COVID-19: How Coronavirus Might Affect Your Personal Injury Case

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According to the CDC, the number of Coronavirus (COVID -19) positive cases in the United States now stands at 395,011. This figure will likely surpass the 400,000 mark by the end of this first week of April, further heightening fears about the ravaging implications of this public health crisis. In New York, the health sector has taken the hardest hit, considering that the state remains the epicenter of the Novel virus.

Despite the situation, justice deferred is justice denied. Will the Coronavirus affect your personal injury case? This concern is one that many New Yorkers are grappling with currently. Read on to find out more.

Your Case Is Important, and Delay Is Not an Option

Have you suffered injuries in an accident recently and wonder how to ensure the current pandemic does not subvert your claim? You have every reason to push forward with the application until you reach a logical conclusion. However, the recent court closures due to the Coronavirus in most states, including New York, may affect the progression of the case process.

Many litigants with personal injury cases now face this unprecedented situation. Is your goose cooked? Well, not yet.

What Should You Do Under the Circumstances?

An accident has the potential to bring your life to a halt. The cost of healthcare and the lost opportunity to make a living are some of the present realities you must now embrace. So how can you ensure that justice is not denied even in the thick of the Coronavirus?

You need to ensure that the legal firm representing you can continue pushing for a resolution during this Coronavirus outbreak. Such a firm must have the infrastructure to continue serving you despite the contagion. Personal injury law firms that operate an entirely paperless system stand the highest chance of delivering on their promise during this period.

Such extraordinary circumstances call for a personal injury lawyer with the capacity to keep pushing for a resolution, albeit remotely. This process means that such law firms must have the technological capability to maintain communication with the various enjoined parties. Law firms with the capacity to push your case through videoconferencing can help you resolve the claim, the pandemic notwithstanding.

The Pressure to Settle the Case Is Real Amid the Coronavirus

With the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the global economy, one of the immediate consequences has been the growing financial uncertainty. If you are still in the process of settling your personal injury case, the temptation to jump on to the most recent settlement offer might be overwhelming.

You need to sit down and consider the possible implication of your decision. Settling your injury case under pressure will compromise the possibility of putting a fair dollar value on your claim. What should you do amid this crisis?

You need a highly qualified and aggressive personal injury lawyer at this point. The majority of personal injury claims end at the litigation stage through a resolution. As such, you should consider working with a personal injury lawyer who can overcome the odds and deliver a favorable settlement.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

The Coronavirus NYC statistics are pushing the State into the new strict stay at home orders as a containment measure. As such, the criminal justice system is in paralysis.

Nevertheless, your personal injury claim is urgent, and a favorable resolution would help to avoid the denial of justice. If you want to ensure that your personal injury claim results in a favorable outcome, it will help to work with an aggressive law firm.

Do you have a pending personal injury claim that requires aggressive representation? Please contact us for assistance.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

Benefits of Having a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

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Car accidents can be traumatic events. After all, you may have injuries, handling your finances while you are off work, and getting your car repaired or replaced. On top of all these issues, you might be dealing with an insurance company that wants to settle for less than the amount you need to cover your medical expenses and time off of work.

Working with a Long Beach car accident lawyer, you can address the negotiations with the insurance company and protect your rights. Here are 5 of the benefits of hiring a Long Beach car accident lawyer after your car accident.

Negotiation of an Equitable Settlement

If you have been injured in a car accident, your focus is on getting enough funds to cover your medical expenses and to reimburse you for the time that you are off of work during your recovery process. The insurance company is focused on keeping your claim as small as possible. Plus, you may have injuries that will require medical attention for a longer period of time.

Working with a car accident lawyer, you can be sure that your claim amount is large enough to cover all the expenses associate with your accident. They will gather information to determine the value of your claim and then negotiate with the insurance company. What contributes to your claim? Medical expenses, lost wages, lost earnings, property damage, and any other impacts are all part of what your car attorney looks like.

