Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a legitimate personal injury claim?
If you have been injured in any type of accident which was caused by the
negligent and careless acts of another person or business entity, you
have a legitimate personal injury claim. Under California law, even if
you were partially at fault or negligent in causing the accident you can
still file a personal injury lawsuit or make a personal injury claim.
The value of your case will be reduced by the percentage of fault that
can be assessed to you in causing your accident or injury. A personal
injury claim can arise out of a car accident, a truck accident, a motorcycle
accident, a pedestrian accident, a dog bite, construction accident, defective
products, slip and trip and fall, or the wrongful death of a loved one.
During a free consultation by phone or in the office you can tell me A
Palm Springs personal injury attorney serving the Coachella Valley, and
Southern California all the facts of your case. I will give you the opportunity
tell me everything you think is important so that I can determine whether
or not some person or business entity was at fault for causing your injuries
and whether that person or business entity should be held liable under
the personal injury laws of the State of California. After that is determined,
we can then decide the best and most reasonable way to handle your case
and help you obtain a fair and reasonable out of court settlement with
your approval that ensures that you get the result you deserve under our
legal system. If the insurance company won't offer a reasonable settlement,
we will move forward to a jury trial to pursue justice for you in the
How long will my case take before I receive any money?
Since many accident victims heal from their injuries within a matter of
months I find that most personal injury claims resolve within six to twelve
months from the date my firm is hired. Over 97% of all personal injury
claims settle before actually going to trial. If the insurance company
plays hardball and continues to make lowball offers that are unfair and
unreasonable for the injuries and losses you have suffered, we take your
case to trial and use our more than 40 years of jury trial experience
to get you the justice you deserve. If you have been injured due to the
negligence of some person or business entity in the Coachella Valley,
your case will most likely be set for a jury trial in the Coachella Valley
within 18 months. In other parts of Southern California, the time it takes
to get to trial will generally take longer than 18 months.
Since most cases do settle outside of a courtroom, the actual time it takes
to settle a personal injury claim will necessarily vary depending on the
nature of the injuries involved and the actual time it takes for your
injuries to heal or for your doctors to determine that your injuries will
be permanent. Before we settle a personal injury claim, we must have medical
opinions and reports from your treating doctors to advise us as to the
real status of your injuries and whether or not you, as an injured accident
victim, will require medical care in the future. We must know all the
possibilities and probabilities about your medical conditions so we can
reasonably evaluate your claim. Obviously, a personal injury claim should
not settle while you, the accident victim, are still under the care of
a doctor who is not yet ready to offer an opinion as to when you will
be healed or whether or not you will ever be healed from your accident
related symptoms. Some accident fact patterns are very complicated and
require extensive investigation and what is called pre-trial discovery
during which depositions are taken of witnesses and expert witnesses.
It has never been my practice or the practice of my firm to "rush"
An accident victim must understand that once your case is settled, you
can never reopen your case and try to get additional money damages for
your original accident related injuries. Therefore, the time to settle
your personal injury claim requires an in-depth discussion between you,
the accident victim, and our firm so that you, the client, have a complete
understanding of what is involved in settling your case.
How much money will I receive for my personal injury claim or lawsuit?
The actual potential value of any personal injury claim that is settled
out of court is determined by the nature and extent of the accident victim's
injuries, the medical expenses, the loss of income, and the pain and suffering
that the accident victim endures because of the fault of another person
or business entity. Every personal injury claim is different because accident
victims are different ages with different occupations and abilities and
disabilities. The actual monetary amount of any settlement which should
represent a fair and reasonable amount of compensation for all injuries
and losses suffered by the accident victim cannot realistically be determined
until all of the evidence is accumulated.
The lawyer must consider all the losses you have suffered along with the
medical bills you have paid and are responsible to pay in the future.
If your ability to work is restricted on a temporary or a permanent basis,
your loss of income damages will vary depending on the nature and extent
of your work restrictions. If you need medical care in the future or for
the rest of your life, your lawyer must consider those factors. When we
become your lawyer, we must make certain that the value we place on your
case is fair and reasonable and provides you with the money that fairly,
reasonably, and adequately compensates you for all your losses. That is
why when you hire our firm, I will utilize my over 40 years of personal
injury experience to seek the largest amount of monetary compensation
possible for your particular case. Every case is unique. We have settled
cases for amounts under $10,000 and for amounts over $5 million.
