FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Claims Pursued in Los Angeles, San Jose, Napa, Oakland, San Francisco, and Elsewhere in California

When you are faced with a legal issue or have questions concerning the laws applicable to an accident that caused a serious personal injury, RS Law Offices is here to help. Below is a list of commonly asked questions and answers provided by our experienced legal team.

Unfortunately, there is definitive answer to this common question. Any recovery in a personal injury claim depends on a myriad of unique facts and legal issues involved in your particular case. Though, some of the most common factors that can contribute to the amount of recoverable financial restitution include:

  • - The extent of the injury;
  • - The time it takes to recover;
  • - The amount of negligence that contributed to the injury;
  • - The nature of the people involved;
  • - The evidence that is brought forth.

It costs you absolutely nothing upfront to hire a lawyer. From the very first consultation to the very end of your case, RS Law Offices will front all of the expenses—including the hours put in and fees of experts that are retained to strengthen your case. Our lawyers are only paid if we obtain a financial recovery for you in your case.

When you enter into a contingency fee agreement, it basically means that your attorney’s fee is contingent upon a specific action or outcome. That action is typically reaching a settlement or obtaining a jury verdict in your favor. The fee is generally a percentage of the final financial recovery in your case.

It is critically important to take legal action within the statute of limitations. This is a period of time allotted to injury victims to file civil actions against a wrongdoer. If you do not file a civil claim within the statute of limitations, you may forfeit your right to pursue financial compensation for any damages you suffered. The statutes of limitations varies from state to state and varies based on the type of claim you file. In California, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date the cause of action "accrued," which means the date of injury.

If you have health insurance, you should utilize this coverage for your medical treatment. You can then pursue reimbursement for your out-of-pocket costs and the cost of treatment through the personal injury claim. If you do not have health insurance, it may still be possible to obtain medical treatment on a lien basis. Basically, this means you would obtain medical treatment and the provider would place a lien on the amount recovered from your personal injury claim. For injured workers, you will probably be able to get your medical expenses covered via workers' compensation.

The vast majority of personal injury claims do not go to court. Most claims are resolved via out-of-court settlement negotiations. Our legal team will do our best to effectively negotiate with the insurance company to reach an amicable settlement. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, our law firm will be ready to take your case to court to pursue financial restitution on your behalf. Though, you should know that even when a lawsuit is filed, settlement negotiations continue and some cases are settled days, or even hours, before the commencement of a trial.

According to the federal tax code, any financial restitution recovered from a personal injury claim is not considered to be taxable income. This is because the money you receive from a claim is intended to make you whole; it is restitution for harms and losses you endured. However, if you receive compensation in the form of punitive damages, this could potentially be treated as taxable income since it is money above and beyond the amount you sought in economic and non-economic damages.