Frequently Asked Questions More Than $175 Million Recovered | Over 30 Years of Experience

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This information is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for consultation with an attorney. Specific legal issues, concerns, and conditions always require the advice of appropriate legal professionals. These answers are intended to provide general information only.

  • Q:What Should I Do After An Accident?


    Do not:

    • Panic. Being in an accident is a horrible experience, but help is available. Take a deep breath and focus on completing the DO items.
    • Talk openly at the scene. Be careful about what you say. It is possible to damage your case by making a statement like, “I’m fine” or “I’m OK.”
    • Talk to neighbors about the case. Insurance investigators are trained to look for discrepancies in a story. Their job is to deny or minimize your claim.
    • Leave an accident scene. Unless there is a medical emergency, collect information if you are able, and wait for police to arrive.


    • Collect evidence & info. Get photos of the accident and injuries (mobile phone photos are fine). Get names and insurance info from all drivers involved. Obtain contact info from any witnesses.
    • Call your insurance company. Reporting the accident to your insurance agent is extremely important to your case.
    • Get legal help. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options.
    • Obtain medical care. If you or a loved one was hurt, make sure to get proper medical treatment right away.

  • Q:Do I have a case?

    A:To have a personal injury case, you must show that you have been injured through the fault of another, whether due to negligence, intentional misconduct, or strict liability.

  • Q:What is my case worth?


    A case’s worth is based on a number of factors. For example, the nature of the injury-causing event, the severity of the injury, the amount of pain the injury causes, and whether the injury has lingering effects are all issues that affect the value of a case. However, only after all the information is gathered and negotiations have begun can your case truly be evaluated.

    As we determine the value of a case, we take into consideration everything that a personal injury claimant may be entitled to recover, including the following:

    • Past and future medical bills
    • Past and future lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Mental and physical disability
    • Disfigurement and scars
    • Emotional trauma
    • Mental anguish
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Loss of love and affection
    • Property damage
    • Out-of-pocket expenses

  • Q:Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement?

    A:No, you should not talk to an insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer. It is common practice for insurance adjusters to request that injury claimants give recorded statements immediately following an injury-producing event. These recorded statements are later used against you.

  • Q:What should I do if an insurance adjuster offers me a settlement?

    A:Before accepting a settlement, it is always in your best interest to consult with a lawyer. Adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you, and their job is to settle the matter for the lowest possible amount. A lawyer’s expertise is vital for injury victims who are ready to settle their cases, as an attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.

  • Q:What are some common insurance company tactics?


    People in motor vehicle accidents are often surprised to realize how difficult it is to get the coverage they are owed from their insurance company and the compensation they are owed from the other driver’s insurance company. It is unfortunate, but many accident victims need a lawyer to get the basic service and coverage an insurance company is supposed to provide.

    Insurance companies are businesses like any other, and their goal is to make money. Paying out compensation cuts into their profits. Consequently, they have developed strategies to attempt to avoid paying out compensation.

    One common tactic is to deny valid claims. Insurance companies may do this in some cases in the hope that the insured or third-party victim simply accepts the denial.

    Delaying the processing of claims is also common. Some companies will purposely prolong the claims process, hoping the people involved get frustrated and give up. Many people do not have the resources to fight the insurance company.

    Defending against the claim is another tactic. Insurance companies have lawyers and adjusters who are there to protect the company from risk and expense. They will work hard to deny fault and/or lower the value of the claim. Offering a lowball settlement is very common in vehicle accident cases.

  • Q:Do I need a lawyer?


    For small property damage claims with no personal injury, you probably do not need a lawyer. However, for any claim involving a personal injury, attempting to handle your own claim is unwise. Insurance companies earn profits by not paying. Insurance adjusters are very skilled at obtaining the information they need from you to deny or minimize your claims.

    There is also a statute of limitations that affects your case. Depending on the circumstances, the statute of limitations requires that a suit be filed within a specific period. If you fail to file suit within the proper time limit, you will be prohibited from obtaining any compensation for your injuries.

    Finding witnesses and gathering evidence to support your case becomes more difficult the longer you wait. Therefore, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.

  • Q:How do I find a lawyer who I can trust?


    We understand that any meaningful relationship is based on trust. Trust your instincts. Discuss your concerns with us and form impressions about what you are being told. Beware of lawyers who tell you what you want to hear in order to get your business. Choose a lawyer who answers your questions, seems genuinely concerned about your problems, and creates realistic expectations. Furthermore, retain an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, and has the experience, ability, and means to go to trial if necessary.

