Frequently Asked Questions The following information includes frequently asked Personal Injury questions. The answers stated are general in nature and are not intended to apply to every personal injury situation. Each case is different and carries its own set of circumstances which must be taken into consideration by competent legal counsel.
What is personal injury?
Personal Injury is any physical or mental injury to a person that results from another person’s negligence or harmful act. Personal Injury involves civil law cases as opposed to criminal law cases. Personal Injury is often called bodily injury and can occur in a wide variety of ways.
How can I benefit from having a personal injury attorney?
Experience is probably the most important reason for hiring an attorney to represent you. Generally, once you are injured, you will be dealing with an insurance company, not the individual that harmed you. Insurance companies have the knowledge and resources to take advantage of you in a time when you are most vulnerable. Their job is to minimize or eliminate your compensation. You should have an attorney, but not just any attorney. You should have an attorney who primarily handles personal injury cases and has the years of experience to deal with the insurance companies in order to maximize compensation for your injuries.
I would like to wait to see if I can settle my claim without getting an attorney involved. Is this a good idea?
Almost everyone is allowed by law to act as their own attorney, so you are legally capable of settling the claim yourself. In addition, if you settle the case yourself, you will not have to pay any fees to an attorney. However, the insurance company you will probably be dealing with has a staff of experienced adjusters and attorneys who make it their job to make sure you get very little or nothing for your case. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will help ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation for your case.
Why should I choose Drucker Law Firm PC to represent me?
Like any other profession, the quality of legal services varies tremendously from one lawyer to the next. Generally, lawyers that advertise or are part of a television referral service are good at marketing, but are barely competent attorneys. Drucker Law Firm PC brings decades of experience with proven results to each and every case. We do not advertise. Our clients come from our reputation, i.e., “word of mouth,” from former clients, other lawyers, and doctors who have worked with us and know our quality and the results we obtain for clients. Every client receives direct, personal attention from an experienced law firm that has exclusively handled personal injury cases and has the knowledge and resources to have earned the respect from insurance companies, defense attorneys and judges that your case deserves.
How much do you charge?
The initial consultation is free. If we take your case, the attorney fees are a percentage of the client’s recovery. You do not pay any money until the case is resolved and, if there is no recovery, there is no fee.
Do you always pay the expenses up front?
Yes. Once we take your case, our office advances all costs of the case. Costs includes items such as filing fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees.
How much is my case worth?
No attorney can tell you at the beginning of your case how much it will be worth. Any lawyer who tries to tell you the value of your case at your initial meeting is just trying to get your case and is not being honest. The truth is that the value of your case depends on many variables that cannot be determined in the early stages of your case. Factors such as severity, nature, and extent of the injures are important in determining the value of your case. Permanent residuals, time off work, etc., are also taken into account in determining value. Once the full nature and extent of your injuries have been established, an experienced personal attorney will be in a position to discuss the value of your case.
Can I change attorneys in the middle of a case?
Yes. A client has an absolute right to change lawyers at any time.
How long will my case take?
Many personal injury cases can be settled within 30 to 60 days after the injured person completes their medical treatment. If the case cannot be settled and a lawsuit needs to be filed, a case can take 8 to 12 months after the date the case was filed in court.
Will my case settle or will I have to go to court?
Most cases settle before going to court. However, there are situations where a lawsuit is necessary. Typically a case goes to trial when either the plaintiff or the defendant has an unjustified expectation as to the outcome of the case. If both sides generally agree to the value of a case before trial, your case will settle before going to court. This is what happens with most cases.
What happens if I settle my case now and I need medical care in the future?
Once you settle your case it is final. You cannot get additional compensation for your injuries. While it may be tempting to take an early settlement, it is very important to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries and complete your medical treatment. Otherwise, you may require future treatment or even a surgery that you may be precluded from obtaining compensation for because you rushed to settle your case.
What if I do not have money to pay the medical doctors?
Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and even some surgeries can be done on a medical lien basis. A lien is a document from the medical provider where you agree to pay the medical provider’s charges out of the settlement proceeds of your case. In exchange, the medical provider agrees to wait until the conclusion of your case to get paid. You pay no money to the medical provider until the conclusion of your case.