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Personal Injury FAQ

Atascadero Personal Injury Attorney

Ready to learn more about personal injury law, your rights, the cases we handle, and so much more? Our Atascadero personal injury lawyers have compiled a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to offer insight on these important matters. In addition to reviewing these, we welcome you to call our offices at (805) 919-8889 to discuss your particular case.

What types of personal injury cases do you handle?

At the Law Offices of William Ausman, we cover a wide variety of different personal injury cases. We see a great number of auto accident cases where our clients have been injured. We have helped people in a wide array of car accident cases and are seeing more and more bicycle accident cases. As people get outside and enjoy the great weather we have on the Central Coast, we’re finding that more people are being injured by neglectful, inattentive drivers. Quite often people will be on their phones, texting, and answering emails instead of paying attention to bicyclists along the road. We have helped people recover millions of dollars in bicycle accidents.

Some of our other primary practice areas in personal injury law include:

  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Texting while driving accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Defective products

Why do you practice personal injury law?

We have had many family and friends that have been injured as a result of negligence. Our founding attorney, William Ausman, was also injured by a drunk driver himself. Having gone through that traumatic situation, he has a great deal of empathy for the injured. He and our entire team are dedicated to helping our clients find the right treatment and recover maximum compensation so they can begin rebuilding their lives.

What are some common misconceptions about working with a personal injury lawyer?

People don’t always understand how easy it is to work with a great personal injury attorney. Your attorney should make things easy and smooth for you. At the Law Offices of William Ausman, we take pride in making the process as seamless as possible. We’re able to help our clients from start to finish to make sure that everything’s done right. We’re able to take the pain out of the personal injury claims process, we’re able to recover maximum compensation for our clients, and we’re able to make them as whole as much as possible. Working with a competent personal injury attorney who truly cares about you and your case can make all the difference in the world during these difficult times.

Is it relatively easy to file a personal injury claim?

We have found that some people have misconceptions about the insurance industry and how it operates. Insurance companies make great profits by denying claims. As such, people who are unfamiliar with the claims process and haven’t had the opportunity to file hundreds upon hundreds of claims and recover millions of dollars for their clients can run in to problems securing fair compensation. Insurance companies make bigger profits when they undervalue and deny claims. Having someone who has worked with the insurance companies and who understands the claims process can open the door to a just settlement or award.

The act of filing an insurance claim alone may be deceptively easy, but actually being able to overcome the difficulty of dealing with the insurance company is something best left to an experienced professional who knows how the system works and how to use it for the maximum advantage.

Should I provide a statement to the other party’s insurance provider?

In California, when you first have an accident, it’s required that you exchange information with the other party. This would be basic insurance information, and that definitely should be shared. At the time of an accident, however, you should not go into the issues of liability and who’s at fault. That’s best left to go over with your attorney, and if liability is ever being discussed, you should decline to make a statement or make sure your attorney is there to protect your rights.

Once you exchange insurance information, you’ll probably hear from an adjuster. It is better to contact an attorney at that point. An attorney who understands the issues of liability and fault can offer insight on whether a statement should be made. A great attorney will be able to make sure that any issues are covered and a proper statement is given to the insurance company that protects the client’s right to maximum compensation.

Do the majority of personal injury cases settle or go to trial?

The vast majority of personal injury cases settle. The question is what that settlement amount will be. We have an outstanding record maximizing settlements for our clients. Some cases, however, just cannot be settled, and those are the cases that often end up in court. Lack of information and documentation can cause issues that may make it necessary to go to trial, as may bad faith practices on the part of the insurance company. The majority of cases settle, but you need a great firm that’s willing to try a case and get you the best possible result.

What factors determine the viability of a personal injury claim?

With personal injury claims, it will be crucial to establish negligence. You must prove that there was a duty, that duty was breached, and that breach caused you harm. There are additional factors that you should consider, and this is why it’s important to have an excellent attorney from the very beginning help you with your claim. It’s important to document medical treatment and appointments, and it’s important to keep track of what happens during the process of healing and recovering. Working closely with your attorney can maximize your recovery.

