor about all of your injuries so they can be addressed accordingly. Not only do you need to tell your doctor about the injuries you sustained as a result of the recent accident, but you should tell the doctor about all of your previous injuries and health issues. That is because the law says that you deserve to be compensated even for injuries that were healed but were either reinjured or exacerbated as a result of the most recent accident.

If you don’t tell your doctor about all of your past and present injuries, after you receive your settlement or win in court, you will not be able to get any additional compensation from that defendant for your injuries at a later date. Therefore, you should take every opportunity possible to get the treatment you need and determine every single injury that you suffered as a result of the accident.

 

I was injured while I was a passenger in a vehicle. The other driver’s insurance company doesn’t want to pay for my injuries. Is there any way I can collect for my injuries?

Possibly. If the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger has what’s called “medical payment coverage”, then you should be able to get the medical treatment that you need and have the insurance company cover those expenses. The attorneys in our office have a lot of experience reviewing insurance policies to determine if and how you could get money for the injuries that you sustained.

Should I settle my case now or sue the other driver?

Filing a lawsuit against the other driver will generally result in a larger recovery. The problem is that most personal injury attorneys hate going to court. They would rather make a quick buck and move on to the next case. The first thing you should do when consulting with a personal injury attorney is to ask them if they will file a lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary. If they say yes, ask them how many cases they currently have filed in current. These questions should give you a good idea if the attorney is a litigator or just in it to settle and make a quick buck.

You should be aware that litigation is time-consuming and lengthy. You should be ready to answer lots of questions from your attorney, the opposing attorney, and others. Some of these questions will have to be answered while under oath. It’s not easy, but definitely worth the effort if you are involved in a serious car accident.

What is a “release”?

A release is a document that you will sign in exchange for money you receive if you agree to settle your case. Most releases contain promises to either stop a lawsuit or not to start after you receive this money. You should always consult an attorney before you sign anything given to you by an insurance adjuster or the other driver’s attorney.

Do I have to pay taxes on the money that I got for my accident?

Generally, no. If you were involved in a car accident and you received either a settlement or won an dreceived someone money, this money is not taxable because it is not considered income. However, fines imposed by the court to punish the defendant (“punitive damages”), may be taxable. We have relationships with accountants throughout Los Angeles who would be able to advise you as to the tax consequences of the money you receive from your accident.

Who do I sue for the accident?

It is advisable to sue everyone who may be responsible for your damages. This may include, but is not limited to, the other driver, owner of the car, employer of the driver, government, etc. Here is why some of these people/entities may be responsible for your injuries:

  • You would sue the other driver because hey/she may be directly responsible for your injuries. The other driver should pay for all of your expenses and the pain and suffering you endured.
  • The owner of the vehicle may have loaned their car to someone they knew should not have been driving. For example, this could be the case because the driver borrowed the owner’s car on three separate previous occasions and got into 2 accidents, all in the last 3 months. Hence, when the owner loaned their car for the fourth time, they knew, or at the very least should have known, that there was a strong possibility that the driver would get into another accident. Therefore, the registered owner should also be added as a defendant in addition to suing the driver of the vehicle.
  • The driver’s employer may have been negligent in supervising the driver/employee. For example, on the day of the accident, the employer saw the driver/employee came to work drunk. Not a little drunk, but so drunk that the employee could barely walk. Despite the other driver’s employer seeing the employee’s condition, he still made the employee drive the work van to make deliveries, and the employer did nothing to stop the driver from driving away. If the employee then got into an accident, their employer would be responsible because they did not properly supervise the driver.

Do I have to sue the other driver in court?

No. Over 90% of accident cases are not filed in court. Instead, attorneys often file what is called a “claim” against the other driver’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will investigate the accident and, if they find that their driver was at fault for the accident, will offer you some amount of money to settle the case.

However, if you are involved in a serious accident and the other driver has a home, a job, other valuable property, or enough money to pay for your injuries, it may be advisable to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Even when lawsuits are filed, over 95% of them are resolved before a trial actually takes place. At the Frish Law Group, we recommend that you consult an attorney to determine whether filing suit is your best option.

