FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If I need a root canal, I don't try to do it myself; I see a good dentist. If you must take a journey through an uncharted wilderness, it is best to hire a guide than cares about you and your interests.  Some insurance companies will actually discourage you from hiring a lawyer because they know that if you hire a good lawyer they will be forced to treat you fairly. They do this for a living and you don't.

How Much Are Your Legal Fees?

There are no upfront legal fees. I do not collect any fees until we recover from the responsible party. Then, my fee is a percentage of the amount I recover for you. My fee is 1/3 if we settle out-of-court and 40% if we are forced to file a lawsuit. The good thing about this arrangement is that you know that I will do the best job possible for you and that I will not waste your time in needless litigation. Finally, if we don't win (very rare), you owe me nothing.

Who is Supposed To Pay My Medical Bills?

In the end, the insurance company for the other side must pay for your bills.  However, if it’s an auto-related injury and your auto policy has MEDICAL PAYMENT coverage, then it is often easier to pay your bills under your through this coverage. It is important to note that it does not hurt your auto insurance rating to make a claim to your own company for payment of your medical bills (assuming the collision was not your fault).

If you do not have MEDICAL PAYMENT COVERAGE on your own auto policy, then initially you should use your own health insurance. In the final settlement, the responsible party will compensate you for these bills.

How Much Do They Owe Me For My Car?

If someone else negligently damages your vehicle, they must pay you the lesser amount that it takes to fix the vehicle or the fair market value of your vehicle. The other person also owes you the amount of money that it would take to rent a vehicle similar to your vehicle for the amount of time that it takes to either repair or replace your damaged vehicle. Finally, if your vehicle has been repaired, you are also entitled to the amount that your vehicle has been devalued because it has been in a collision.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

Of course, every case must be evaluated based on its own unique facts. Important valuation factors are: type of injury (fracture, sprain etc.); amount, cost and length of medical treatment; amount of lost income; permanency of injury, if any; degree of impact in a motor vehicle collision; and finally your pain, discomfort and loss of enjoyment of life. All these factors are added together to arrive at a final valuation of your case.
There is no strict formula used for this evaluation. Much of the final evaluation is dependent on the quality of the presentation to the defense insurance company. Persuasive presentation of your case is what I do best.

How Long Will My Case Take?

I try to resolve your case as soon as you have recovered from your injuries. Initially, I try to settle your case out-of-court by compiling all your documentary evidence and submitting it along with a narrative description of the facts of your case. Then we wait a few weeks for an initial offer from the other party's insurance company. After the offer, there are usually some negotiations and, hopefully, we can arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement. If the insurance company for the other side will not make an acceptable offer, we may be forced to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits can take a year or more, although most cases can be settled before filing a lawsuit if handled properly.

What If the Responsible Person is Uninsured?

Even if the responsible person is uninsured, your personal injury claim should be covered by the UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE in your own policy. This UNINSURED MOTORIST claim to your own insurance will NOT increase your insurance premiums since the collision was not your fault. Also, your UNINSURED MOTORIST coverage can help you receive fair compensation when the other person does not have enough coverage to properly compensate you.