In this article, we are going to be addressing some of the most common questions that are asked in regard to personal injury cases. Personal injury cases can range from car accidents to dog bites to slip and falls. Hopefully, this article will provide some guidance to you if you have been recently injured in one of these unfortunate circumstances.
When should I hire a personal injury attorney?
One of the most common questions we come across is how do I know when I need to hire a personal injury attorney? If you’ve been in an accident but you aren’t injured in any way, then you most likely will not need an attorney. However, if you have been injured in an accident, it may be wise to hire one.
An attorney can be very helpful in attaining compensation for your injuries from both the at fault party’s insurance company and from your own insurance company. While you can certainly try to negotiate and settle a personal injury claim with an insurance company on your own, I wouldn’t recommend it. In almost all cases, you’re going to come out ahead with more compensation after paying an attorney than you ever will trying to do it all on your own.
How much does hiring an attorney cost?
Another question that we get asked almost every day is how much does hiring a personal injury attorney cost? We work on a contingency fee basis. The fee that we take is contingent upon whether or not we recover compensation for you. If we’re unsuccessful, if we do not recover compensation for you, then we do not take a fee.
However, if we’re successful, if we do recover compensation, then our fee is 33.33%. In addition to that fee, if we recover compensation, you would also be responsible for paying us back for any cost that we incur in our representation of you.
For example, when we go to order medical records in order to prove your injuries to the insurance company, the medical provider will send the records to us along with a bill. We would pay the bill and keep the receipt in your file. At the end of your case, if we recover compensation for you, you would be responsible for paying us back out of the proceeds of your settlement.
There are no upfront fees or costs that you have to pay when you consult with us or hire us. We only collect fees and costs if we’re successful in recovering compensation for you.
What if I can’t afford doctor bills or medical bills?
Another common question is what if I can’t afford doctor bills and other bills during the case? Oftentimes our clients do not have medical insurance to cover their bills or their PIP, or personal injury protection benefits, have been depleted before their case has been settled.
When this happens, medical providers will sometimes accept what’s called a letter of protection signed by the client and given to the medical provider. This letter of protection allows a client to continue treating with a provider without having to pay for the treatment until their case settles. Once the case settles, the provider who accepted the letter of protection will be repaid out of the proceed of the client’s case or the client’s settlement. It’s kind of like an IOU. It’s very similar.
How long will it take to reach a settlement?
Another question we get all the time is how long will it take to settle my case and when will I receive the settlement? Every case that we take on is unique, so, unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. A typical automobile accident case can take anywhere from eight to 14 months to resolve.
In personal injury cases, it’s important to know the full extent of the damages before a demand for compensation is made. A case may take longer where ongoing medical treatment is needed to determine the full extent of the client’s injuries and his or her needs for recovery, which both factor in to the amount of the demand. Once a case is settled, it typically takes one to two months for the funds to be dispersed to the client. However, it can take longer.
Don’t Be A Victim Twice
While these were the answers to the common questions we get as personal injury attorneys, every case and every individual are different.
As an injured person, it’s important that you get the help you need so that you don’t become a victim twice – once by the accident, and again by the insurance companies. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about an accident that you or a loved one has been involved in. You can give us a call anytime at (800) 848-6168 for a free consultation.
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View the related slidedeck: Personal Injury FAQ.