How can I get the largest amount of money for my accident claim?

Generally, the best way to get more money for your accident is to sue the other driver. Statistically, if you bring a lawsuit against the other driver, the amount of money that you will receive will be at least three times greater than the settlement offer that the other insurance carrier made before trial. The reason for this is simple; once a lawsuit is brought against the other driver, the other driver’s insurance carrier has to hire an attorney to defend their insured. This means that the insurance carrier has a large expense from the get go. The longer the lawsuit lasts, the more expenses the insurance carrier incurs. In addition to the expenses, the insurance company has the possibility of paying you a lot of money if the court or the jury decides that the other driver was at fault. The combination of these two factors places more pressure on the insurance company, which results in larger settlement offers.

How long does it take before I get my compensation?

It will take anywhere from four months to two years for you to get your compensation. As a general rule, the more severe the injuries, the longer it will take to resolve the matter because you need to concentrate on your recovery, receiving your treatment, and visiting your doctors.

Further, it takes longer to receive payment in accidents with more severe injuries because we seek a larger amount of money to resolve the matter – and as you know, insurance companies would rather pay you less rather than more. Insurance companies’ initial settlement offers are always for a small amount. Many attorneys will suggest that you accept the smaller amount because it provides the attorney with faster compensation, while doing minimal work. This is a BIG mistake. At the Frish Law Group, we make sure that you are fully compensated for your injuries, your lost wages, and the future pain and suffering that you will incur as a result of the accident. We will not settle your accident claim unless we know that we have made every effort to get you the maximum compensation.

What type of expenses will the attorney incur during my representation?

The types of expenses associated with your case can widely range; these include doctor’s expenses, court filing fees, fees to obtain your medical records and reports, fees to pay experts at hearings, etc.

At the Frish Law Group, you never have to pay for these fees out-of-pocket. If and when we receive payment for your injuries, we deduct that amount from the total settlement, Furthermore, if you were injured in the accident, we will find and recommend a doctor for you who will only be paid if we win or settle your case. The doctor does not need to be paid upfront or use your health insurance (if you have a policy). You will never be stuck with a large medical bill. In short, if there is no recovery, you pay nothing.

Who is going to compensate me for my injuries?

It all depends. If the other driver had insurance and the other driver was responsible for the accident, his/her insurance should compensate you for the injuries. If the other driver did not have insurance or the insurance policy is too small to cover all of your injuries, your insurance might step in and pay for all or part of your injuries. Sometimes it is worthwhile to file a lawsuit against he other driver and recover money directly from the driver (this is especially true when the driver did not have insurance, but has money or assets sufficient to compensate you for your injuries). If the driver was on the job when the accident occurred, the employer may be responsible for your injuries. In that case, you may file a claim and/or lawsuit against both the driver and the employer.

As you can see, there are various ways to compensate you for your injuries and the explanation above does not cover all of the different scenarios. The attorneys at our firm can help you navigate this confusing and complex maze in order to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries.

Do I have to pay any expenses associated with my representation?

The person responsible for paying the expenses associated with your injury case depends on the agreement you have with the attorney. At the Frish Law Group, our clients do not pay any litigation expenses out-of-pocket. Frish Law Group pays those expenses for you. If and when Frish Law Group makes a recovery on your behalf, we will then deduct the expenses from the recovery. If there is no recovery, you will not have to pay us for any of the expenses.

How do I pay my attorney for representing me in my accident?

You don’t pay us anything up front. If and when the attorney makes a recovery from an insurance company or the party at fault, then the attorney will take a percentage (generally 33%) from the recovery.

How much money will I get for my accident?

The amount of money you receive for an automobile accident depends on the severity of your injuries, the type of coverage the other driver has, the amount of your medical bills, and the attorney’s fees. Most cases get resolved for somewhere around 1.5 to 3 times the amount of your medical bills. So if your chiropractic bill is $2,000, your recovery should be somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000; generally, if the amount of the damage to your vehicle is more than $3,000 you will likely have a resolution closer to the $6,000 range. Some insurance companies pay more to settle a case. Mercury insurance is notorious for providing inadequate payouts, while Progressive and State Farm have fair payouts. Most insurance companies are somewhere in the middle.

