DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
SOMETIMES YES ......SOMETIMES NO
If you had a minor injury and recovered quickly, your medical bills and lost wages were minimal (less than approximately $1,000.00) , then we often tell people they do not necessarily need to hire an attorney. In fact, we often will not accept cases if we do not feel like we can actually HELP the client financially. The real issue is, do you want to pay an attorney a portion of the funds that you receive? If an attorney was free, then you would always be better off hiring an attorney to represent you. So the big question is, does hiring an attorney increase the value of your case to such an extent to justify the attorney's fee?
The first question that you must ask yourself – What is the value of my case? Unfortunately most people have no idea how to value their claim. Additionally, most people often overlook damages in their case that can be claimed. There are numerous other questions which you must be able to answer if you plan on handling your case without an attorney.
DO YOU KNOW:
- What the time limit for bringing a case is (statute of limitations)?
- What amount of money juries are awarding for similar cases in your area?
- Whether the doctor will relate all of your medical expenses to the accident?
- If you settle your case whether you will need to reimburse your health plan that paid for some of your medical expenses
- If you have medical payments coverage on your own insurance policy and if you can submit your bills to your own carrier as well as the at fault drivers insurance carrier -
- Whether not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the wreck will affect the value of your claim
- How much insurance coverage is available to compensate you for your claim
- What to do if the at fault driver did not have any insurance on his car
- What to do if Medicare or Medicaid paid for some of your medical expenses following the wreck
- Whether juries in your area are known to be conservative, liberal, middle of the road, etc
- If there is a formula which insurance companies follow to determine how much to pay for your claim
- If your doctor stated that it is more likely than not that you will need future medical care, and if yes, the cost of the future care - If your doctor documented in your medical records what your prognosis is?
- If you have reached maximum medical improvement - If you have suffered any permanent impairment?
- If you are required to reimburse your healthcare plan for medical expenses that were paid following the wreck?
- If the law allows you to claim your gross wage loss or only your after tax take home pay
- If you can claim the full amount of the medical bill, or only the amount your health insurance paid?
- If your employer pays you while you are out of work, does that mean you cant make a wage loss claim? - If you are allowed to claim a wage loss if you actually receive disability payments under a disability policy of insurance?
WARNING: If you handle your own claim BEWARE OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. If your claim is not filed in the proper court and within the appropriate time period it may be forever barred.