Law Office of Rocky K. Copley, A Professional Corporation

Advocating justice for over 30 years.

FAQ

What should I do if I am in an automobile, motorcycle or bicycle accident?

What do I do if my insurance company refuses to cover me or my claim?

What do I do if I am wrongfully terminated?

What do I do if I have been sexually harassed or retaliated against for reporting the harassment of a co-employee?

What do I do if I am injured by a defective product?

What do I do if I have been injured by my doctor or other healthcare professional?

What do I do if I have been injured by my attorney as a result of his legal services?

What do I do if I have a contract dispute?


What should I do if I am in an automobile, motorcycle or bicycle accident?

  • Have your injuries evaluated as soon as possible by a doctor or other healthcare professional.
  • Tell the doctor about each injury you suffered and then prioritize the injuries based upon the degree of severity.
  • Take photographs of your injuries.
  • Take photographs of the vehicles, motorcycle and/or bicycle.
  • Keep estimates of repair and any supplemental invoices for additional discovered damage for your vehicle.
  • Keep a record of any lost time from work as these will also be damages.
  • Do not agree to give a written or recorded statement to the insurance carrier for the other driver. Written or recorded statements given without the advice of an attorney concerning your rights are frequently used later in the case to undermine your claim.
  • If the police were called to the scene, order a copy of the traffic collision report. It will contain information about the other drivers, witnesses and insurance information needed for your claim.
  • Locate your automobile insurance policy for your own automobile. Your claims for pain and suffering damages cannot be recovered if the vehicle which you were driving did not have liability insurance coverage at the time of the accident.

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What do I do if my insurance company refuses to cover me or my claim?

  • Locate your insurance policy and the declaration pages for the time period of the loss.
  • Make sure you give notice to your insurance carrier as soon as possible of your claim. Do not simply give notice to the insurance agent who sold you the policy. The notice must be given to the insurance company.
  • Make sure all insurance premiums have been paid.
  • If the insurance carrier denies your claim in whole or in part, keep a copy of all letters relating to the denial as well as all of your letters to the insurance carrier which support your claim.
  • If the insurance carrier denies your claim on the basis that the insurance policy does not cover the claim, send a written request to the insurance carrier requesting it to state the basis of its denial and identify the policy provisions relied upon for denying coverage.

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What do I do if I am wrongfully terminated?

  • Request a copy of your personnel file. Many employers will provide you an entire copy. Some will only provide you with documents in your personnel file that you have signed.
  • Request copies of your payroll records.
  • Locate or obtain copies of all employee handbooks provided by your employer.
  • Obtain names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses that will support your claim.
  • Make copies of all memos, notices, correspondence, emails, or other evidence relating to your termination or which relate to the reasons given by your employer for your termination.
  • Request a copy of any statement given by you during any investigation by your employer relating to any event relied upon by your employer as the basis for your termination.

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What do I do if I have been sexually harassed or retaliated against for reporting the harassment of a co-employee?

  • Request a copy of your personnel file.
  • Request a copy of any statement given by you during any investigation by your employer relating to your complaint of sexual harassment.
  • You are also protected against reporting sexual harassment. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting harassment or assisting with its investigation of the harassment. Should you be terminated, demoted or suffer any adverse employment action after reporting sexual harassment, assisting others in reporting such claims or providing information during your employer's investigation, such termination or other action can serve as a basis for a claim for damages for wrongful termination and/or retaliation.
  • Request copies of your payroll records.
  • Locate or obtain copies of all employee handbooks provided by your employer.
  • Obtain names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses that will support your claim of sexual harassment and/or retaliation.
  • Make copies of all memos, notices, correspondence, emails, or other evidence relating to the harassment or which relate to your assistance in reporting harassment or providing information to your employer in its investigation of the claim of harassment.
  • Request a copy of any statement given by you during any investigation by your employer relating to a claim for sexual harassment.

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What do I do if I am injured by a defective product?

  • Preserve the product that caused your injury.
  • Locate any operator's manuals for the product.
  • Locate any written warranties for the product.
  • Preserve the packaging materials for the product or purchase an exemplar product if one is still available.
  • Take photographs of the defective product.
  • Take photographs of your injuries.
  • Locate any purchase receipts, credit card slips, or other documents that would reflect when and where the product was purchased. In addition to the manufacturer of the product, all businesses who were in the chain of distribution of the product can also be held legally responsible for your damages.
  • Record the serial number and model of the product.

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What do I do if I have been injured by my doctor or other healthcare professional?

  • Request a copy of your entire file from your doctor or other healthcare professional.
  • Seek treatment from a different physician or healthcare professional or at least obtain a second opinion.
  • Contact an attorney to discuss your claim. Medical malpractice is a very complicated area in California and has many special laws that apply only to these types of claims.
  • Take photographs of any injuries which you attribute to the doctor's malpractice.
  • Do not agree to provide any recorded statement to an insurance carrier or other claims professional regarding your claim. Written or recorded statements given without the advice of an attorney concerning your rights are frequently used later in the case to undermine your claim.
  • Keep a record of any lost time from work as these will also be damages.
  • Keep copies of all medical bills that relate to treatment that became necessary because of the malpractice.

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What do I do if I have been injured by my attorney as a result of his legal services?

  • Request a copy of your entire file from your attorney. This is your file and your attorney is obligated to provide it to you.
  • Seek the advice of a different attorney and bring your file to the meeting.
  • Keep copies of any receipts or other documents that would reflect any damages which you believe you suffered as a result of the attorney's malpractice.

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What do I do if I have a contract dispute?

  • Locate any written contracts or other written documents that reflect your agreement.
  • If you deny a contract was ever agreed upon, it is important to confirm that no writing exists that you signed. Contracts involving real estate and the sale of goods greater than $500 require a written contract signed by the party against whom the contract is to be enforced.
  • Review any written contract to determine if the contract has a provision for the award of attorney's fees. This will provide you with leverage to obtain an early resolution of the dispute since the other party would be responsible for your damages plus your attorney's fees if they were to lose the case.
  • Consult an attorney as to whether or not you should continue to perform under the contract. A minor breach by the other party does not necessarily relieve you of your obligations under the contract. Also, if the other party to the contract is hiding assets, a contract will allow you to seek a remedy whereby you can seize their assets prior to obtaining a judgment so that the assets are available to satisfy any judgment rendered on your behalf.

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