You should keep in mind that if the amount of your medical expenses is not reasonable, the insurance company may deny your claim altogether. Your attorney and doctor should be able to advise you as to what will be considered reasonable treatment in your particular matter.

As a general rule, the doctor is not paid upfront. The doctor will provide their services to you and will furnish the attorney with the medical reports and invoices for your treatment. Once the attorney brings your case to a resolution and collects the injury proceeds, they will start negotiating the liens that the doctors have in your case. Some doctors will expect 1/3 of your settlement. However, most doctors will take much less.

Almost all injury accident representations will be based on a contingency fee agreement. This means that the attorney will get paid only if they are able to make a recovery on your behalf. Often, an attorney will charge 33% of the recovery. However, if your matter must be litigated, you should expect to pay up to 50% of the recovery.

What happens if I am in a multiple car rear-end accident?

If you are involved a multi-car rear-end collision accident, your liability (or the lack thereof) depends on two things: (1) the position of your vehicle in relation to the other vehicles at impact, and (2) the timing of the impacts.

Let’s say you’re in vehicle number 1 and you have to slam on your breaks because an animal jumps into the roadway. Vehicle 2 doesn’t break in time and rear-ends you. Vehicle 3 also doesn’t break in time and rear-ends vehicle 2 which results in another impact to your vehicle 1. In this scenario, both vehicle 2 and vehicle 3 are liable to vehicle 1 because they both caused independent impacts, which resulted in the damage to your vehicle. Vehicle 3 would be liable to vehicle 2 for the damage that resulted.

In a different scenario, vehicle 2 stops just shy of hitting vehicle 1. However, vehicle 3 rear-ends vehicle 2, which causes vehicle 2 to rear-end vehicle 1. In this scenario, vehicle 3 is liable to both vehicle 1 and vehicle 2.

What happens if I am in a hit and run accident?

If you are involved in a hit and run accident, you should call the police. Also, if there were any witnesses you should try to get their information before they leave the scene of the accident. Hopefully, you have “uninsured motorist” coverage. This type of coverage will pay for all of your damages resulting from a hit and run accident. Your insurance premiums will not increase as a result of using this type of coverage.

 

Who will pay for my loss of income if I am in an accident and I have a liability-only policy?

If you have a liability-only policy and you are involved in an accident, your insurance carrier will not cover your loss-of-income. However, you may be able to recoup your loss of income from the other driver,assuming that the other driver either has valid insurance or assets that will cover your losses.

Should I get “collision deductible waiver” coverage?

Collision deductible waiver (CDW) allows you to waive your mandatory deductible if you are found not to be at fault for an accident. You can think of this as insuring yourself against having to pay your deductible if you are involved in an accident and the other party is at fault. If you have a high deductible (e.g., $1,000 or more) and you are generally a safe driver, you are a good candidate for this type of coverage.

My insurance company repaired my car but they made me pay a deductible. Can I get my money back?

It depends on whether or not the accident was your fault. If the accident was not your fault and you decide to have your insurance pay for the repairs to your car, the insurance company may send you a check for the amount of the repairs less the amount of your deductible. For example, if your repairs cost $5,000.00 and your deductible is $1,000.00, the insurance company may send you a check for $4,000.00. You may have to pay the body shop an extra $1,000.00 for the repairs. Afterwards, you may ask to be reimbursed. There are two ways that you may be reimbursed, or not even have to pay, for the amount of your deductible.

Insurance doesn’t make you pay the deductible because you have a “collision deductible waiver” – Some insurance carriers have “collision deductible waiver” coverage. Even if you decide to have your insurance pay for the repairs to your car, the insurance company won’t make you pay the deductible if the other driver was at fault.

You pay the deductible and your insurance repays you when they’re paid by the other driver’s insurance – If you decided to have your insurance pay for the repairs to your, but the other driver was at fault, your insurance may go through the process of “subrogation”. This is when your insurance company tries to get reimbursed for all of the money it spent on your car repairs; this will include the recovery of your deductible. As soon as the insurance is paid, you will be repaid as well.

