Frequently Asked Questions

Knowledge from a San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer

Uncertainties follow any accident: What are my rights? Do I need a lawyer? What are my options? Can I afford an attorney? Personal injury attorney Russell Kohn has answered some common questions below. Unfortunately, there are some issues that don't have quick and easy answers, so speaking with an attorney directly is the best resource for victims to receive the answers they need.

Contact the Kohn Law Office to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the steps you can take to resolve your injury claim.



When should I call a personal injury lawyer?

With many personal injury cases, timing is critical. For that reason, we recommend that you contact our personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney can help you determine the best course of action to take with regard to your injury. Some individuals only need basic information while others require representation by an experienced lawyer. Whatever their needs, injured victims can expect honest answers and knowledgeable guidance from the Kohn Law Office.

What compensation can I obtain for my injuries?

Personal injury victims can obtain compensation for both economic (special) damages and non-economic (general) damages. The former includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other calculable out-of-pocket expenses. The latter includes damages where no definite standard or method of calculation is prescribed, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other types of mental or emotional distress brought on by the accident. Additionally, payment of punitive damages may be levied against the defendant; punitive damages are intended to punish instances of gross negligence or malicious intent and to discourage future, similar wrongdoing.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer if I have insurance?

Because they are profit-driven, insurance companies are reluctant to pay the full amount to which some accident victims may be entitled. In fact, insurance companies will often not provide enough to adequately compensate the victim for the broad range of injuries and damages that can be sustained as a result of the negligence of another. As a rule, the less money paid out in accident claims, the greater the profits shareholders are likely to receive.

What if I can't afford a personal injury lawyer?

Personal injury lawyer Russell Kohn counsels individuals on a "contingency" basis. This means that the attorney fees are a negotiated percentage of the monetary awards that are obtained. Consequently, if Mr. Kohn is unable to secure a settlement or favorable trial award, the client will not be asked to pay a fee.

What if I can't afford my medical expenses?

The Kohn Law Office has had great success making arrangements with doctors so that our personal injury clients can receive the care and treatment they need.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Under California law, most personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the accident. However, suits against government entities or employees typically must be filed within six months. There are many exceptions that can affect statutes of limitations. We recommend that victims contact the skilled personal injury lawyer at our San Diego office as soon as possible after an accident. After reviewing the details of your case, Attorney Russell Kohn can determine the best course of action to take.

Are there any alternatives to litigation?

Many claims can be successfully resolved without a lawsuit. Once filed, many suits are settled before reaching the trial phase. Statistically, only 3 to 5 percent of all claims go to trial. At the Kohn Law Office, the client always makes the decision to pursue litigation.

In some cases, it may be wise to pursue mediation or arbitration. These alternative dispute resolution procedures are heard by impartial third parties, such as private, retired judges or other attorneys. Typically, the defense must consent to mediation or arbitration, but parties can agree to make such procedures binding, and can determine the minimum and maximum limits placed on awards.

What is fair compensation for pain and suffering?

Personal injury victims can obtain damages that include physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress. The amount of reasonable compensation for these losses depends upon the specific nature of the impact of the injuries upon the lifestyle of the injured person.

Many insurers use computer systems based on verdicts and settlements in other similar injury cases to try to calculate a generic number for everyone, but this is only a starting point in determining what a judge or jury would decide is reasonable in any given case. The facts matter, as does your attorney's knowledge and experience.