Tap Into Their Knowledge and Expertise

The truth is that what you do not know regarding your rights after a car accident could end up hurting you. In fact, your lack of knowledge could lead you to compromise your rights. With a Long Beach car accident lawyer, you have a source of experience and knowledge that will help you understand what legal laws apply to your case and the steps that you need to take. A seasoned attorney will help you to meet deadlines for filing your claims to avoid losing your right to compensation.

Additionally, your attorney will also be able to protect your rights by identifying when the insurance company may have violated them. Your car accident lawyer can hold them to account, whereas your lack of knowledge could have left your vulnerable to the strategies of the insurance company.

Dealing with Insurance

The truth is that when you are in pain and focused on healing, the last thing that you want to do is spend hours on the phone speaking with the insurance company. Without legal backup, you may end up settling for a low or unfair settlement. The insurance company is not looking out for your best interests. Having a Long Beach car accident lawyer will allow you to direct the insurance agency to contact your attorney, thus reducing your hassle.

At the same time, your car accident lawyer will be able to negotiate with the insurance agency from a place of knowledge regarding the legal precedents that apply to your case.

Proving Your Case of Negligence and Gathering Evidence

If there is a question of negligence in your car accident, the insurance agency is going to push back even more during the settlement negotiations. Having a Long Beach car accident attorney means that you do not have to be in a position of trying to question witnesses, collect evidence, and build a case supporting your claim of negligence.

All that evidence will be there with the goal of supporting your claim, either with the insurance agency or in court if need be. Along with that, having a car accident lawyer with experience in the courtroom means that if your case has to go to court, you will have the tools and expertise necessary through the court proceedings.

Protecting Your Health

While you might not realize it, the truth is that your health is compromised. Getting around to file paperwork, gather evidence, and more is taxing even for those in perfect health. With a car accident lawyer, you are providing yourself with an individual who can work in your behalf to gather key pieces of information, as well as speak with experts and witnesses. You can spend the time necessary to focus on your recovery, while your car accident lawyer is busy handling the details related to your claim.

If you have recently been in a car accident, then schedule your free consultation with our experienced legal team to discuss the details of your claim.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

5 Key Signs You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

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The aftermath of a car accident or other personal injury can last for a few days, a few weeks, or even years. If you have been in a situation where you have suffered a personal injury, it could be frustrating and challenging to negotiate with insurance companies to receive the compensation that you need to address your medical expenses and personal expenses related to being off of work.

With that in mind, here are 5 key signs that you should hire a personal injury attorney.

Are You Being Given the Run Around?

If you are dealing with the insurance company and they are giving you a laundry list of tasks to complete before you will be compensated, then it is time to find a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, CA. Simply put, those delay tactics are likely a sign that they are hoping to not pay you by finding a reason that invalidates your claim. Working with a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, CA, you can determine the best way to proceed. In fact, your personal injury attorney may be able to put pressure on the insurer to complete the process.

Do They Want to Choose Your Doctors?

Insurers may try to get you to use a doctor they hired, in hopes of being able to minimize or undervalue the impact of your injuries. By hiring your own personal injury attorney, you can push back against these requests and make sure that you see the doctors that can properly address your injuries and medical needs.

Digging Into Your Medical History

While you might have to fill out multiple questions regarding your medical history, the goal of those questions is to try to shift the blame for your personal injuries from the accident to something that happened in your past. With a personal injury attorney, you can address the insurer’s questions while avoiding having your injuries minimized and your compensation eliminated because of past accidents and injuries.

Recording Conversations

If they are wishing to record conversations with you and others involved in the accident, then this could be a sign that you need an attorney of your own. While the recordings might seem innocent in themselves, the truth is that they could be used later to trap you or confuse you in hopes of reducing or eliminating the compensation for your claim. An attorney will be able to help you avoid these difficult situations and protect your interests.

There Were Multiple People Involved

The truth is that if multiple people were involved, it can make the process very complicated and time-consuming. Insurers will tend to slow the process down. Having a personal injury attorney in Long Beach, CA, to address your personal injury claim can help you to avoid dealing with multiple phone calls and all the paperwork related to your claim.