At the Frish Law Group, we strive to make the process of fixing your car and treating your injuries as simple as possible. We will handle every aspect of your car accident for you so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Please contact us so that you don’t have to pay any more than you have to!

 

Who will pay to have my car repaired if I am in an accident and my insurance policy only covers damage to my car (also known as a “liability only” policy)?

It depends on whether or not the accident was your fault. If the accident is not your fault and the other driver has automobile insurance, then the other driver’s insurance will likely pay for the repairs.

However, if the accident was your fault, liability-only automobile policies provide coverage only for the other car when the other driver’s car needs repairs. It does not cover the repairs of your automobile. If your car is damaged, you have the option to repair your car yourself and then try to recoup your damages from the other driver.

The Frish Law Group will strive to establish and prove that the driver of the other car was responsible for the accident so that you don’t have to pay to repair your car. We have helped hundreds of clients, and we are confident that we can help you as well!

Who will pay for my medical expenses if I am in an accident and my insurance policy only covers damage to my car (also known as a “liability only” policy)?

It depends on whether the accident was your fault or the fault of the other driver. If you have medical insurance, this may be the time to use it, especially if the accident was your fault. If you later learn that the other driver was at fault, then your injuries should be covered by the other driver’s insurance carrier. If you made any payments out-of-pocket, you will be reimbursed. Your medical insurance company will also likely be reimbursed the costs it covered for your treatment.

You can always elect not to use your medical insurance and wait until the other driver’s insurance company accepts liability for the accident. Once liability is accepted, you can start treating. However, it generally takes anywhere from one week to several months before liability is accepted, if at all. So, if you are injured, go get help as soon as possible, whether you have to use your medical insurance or not. You health is more important than anything else!

Our number one goal is to minimize the amount you’ll have to repay to your doctor(s) and health insurance.

How much money do I have to pay back to my insurance when they provide me with money to pay for medical bills under my insurance’s medical payment coverage (also called “med pay,” or “med-pay” coverage)?

The short answer is: it depends. First, what is med-pay? Some insurance policies will pay you money after an accident even if you are at fault. This is called medical payment coverage, or “med-pay/medpay.” This is a type of insurance coverage that is not connected to fault. Regardless of who caused the accident, your insurance company may pay for a certain amount of medical bills that you, or anyone in your car, incurred. Under your policy, med-pay may be either reimbursable or non-reimbursable.

If your policy states that med-pay coverage is reimbursable, once you or your attorney wins or settles your personal injury case, you will likely have to reimburse your insurance company for any medical payments that were made on your behalf. Most insurance companies will accept 67.7% as a total med-pay reimbursement. This means that if your insurance paid $10,000 for your medical expenses, they will expect to get $6,770 in return, assuming that you were able to recover this amount from the other driver.

An experienced attorney at the Frish Law Group may be able to reduce the amount you have to repay for your med-pay use. That means that you have more money left in your pocket. Please call us so that we can maximize your payout, just as we have done for so many of our clients
Should I use my health insurance to pay for my medical treatment?

If you are involved in a serious automobile accident and you need to use the emergency room, you should definitely use your medical insurance to pay for the expenses. Please be aware that if you use your medical insurance, and you thereafter seek compensation from the other driver, your medical insurance provider will want to be reimbursed for the payments it made on your behalf.

An attorney at the Frish Law Group will be able to negotiate the reimbursement amount with your medical insurance provider so that you receive as much money as possible for your injuries.

Can I keep 100% of the money I received from my insurance company when this money was intended to pay for my medical bills (also called “medical payment,” “med pay,” or “med-pay” coverage)?

Maybe. First, what is med-pay? Some insurance policies will pay you money after an accident even if you are at fault. This is called medical payment coverage, or “med-pay/medpay.” This is a type of insurance coverage that is not connected to fault. Regardless of who caused the accident, your insurance company may pay for a certain amount of medical bills that you, or anyone in your car, incurred.

