Below are answers to questions frequently asked of the legal staff at the Law Office of Robert L. Meissner in their representation of victims of personal injury and wrongful death in Fair Oaks and the greater Sacramento area.
- Do I need an attorney in order to obtain compensation for my injuries?
- What is the difference between Uninsured Motorist coverage and Underinsured Motorist coverage?
- What is my recourse if I am the victim of hit and run?
- What are the rights of pedestrians on the roads?
- What recourse do I have if I have been bitten by a dog?
Q. Do I need an attorney in order to obtain compensation for my injuries?
A. If you are contemplating a lawsuit, an experienced attorney will have the legal knowledge and training to make sure that all procedural steps are completed correctly and within statutory deadlines, as well as the skills and ability to persuade the judge and jury that the law and facts are on your side. You will benefit from having an attorney in many ways, not to mention financially, even when dealing with your own insurance company.
Even if you are not going to court – and the vast majority of cases do in fact settle out of court – an experienced trial lawyer can also act as a negotiator to obtain the maximum value of your claim from the insurance company. Finally, a claim that may appear simple on its face may be more complex than it appears, not to mention that several different insurance policies may apply, involving other issues to be resolved. This can make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars. So not hiring or at least consulting with an attorney is a good example of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Q. What is the difference between Uninsured Motorist coverage and Underinsured Motorist coverage?
A. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will pay you when you are hit by a driver who does not have any liability insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage will compensate you when the negligent driver has liability insurance, but your damages exceed the other’s policy limits. You will be then compensated up to the limits of your own insurance policy.
Q. What is my recourse if I am the victim of hit and run?
A. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, then your insurance company will compensate you when the hit and run driver cannot be found.
Q. What are the rights of pedestrians on the roads?
A. Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, and pedestrians are required to yield the right-of-way to drivers at all other points. Regardless of where they are, however, both drivers and pedestrians still owe a duty of due care at all times.
Q. What recourse do I have if I have been bitten by a dog?
A. Under Section 3342 of California’s Civil Code, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by the dog to a human being, regardless of the care exercised by the owner or whether or not the dog had ever shown dangerous propensities. If you were bitten in public, or while lawfully on the dog owner’s private property, then you likely have a claim against the dog’s owner for the physical and emotional damages the animal has caused.
If you have additional questions or need representation in a personal injury matter, contact the Law Office of Robert L. Meissner today for a free consultation.