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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have been involved in a car accident?

  • Stop your car as close as possible to the place of the accident without obstructing traffic.
  • Turn on your hazard lights to warn others that an accident has occurred. Remain at the scene.
  • Contact the local Police Department at the time of the accident. Obtain the Police Officers contact information.
  • If someone is injured, give first aid if you are qualified. Otherwise call for an ambulance.
  • If you feel that either you, your passenger(s), and/or others need immediate medical attention, request an ambulance.
  • Other than exchanging insurance information, do not make any statement to anyone else other than the Police Officer.
  • Obtain insurance information of all the other people in the accident.
  • Take photographs of the vehicles and the location were the accident occurred.
  • If possible, take notes of the time, place, and nature of the accident, including a diagram of the scene. Also note anything else that occurs to you at that time. If your car was towed away, make sure to get the towing company's information, and the location where your car will be held.
  • Obtain contact information for any witnesses who observed the accident.
  • Contact your primary care physician or a Doctor for a check up, or a follow up if you or your passenger(s) received emergency medical assistance at the scene of the accident.
  • Contact your insurance carrier and let them know that you were involved in an auto accident
  • If you have retained legal representation after the accident, do not speak with anyone from an insurance company (other than your own) or with any of the parties involved in the accident. Let them know that you have legal representation and that they should contact your lawyer.

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What is Proposition 213?

Proposition 213 provides the following:

  • A person may not recover damages based on negligence for injuries sustained during his/her own commission of a felony, or during his/her flight from such a felony, if he/she is convicted of that felony.
  • An injured person may not recover losses to compensate for pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment disfigurement if:
    • the INJURED person at the time of the accident, was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and he/she was convicted of that offense;
    • the INJURED person was the owner of a vehicle which at the time of the accident was not insured;
    • the INJURED person was the operator of a vehicle and as the operator he/she can not establish that the vehicle was insured at the time of the accident.

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What do I do if I am sued?

  • Seek the advice or representation of an attorney immediately. Nearly every aspect of a law suit is controlled by deadlines that are strictly enforced by the Courts.
  • Make sure you retain any and all documents that you were served with. Make a note of the date and time that you, or your representative, was served with the law suit.
  • Always keep in mind that you may, and have a right, to get a second (or third) opinion from other lawyers regarding your case.

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What kind of car insurance should I carry?

  • First, California's financial responsibility laws require you to carry at least liability insurance for your vehicle.
  • Liability coverage covers any personal injury or property damage you may be held responsible for.
  • Any additional coverages you choose depends on your budget.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured coverage provides for any damages or losses that you may suffer as a result of an accident that is not your fault and the other party either does not have any insurance or has insurance with inadequate coverage.
  • If you have further questions about insurance coverages or particular insurance companies, visit the Department of Insurance at www.insurance.ca.gov, or call your insurance carrier.

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What should I do if my identity has been stolen?

  • Contact all three of the credit agencies and inform them of the fraud.
  • Request, in writing, that a "Fraud Alert" be placed on your credit file.
  • Request a copy of your credit report from all three agencies
    • Experian
    • Equifax
    • Trans-Union
  • Gather the following information about the fraud:
    • Account number(s)
    • Name(s) used to open account(s)
    • Date(s) account(s) were opened
    • Any amount(s) charged or in collection
    • Contact information of the creditor
    • Contact information of the collection agency
  • Gather any inaccurate information showing on your report
  • Contact a lawyer or other credit correction services to initiate a fraud investigation.

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What to do before entering into an agreement or contract?

  • Be sure that every aspect of your understanding is in writing
  • Do not be rushed into making a decision.
  • Document every aspect of the agreement including conversations and meetings.
  • Consult with an accountant, Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.), and/or a financial adviser about any possible tax consequences of the transaction
  • Consult with a lawyer. Receiving legal representation and advice before entering into an agreement may prevent costly litigation in the future.

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