If your automobile insurance company paid you for medical costs that you incurred, there are several instances where medical payments you received do not have to be paid back to your insurance company. Some examples are as follows:

The most common instance is when you are not able to recover from the other driver. Since there is no recovery, you are not obligated to repay your insurance carrier.

If you obtained your insurance coverage from a state other than California, and your accident occurred in California, it is possible that your insurance carrier will not seek reimbursement for the medical payments made on your behalf.

You also don’t have to reimburse your insurance company for your medical payments if you paid an extra premium to have “non-reimbursable med-pay coverage.” Usually, you only have to pay a little more per month for non-reimbursable med-pay.

Hence, it is always a good idea to discuss the details of your policy with your insurance representative. Remember, it’s never too late (assuming you haven’t gotten into an accident yet) to change the terms of your automobile insurance policy. At Frish Law Group, we look for every opportunity to maximize your payout and protect your interests in the future.

Can I collect any money before my case is over?

Maybe. Some insurance policies will pay you money after an accident even if you are at fault. This is called medical payment coverage, or “med-pay/medpay” This is a type of insurance coverage that is not connected to fault. Regardless of who caused the accident, your insurance company may pay for a certain amount of medical bills that you, or anyone in your car, incurred.

Some med-pay policies are “excess policies.” This means that the med-pay payments will only cover what your medical insurance will not cover.

In addition, most med-pay policies are reimbursable. This means that if you recover money from another driver, you will have to reimburse your insurance company for the money they paid for your medical expenses. However, it is not always necessary to repay the insurance company 100% of the money they paid you. Sometimes, you only have to reimburse the insurance company a small percentage of the amount they paid you.

The attorneys and staff at Frish Law Group will sit down and review your entire insurance policy to ensure that you receive the most money from your accident. Many attorneys and clients have never heard of med-pay, let alone requested payment for it. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to potentially receive hundreds or even thousands of dollars from your insurance company in the event of an accident. Contact our office as soon as possible.

The insurance company wants to interview me (also called a “recorded statement”). Should I agree?

Not until you speak to an attorney. We’ve all heard the saying “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Nothing good can come of you giving the other insurance company a statement regarding the accident. Insurance adjusters have a way of making you say things that you wouldn’t normally say so that they can eithe refuse to pay, or pay as little as possible, for your accident. As soon as an insurance adjuster gets a claim, the first thing they do is contact all of the parties. The reason for this is because they know that once a party gets an attorney, they will no longer be able to talk to them without their attorney’s permission. Always consult an attorney before giving a recorded statement. The Frish Law Group will give you a free consultation regarding recorded statements. Make sure to give us a call before giving any statements.

What happens if the other driver is suing me for the accident?

Sometimes, the other driver’s insurance denies responsibility for the accident and instead sues you for the injuries and damage to the their insured. If the other driver sues you for the accident, you will have to defend the lawsuit. You can do this in one of several ways:

Contact your insurance company – If you had valid insurance at the time of the accident, your insurance may be required to defend you if a lawsuit is brought against you. This representation is free. Besides the fact that you must have car insurance in California, one of the benefits of having insurance is that you won’t have to hire an attorney if another driver sues you for an accident. Although you do not have to agree to have the attorney chosen by the insurance company, it is usually your most cost-effective and efficient option.

Represent yourself (pro per/pro se) – If you didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident, you may elect to represent yourself in the accident. Although this is not advisable, it may be your only option if you don’t have the money to pay an attorney. However, the Frish Law Group can guide you through the entire process and help you prepare the necessary paperwork to give you the best chance to win your case.

Hire an attorney to represent you – If you didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident, you may wish to hire an attorney to represent you. Although this is the most costly option, having an attorney gives you best chance to win your case. If you lose and the other side obtains a judgment, it is possible for the other side to take your house, car, or other belongings to pay for their damages and injuries.

The Frish Law Group is always available to discuss your available options and guide you through the entire process.

Should I contact the witness who saw the accident?

