Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about getting the legal help you need in order to get the settlement you deserve? The personal injury attorneys at Van Blois & Associates in Oakland and Stockton, California have the answers for you.
How Long Do I Have To File My Case?
Generally, the statute of limitations in California for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of injury or death. In some instances the period to file suit may be shorter or longer. The time to file a claim is shorter if the case involves a public entity such as the State, a county or municipality where there is a six (6) month claim statute. A medical malpractice action or a civil rights action also can have a shorter time to file. You should seek representation as soon as possible after an accident or injury to avoid problems with the statute of limitations which will operate as a bar to your claim. Delay in pursuing your case almost always works to the benefit of the negligent wrongdoer.
What Does It Cost To Consult With The Firm On My Case?
There is no fee or cost to you to consult with an attorney at Van Blois & Associates. If we cannot take your case, we charge you nothing for our time or expenses in reviewing your case.
How Do I Pay My Attorneys?
We advance all of the costs of a case at our own risk. The firm accepts most cases on a standard contingency fee basis. If your case is accepted on a contingency fee, the law firm will receive a percentage of your settlement or judgment when the funds are collected. If no recovery is made, the client will not pay a fee for any of our services and will not have to reimburse us for the costs advanced.
How Soon Will My Case Be Resolved?
The time required to resolve a case depends on the type of case, complexity of the issues and whether the case goes to trial or settles. Our firm directs its efforts to resolving cases at the earliest opportunity through direct settlement discussions with the other party’s insurance carrier or attorney, mediation, arbitration or trial. There is no “typical” amount of time in which cases are finalized, but generally cases settle within one to two years of commencement.
Will I Have To Go To Trial?
Ninety-five percent of all cases settle before trial. However, our practice is to prepare every case as if trial will be unavoidable. In our experience, the best settlements occur when cases have been thoroughly prepared for trial.
Do You Handle Cases Outside Of The Bay Area?
Yes, We routinely represent clients from all over California and occasionally in other states. In addition to our main office in Oakland, we have offices in Walnut Creek, Modesto, Stockton and San Jose. We can also meet with clients at their home or at the hospital.
Will You Work With My Family Or Estate Attorney?
Yes. We will include your family attorney or your estate attorney if you request this and a referral fee to your attorney can be arranged at no additional cost or expense to you.
Who Decides If A Case Should Settle Or Go To Trial?
The risks of trial are considerable: while the reward potential may be greater than a settlement, an adverse decision could result in the loss of any compensation. We will advise you in this decision-making process, but the client will make the final choice.
What If The Police Blame Me For The Accident?
Often police investigations attribute fault for the accident to the injured victim. If this occurs, it does not necessarily mean you do not have a case. A thorough investigation of the facts of the accident by use of experienced accident reconstruction experts will provide the true causes of an accident. We have been very successful in proving police investigations and other governmental investigations were flawed, or biased and overlooked important evidence. Whenever there is a severely injured person involved in an accident, that person should obtain the services of a competent experienced lawyer who will provide a thorough investigation. The risks of trial are considerable: while the reward potential may be greater than a settlement, an adverse decision could result in the loss of any compensation. We will advise you in this decision-making process, but the client will make the final choice.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
The attorneys at Van Blois & Associates in Oakland and Stockton will provide information about the legal grounds for pursuing a wrongful death claim. If a loved one has suffered fatal injuries in an accident or incident that may have resulted from a wrongful act of another or from negligence then you may have the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60 provides the persons who may bring a cause of action for a wrongful death claim. These persons include the surviving spouse, domestic partner, children and issue of deceased children. Parents of the decedent and step children who are dependent on the decedent also have standing to file a claim. If there are no surviving children or grandchildren the persons include those persons entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession. For more information about who may file a wrongful death lawsuit, you should contact Van Blois & Associates as soon as possible.
Certain relationships take precedence over others in filing wrongful death claims and who fits the definition of specific categories can be open to interpretation so it is best to check with an attorney who is familiar with wrongful death lawsuits before proceeding. The accidental death lawyers at Van Blois & Associates can give you expert advice and guidance in this area.
The compensation awarded for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits varies widely. And in the case of accidental deaths there are many factors that go into the calculation of any damage award. Catastrophic injuries to a loved one cause many types of financial and emotional damages to the survivors. Wrongful death lawsuits need to cover the full scope of all current and future damages. The experienced team of skillful personal injury and wrongful death lawyers that you will work with at Van Blois & Associates will make sure you get your full and just compensation from your personal injury and wrongful death claim.