Do I have a case or claim that entitles me to recovery?
If you have been involved in an accident of any kind that has caused you bodily injury or property damage you might be entitled to a monetary recovery against the person or product manufacturer that caused you harm. Lawyers use terms like “negligence”, “premises liability” or “product liability” to describe specific legal theories. However in most cases, it is simply whether or not you have been injured and whether or not you have sustained quantifiable damage because of someone’s failure to act with “due care” for your safety.
When should I talk to an attorney?
We recommend a free consultation with an attorney as soon you have been in an accident or become aware that you have been injured. You do not have to retain an attorney, but an attorney can help you understand whether or not you have a case or claim that might entitle you to recovery. If you do, the attorney can discuss the potential value, if any, of that claim. Attorneys have experience with similar cases and/or tools at their access to help you value your potential claim.
How much will it costs to have my potential case or claim evaluated?
The initial consultation is free.Personal injury matters do not cost you any attorneys fees, unless or until, there is a recovery.
If I have a case, will I have to file a lawsuit to recover?
The short answer is “it depends.” It depends on whether the other side is willing to admit fault and/or make a reasonable offer of payment before the statute of limitations (the time during which you must file suit) expires. It also depends on whether you have completed all of your necessary medical treatment and assembled the documents to support your claims of damage. If a settlement cannot be reached before the statute of limitation runs, you must file suit or be barred from recovery, forever. However, most matters settle short of the need to file suit.
After I have retained an attorney, will I still have to talk the insurance adjusters or appear in court ?
The short answer is “no.” Once you have retained an attorney, he or she will take over the phone calls, settlement negotiations and court appearances. You may have to appear for an in-person statement to tell the insurance company the facts of the accident. Also, in some rare cases, you may be required to appear for an “independent” medical examination. However, if you have retained and attorney, s/he will accompany you.
If I do have a case, when can I expect a settlement?
The short answer is “it depends.” If you have produced evidence of all of your damages, such as your bills and medical records and completed your treatment or physical therapy, you can expect a settlement in a “reasonable” period of time. While there is not specific time in which your case may settle pre-suit, if it does settle, it will typically do so before the statute of limitations runs. This time period is typically two years after the date you know or should know you are injured. However, statutes of limitations may vary or be limited by an insurance policy. Because of this, early consultation with an attorney is key.