No. It’s always best to have your attorney contact the witness as soon as possible after the accident in order to discuss the details surrounding the accident. Keep in mind that memories fade with time. Although your accident is very important to you, it’s really not that important to the witness(es). They have their own busy lives and the longer you wait to contact an attorney, the longer it will take the attorney to contact the witness(es), and the less likely the witness(es) will be able to help your case.

Witnesses are very important to accidents because they bring reliability to claim and oftentimes convince insurance companies to pay you more money and sooner after your accident. Most of the time, witnesses simply describe their version of the accident to the insurance company; they are not required to go to court or to come to the attorney’s office. Therefore, they can easily help you settle or win your case!

The attorneys and staff at the Frish Law Group will contact the witness(es) and ensure that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

What happens if the other driver’s insurance company won’t pay for the accident, i.e. is denying liability?

The insurance companies look for every opportunity to get out of paying you for an accident. It may claim that the accident was your fault (and not the other driver’s fault) or that the other driver didn’t have valid insurance. If the other driver’s insurance carrier is denying that their driver is responsible for the accident, you have several options:

Option 1: File a lawsuit in small claims court. If the amount of damages you are seeking is less than $10,000.00, you can sue the other driver in small claims court. Although an attorney can’t go to court for you, we can help you prepare the necessary paperwork and advise you on what to say in court. It’s a simple and fast way to get you the compensation you are looking for. The entire small claims process takes less than three months and costs relatively little.

Option 2: If you want to sue for more than $10,000.00, you may want to hire an attorney. Although you can file a lawsuit yourself, we recommend hiring an attorney to bring a lawsuit against the other driver if you have injuries and/or damage to your car worth more than $10,000.00. The entire process generally takes anywhere between six months and two years. However, you may potentially receive a lot more money by going this route rather than settling your claim with the insurance company before filing a lawsuit.

Sometimes, when your insurance company finds that you are not responsible for the accident, your insurance company may go after the other insurance company so that you do not end up paying for the accident out of pocket. The Frish Law Group will contact and negotiate with all parties so that you can concentrate on fixing your car, treating your injuries, and moving on with your life.

What happens if my car is a total loss?

If your car is a total loss, the insurance carrier will give you two options:

Option 1 – the insurance company will offer to buy the car from you instead of paying to repair it and allowing you to keep it. However, the insurance company wants to get away as cheaply as possible by paying you as little as possible for the car. The attorneys and staff at the Frish Law Group research the value of your car and compare the insurance company’s offer to the value of similar cars recently sold in the surrounding area. If the insurance company’s offer is too low, we will negotiate with the insurance company until you get as much money for your car as possible.

What if you recently spent money on fixing or upgrading your car? Most insurance companies won’t tell you this, but you are actually entitled to be reimbursed for the money you’ve spent on fixing or upgrading your car. Some insurance companies will reimburse you for money you’ve spent within the past 12 months prior to the accident. For example, if you recently spent hundreds of dollars on changing your tires or repairing your transmission, we will submit an additional claim to the insurance company and demand that it pays for this as well.

What if the insurance company offers to pay me a fair price for my car? If the price is fair, you will get a check within a couple of days of your acceptance of the settlement offer. You will sign your title (or pink slip) over to the insurance company, they will come pick up the car, and you can start searching for a new or used car to purchase.

Option 2 – the insurance company will let you keep your car, but pay you less money. This is a good option for when you would rather keep your car and fix it rather than selling the car to the insurance company.

For example, your 1999 Nissan Maxima that has 120,000 miles on it is involved in an accident. Let’s say you have $1,500.00 in damage to the car and the car is worth only $2,000.00. Although the car is considered “totaled” and the insurance company offers to pay you $2,000.00 for the car, your best bet may be to keep the car and fix it for $1,500.00. Why? Because, for example, you are the first and only owner of the car, you’ve changed the oil every 3 months, you’ve never abused the car, etc. If you choose to take the $2,000.00 and buy another car, you may be purchasing a car that has been abused, never had its oil changed, etc. In other words, the best bang for your buck may be to keep and fix your old car.
What’s the downside to this option?