Clearly, there are multiple key reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer when dealing with one of these claims. Whether you received your injury due to an accident, a fall at work, or other situations, a personal injury attorney can work to protect your interests and provide you with the legal advice you need to make the best decision for your circumstances.

If you have been injured, then contact our experienced team of personal injury attorneys in Long Beach, CA, who can provide a free consultation regarding your situation.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

Do You Have Rights When Injured in a Vehicle Ride Share Service?

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Going out and deciding to leave the car behind in Long Beach, CA, is much easier with the vehicle ride share services, like Uber and Lyft. They allow you to schedule a vehicle and have them show up right on time, using GPS, social networking, and algorithm matching. In 2018, 36% of people in the U.S. have used ridesharing apps.

As their popularity continues to grow, although they have one crucial difference from traditional taxi services, namely the lack of regulatory and licensing requirements. While states are attempting to address this issue, today’s vehicle ride share services have a competitive pricing advantage over traditional taxi services due to less requirements.

However, along with their popularity, questions come up regarding the legal protections that you have as a rider. Essentially, do you have any rights when you are injured in one of these vehicle ride share service? Let’s explore what legal rights are available and what you need to do to protect them throughout this legal process, as well as if a Long Beach car accident attorney is necessary.

Who Is At Fault?

The most important thing to remember is that whoever is at fault for the accident, be it the Uber or Lyft driver or another driver, is the one responsible for paying the costs and claims associated with the accident. If the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, you would file a claim using their liability insurance through Uber or Lyft. However, there is a caveat to that.

The liability insurance from these companies will only cover your claims if the driver was logged into the Uber/Lyft app. If they are logged in, but have not yet accepted a ride request, then the liability coverage for an accident is capped at $50,000 per person injured per accident, $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.

Those numbers go up when a driver has the accident after they have accepted a trip and is on the way to pick up their client. Once the driver picks up the rider, then their liability coverage goes up again. It is possible to hold them financially responsible if the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, whether you are the rider or the other driver that was hit due to their negligence.

However, if the other driver is at fault and not the Lyft or Uber driver, then you will proceed to file a claim with their insurance company. This option would apply if you are the driver of the other vehicle or a passenger.

Are You A Passenger of the Ride Share Service?

If you are injured as a passenger of the vehicle ride share service, then you would file a claim with their commercial insurance policy or their personal insurance if that has the special provision for them to engage in ride sharing. Keep in mind that personal insurance is likely going to have to deny the claim or exhaust their benefits before the commercial liability polices of the ride sharing companies come into play.

Obviously, if the at-fault driver is not the Uber or Lyft driver, your claim would be against the at-fault driver. If they do not have insurance, then you could file a claim against the uninsured or underinsured liability coverage offered through the ride sharing company itself. Still, you won’t be able to tap this coverage unless the driver can’t be found, doesn’t have car insurance, or simply doesn’t carry a sufficient amount of insurance to cover all the costs associated with the accident.

What To Do After the Accident

Like any other car accident, the first thing that you need to do is get names, contact information, and insurance details for those involved. Also, get the contact information for any witnesses that saw the accident. If you were injured, it is important to get checked out medically and keep all the documentation related to any injuries resulting from the accident.

If possible, you should also get as many pictures from as many angles as possible, showing the accident scene, the cars involved, and any other details. The result is that now you have information to give to any legal representation that you may end up hiring.

While it seems like a no-brainer, also make sure that you call the police and have a proper police report filed. Once you have completed all these steps, it may also be appropriate to consider consulting with a Long Beach car accident attorney. Legal representation can help you to protect your rights and make sure that any personal injury claims relating to the car accident are covered.

If you have been in a car accident in a ride share vehicle, contact our car accident attorneys today to determine your legal standing and what your options are.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

3 Ways to Determine If You Can Submit a Lost Wages Claim After An Accident

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Car accidents can be a scary thing, especially if you have severe injuries that keep you from working for a significant period of time. Now you are looking at the possibility of being without that income for an indeterminate amount of time.

As part of your car accident claim, you might be wondering if your lost wages can be included as part of your claim. A Long Beach car accident lawyer can be a valuable resource for determining whether your lost wages qualify for reimbursement as part of your claim.

