Answers To Common Personal Injury Questions
After an injury, you will have many questions. It’s understandable. There is much to consider and you don’t know who to trust.
How much is my case worth?
The value of the case depends on several factors. The most important of these are the amount of the medical bills, the amount of lost wages and the length of time and severity you experience pain and suffering. If the injuries are permanent, then the case has greater value. The strength of the case against the wrongdoer is also an important factor. Case value can only be determined once all those factors are known.
How long does it take to get compensation?
It depends on whether the lawsuit has to be filed with the Circuit Court. Many cases settle with the insurance company without filing suit. If the case settles pre-suit, many times I have settled cases in as little as three to four months.
How much do I have to pay the lawyer for fees?
I work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning I only get fees if we win. If we do not win, you pay me no fee.
What should I look for in hiring an attorney?
The attorney you choose will make a difference in the result of your case. The most important factors are trial experience in personal injury cases, and whether you and your case will get the personal attention you deserve. You want to look for a lawyer who specializes in personal injury.
What questions should I ask an attorney when deciding whom to hire?
- What percentage of your practice is personal injury?
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- How many personal injury trials have you done?
- Which attorney or attorneys will be working on my case?
How long do I have to bring my claim?
Most personal injury cases have a two-year limit to bring a claim. Some have a one-year limit. Regardless of the time limit, an injured person should talk with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident in order to preserve evidence. If you wait to hire an attorney, it may be hard to locate witnesses, memories will have faded and some evidence such as security camera tapes will no longer be available.
Can’t I just negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company on my own? The adjuster that called me seemed nice.
You can, but it is a really bad idea. The other driver’s insurance company has one goal – to settle for the lowest possible dollar amount. They have no legal obligation to treat you fairly. You should never give an oral or written statement to an insurance company. Their adjusters are trained to get you to say things to hurt your case. You need a lawyer to fight for you to get the maximum compensation.
The driver who hit me had no insurance. Is there any point in hiring an attorney?
Yes. In many cases where the other driver had no auto insurance, I have gotten my clients significant compensation. Most injured people have uninsured motorist coverage which can provide compensation when the other driver has no insurance. Also, most drivers have “Medical Payment” coverage, which can help pay medical bills resulting from an accident.