Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve been hurt in an automobile, motorcycle or motor-vehicle accident; a slip-and-fall accident; an injury in someone’s business or home; or in a boating accident; or have injuries as a result of defective products or food; or have injuries resulting from police brutality or assaults, you may have some questions.
We have provided answers to some of the questions we have heard many times over the years. These answers relate to questions about automobile accidents.
Please read through these and understand that while these are based on our experience, they are not legal advice and should not be considered as such. Please call us to receive personal counsel.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident.
- Do not move your vehicle, unless leaving it where it is would be dangerous.
- If you think you may have caused the accident, do not admit that.
- Call the police and wait for them to arrive.
- Try to identify anyone who may have witnessed the accident and get their names, addresses and telephone numbers.
- Exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident.
- If possible, take pictures of the scene and of damage to the vehicles involved in the accident.
- Get any medical treatment you may need.
- If you have any visible injuries, take pictures of them.
It is in your best interest to call us as soon as possible after an accident. That does not mean that you need to call us from the scene of the accident or from the emergency room, but it is a good idea to call us as soon as you leave the hospital or return home after the accident.
After you have had a chance to discuss the accident with us, we will be in a better position to make that determination. The answer will depend on who was at fault for the accident and the injuries you sustained in it.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, you will generally have two separate claims, one for damage to your vehicle, and another for injuries you sustained in the accident. With a little guidance from us, you can usually handle your own property damage claim, but we will be glad to provide any help you may need. We will represent you from start to finish with your personal injury claim and will keep you advised throughout the process.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver would be expected to repair your vehicle or pay you what it was worth at the time of the accident if it cannot be repaired. That insurance company would be expected to provide you with a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired or, for a short time to enable you to look for other transportation, if it cannot be repaired.
Keep all bills you receive for medical treatment relating to the accident and provide them to us. Speak with us about those bills to make sure we have them all. We will discuss how the bills are to be paid with you before your case is resolved.
If you miss time from work, either because your injuries prevent you from working or because of doctor’s appointments, keep a written record of the time you miss. After you return to work or are no longer missing work for doctor’s appointments, we will provide you with a form for your employer to complete, which will show the time you missed from work and its value. Your accident-related lost income will then become part of your personal injury claim.
Once that insurance company knows we represent you, they cannot speak to you without going through us. If you give a recorded statement before speaking with us, you risk making mistakes that may be difficult to correct. Let us decide whether you give a recorded statement or not.
The decision to accept any settlement offer is entirely up to you, but offers made soon after an accident are often low and do not represent fair compensation. We always think it is best to meet with us to discuss the circumstances of the accident, the damage to the vehicles involved in it and the injuries you sustained in it before making any decisions.
You do not need money to hire us. Our fee is a percentage of what we recover for you and is based on the entire recovery, before expenses. In any case, we never let our attorney’s fee work a hardship on an injured client or his family. We always put our clients first.
Bring all the information you have that relates to the accident, including any paperwork given to you by the investigating officer, records of treatment from the emergency room, medical bills or prescription receipts, contact information for witnesses and any pictures of the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved in it. If your vehicle is drivable, please bring it to our office for an inspection.
While you will meet with us at our office at the beginning of your case and at the end, you are welcome to meet with us whenever you need to. We will do our best to keep you informed of developments in your case by speaking with you on the telephone and by sending you copies of all written correspondence.
While most cases are settled and do not require a lawsuit to be filed, some cases must be litigated. But, even if a lawsuit has to be filed in your case, it may not go to court, because most of these cases are also settled. You should not worry about this, because, whether your case settles or goes to court, we are here to help you.
Every case is different, and what you may have heard from someone about their case may not apply to yours. Your claim for personal injury will not be ready until you have been released from all medical treatment relating to the accident and we have all of your medical records, bills, lost income statement and pictures. When we have all of these things, we will make your claim and give the other driver’s insurance company a reasonable time to respond to it. While we work hard to provide results as soon as possible, some things take time and require patience. The value of your claim will be determined by the facts of your accident and the injuries you sustained in it.
You can expect us to work hard for you and to be treated fairly. Some people believe that they can expect to get rich if they have been injured in an accident. Thinking like this is a mistake. Personal injury law is intended to put you back in the place you were before you were hurt in the accident. That would include payment of your medical expenses, your accident-related lost income and something fair and reasonable for pain and suffering. We promise to do our best to make this happen.