Every case is different. Every client is different. It is our goal to treat
each client individually based on the particular facts involved in your
case. That is why no attorney should ever attempt to tell a potential
client the value of their case until the attorney has a chance to review
all the evidence of the accident, all the medical records, all the medical
opinions, all the income information, and fully understands how the accident
has impacted that potential client's life.
Do I need a personal injury attorney to handle my personal injury claim,
or can I just settle my case with the insurance company?
Any accident victim may settle their own case with the negligent party's
insurance company without using an attorney. There is no law that says
that an accident victim must use the services of a personal injury attorney.
An accident victim should know that insurance companies and their adjusters
are not in business to offer accident victims fair and reasonable settlements.
Insurance companies have a bottom line. The bottom line for insurance
adjusters is to settle claims as soon as possible and as cheaply as possible.
Insurance companies and their trained adjusters know the value of personal
injury claims. However, they will never tell the accident victim what
they, the insurance company, thinks is the real value of the case.
The insurance adjuster will make the accident victim think he or she is
being fairly compensated, but in fact in most cases the accident victim
is "selling their case short." So, yes, you can settle your
own case without hiring a personal injury attorney, but you may not get
nearly as much financial compensation as you deserve. At least, an accident
victim should consult with this firm during an initial free consultation
to determine what the best course of action to follow is in order for
you to have your legal rights protected and receive the fair, just, and
reasonable money compensation you are entitled to.
What are some of the reasons that I want to hire a personal injury attorney
to handle my claim instead of doing Web research and trying to learn how
to handle my own case?
Negotiating with an insurance company, whether it is the accident victim's
insurance company or the negligent party's insurance company, is what
I can do for you if I become your attorney. Insurance companies simply
are out to make as much money as they can. The more money they collect
in premiums while paying low settlements increases their profits. Naturally,
an insurance company makes more money collecting premiums than they pay
out to their own insureds or to accident victims on behalf of their negligent
insureds. Because you as the accident victim do not understand the complexities
of personal injury law and evaluating personal injury claims, you may
therefore find it quite difficult to receive a fair settlement for your
personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can exert
the proper legal pressure on claims adjusters and insurance companies
while investigating your case.
Your lawyer can provide the insurance company and their adjusters with
strong legal reasons and supporting evidence to pay higher settlements
that are more realistic in view of all your injuries and losses. When
the insurance company reaches their limit as to what they will offer to
settle a specific claim and we decide that the offer is too low, I will
then use all the experience, talent, and ability that I have gained in
more that forty years of handling personal injury cases to take your case
in front of a jury and present that jury with the necessary proof they
need to render a verdict that is fair, just, and reasonable for the specific
facts of your case. The seriously injured accident victim who tries to
take on the insurance companies without the help of an experienced personal
injury lawyer is like fighting someone with one hand tied behind your back.
How much money do you pay for my services?
This law firm handles all personal injury cases, including any type of
accident case or wrongful death case, on a contingency fee basis. That
term means that you do not pay my firm any fees or litigation costs that
we advance unless and until we settle your case out of court with your
approval or win your case in front of a jury. Our attorney's fees
are a certain percentage of the settlement or verdict based on the specific
facts of your case. Once we accept a case we advance all the costs of
investigation and litigation. You will never have to repay our firm any
of those costs unless and until we win your case in court or settle it
out of court. During your initial free consultation with this firm, all
your questions regarding the percentage of attorney's fees charged
for a case such as yours will be discussed and explained to your satisfaction.
What kind of cases does this firm handle?
Our law firm handles all types of personal injury cases arising out of
injuries occurring in Southern California, the Coachella Valley, and the
individual cities within the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs, Palm
Desert, Indio, Cathedral City, La Quinta, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage,
Coachella, etc. We also handle cases occurring in the high desert area
such as Yucca Valley and the Morongo Basin. The type of personal injury
cases we handle include, but are not limited to the following: car accidents,
truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, wrongful
death cases, dog bites, construction accidents, defective products, slip,
trip and fall accidents. All of these cases are handled on a contingency
fee basis which has been previously explained.
I was offered a settlement by the insurance company – how do I know
if I should take it?
Attorney Regar usually doesn't advise personal injury accident victims
to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without at least
getting a free initial personal injury consultation. The settlement offer
the insurance company made to you was probably low because that is the
standard practice utilized by insurance companies when dealing with accident
victims who represent themselves. If at a later date after you accepted
a low settlement you find out that you need further medical treatment
and that your injuries did not disappear, you have unfortunately lost
your legal rights to ever receive more money than was paid to you by the
insurance company. Insurance adjusters know that you as an accident victim
really don't know the value of your case and they take advantage of
you. At least consulting with an experienced, competent, and aggressive
personal injury lawyer helps level the playing field and may keep you
from accepting a "low ball offer" which you may later regret.
