Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
>After you are involved in an accident, the first thing an insurance company will do is offer a few hundred dollars to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. The insurance company representing the person who is at fault for the accident will also obtain a recorded statement from you as soon as possible, so they can possibly try to use it against you in your future claim. An attorney will almost always deny a recorded statement, unless they decide that it will do more good than harm to your case.
Who pays my lost wages if I am involved in a accident?
After an accident, you should take a few days off work to rest and recover if you are injured. Most people decide to treat with a doctor and your doctor will decide if you should be off of work for an additional period of time. If this happens, your lost wages are reimbursed through your own insurance company out of your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage but only up to 60% of your total lost wages. You will need to fill out a lost wage form from your insurance company and have your employer sign it and return it along with your doctor's note, to your insurance company before they will reimburse you. If you are self-employed, your insurance company will usually require a copy of two years of W-2’s or tax returns to verify your income. If you doctor does not give you permission to be off of work for an extended period of time, your insurance company will not reimburse you. If you try to go back to work and decide that you absolutely cannot perform your work duties in your current state, discuss this with your doctor and he will decide if you should stay home from work or not.
What documents should I bring to my initial meeting with my personal injury attorney?
It is always important to be as prepared as possible for your first time meeting with your attorney. You should bring a copy of the police report or driver exchange, any pictures you may have of any vehicles or injuries, any medical records and as much information regarding the insurance companies as possible. You should make a list of any questions you may have for your attorney as you may forget to ask important questions.
What is the value of my case?
At the start of your accident case, it is very difficult to tell what the outcome will be. The value is determined upon your damages which include your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This information cannot be determined until you have completed all of your treatment with your doctors. Once you have completed your treatment, your attorney will begin to put your case together and determine if you have any permanent injuries or any effects on your future. All of this information will be combined in a demand package to be sent to the insurance company. The attorney will determine a reasonable amount to demand from the insurance company which will all be based on the facts of your case. Unfortunately there is no way to determine the value of your case until you have received an offer from the insurance company which will give your attorney an idea of what the case may end up settling for.