Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don’t know if I have a case, what should I do?

A: Contact us today.  All consultations are free.  You will talk to an attorney directly and immediately.

Q: I don’t think that I can afford a lawyer.  How much will it cost me?

A: At Gilbert & Stern LLP, almost all of our work for injured persons is on a contingency fee basis.  That means that you do not pay any fees or costs unless there is a recovery in your case.

Q: Will my case go to trial?

A: Probably not.  Up to 95% of all cases ever filed in the State of California are settled without the need for trial. At Gilbert & Stern LLP, however, we approach every case as if it is going to trial ensuring that if trial becomes necessary, we are prepared to provide adequate representation and fight for your rights in court.  This thorough preparation at Gilbert & Stern LLP also enables our firm to better negotiate an adequate settlement for our clients prior to trial.

Q: What is Negligence?

A:  In most claims that arise from accidents or injuries, the basis for holding a person or company liable results from a legal principle called “negligence.” Generally speaking, negligence is when someone acts in a careless way and causes an injury to another person, that careless person will be legally liable for any resulting harm.
Specifically, in negligence claims the plaintiff (the person injured) has to prove four things:

* Duty: That the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff under the circumstances;
* Breach: The defendant breached that legal duty;
* Causation: The defendant’s breach was the direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s accident or injury; and
* Damages: The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result.

Q: What does pain and suffering include?

A: This would generally be money awarded over and above medical costs and lost wages.

Q: I may be partially to blame for my injuries, am I still entitled to a recovery?

A:  Yes in some circumstances.   If a plaintiff is partly at fault for an injury, the plaintiff may still be entitled to a recovery based upon the portion of the amount of fault attributable to the plaintiff.  As an example, if the plaintiff is 10% at fault and the defendant is 90% at fault, the plaintiff can recover 90% of his or her total damages (pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, etc.).  This is called contributory negligence.

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