Your car will have a salvaged title. This means that the resale value on your vehicle will be substantially less than other similar vehicles that do not have a salvaged title. By hiring the Frish Law Group, we will help you by weighing the pros and cons to each of the options listed above so that you get the most value from the insurance company’s offer.
Will I have a rental car while my car is being repaired?

We understand that your life cannot stop just because you got into an accident. You probably have a job and kids, and the only way to get around is by car. The attorneys and staff at Frish Law Group will do everything possible to make sure that you have a rental car while your car is being repaired.

In most instances, you will be able to get the other driver’s insurance carrier to pay for a rental car while your car is being repaired. In addition, we will negotiate with the insurance carrier so that it compensates you for the fact that you couldn’t driver your own car (also called “loss of use” damages). If the other driver’s insurance company won’t accept responsibility for the accident, we will review your insurance policy to see if your insurance will pay for a rental car and for “loss of use.”

Either way, the Frish Law Group’s number one concern is to get you through this process as smoothly and painlessly as possible. We will be by your side every step of the way.

How do I know if my car is a total loss (also called “totaled” or “unrepairable”)?

Most insurance companies will consider your car a totaled if the amount of the damage to your car is more than 50% of the value of the car. In other words, if it’s going to cost more than 50% of the value of your car to repair the damage, the insurance company will consider your car totaled. For example, if your car is worth $10,000 and it will cost $6,000 to repair the damage, the insurance company will consider your car totaled.

How long will it take to repair my car?

If you get into an accident, the attorneys and staff at the Frish Law Group can help you find a body shop and mechanic that will make your car look and drive like it is brand new. Repairing your car may take anywhere from 10 to 30 days. After opening a claim, the Frish Law Group will have both insurance companies inspect your vehicle. By sending a property damage adjuster to inspect and take pictures of the vehicle, a value is placed on the amount of the damages. After the adjuster inspects the vehicle, he/she will write a report, which includes how much it will cost to repair your car. As you can imagine, the adjuster’s job is to agree to pay for as little damage as possible. At the Frish Law Group, we know how to get the property adjusters to pay for all of the damages to your vehicle. How? We strive to have the best mechanics meet the adjuster in person and point out all of the necessary repairs, even those that may not be visible at first glance. We have our mechanics take the car apart and look for damage to the frame of the car, or other parts, that are not visible from the exterior.

If the initial adjuster does not agree to cover all of the damage to the car, our mechanics will have another adjuster come out to do another inspection (also called a “supplement” to the previous adjuster’s recommendations). One way or another, we will not be satisfied unless we make sure that all of the damage to your vehicle is paid for by the insurance company, and not by you.

Should I call my insurance company to report the accident from the scene of the accident?

NO. Most automobile insurance companies require that you report an accident anywhere between 24 and 48 hours after the accident. However, we suggest that you have our office report the accident. We provide this courtesy to our clients because we know how stressful getting into a car accident can be.

More importantly, following an accident, your emotions may get the best of you and you could say something to the insurance company that may lower the amount of money you may potentially receive or even ruin your case altogether! Even if you don’t make any damaging statements, the insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to the scene of the accident and pressure you to accept cash on the spot before you even realize how injured you really are. Remember, insurance companies are not in the business of paying you the maximum amount that your injuries are worth. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible! Therefore, it is best to let an experienced attorney deal with insurance companies.

As a result, the attorneys at the Frish Law Group know how to protect your interests, especially when communicating with insurance companies. Therefore, we always suggest having the Frish Law Group open your claim.

If I get into an accident, should I call the police?

It depends on the severity and location of the accident. If you are seriously injured, you should call the police so that an ambulance can come as quickly as possible to take you to the hospital or provide on-the-spot medical assistance. If you are not seriously injured and the accident did not occur on the freeway, in most cases the police will not come. There are exceptions, such as when a driver crashes into you and drives away (also known as “hit and run” accidents) and situations where the other driver refuses to provide their insurance and driver’s license information.

If you are involved in an accident on the freeway, the California Highway Patrol will come out and make a police report.

