Coastal Legal Center APC

Personal Injury FAQs


Q: I Was Involved In An Auto Accident, What Should I Know, What Should I Do?
A: If you have left the accident scene, via ambulance or other wise, call the Coastal Legal Center right away. We may be able to get scene photos as soon as possible. These evidence photos are often vital and important.

If you are still at the scene, preserve it with photos, lots of photos. If a car accident, get pictures of all vehicles involved, the people involved, the street scene, including skid marks, debris, etc.

Make no statement as to your own liability. Do not say, “It was my fault”. After analysis, it may turn out to be someone else’s fault. In a recent case, our client was accused of being at fault by the police, on television news, in an accident where she was killed. Our team of attorneys and investigators were able to reconstruct the accident scene, prove that she was not at fault, and arrive at a $1,000,000 settlement for her family.

If you are injured, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately. If you cannot afford treatment, Coastal

Legal Center attorneys may be able to arrange for medical treatment with doctors who will wait for payment until your case is settled.

Call Coastal Legal Center as soon as possible for a no obligation free consultation.

Q: I Was Hurt In An Accident On Someone Else’s Property, Such As A Trip And Fall Or Slip And Fall. What Should I Do?
A: Document the accident: If it was on commercial premises, such as a grocery store, tell them you want to make a report. If there is evidence such as a wet area, ask them to take a picture before they mop it up. If there was a bottle of something spilled, ask them to keep the bottle or give it to you.

Get the names of store personnel and witnesses ASAP: If you tripped over something like torn up or uprooted driveway or sidewalk, have someone take pictures of the place. Use a ruler to show the difference in elevation, such as a 2-inch lift or a 3- inch crack. Take pictures of the ruler overlaying the problem area. Often, property owners get these problems repaired soon after an accident is reported, making it impossible to later preserve the evidence.

Call Coastal Legal Center as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected. If you have medical bills outstanding, we can often negotiate with the hospital or other provider to wait for their payment until the case is resolved. We can often negotiate a reduction of those bills, saving you thousands of dollars.

Q: Have You Successfully Settled Cases Like Mine?
A: Most likely very much like yours. We have successfully settled thousands of personal injury cases, each one individual but sharing some similarities (such as a rear end auto accident). At Coastal Legal Center, we represent people injured in accidents caused by someone else.

Typically, these are vehicular accident cases (cars, motorcycles, trucks, pedestrian); premises liability cases also known as slip and fall or trip and fall cases; or, in the worst-case situation, when someone was killed (wrongful death), where the deceased’s family may be entitled to compensation for the death of their relative.

Coastal Legal Center has extensive experience handling the full range of cases involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. We are able to offer you superior representation by staying abreast of trends and changes in the legal field and by constantly updating our skills and knowledge. Our attorneys are willing to consider any case involving serious personal injury or wrongful death, even those not specifically listed on our website. If you have been seriously injured or have lost someone you love, and you feel that someone else’s negligence was responsible for your damages, Coastal Legal Center would be pleased to evaluate your case at a free initial consultation.

Cases We Handle

  • Death: killed by another person’s negligence or lack of care, or a product defect
  • Hurt by drunk driver
  • Auto accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents.
  • Trucking accidents
  • Slip/trip and fall accidents
  • Defective vehicles, products, machinery, tires, etc.
  • Lack of safety warnings

If you are in doubt about whether we handle a case like yours, just ask us.

Q: How Long Do I Have To Settle My Case Before I Lose All My Rights To Recover?
A: In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a case or lose your rights to collect from a person who caused your injuries. If a governmental agency is negligent, you have to file a demand within a much shorter time. Failure to do so may result in your loss of the right to file the lawsuit.

In any case, you should not ‘sit on your rights”’. You should seek an experienced attorney from the beginning, one who is especially skilled at negotiating on your behalf.

Q: I Can’t Even Afford Medical Help. How Can I Pay An Attorney?
A: At Coastal Legal Center we provide our clients and prospective clients with straightforward information about fees. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee, meaning that the client dos not pay the attorney’s fees unless there is a recovery. The contingency fee is based upon a flat percentage of any recovery. All fee agreements will be put in writing for you prior to filing a claim. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, there may be costs for certain investigators or tests, but there will be no surprises. Everything is spelled out before we file the claim. We work on a contingency fee arrangement only. No exceptions. No money out of pocket for fees, no hidden expenses, and, we take no fee if we cannot get a recovery for you. We take our fee only after we get a recovery for you. We will be paid when all the dust settles.

To schedule your free appointment, call Coastal Legal Center at (888) 828-7548.