    Some of the critical questions to ask a lawyer include:

    • How much experience do you have in this area of law?
    • How many years have you been handling motor vehicle accidents?
    • How do you approach motor vehicle accident cases?
    • What is the fee arrangement? Do I pay any upfront costs?
    • Will I work with you, your associates, or your staff?
    • What are my rights as an accident victim?
    • What happens if I need access to medical care during the case? Can you help?
    • Where did you go to law school? Was it a highly rated and accredited law school?
    • What peer recognition have you received in the legal community?
    • Have you received a ranking from any attorney rating agency?
    • Are you a member of any consumer attorney organizations?
    • How many clients do you have? Are you so busy that you won’t have time to spend on my case?
    • How quickly do you respond to telephone calls or emails from clients?
    • Are you available to respond to clients' calls and emails after working hours and on weekends?

  • Q:What do lawyers charge?


    The last thing you need to worry about after a vehicle accident is how much it will cost to hire a lawyer to represent you. You already have vehicle repair or replacement bills and medical bills and may be unable to work due to your injuries.

    Fortunately, you do not have to factor in the cost of your attorneys’ fees. In personal injury cases such as motor vehicle accidents, the case is handled on a contingency fee. This means the firm advances all the fees and court costs out of our own finances. We do this because our payment, including those fees and costs, comes out as a portion of the verdict or settlement we obtain for you. So, basically, you owe us nothing until a verdict or settlement is reached in your case.

    Our fee is based on a percentage of the money collected, which is typically 33 percent. Remember, if we do not collect for you, you do not owe us any money.

    If you decide to become one of our firm’s clients, we will sit down with you and explain in more detail how contingency fees work. If you agree to it, you will then sign a written fee agreement to retain our firm in your case.

    Because we represent clients on a contingency fee basis, you pay no fees upfront. This allows us to provide the representation and support clients need without having to be concerned about attorneys’ fees during a difficult time. If we decide to represent you and take on your case, we believe your case has merit and will likely result in a recovery for you.

  • Q:If I hire a lawyer, will they take most of my settlement?

    A:This is a very common question. The lawyer should be honest and tell you if their services will result in your recovering enough money to pay their fee and still cover your injuries and losses. Most of the time you will make more money hiring a lawyer than if you seek compensation on your own. We turn away cases if our efforts will not benefit an injured victim financially. Please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation about the specifics of your case.

  • Q:The insurance company says I can handle the case myself without a lawyer. Is this a good idea?


    Since a consultation is free, it won’t hurt to ask if we can help. Having worked with insurance companies on thousands of cases, we know that no matter how nice insurance adjusters may sound on the phone, they have one goal in mind—to pay you as little as possible. They are trained to do this.

    Insurance companies do not work for you. They are not trained, nor are they qualified, to explain your legal rights. They will not give you a fair assessment of the value of your case.

    If your injuries are significant, a good attorney can help you in numerous ways. When you hire a lawyer who is willing to take a case to trial, value is added to your case. A competent lawyer will seek every category of damages that applies to your case and find ways to support those damages with evidence that will be admissible in court. Also, the threat of a trial itself adds to your bargaining power. Make no mistake—the insurance company knows that it’s almost impossible for an injury claimant to take a case to trial and win without a lawyer.

  • Q:Must I go to court if I hire a lawyer?

    A:No. You decide if your case goes to court. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court.

  • Q:What if I don’t want to sue anyone?

    A:Personal injury cases do not have to result in a lawsuit. We understand that lawsuits are unpleasant, and we strive to do all that we can to resolve your case short of filing a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is necessary though, we will make the process as easy on you as possible, helping you every step of the way.

  • Q:Do you allow free consultations?

    A:Absolutely! You may contact us by telephone, fax, or e-mail. We answer our telephones 24 hours a day. If you have a personal injury or wrongful death case, we will schedule a consultation appointment that fits your schedule. We will attempt to schedule the meeting around your work and personal obligations so as to minimize the inconvenience to you.

  • Q:Why should I choose you as my attorney?

    A:Personal injury and wrongful death cases are our only business. We do not attempt to handle divorces, wills, criminal cases, or any other type of case. When you do one thing all day, every day, for more than fifteen years, you become very good at it. We have successfully resolved thousands of personal injury claims and recovered approximately $130 million on behalf of our clients since we opened our doors. We have received countless referrals from satisfied clients.

  • Q:If you take my case, what will I have to do?