If you have any questions or need any advice even while still at the scene of the accident, call the Frish Law Group and we will provide advice over the phone!

What should I do if I get into an auto accident?

Get to a safe location and don’t make damaging statements

If you get into an auto accident, the first thing you should do is to get yourself out of oncoming traffic and into a safe location. If your car is not drivable, you should stay in the vehicle until help arrives. A very common mistake is for people to get out of the vehicle and start making statements regarding the accident to the other driver. Do not discuss the accident! Your statements to the other driver may be used against you and cause the insurance company to deny your claim! For example, simply stating “I’m sorry. I totally did not see you pull out of that driveway” may seem innocent enough, but it can be used against you in court! On the other hand, if the other driver makes such a statement, mention this to your attorney.

Take pictures and exchange information

Next, If possible, take pictures and exchange information. You should take pictures of the (1) accident scene, (2) damage to your vehicle, and (3) the damage to the other vehicle. You should exchange your driver’s license information and insurance information with the other driver. Ideally, you should take the other driver’s insurance information card and driver’s license, and copy the information yourself. Ask if the address found in the driver’s license is current; if it’s not, ask them to provide their current address.

Obtain witness information

If there were any witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their name(s) and contact information as well. We will be contacting the witness(es) and getting their side of the story. A good witness may be the difference between getting you cash quickly and having your case last for months or even years!

After you have obtained all of this information, call the Frish Law Group for immediate assistance in getting you the compensation you deserve! If you are still at the accident site, we can come to you and make sure that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

What can I expect to get if I sue?

Even a minor car accident can have major life-altering consequences, but regardless of what you have faced you should expect to be made whole. That means you should expect: (1) to have any property that was damaged repaired or replaced, (2) complete medical treatment for your injuries and your medical bills paid in full; (3) compensation for any loss of income caused by the accident, especially if your employer does not provide paid time off; and (4) if the accident caused you to experience any trauma (continued inability to sleep, severe aches and pain, headaches, etc..) you may receive an award for pain and suffering. If you were involved in a medium sized accident (e.g., you incurred somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 in medical expenses), you should be able to recover somewhere between 1.5 and 3 times the amount of your medical bills. In some cases, additional punitive damages may be awarded. In an automobile accident setting, proving malice is the most common way to obtain punitive damages against the driver at fault. Simply stated, malice is a total disregard for another person’s well being. For example, if a drunk driver caused the accident, he or she may be found liable for punitive damages. This is the case because the driver knew or should have known that they were unfit to drive, decided to drive anyway, and in turn caused an injury to another.

What if the driver that hit me is uninsured?

California has strict laws requiring car insurance, but many drivers either don’t have insurance or don’t have sufficient insurance (also known as being “underinsured”). If you have been in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may have more options than you realize. For example, you insurance policy may cover the damage to your car and pay for your injuries and pain and suffering if the other driver did not have insurance. Before you settle with any insurance company, contact our firm to learn about your legal rights and options.

What kinds of cases do we handle?

California truck, car and motorcycle accident cases: Our attorneys can handle all types of injuries and property damage. Even if you were partially at fault, we can help you go after money damages.
Bicycle Accidents
Pedestrian Accidents
Commercial Bus and Metro Accidents
Personal injury cases: We handle all types of personal injury cases, such as dog bite injury claims, injuries caused by a property owner’s negligence (known as premises liability), and even injuries caused by products (products liability).

Why should I have the Frish Law Group represent me in my personal injury matter?

If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, we know that the most important thing is your health, and then the repair/replacement of your vehicle.

Insurance companies, however, are only concerned about getting away as cheaply as possible. We level the playing field. You get to focus on getting well, while we provide aggressive representation. We won’t settle your personal injury case unless we are sure that we have obtained the best possible result for your accident claim. If the insurance carrier, or defendant, is being unreasonable, we will litigate your matter until we get you the just compensation you deserve.

Contact us now for a free consultation. We are not greedy. We offer fair contingency fee agreements that compensate us for our out-of-pocket expenses incurred in prosecuting your claim plus a small percentage of the recovery.