Q: The Other Side’s Insurance Company Wants Me To Make A Recorded Statement And To Sign An Authorization So They Can Get My Medical Records. Should I Do Either?
A: No. Once you make a statement, you are stuck with it. If you forget to say a body part was injured, then they hold it against you if you later say it was. Often, injuries to different body parts do not surface for weeks, or months. Do not make a statement about what does or doesn’t ache. Do not make a recorded statement about how the accident occurred either. Speak to an attorney first!!

A medical authorization allows the other side (insurance company) to gather your medical records, supposedly from the accident to assess your bills and injuries. They often say they want to get them paid and need them to analyze the value of your case. Too often, however, the authorization you sign has no dates of service attached to it. BEWARE! The insurance company can then go back ten, even twenty years into your personal medical records to look for similar injuries, or to find “dirt” on you. Worse yet, they have these documents, but you do not.

At Coastal Legal Center, we never allow our clients to sign such authorizations without prior preparation, and then, only rarely. We collect the medical records for you, and send them to the other side. That way we know what they have in their possession.

Q: I Was Injured On The Job. Do I Have A Claim Outside Of Worker’s Compensation For My Work Injuries?
A: These cases are different than Workers Compensation cases. Many Workers Compensation cases have a “personal injury cross-over”, where some or all of your injuries were caused by someone other than a co-worker and you can sue outside of the workers compensation legal scheme. Those cases occur when another company’s employee, (such as a sub-contractor’s employee) injures you, or when a piece of equipment causing your injury was negligently designed or manufactured, or the instructions for its use were unclear, or if it was poorly maintained by someone other than your employer.

Workers Compensation laws were designed to keep businesses in California. The amounts of recovery are limited and generally low. Good news for your employer.  However, if you can make a claim against someone not your employer, you may be able to recover much more than you could under Workers Compensation.

Q: Can I Trust You?
A: Absolutely. Our firm’s principle attorney Jerrold Bodow has been a respected member of the San Diego Legal Community since 1977, working in as a Prosecutor for the City of San Diego.After four years, he started a private practice where he became involved in accident injury law. His firm, Coastal Legal Center, understands all the strategies that insurance companies use to try to force you to accept pennies on the dollar in settlement. He has never had a client complaint about his trustworthiness. Yes, you can trust this firm and its track record of success for clients.
Q: How Do I Get started?
A: With a simple phone call to set up a free case consultation, or with an e-mail message. We will return your email at the start of the next business day or earlier. If it’s urgent give us a call 07/24.
Q: Will I Be Notified Regarding The Case’s Progress?
A: Your legal team includes an attorney and legal assistants who will keep you up to date on your case and assist you with any issues you may have. We are always only a phone call away and will guide you through this long, exhausting process of dealing with insurance companies.

When you are injured, the first thing you need is medical care. Then come the worries. How will I maintain financially while out of work? Who is going to do all the things around the house that I won’t be able to do for a while? How do I get my damaged property repaired or replaced?

If you are looking for answers to these and other questions, give the attorneys at Coastal Legal Center a call now for a free consultation at your home, the hospital or nursing home, or our downtown office.

Q: How Can I Get Good Medical Treatment?
A: If you need a specialist or other medical treatment but you’re broke. We have solutions. We enjoy long standing relationships with many kinds of doctors, therapists and hospitals who will often provide medical treatment for our clients, and are willing to wait for payment until after your case is settled. There is no need to worry if you need an operation or extensive treatment but have no money in your budget to pay for it.
Q: What Else Will Your Firm Do For Me?
A: You can rely on Coastal Legal Center to deal with bill collectors, bureaucrats and insurance adjusters on your behalf. At this time you need to keep your focus on healing and let us take on all the aggressive insurance investigators and adjusters.

You will have exceptionally skilled (and patient) negotiators to work on your behalf. We have a history of several decades of excellent settlements for our clients. We can do this for you as well.

  • We will negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement, refusing to accept any low ball offers of pennies on the dollar.
  • Do not attempt to negotiate for yourself. You are hurt, vulnerable and stressed.
  • Realize that the insurance adjusters are professionals using the latest techniques to convince you that a cheap settlement is fair.
  • Their professionals receive continuous training.
  • If you try to negotiate by yourself, you could easily end up with a much lower total settlement, may have to skimp on necessary treatment, and may have a much lower quality of life.

You didn’t cause the accident. Someone else did, and they are responsible to pay every dollar you deserve in compensation. Their insurance company, however, doesn’t look at it that way. They may not be “fast, fair, and friendly.” You may not be “in good hands.”

Jerrold Bodow Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (888) 828-7548

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