Frequently Asked Questions
Clear Information about Recovering from Personal Injury Accidents
Your time is precious, especially now, due to your extra concerns surrounding your personal injury. You’ll find straight answers to tough questions that other personal injury sufferers have asked us, choose from the list below. And if your questions are still not answered, contact us and we’ll get back to you within 2 to 4 working hours.
Why do I need an attorney?
Insurance adjusters are trained and skilled negotiators. Their job is to close claims as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
That means they are trying to pay out the least amount of money possible on your claim. They are working for their employer’s best interest – not yours.
An experienced attorney, on the other hand, is working for you. They understand your rights, and can evaluate all the available insurance coverages and benefits. They also have the experience and tools to properly value your claim and present it to the insurance company.
Your attorney will handle every aspect of processing your claim to reach the fair settlement you deserve, so you can focus on your recovery.
How much does an attorney cost?
The initial consultation with our office is free.
Our fee is deducted from the settlement proceeds at the resolution of your claim. In most cases, we use a “contingent fee” arrangement which sets the fee as a percentage of the total recovery. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.
This method allows the injured person to retain high quality legal counsel without incurring expensive advance payments.
What if I do not want a lawsuit?
Approximately 90% of automobile cases handled by our office are settled without filing a lawsuit. Of the remaining 10%, approximately 90% of those settle prior to arbitration or trial.
A lawsuit is filed only if a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with the insurance company, and the client is willing to pursue the claim through litigation. At our office, YOU are the only one who can authorize the filing of a lawsuit on your behalf.
What is the time-frame for settlements?
From the time you are discharged from medical care, it takes about four weeks to compile all the medical records and billing from your health care providers.
It takes about two to four weeks to evaluate your claim and submit the settlement proposal to the insurance company.
It then takes several weeks for the insurance company to evaluate your claim and enter into active negotiations.
On average, our office will settle most claims within 2 to 4 months after you have been discharged from medical treatment of your injuries.
Who pays my medical bills?
Each case is different. Determining who will pay your medical bills while you are receiving medical care depends on what coverages are available, and what insurance your providers can accept.
Our office communicates between your health care providers and the insurance companies to facilitate timely payment of your bills. When necessary, our office can help arrange alternative financing of medical bills.
What should I do after an accident?
There are three main things you should do after an accident to protect your rights and ensure you receive the settlement you deserve:
A. Contact an attorney. Initial consultations are free. You should know your rights.
B. Call the police and file a report.
C. Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and of your injuries. Injuries heal and vehicle damage gets repaired. Photos document the physical evidence.
D. Report the accident to your insurance agent. Your insurance could be canceled for failing to advise your agent.
What should I NOT do after an accident?
There are four main things you should NOT do after an accident to protect your rights and ensure you receive the settlement you deserve:
A. Do NOT discuss the accident with anyone except your doctor until after you see an attorney.
B. Do NOT sign anything dealing with your claim. Early settlements are usually beneficial only to the insurance company and the at-fault driver.
C. Do NOT give any statements to an insurance company without first talking to an attorney. Anything you say to an insurance company could be used against you when trying to resolve your claim.
D. Do NOT talk to the other driver about the accident or your claim. Comments between drivers often get misconstrued as an admission of fault.