1. Do I Really Need A Personal Injury Lawyer To Help Me?
Studies by the insurance industry have shown that accident victims who have an experienced accident attorney often receive considerably more than those who are not represented by attorneys. A non-profit organization supported by the insurance industry called the Insurance Research Council determined that on average, a person who used an attorney received 3 ½ times as much money in settlements than if they represented themselves. On more serious claims, experienced personal injury lawyers often secure exponentially larger results for their clients. Not hiring a good personal injury lawyer can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. At a minimum, with a top injury attorney involved, you will also be assured that your case and claim are thoroughly evaluated. In short, while in minor cases you may not need a lawyer many injured people are better off with lawyers helping them.
2. Should I Talk To The Insurance Company or Give a Statement to an Adjuster?
The best advice is that you not speak with a representative of the other person’s insurance company. This is even more true when the representative wants a recorded statement. At least prepare yourself or wait until you have had a chance to speak with an experienced accident attorney. Under no circumstances should you sign any documents from the other insurance company before speaking to a lawyer. Anything that you say now can be used against you later to reduce the value of your claim.
3. How Much is My Case Worth?
No responsible or good personal injury attorney can or would try to tell you up front what the value of your damages might be. Case value is a complex question. If you have spoken with an injury lawyer who is giving you a figure before he has thoroughly evaluated your situation, then you need to understand you are talking to the WRONG lawyer. You certainly should not rely on such an assessment to make any decisions.
The value of your injury claim depends on the severity of your medical injuries, your recovery, your lifestyle, any economic losses incurred and the continuing effects that the accident will have on you future life. These factors need to be carefully evaluated and developed before any potential valuation of a case can be undertaken by any good lawyer.
4. When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
The short answer is immediately after an injury. Our advice is that you get the health care you need, let your family know what is happening and then call your lawyer. Hire the best personal injury attorney you can identify. Get that lawyer working on your behalf as soon after you are injured as possible. The sooner a lawyer is involved in your case, the better prepared your case. This is true whether it gets resolved by settlement or it goes to trial.
Your lawyer can avoid or address problems that come up early in the process. An experienced accident lawyer paying attention early on will increase the eventual value of your case. Remember. you will pay the same amount for an attorney regardless of whether they work on your case for one week or one year. Get your lawyer to work now not later.
5. Which Lawyer Should I Hire?
As leading Idaho injury lawyers, we think you should consider and hire us. Certainly there are other good accident injury lawyers in Idaho. But, unfortunately, there are also some bad ones. Ask questions of any potential personal injury attorney to help you decide which one is right for you. Questions you should ask include:
- How many years of experience do you have in representing injured clients?
- How do you keep yourself informed of any changes in this area of the law?
- Will I work directly with you or just with paralegals and assistants?
- How many cases do you handle at any given time?
- Will I have to pay you even if you do not recover a settlement or judgment for me?
You can learn more about how to choose your Idaho personal injury lawyer here.
6. Who Pays For My Medical Care When I Have Been Injured?
In most cases, your medical bills will be paid by your auto or health insurance company. These companies have the right to be repaid for these payments out of the proceeds of your settlement. While many people want the bad guy’s insurance company to pay for the expenses right away, the law does not require that. This is a surprisingly complex area.
7. The Insurance Company Has Already Offered To Settle My Claim. Should I Accept?
Generally, you should not consider settling any claims until your doctors have released you from their care, at the very earliest. One of the tricks some insurance companies use to settle claims is to offer to settle for a few hundred or a thousand dollars before the injured party has found out just how hurt they are. We have heard many stories from people who needed surgery or have to quit their job after they settled for much less than the law gave them the right to recover. This is one of the reasons why insurance companies are so profitable today.
8. I am not the suing kind and I hear I shouldn’t trust Trial Lawyers why should I trust you?
Trial Lawyers like us stand for and protect the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. We are proud of what we do to help people get their lives together after a serious injury. Trial attorneys protect the rights of the individual. We are often opposed by corporate interests that have the money and resources to put up the maximum fight. They want to pay as little money as possible to the people they, or their insureds, harm. Accountability and responsibility are the values we stand for.
The insurance industry spends millions in public relations campaigns and lobbying to make people believe that the legal system is out of control. For example, many have heard of the millions awarded to the lady who spilled McDonald’s coffee on her lap. This is mainly because the insurance industry had a public relations team out in force after the verdict. Well everything most people think they know about the Hot Coffee verdict is wrong. There is a great movie about the case that we recommend you watch.
We live and work in the system everyday. In a combined 100+ years of practice its fair to say we NEVER met a client who wanted to sue. People are forced into it by the way insurance company’s act.
9. How much will I have to pay a lawyer?
Like most injury and accident attorneys we usually work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not get paid until and unless we recover a settlement or judgment on your behalf. As Idaho’s injury lawyers, we usually charge a one-third contingency fee at the end of your case in addition to any costs and expenses advanced by the firm in preparing your case for settlement.
10. Will My Case Really Have To Go To Trial?
Most cases can be resolved or settled without having to go through a trial. However, some cases do require going to a jury trial in order to ensure that the client receives fair compensation. Generally, cases which involve larger amounts of damages or in which it is not clear who is responsible for the accident have a higher chance of having to enter litigation, at the very least.
While we hear these basic questions often, we are happy to answer these or any other questions for you about an injury case. Just call us for a free case review. We help injured people in all parts of Idaho.
BACK TO ARTICLES