Gather Your Documentation

Before you can determine if your wages qualify to be part of your car accident claim, you need to gather the back up documentation. This documentation includes proving your medical condition is preventing you from working. A doctor’s note or disability slip should also include the amount of time you will need to be off for your recovery.

Another piece of documentation is evidence of your wages, including pay stubs. You may also need to have your most recent tax return or W-2s, depending on your employment status. Finally, a letter from your employer is key to confirm that you are working for the company and other details about your employment status with the company.

All of this information will help with calculating your lost wages and help in the determination of what will need to be included in your claim.

Are You Self-Employed?

The second thing to keep in mind is that if you are self-employed, then you will not be able to claim lost wages. Instead, you will be claiming lost income. Essentially, you are claiming the earnings and profits that you would have earned if you were not injured. Much of this documentation is going to focus on demonstrating what you earn and how you earn it.

Now that is going to also require that you submit documentation to show the specific amount of earnings you would have received from the time of the accident to the date of your settlement claim. That could include 1099 forms, correspondence, invoices, and receipts. You will also need to make sure that you have all the appropriate medical paperwork to verify your injury and recovery time.

The goal is to demonstrate what income has been lost due to the fact that you cannot work while you are recovering.

Other Income Losses in the Future

There are also claims of future income losses, including lost earning capacity and lost compensation. A personal injury lawyer would hire a forensic economist to lay out your future income losses. Factors, such as age, physical disability, employment history, skills, and education, are all going to be part of this calculation.

The reality is that there is more involved in the process of determining your lost wages or lost income than just adding up a few numbers. Plus, if you are going to be dealing with a long-term recovery process, then getting this calculation right is even more important.

To determine if you qualify for lost wages in your car accident claim, contact a Long Beach car accident lawyer. Our experienced staff can provide a free consultation on your case.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

5 dangers of drowsy driving and how to handle an accident involving falling asleep behind the wheel

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At the end of a long day, there are many of us who may struggle to stay awake and alert while driving home. There are also other instances where you might be struggling to stay awake, be it during a long drive or after a long day of physical activity. The point is that you are drowsy and trying to maintain control of a vehicle that has the capacity to do a significant amount of damage.

In Long Beach, car accident lawyers deal with the impacts of drowsy driving in a variety of accidents. Clearly, the goal is to prevent drowsy driving from effecting your driving ability and impairing your judgment.

First, let’s talk about the five dangers of drowsy driving, before sharing how to handle an accident involving falling asleep behind the wheel.

Dangers Related to Drowsy Driving

It is important to recognize that every time you drive drowsy, you are putting yourself and others at risk. According to the CDC, drowsy driving is a dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. Feeling drowsy can lead to the following potential dangers:

  • Makes you less able to pay attention to the road or signs signaling changes in speed or construction.
  • Slows your reaction time if circumstances require you to break or steer quickly.
  • Affects your ability to make quick decisions to changing road conditions.
  • Less aware of other drivers and the vehicles around you.
  • You are not aware of changing weather or road conditions.

These are just five dangers, but clearly you can think of others. All of these dangers could lead to deadly car accidents, either with another vehicle or just by flipping your own vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving can be tied to 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013, although these numbers are considered to be extremely conservative.

How To Prevent Drowsy Driving

To avoid putting yourself and others at risk, it is important to take steps to prevent driving drowsy. First, get enough sleep. Make sure that you stick to a regular bedtime that allows you to get 7 or more hours of sleep. If you struggle with snoring or struggle with feeling rested even after a long night’s sleep, consider working with a medical professional to determine if you have a sleep disorder that needs to be addressed.

Before driving, avoid drinking alcohol or taking medications that make you sleepy. If you are not sure about the effects of a particular medication, then it is important to check with your pharmacist.

What To Do If Drowsy Driving Was a Factor

At least 4% of drivers have reported falling asleep while driving within the previous 30 days, which means that you may come in contact with someone who is drowsy or even sleeping behind the wheel. What should you do if you think that it played a factor in your Long Beach, CA, car accident?

