Personal Injury FAQ’s
Q: How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a personal injury case?
A: For an injury lawsuit, Collins & Collins won’t charge a fee unless there is a recovery. In that case, the usual fee is one-third of the settlement, in addition to any necessary expenses. Simply put, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. This has been the way these cases have been handled for years. Don’t let the mass advertisers fool you into thinking its new.
Q: Does a personal injury lawyer traditionally pay required case expenses up front?
A: Often, but not always. Once again, this does depend on your specific personal injury attorney, so speak with one of our attorneys today for more information.
Q: What are some examples of typical expenses that arise in a personal injury lawsuit?
A: This can include a variety of things, depending on your exact case and injuries. Typical expenses can include filing fees, paying for expert testimony, investigations, medical records, process servers, accident reconstruction and more.
Q: What is the process of a personal injury lawsuit?
A: At Collins & Collins Attorneys, we have our own unique process or strategy for pursuing personal injury claims. First, we collect all of the evidence and records we can. Once this investigation is complete, we will file your lawsuit. The next phase is called discovery, and this entails an exchange of documents and depositions. A deposition is sworn testimony in response to questions asked by the attorneys. You will then be examined by a doctor chosen by the opposing attorney. A trial is the next step, which can often be followed by an appeal to a higher court or courts.
Q: How much money is my claim worth?
A: Every claim is different. Different factors are taken into consideration when it comes to assessing the value of the case. Medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering make up the main components of the value of any given case. Often, we cannot predict the value of a case early on because we like your doctors- don’t know if or when you can return to work or what medical treatment you will need. As your case proceeds, we will be able to get a better handle on these issues and begin to discuss the true value of your case. We maintain data on what cases like yours have been worth, and we can share this information with you at the appropriate time.
Q: How long will my case take?
A: That depends on a number of circumstances. Your medical treatment and work status are two important factors. We will not want to rush to trial if you and your doctor still are figuring out your injuries. Also, a particular judge’s calendar will impact length of time the case will take. Rest assured; however, we try to get your case to trial as quick as we can. Our target is 18-30 months for complete resolution.
Q: Will my case go to trial?
A: Most do not. The system is not set up for every case to be tried. We cannot know early on which cases will actively go to trial, so we must prepare every case as though it were going to trial.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a statement given under oath, usually done in a lawyer’s office before a court reporter. Witnesses called to testify in a deposition answer questions posed by the attorneys representing both parties in the case. The court reporter produces a written transcript of everything said at the deposition and the witnesses read and sign the transcript, swearing it to be an accurate rendition of the evidence given under oath. If you or any witnesses on your side have to give a deposition in your case, we at Collins & Collins will prepare you beforehand and defend you during the deposition.
I am not happy with the lawyer handing my case and want to replace him. Can I simply fire him and retain another lawyer?
Yes, you have a right to replace your lawyer at any time. As a client, you are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times, to have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner, and to have telephone calls returned quickly. If you are dissatisfied with the legal representation you are currently receiving, you can withdraw from the attorney-client relationship and seek another lawyer. In a personal injury action, your decision to hire another attorney will not subject you to higher fees.
How long should I wait before contacting an experienced lawyer?
The sooner the better. You have only a certain amount of time to go to court, and if you wait too long, you may be barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit. In addition, the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to obtain the evidence.
Do I have to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster?
Some insurance contracts do have cooperation clauses. You may not, however, be obligated to give a recorded statement. If you do, it may be used against you. Whenever you give a recorded statement, be sure to ask for a copy of the transcript.
I’ve gone back to work. I can’t do the kind of work I was doing before because of my injuries, but I need the money to support my family. Do I still have a case?
You may still have a claim if your injuries are preventing you from earning as much money as before the accident, or they have forced you to take work that does not have the same potential for advancement and salary increases later on. In fact, you may still have an injury claim even if you are earning the same wages as before the accident.