Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury And Wrongful Death Cases
How can I tell if I need a lawyer for my problem?
Car accident or negligence of others
Oftentimes, a lawyer is not even necessary. For example, a minor fender bender can usually be settled with the insurance company without much hassle. However, when there is an injury involved, the help of a lawyer may be required.
You should talk to a lawyer if:
- The insurance company denies your claim
- When there is a question of which party is at fault
- When the police report is incomplete
- The other driver does not have insurance
- You have high medical bills and/or a permanent disability from the accident
- If there are complicated legal or medical issues
How can a lawyer help me with my problem?
A good lawyer can help you recover when the other party is at fault, or simply if you have suffered a work-related injury. Insurance companies are a for-profit business. As a result, your claim may not be in their best interest. In other words, they may attempt to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all for your claim. A good lawyer will work hard to get you back on your feet or make you whole while protecting your rights.
Car accident or negligence of others
A good lawyer will ensure your rights are protected by:
- Getting tough with the insurance companies to pay for your damages
- Filing a timely claim that is not barred by the statute of limitations if the insurance company will not pay the amount of damages you deserve
- Taking your case to trial if the insurance company will not pay
What happens if I don’t get a lawyer?
There are many instances when you do not need a lawyer. Not having a lawyer will probably not harm you or you claim on simple fender-bender accidents where the insurance company admits their insured is clearly at fault, or in a situation where you are injured at work and the insurance company or your employer pays all of your benefits.
However, there are many instances where the nuances of the law may require the assistance of a good lawyer. Without representation, the insurance company may attempt to pay as little as possible, and may not fully inform you of your rights in every situation. They may attempt to just “settle” your claim quickly for as little as possible, simply to get your case closed.
How soon should I call a lawyer?
If a lawyer is necessary, the sooner you contact a good lawyer, the better. It may be beneficial to your claim by refraining from talking to any insurance company representatives until after you have contacted a lawyer. At times, the insurance companies may ask “loaded” questions, and they may attempt to use your answer or your confusion as a basis to pay you less than you deserve.
In addition, the longer you wait, the more witnesses tend to forget, or other evidence may disappear or change with time. If you contact an lawyer early in the process, he or she may be able to better-investigate your claim and preserve potentially useful evidence.
Finally, contacting a lawyer soon after your claim arises, may take a considerable amount of stress and pressure off of you and your dealings with the insurance company. A good lawyer will handle all of the “details” of your claim for you.
Why is the first meeting free?
At your first meeting with our law office, our lawyers will listen to your claim, provide an evaluation, and may make recommendations. Also at the first meeting we will inform you if we believe you do not need the assistance of a lawyer. This is all offered free of charge.
If we decide we can help you with your claim, we will then handle your claim on a contingency fee basis: meaning, we don’t get paid, unless you do.
How much will it cost me to hire your law firm?
Nothing. We handle all claims on a contingent fee basis. This is to ensure that we can represent anyone that may not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer. Also, you won’t have to worry about how many “billable hours” we are spending on your claim. In other words, we don’t get paid, unless you do.
How much money can I get for my case?
There is no set formula for payment of damages. The amount of recovery is generally driven by the amount medical bills, past and future lost wages and the severity of the injury. There may also be additional damages in certain cases. Some examples of additional damages include: loss of consortium for a spouse and wrongful death damages if one of the victims has died as a result of the accident. These “damages” may vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your case.
How soon can I get the money?
Generally you should not expect to recover any money until you have completed treatment with your doctor. After that, and assuming you can reach an agreement with the insurance company, it is likely that you will receive money within a month.
In many instances, however, the insurance company is not always willing to pay fair compensation. In fact, it may be necessary for your case to go to trial in order to be paid fairly. In those circumstances, you may not get money until long after you have completed treatment with your doctor.
How much paperwork will I have to do?
Nearly all of the paperwork will be handled by our law firm. You will, however, be required to fill out a new client information sheet. In addition, if a lawsuit is filed for your case, you may have to answer written questions from the opposing lawyer. Our law firm will assist you in answering these questions.
If I hire your firm, do I lose control of my case?
No. The case is always “your case.” Our attorneys will listen to your concerns and provide advice at every turn, but you will always call the shots.
HOW TO PROCEED
What is the next step?
How much control will I have once I hire your firm?
It’s your case and your life. Our attorneys will listen to your concerns and use their experience, knowledge and toughness to resolve your legal issue with you making the decisions.
Do I have to pay money at the beginning?
We have a $75 deposit toward expenses due 30 days from hiring our firm. We use the deposit to obtain records and investigative material and you are given a credit for the payment when the case is settled. We waive the deposit if you are not working or payment causes a hardship.
If I hire your firm, what am I committing to?
You are committing to keeping us informed about your conditions and cooperating with our office to resolve your case.