First, it is important to make sure that you have documented the other driver’s condition in the police report. Second, make sure that you have yourself checked out by a medical professional immediately after the accident. Third, you should consider contacting a Long Beach car accident lawyer, who can help to guide you through the legal process to deal with any claims relating to your car accident.

If you are concerned that drowsy driving was a factor in your accident, then contact our knowledgeable and experienced legal team for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

What Should I Do If I Told the Insurance Company that I Was Okay After the Wreck But Now I Am Not?

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For those of us who have been in a car accident, we are familiar with the adrenaline rush, that likely kept us from feeling any injuries. Later, as we rest and unwind, those injuries start making themselves known with sore muscles and more. Of course, most of us are familiar with the main steps to take after a car accident. However, those initial conversations with the insurance company might involve you telling them that you feel fine.

Later, if you don’t feel fine, you might find yourself in a difficult position to have your medical costs covered. To avoid potentially compromising your health and legal rights, you need to keep a few keys things in mind.

1. You Do Not Have to Talk to the Other Insurance Company

You might get a call from the other driver’s insurance company, asking you multiple questions regarding the accident. While they might appear friendly, it is important to be cautious about what you tell them. The goal is to protect your rights and your health. If there is any potential that you, the other driver, or a passenger might make a claim for serious injuries, then you shouldn’t speak to the other insurance company without legal representation.

In Long Beach, CA, a car accident lawyer can help you to navigate the interview without risking your legal rights. Another reason to not speak to the other insurance company is if you have a car accident attorney or claims adjuster from your insurance company that can speak on your behalf.

However, this comes with a caveat. It might be worth talking to the other insurance company if the other driver was clearly at fault or may have lied to their insurance company, trying to put the blame on you. They may not know how much damage was done or the extent of any potential injuries. It is wise to still have this conversation with your Long Beach car accident attorney present.

2. Soft Tissue Injuries Might Not Show Up Right Away

Car accidents generate a lot of force, even if the two vehicles involved were not traveling at a high speed. Drivers and passengers may come to a sudden stop or they might get thrown around in the passenger area. Stress is placed on the joints and other areas of your body that are less protected.

Whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly and forcefully thrown forward and then back. That type of injury is one of those soft tissue injuries, which can result in pnoopener nofollowain, swelling, and reduced mobility. However, it doesn’t always show up right away. You might find it taking days to manifest.

Therefore, it is important to get a medical examination after the accident and then be sure to go back if you start to notice any changes.

3. Concussions Can Appear Later

There is also the possibility that you might have a concussion resulting from the force of the accident. While some of the symptoms of a concussion are obvious, other might be more subtle, including clouded thinking, an inability to concentrate, difficulty remembering new information, headache, blurry vision, nausea, abnormal sleep patterns, and dizziness. If you start noticing these symptoms, then you should get yourself checked out right away.

What To Do If You Are In a Car Accident

Once the accident is over, you need to see a doctor if you feel any level of pain or discomfort. In fact, it might be worth seeing a doctor, even if you feel just fine. Your doctor can help you to determine if you have sustained injuries that you might not feel right after the accident.

A medical professional can also give you advice on how to monitor for potential symptoms, especially the red flags that you should be on the lookout for over the next few days. Overall, make sure that you have any medical issues clearly documented, in case it becomes an issue later.

Also, do not be quick to settle with the other insurance company, particularly if they offer you a release of any claims that you might have. Wait to settle until you are sure all accident injuries have manifested. Your health professional can help you to determine how long that is likely to be.

If you have any questions after a car accident, it is important to seek an experienced Long Beach car accident attorney. They can help you to protect your legal rights throughout the claims process. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys provide a consultation to help you understand your rights.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Vehicle Recall Notice?

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Many of us own a car or truck that has been recalled at one time or another. Safety recalls are issued when a vehicle manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that there is an unreasonable safety risk or doesn’t meet the minimum safety standards for that vehicle. The manufacturer is required to fix the issue by repairing, replacing, or offering a refund. In rare cases, the manufacturer may even repurchase the vehicle from you. The goal of these recalls is to fix the defect, making the vehicle safe to be driven on the road.

