Stockton Personal Injury Attorney – Accident FAQ’s
We offer all potential clients an initial free consultation. Contact us at (209) 464-8000 to speak with a Stockton personal injury attorney Lance Friel today. If you are seriously injured or hospitalized, our attorneys will work with you to schedule an appointment at a mutually convenient location or time.
It is generally not in your best interest to speak to any representative for the negligent party. Do not speak to an insurance company or the claims adjuster in the absence of the legal advice of a lawyer. The reason is that the insurance company has a business interest of minimizing your claim and recovery. If you must speak to the insurance company, talk to a lawyer first so that you may be advised and prepared for questions that likely shall be asked. Typically the insurance adjuster will want to take a tape recorded statement of you. Before giving such a statement, you should be prepared and counseled as to how to answer expected questions. Always remember, you are not obligated or required to give such recorded statements.
Who will pay for my lost wages and medical bills?
This is a difficult question and it varies from case to case. If you are in a motor vehicle accident, your private medical insurance or the MP (Medical Payments) coverage on the vehicle in which you were in at the time of the accident may pay your medical bills, and perhaps wage loss to some extent up front, before settlement. If you do not have medical insurance or MP, either personally or through work, the insurance covering the vehicle you were in at the time of the injury may cover the payment of your medical bills and wage loss. Any other monies owed will be paid out of your final recovery when your case is settled.
How long do I have to pursue my case?
The law establishing the time limit in which a lawsuit can be filed is called a Statute of Limitations. Different types of cases have different Statutes of Limitations. It is important to know which statute of limitations applies to your case based upon the facts of your specific matter. It is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after your injury so that the statute of limitations can be determined and witnesses and evidence can be preserved. Please contact the Law Offices of Lance V. Friel so we may evaluate your claim and statute of limitations as soon as possible.
What is my case worth?
How much is your case worth? No one can tell you an exact amount what your case is worth without fully evaluating all the facts. In most cases, an evaluation cannot be performed until your medical condition has stabilized or your claim is ready to be evaluated. An investigation may be performed and your doctor or other experts will need to provide final reports.
Further research of the relevant points of law and consultations with experts to assess the strengths of your case and its value may be required. If you would like our office to evaluate whether you have a case and the strengths of your case, please complete our online questionnaire.
Can someone come out to my home, see me in the hospital or meet me at another location to talk about my case?
Yes. We can make arrangements to meet you at a place of your convenience to discuss your case and have your initial consultation.
How much will an attorney charge me?
For most personal injury cases, attorneys charge a percentage of the settlement or award amount. Usually the attorney’s fees are 1/3 or 33.33% of the settlement or award amount. If your case settles for nothing, the attorney’s fees are nothing. This encourages the attorney to maximize your recovery in the case.
For other types of cases the fees vary. Please call the Law Offices of Lance V. Friel to set up a free consultation to discuss the details.
How do I choose the right attorney?
You should look for an attorney that you are comfortable with and feel that he or she is being direct and honest with you. Hiring an attorney who has the skill, knowledge and experience, both in trials and settlements, will help you protect your interests and insure the recovery you deserve. As attorneys who formerly represented insurance companies we have the know-how and case evaluation skills to properly maximize your recovery.
How long will it take for my case to be settled?
At the point when your medical condition stabilizes, which means you will not get any better or worse, your attorney may speak to your doctors and obtain medical reports regarding your prognosis. At the conclusion of your recovery, the attorney shall put together a settlement demand package to try and resolve your case with the insurance company. From that point forward, negotiations will take place. If your case does not settle, your attorney may file suit and proceed to trial. Many times an insurance company will not pay you what you deserve to recover until your case is set for trial or close to trial. Insurance companies know which attorneys take cases to trial and which attorneys settle cases. Those attorneys, who proceed and prepare a case as though it shall proceed to trial, will likely recover more money for you than a settlement lawyer. If cases do not settle in a reasonable period of time, or if an insurance company is just plain unreasonable, it benefits everyone to file suit and prepare your case for trial. This is the best way to financially maximize your recovery.
Should I handle my own case?
Some people prefer not to hire an attorney unless one is really necessary. While this is a commendable stance to take, it is not always in your best interest. Common sense will tell you that the insurance company is not looking out for you. Insurance companies are concerned about paying you as little as possible in order to maximize their profits. An attorney can help you evaluate whether you are being treated fairly. A good personal injury lawyer will assist to maximize the amount of your recovery ethically and aggressively.