How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 10901
Experience:  Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Type Your Personal Injury Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was in an auto accident on Thurs, July 25, 2013, in city

This answer was rated:

I was in an auto accident on Thurs, July 25, 2013, in city of Montebello, ca. Driving north bound on Garfield Ave had the green light when a small black car hit me on drivers side banging into the doorclose to the wheel. The glass was shattered and had to force open the door. The black car (second) was pushed into my car by a small car I believe did not brake as the black car was waiting for me to pass to turn east. My car could not be driven. I felt dazed and left side neck pain. My minivan is in the tow yard. My question is My insurance, WaWANESA said that I had no claim as the car was paid off and we did not have collision. I need my car as I am very inolved with my small grandchildren (they were not in the car). I am 70 years old. What can be done? My nephew is taking me to an atty but says UI need to get police report which is ready. How do I handle this?? My husband did take me to urgent care and said there could be inflamation and Rxed Ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant which I refused to buy because I don'tant to take meds that yield me too relaxed.. Please and Thank you. Teresa F. Ynostroza

Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear about your accident, which sounds rather traumatic.

When your insurance company said you "don't have a claim" for your property damage, they meant that you don't have an insurance claim against them.

You absolutely DO have a claim for property damage--and bodily injury, which it sounds like you incurred--against the at-fault driver's insurance company.

This is what's known as a "third party claim." You don't have to pay any deductible, and your insurance rates won't go up, assuming you were not at fault for the collision (which does not appear to be the case) and the other driver's insurance accepts liability (likely under the circumstances).

You are also entitled to compensation for the "loss of use" of your minivan, typically in the amount of the daily charge for a comparable rental for the reasonable amount of time it would take to either get the car repaired or find a new car.

If this is an accident in which liability is clear, the insurance company may set up liability right away, in which case they may be able to offer a "direct billing" car rental, which is paid entirely from the insurance coverage requiring you to spend no money at all and giving you a car to drive around in until your car is repaired or determined to be a "total loss," in which case the insurance company will pay you the cash value for your vehicle so that you can buy something else.

All of this is your property damage claim, but separate and apart from this it sounds like you have a bodily injury claim. Those are usually resolved a bit slower, as you will want to fully heal so you know the extent of your injuries and the cost of treatment before accepting a settlement in exchange for a release of your right to sue.

Many insurance companies try to act like your friend and get you to settle your case very quickly, as if they are doing you a favor. They are not. They know that if they can get you to settle now, before your injuries have been fully realized, they will usually fair better in the long run, and so often attempt "fast and quick" settlement offers to get your claim off the books.

If this happens--and that seems a few steps away at this point, since you do not yet even have the police report or know the name of the insurance companies involved--you would be wise to resist immemdiate settlement and insist on fully recovering before addressing the bodily injury portion of your claim.

All of this is obviously a complex process, but the good news is that there are a great many personal injury attorneys who assist individuals like yourself on a contingency fee basis.

If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim).

Contingency fees are great because they allow individuals to retain attorneys who would not be able to pay for pricey hourly rates up front. Most accident cases of this kind are handled on a contingency fee basis.

An individual in your circumstance would be EXTREMELY wise to immediately contact a local personal injury attorney. He or she will assist you with your property damage claim ad your bodily injury claim, obtain the police report, contact all the necessary insurance companies, and make sure that you are treated fairly and compensated for your damages.

To locate a local personal injury attorney, contact your local county bar referral service, which you can find here:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 10901
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Patrick, Esq. and other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Infolawyer



    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • Infolawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • LawTalk's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    I provide basic personal injury advice to my clients in my own practice.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Personal Injury & Wrongful Death experience includes judgment for $10M & $3M settlement
  • Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs. of legal experience.

Related Personal Injury Law Questions