However, many individuals find themselves being less inclined to run their vehicle in for a recall repair. The reasons may vary, but it can be a source of an increasing number of safety issues. In Long Beach, CA, those unrepaired vehicles can also be a potential contributor to car accidents. Since automotive recalls have continued to rise, that means the number of vehicles without these recall repairs having been done is also on the rise. Federal statistics estimate that approximately 30% of these recalls are not being repaired.

This poses the issue of how many vehicles on the road have a serious safety issue that hasn’t been addressed. If these vehicles fail while on the road, what kind of damage could they do themselves and the others driving on the road? In Long Beach, CA, car accident lawyers deal with the results of these safety issues on a daily basis.

If you have recently received a recall notice for your vehicle, then it is important to get it taken care of right away. Here are a few of the reasons why people ignore these recalls and why it is important to address them. Additionally, here are a few things to keep in mind if you are in a car accident with a vehicle that was recalled.

1. It takes forever to get my vehicle repaired.

The truth is that many individuals complain about the recall process. They may hear that a particular recall is related to a legitimate safety concern, only to be told that they can drive their vehicle while waiting for the repair. That wait can last months or even years, as dealerships schedule you in for a recall repair. Communication from the manufacturer and what is reported in the news can also be conflicting, making it challenging to know if your vehicle needs a repair or not. Despite the long wait and potential conflicts of information, check with the dealership and get on the waiting list for your repair to be done, if your vehicle is on the list.

2. The dealership tries to sell me something or charge me for additional services I didn’t authorize.

When you drop your vehicle off for a recall repair, that repair should cost you nothing out of pocket. The automaker is covering the cost of that repair and a rental or replacement vehicle if the repair is going to take longer than a day. If the dealership tells you about other potential issues with your car, remember that their job is to try to drum up business. Be firm about what you authorize and do not allow them to charge you for the recall repair.

3. Not fixing it could increase your liability if you are involved in a car accident.

If you are in a car accident, your potential liability could increase if you ignored the safety recall on your vehicle and that is seen as a potential cause or contributing factor to the accident. A Long Beach car accident lawyer can help you determine what your potential liability could be. On the other hand, working with a Long Beach car accident lawyer can assist you in determining if the person who caused your accident may have liability due to unrepaired safety recalls.

4. If you do not make the recall repairs, it can be challenging to sell your vehicle.

If you decide to sell your vehicle in the future, it is important that you have taken care of all the vehicle recalls. The reason is that the automakers have a difficult time tracking down owners, so if they have connected with you and you still own the vehicle, then you should make sure the repairs are done so you do not pass the problems or safety issues to the next owner. Again, you may be risking potential liability if you knowingly did not have the recall repairs completed.

Clearly, there are important reasons to make sure that your vehicle is up to date regarding any potential recalls. You may receive a letter with information about the recall and how to get your vehicle repaired. If you do not receive a letter but think a recall might apply to your vehicle, then check with the NHTSA’s website.

If you have been in a car accident in Long Beach, a car accident lawyer can help you to determine the next steps regarding how to handle your accident and what to do if you think a safety issue within the vehicle may have been a contributing factor in the accident. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine what your options are.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

5 Top Questions to Ask Your Car Accident Lawyer at Your First Meeting

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When you have a car accident, there can be so many things for you to take care of in the aftermath. You have to deal with the insurance companies, doctors, and of course, the bills. Choosing a Long Beach car accident lawyer to assist you in making sure that you get the right compensation may be the right choice, but that means another task to put on your to-do list.

It might be easy to just do an internet search and pick the first local personal injury attorney that pops up. However, that may not be the right Long Beach car accident lawyer for you. To make sure that you get the lawyer with the best experience and credentials to assist with your case, it is important that you ask these 5 top questions to any car accident or personal injury lawyer at your first meeting. Many attorneys will offer you a free consultation, so you have the opportunity to ask them and determine whether the attorney will be the right fit for you.