How much money should I receive in my case?
It's impossible to honestly tell a potential client during the initial
visit to our office how much that potential client should receive for
their personal injury claim because it depends on various factors that
develop during the case. My firm does know how to identify and discover
all potential sources for reasonable and just compensation and to go after
the maximum amount available in your particular case. The value of your
case will include the amount of your medical expenses past, present and
future, your loss of income past, present and future, any impairment of
your earning ability and capacity, and any property damage that you suffered.
Additionally, the most important part of your potential recovery is the
money that you should be paid to adequately compensate you for all the
pain and suffering, and the loss of the enjoyment of your life resulting
from your accident. Our goal is to maximize your potential recovery. That
is what this firm is all about. Insurance companies don't like us,
but they respect us.
I was in an accident. What should I do now?
There are several things that you should do immediately to help yourself
and assist you in ultimately receiving fair and reasonable compensation
for your personal injury claim. The first thing that you should do is
get proper medical attention for your injuries. You should make certain
that each doctor you see for your injuries records each and every symptom
that you have in the medical chart. If during the first visit the doctor
asks you, "How are you?", don't say I'm fine if in fact
you are hurting. Everything you tell the doctor can find its way into
your chart. So an innocent reply that "I am feeling fine" can
be recorded by the doctor that the patient says "the patient is feeling
fine." Make certain you get the Traffic Collision Report. Read the
report. Very often the police officer records incorrect information in
the Traffic Collision Report. If there are errors in the report, you should
contact the police agency and discuss making changes in the report that
are in fact consistent with the facts of the accident. Get the names,
addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses to the accident. Take
photographs of your injuries and of the damage to your motor vehicle if
it is still available. Take pictures of the accident scene.
If you are disabled because of your injuries, have a friend of neighbor
take the photographs described above. Notify your own insurance company
immediately if you were involved in an automobile accident. Do not give
a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster representing
the person or business entity that caused your injury. Insurance adjusters
are not your friends. You're not in good hands with insurance adjusters.
If you give them a statement you may say something that you will later
regret. That is why we advise that you contact an experienced, qualified
personal injury attorney to discuss your case with you during an initial
free consultation before you allow an insurance adjuster to take advantage of you.
Don't be a victim twice. Take advantage of our free initial consultation
to fully discuss the facts of your case. Of course, you should cooperate
with the police during any investigation. You should cooperate with your
own insurance company during their investigation. Do not talk about the
accident facts or your injuries to strangers or neighbors. Do not post
cute or frivolous comments about your accident on Facebook or Twitter
or through any other social media. All personal injury claims are governed
by a Statute of Limitations, which means that you have certain time periods
during which you must file your lawsuit in order to protect your legal
rights. That is another reason why after a personal injury accident you
should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney such
as Barry Regar. I will review your case in its entirety with you during
an initial free consultation. You will leave my office with a full understanding
of your legal rights.
How do I choose the right personal injury attorney for my personal injury claim?
Many personal injury accident victims choose their lawyer based on referrals
from friends, family members, or professionals who know of the identity
of a specific personal injury lawyer. Some people choose a lawyer based
on advertising that they may have seen either on television, in the phone
book, or on the Web. Learning about an attorney's services through
advertising is a good first step to finding a lawyer for your particular
case. However, before you actually hire a lawyer, you should meet the
lawyer in person and ask the lawyer all the questions that you have regarding
your case and what that lawyer can do for you. Listen carefully to the
answers. Decide whether or not you think that lawyer has the experience,
the ability, the talent, and the presence to be the best advocate and
representative for you.
Ask any lawyer that you are considering how many personal injury cases
they have tried to a jury? How many personal injury cases have they handled
over the years? Ask that lawyer to tell you about some of the lawyer's
most difficult cases and the results that that lawyer obtained. I invite
any potential client to ask me the tough questions and to judge my answers.
Before you hire me, you should feel that I have the experience, ability,
talent, knowledge, and aggressiveness to provide you with the kind of
legal representation you will need to get the maximum recovery available
in your case. Don't hire a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury
case unless that lawyer can convince you that that lawyer knows his way
around the courtroom and has had many successful jury trial verdicts.
Some lawyers that advertise that they are personal injury lawyers have
very limited jury trial experience.