    A:If you hire us to represent you, you will play a significant part in your case. We may ask you to help us gather information and documentation to support your case. You will need to keep us informed about your medical treatment and physical limitations. If we have to file a lawsuit, you will need to participate in this process. We will help you every step of the way.

  • Q:How long will it take?


    The time it takes to settle a personal injury case depends on the circumstances surrounding it. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to settle. Most cases are resolved within a few months to a year. However, some cases may take longer, especially if the claim is disputed by the defendant or their insurance company and a lawsuit must be filed.

    We have successfully represented thousands of people with a wide range of personal injury claims. Every claim is different. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.

  • Q:I have a lawyer. Can I fire them and get a new one?

    A:Yes, you have the right to fire your current attorney and hire a new one. It is a common practice for your new and old lawyers to share the eventual fee. The new lawyer will pay your old attorney a portion of the fee for their services. If there is a dispute as to this amount, an arbitrator or judge will make the final decision. The bottom line is that you should not have to pay more than your agreed fee percentage. Feel free to contact our office and we will provide greater detail.

  • Q:How do I know which auto insurance company to choose?

    A:Many people think that all auto insurance companies are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Check around and look not only for the best rates but for good service. Often you are trading service for lower premiums, so you get what you pay for.

  • Q:What are the different types of coverage that I can have for my auto insurance policy?

    A:The basic types of coverage are liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist, collision, comprehensive, medical payments (or PIP), roadside assistance (towing) and rental reimbursement. In order to have full coverage, you need all of these types of insurance. You should also ideally have the highest limits for your liability, uninsured/underinsured and medical payments coverages. Unfortunately, many insurance agents only recommend that you get the state-mandated minimums, which will likely not be enough coverage if you were involved in an accident with serious injuries. Click here for more information

  • Q:What information should I bring to the initial meeting with my lawyer?


    You should try to bring as much of the following information and/or documentation that you can reasonably obtain before our initial meeting. Don’t worry if you have not collected all of it. We will work together to gather what is needed after we meet in person.

    • Anything that you believe is related to the accident, your vehicle, or your injuries or treatment
    • The name, address, and telephone of your primary care physician
    • A copy of your health insurance card
    • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses to the accident
    • The name, address, and phone number of the person responsible for causing the accident, along with their driver’s license number, insurance information (including company name and policy number) and their vehicle year, make, model and license plate number
    • The name, address, phone number and claim number of your insurance company adjuster
    • The name, address, phone number and claim number of the insurance company adjuster for the person responsible for causing the accident
    • All correspondence and documents about the accident sent to you by anyone
    • A copy of the law enforcement traffic collision report (or the card identifying the report number and the telephone number to obtain same) if a traffic collision report was prepared
    • All discharge papers from any hospital or emergency room at which you received treatment for your injuries
    • The name, address, and telephone number of every medical provider who has treated you for your injuries
    • A copy of your current declarations page from your insurance company that was in force on the date of the accident
    • The name, address, and telephone number of the location of your vehicle if it is at a repair shop
    • A copy of the property damage estimate for your vehicle
    • Digital photographs depicting the damage to your vehicle
    • Digital photographs that show the area where the accident occurred


  • Fast Resolution With Maximum Results
    At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we understand the importance of securing a favorable outcome in your case, fast. More than 95% of our clients’ cases settle within 5 to 9 months.
  • Renowned Reputation

    With more than 30 years in practice and $175 million recovered for his clients, Scott is known for his aggressive approach to litigation. Some of his accolades include:

    • Inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers® list since 2007, a distinction reserved for only the top 5 percent of all personal injury lawyers in the region
    • Named a “Top 100 Super Lawyer”
    • Named a Top 25 Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association since 2010
    • Maintains a 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo
  • Personal Attention
    We believe in developing strong attorney-client relationships built on honesty, trust, and communication. As a client, you will always receive direct, personal attention and your case will never be passed off to an associate or paralegal.
  • Zero Upfront Fees
    As a client, you do not owe any upfront or out-of-pocket fees or costs. Instead, we only recover legal fees if/when we recover compensation for you. In the unlikely event that we do not win your case, you do not pay a dime.

Attorney Scott J. Corwin recognizes that no two cases are exactly alike. While he draws on over 30 years of past experience in motor vehicle accident and personal injury claims, he also develops innovative legal strategies based on the unique factors of each individual case. He has a long track record of standing by his clients, even through the toughest of challenges, and is ready to advocate tirelessly for you throughout the legal process.

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