What Areas of Law Does the Attorney Specialize In?

While you know that you want a Long Beach car accident lawyer, the reality is that not just any attorney is going to do. You need to find one that specializes in personal injury law, because these attorneys have specialized skills that can help you in your case.

What Types of Cases Have They Taken?

You want to find out the types of cases they have been involved in the past and if the circumstances are similar to yours. Were they working as the lead attorney? It is important to understand the type of experience they have and how it relates to your case. You also want to know how many of those cases the attorney has taken on and how they turned out. After all, if you choose a personal injury attorney who does not have a successful record of these types of cases, then you might want to keep looking.

You may also ask for references, in order to get an idea of how that Long Beach car accident attorney worked with their past clients.

How Long Will the Case Take to Resolve?

The reality is that your medical bills and other expenses are piling up while you are not working. You need to have a feeling for how long the process is going to take before you are compensated for your injuries. The legal and medical processes are going to impact your life for some time, so it is important to know how long before you will be able to get back to normal. There are multiple factors that play into the duration of a trial, but your car accident attorney should be able to give you a general estimate.

How Does Your Attorney Determine Compensation?

Often, personal injury attorneys work for a portion of any funds received as part of the settlement. It is known as a contingency fee, where what your attorney is paid depends on how much you are going to receive. If the attorney is going to charge an hourly rate, then it can get expensive for you, and at a time when you already have medical bills mounting.

If You Disagree with Your Attorney on the Settlement, Will They Yield to Your Wishes?

Some attorneys are looking for a quick payoff and might not focus on getting you the settlement that you are entitled to receive. They might insist you take a settlement, even if you do not agree with it. You are never required to take a settlement, but some attorneys will withdraw from representing you, so it is important to discuss the scenario in advance.

By asking these questions, you can find the right Long Beach car accident attorney for your needs. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.

When Should I Call A Lawyer After an Auto Accident?

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If you are working with a Long Beach car accident lawyer, then you may already know when the appropriate time is to call a lawyer after an accident. However, if you just had an accident and are unsure of which way to turn, this article will help you out.

Having an auto accident can be life changing. Not only is it scary but can also cause injuries that will affect you for years to come.

Steps to take after a car accident

When the accident first occurs, you will most likely be in shock. It will be hard to focus on what needs to happen next. The best thing to do is take a few minutes to gather yourself and your train of thought. It is also important that you make sure everyone involved is out of harm’s way, including yourself.

Once you are calm and have check that everyone is safe, assess any injuries that you or others may have and call the authorities. You will want to make note of injuries before placing the call so that first responders can send the appropriate people to the scene.

If you are able, begin documenting everything you can about the scene and injuries. Take pictures, videos and make notes. Exchange contact details and insurance details with the other party. You may even want to get contact details from those who witnessed the accident. Never engage in conversation about the accident or take blame, as this will not play in your favor down the road.

Keep all paperwork you are given by health care providers that are related to your injuries. Even if you are not hurt it is best to be checked out by a doctor to ensure you are not suffering from non-visible conditions, such as a concussion.

Keep track of all your expenses that are incurred as a result of the accident. All these things will help back up your case and provide evidence about injuries or damages that you suffered as a result of the accident. Do not leave holes for insurance companies to argue that your injuries were not as serious as you claim. Make sure you go to all follow up appointments, do all test and take medications that are prescribed to you.

When should I contact an attorney?

It is best to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This will help you understand what your rights are. The other party will contact their insurance, and that insurance company will want to get in contact with you. It is advised that you do not give a statement to the insurance company without first speaking to an attorney.

Insurance companies are looking to protect the other party. They are not concerned with your injuries or medical bills. Their goal is to settle on the accident for as little as possible. A personal injury lawyer has your best interest at hand. They understand how frustrating it can be to deal with insurance companies. They will deal with the insurance company directly and ensure you get a settlement that is fair. This will take the worry off you, and you can concentrate on healing.

These are all things you want to keep in mind when working with a Long Beach car accident lawyer. Contact a personal injury lawyer right away to ensure you are taken care of after an accident occurs.

Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.