Q. I don’t really want to go to court, isn’t that what happens if I get a lawyer?
A. Usually not. Filing a lawsuit and proceeding into litigation does not necessarily mean that you will be in a courtroom in front of a judge. Litigation can take years to fully accomplish, and it is not until the very end of that time that a Plaintiff is in an actual courtroom. Usually, litigation is a way a Plaintiff can get an actual attorney involved for the Defendant, instead of an insurance adjuster. The vast majority of civil cases that are filed into litigation are successfully settled before a Plaintiff ever steps foot in a courthouse.
Q. Lawyers cost a lot of money, won’t I make more money in the end without a lawyer?
A. In injury cases, our firm works on a contingency fee, which means that we only receive a portion of a settlement. That means if we cannot obtain a settlement for you, you don’t owe us any fees. On the other hand, having an attorney is what maximizes the amount of money you recover. Lawyers in this business know the value of your claim when you are ready to settle, and a non lawyer cannot be expected to know those values. The insurance companies know this, and will not settle your case for the full amount of money that your claim is worth without an attorney. In most cases a client will receive more money, after attorneys fees, than they would have received without an attorney at all.
Q. I like knowing exactly what is going on in my claim, what do you do to make sure that happens.
A. Communication with the client is our main goal at the Judnich Law Office. A common issue in the industry is how to keep clients fully informed. Our office routinely emails our clients and will provide copies of correspondence from the insurance company and our office. Our office is mostly paperless, which means that almost all documents are scanned into digital format and can be attached to an email. We also pride ourselves on returning the calls of our clients, so no questions go unanswered.
Q. How much is my claim worth?
A. A trustworthy lawyer will be unable to answer that question without a thorough knowledge of your case. There is no magic formula or mathematical equasion that is used to determine value, especially at the very beginning of a claim. Your true claim worth is determined by looking at many factors that include such things as your medical bills, length of treatment, seriousness of injury, response to treatment, amount of pain, amount of treatments, time off of work, and most importantly; jury verdicts. Each state’s juries are different in how they award damages. The same case in California may be worth more than a case in Montana. A good attorney knows why that difference exists and will explain it to you. In the end, your claim is evaluated with many factors that are unique to your individual claim, and cannot be estimated without much research and investigation.
Q. Who pays my medical bills?
A. It depends. There is a correct order in which insurance companies must pay your medical bills. Most people assume that the responsible driver’s insurance company is the one that should pay. It is true, that they will ultimately pay your medical bills, however, that does not mean that they should be the first insurance company to pay them. Often times, your own insurance company should be the one to pay your outstanding medical bills first, then the responsible insurance pays the amount of those medical bills directly to you. Tens of thousands of dollars can be thrown away by not having the correct insurance company pay bills in the correct order or priority.
For more frequently asked questions and answers, please visit our blog that discusses many of these issues and more at: http://judnichlaw.blogspot.com/