Frequently Asked Questions
I just had a friend, she got into a car accident. She's not sure if she should really hire an attorney. What should I tell her?
Well, if she's injured or the car is damaged, then the answer is yes. Folks need to know their rights as soon as possible and it's always free to call us and find out. Remember, the insurance companies are not your friends. They want you to take as little as possible, as fast as possible. They call it go away money.
Remember, folks are at a disadvantage against insurance companies because they don't know what they don't know. When they deal directly with the insurance companies, sometimes they end up damaging their case to a point where I can't help them. It's like that time I tried to fix my own dishwasher. I watched a YouTube video on it, it seemed easy enough, but after I took it all apart I needed to buy a new dishwasher because I had done so much damage.
How do we determine how much a case is worth?
Well, unlike what others may tell you, there is no formula. It's not like an assembly line where a certain type of injury gets a certain fixed value.
You got to look at a couple different things. You got to look at the nature of the injuries, the extent of the medical treatment, and the available insurance coverage before we can start talking about the value of a claim.
Let me give you an example. Had a client. She was in an accident. Broke her arm. Got a cast. Think that's a pretty good result, right?
But after the cast was put on, she disappeared and didn't communicate with our office. When she finally resurfaced, we found out she didn't see any other doctors, and in fact, took the cast off with a hacksaw.
Yeah, unfortunately that case didn't get resolved for what it could have because the client didn't get the proper medical treatment and didn't stay in touch with us.
That's why we always follow up with our clients regarding their medical treatment so they can get better. We want to present the best case we can, to get the best result.
How does a client's car get fixed?
Well, there's two parts to almost every client: property damage and bodily injury. Property damage is the damage to your car. Bodily injury is the damage to you.
Remember, they're like train tracks. They leave from the same station and they arrive at the next station, but they don't cross each other. Now, the damage is easily estimated. As such, the property damage usually gets handled first to get the client back in the car as soon as possible.
If the other side is at fault and they take responsibility for the accident, they'll do one of two things: repair your vehicle or they'll total your vehicle and pay you the market value.
What happens if I have a 20-year-old car? Will they fix that?
Probably not. It's been my experience that when a car is seven years or older, the more likely to total it out as the cost to repair it is worth more than the value of the vehicle.
What if they totaled the car, how do they determine the value?
Well, they should provide real world examples of makes and models for sale and the price they're going for. That's how they get the value.
Clients are usually focused on getting their cars fixed or replaced as soon as possible, and we could help them get that done quickly but they're also entitled to money for their injuries and pain and suffering. That's where we can really help them get their lives back into the fast lane.
I've heard you tell clients not to worry when they have a good case, but can't afford to hire an attorney. How does that work?
Well we work on a contingency fee basis. When we take on a client's case, we do the work upfront. We get all the information. We front all the expenses to get the medical records. We hire the experts, the court fees and all of that. If we're successful, we receive a percentage of the case for our fee. If we aren't, then we don't get paid at all.
That's why we ask our clients so many questions upfront to determine if they have a good case and remember, it costs nothing to call us and find out.