Personal Injury FAQ

Q. How long do I have to file my case?

A. It isn't possible to describe all the time limitations that apply to all types of cases. The running of the statute of limitations is dependent on the particular facts of each case. Generally, the statute of limitations in California for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of injury or death. In some instances the period to file suit may be longer. However, the time to file may also be shorter if the case involves medical malpractice, a public entity such as the state, a county or municipality, or a civil rights action. You should seek representation as soon as possible after an accident to avoid problems with the statute of limitations. Failure to file within the time limit imposed by law may result in the case being dismissed without compensation. Delay almost always works to the benefit of the person or entity responsible for your injury.

Q. What does it cost to consult with the firm on my case?

A. All initial consultations with Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer are free of charge. You will never be charged for our time in evaluating your case. Except in extraordinary circumstances, you will not be charged any costs we incur in having your case reviewed by expert consultants. If we don't accept your case we will not charge you for our time or our expenses in evaluating your case.

Q. How do I pay my attorneys?

A. The fee contract between the firm and a client is negotiated on a case-by-case basis. In some cases the maximum fees are set by statutes. All fee agreements are in writing. The firm accepts most cases on a contingency fee basis. If your case is accepted on a contingency fee, the firm will receive a percentage of your settlement or judgment when the funds are collected and will be reimbursed for any costs we have incurred. If no recovery is made the firm will not collect a fee, nor will it charge you for the costs incurred by the firm in handling your case.

Q. How soon will my case be resolved?

A. The time required to resolve a case varies tremendously based on the type of case, complexity of the issues and whether the case goes to trial or settles. The firm directs its efforts to resolving cases at the earliest opportunity through direct settlement discussions with the other party's insurance carrier or attorney, mediation, arbitration or trial. Over 80 percent of cases in California settle without trial. However, it is not possible to always predict if a case will settle before trial. For that reason, the firm prepares all its cases for trial if the matter cannot be settled before trial.