How important are witnesses and evidence in personal injury claims?

There is a lot of important evidence in a personal injury claim. Quite often, we’ll see this from the very beginning when we get an accident or injury report. It is important to document things as they move forward. Hospital records, ambulance records, documentation of all medical treatment, and witness contact information can prove critical later on if liability is in question. This evidence and witness testimony can help to establish fault and assign an appropriate value to your claim.

How soon should I seek medical attention after an injury?

After an accident, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately, documenting 1) the fact that the accident occurred; 2) the severity of the accident, and; 3) that the person is taking it seriously and getting everything checked. Quite often, people will not find out that they have serious injuries until sometime later. You may be in shock immediately following an accident and may decline assistance. We encourage people to get the assistance they need to seek treatment from qualified medical professionals who are able to diagnose the problem and help get a treatment.

This is important not just in the recovery of the health of an individual but it’s important for the recovery of maximum compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait to seek medical treatment, the insurance company may attempt to deny liability. While we’ve been able to overcome these obstacles for clients, it is much easier to assist an individual when they seek medical treatment and receive that promptly.

How long does it take for a personal injury claim to be resolved?

The average resolution time for personal injury claims varies quite a bit. Often, when medical treatment is still being provided, settlement is not advisable as there may be pending medical issues. Once a case is resolved, it is difficult, if not impossible, to go back and receive additional damages. It’s very important to work with a great legal professional who can maximize your recovery and help you through the process making sure that deadlines are met and that things are moved along promptly. A careful review of your settlement offer can help ensure it is truly in your best interests.

Should I keep a journal or log after my accident or injury?

Absolutely. Keeping track of everything that happens in regard to your accident, your injury, and your claim can help your legal team establish what occurred and what impact your injury has had on your life. This can make the difference between a significant or modest settlement.

How do people unintentionally hinder their personal injury claims?

There are many things that a person may can do to damage their case. One is making statements to insurance adjusters and trying to explain issues that don’t necessarily need to be explained. It’s best to hire a personal injury attorney who can take care of any statements with the insurance adjuster. Other things that have caused people problems in their claim are talking about old injuries or talking about possible other sources of their pain, which can lead insurance adjusters to blame pre-existing conditions for injuries or their losses. It’s important to concentrate on the accident or injury at hand, remaining focused on the current issue. Waiting to seek medical treatment is another common mistake.

Can I afford an experienced personal injury attorney?

Yes, you can. The question, “Can I afford not to work with an experienced attorney?” is more appropriate. Time and time again, we see people who have worked tirelessly trying to establish their own claim, work with insurance adjusters, and get compensation for their injuries. They are left confused and baffled by the system, unable to obtain a proper recovery. Working with an experienced Atascadero personal injury attorney who has helped hundreds of people in accident cases is a far better option. The attorney does not recover until you’ve recovered. When you get that recovery, you’ll find that the process is not only easier but that a great attorney will maximize your recovery so you’re able to concentrate on getting well. You have a far better opportunity of securing a fair settlement with a competent attorney by your side.

What makes your firm particularly suited to handle accident and injury claims?

Our firm does an outstanding job in personal injury claims because of our staff’s approach. Our attorneys and support staff take every case very personally, get to know the client, understand the medical situation, understand what issues are at hand, and help the client recover financially, physically, and emotionally. It can be extremely difficult to heal and move on after a serious accident. It is therefore important for you to have a great partner. At the Law Offices of William Ausman, we partner with our clients and handle each case as though it were our own from start to finish, making sure that things are completed and completed well.

If you’d like to learn more or are interested in discussing your case with a knowledgeable professional, call an Atascadero injury lawyer at our offices at (805) 919-8889.

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  1. Our firm has successfully handled thousands of
    cases throughout our two decades of experience.
  2. We provide aggressive representation and relentless
    advocacy every step of the way.
  3. Mr. Ausman and our diligent legal team will work with
    you one-on-one through your legal matters.
  4. We do everything in our power to achieve the highest
    favorable results for our clients.
  5. Our team is highly familiar with the manner in which the
    courts, prosecutors, and judges handle cases.
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