Is It Easy to Become Discouraged during the Course of Your Personal Injury Case?
Interviewer: Do you have people that want to give up as they’re going through the process and say, “I just don’t want to deal with this anymore.” or “I’ll take a settlement.”
Trying to Resolve a Personal Injury Case on Your Own Can Be Frustrating
Adam: Sometimes they get a little discouraged. I think sometimes it gets intimidating, especially if they were trying to work on a settlement on their own before they got an attorney involved.
Interviewer: How do people get intimidated if they work on it themselves? Is it because the court system is complicated to navigate?
Adam: If they’re working on it by themselves, they will be talking to a claims representative. Typically there is property versus the medical type of claim representative, so they may have to talk to several representatives in order to get the restitution.
Will You Have to See a Doctor Specified by the Other Party’s Insurance Company?
Interviewer: Will people have to go to a doctor that the other insurance company dictates? Will the other doctor work for the insurance company?
Adam: They don’t necessarily have to do that. They may be asked by the insurance company to go see a certain doctor to analyze the injuries and see if it’s going to be related.
You May Be Asked to See another Doctor if You Are Trying to Resolve the Case without an Attorney
Interviewer: Is that commonly requested?
Adam: I would say if they try to handle it on their own, it’s probably more common than if an attorney is involved.
Interviewer: Are people obligated to do that or no? Is that ever a requirement of the trial or the settlement?
Adam: It’s going to depend on what the goal is that the insurance company will be trying to accomplish. Is there an issue that needs to be protected? There are a number of factors that are going to come into play on whether they’re going to have to go talk to this doctor to be evaluated.
The Length of Time Personal Injury Cases Take to Resolve Can Be Discouraging
Interviewer: Is there anything else that happens in a case that’s going to go to trial that makes it difficult for the person or makes them want to give up?
Adam: They may think that some cases that are legitimate that there hasn’t been an offer that is sufficient. They might not want to pursue it because it’s going to take a longer period of time. Another factor may be that they have more medical bills than what the coverage is out there. There may be a lien from the insurance on their medical coverage or the doctor’s office on the file. An attorney can basically negotiate down the amount due, if there are some outstanding medical bills, sometimes substantially.
How Are Attorneys Compensating in a Personal Injury Case?
Interviewer: That’s good. It’s almost like getting an award. I didn’t know the attorney can negotiate the medical bills. How do you get paid on accident cases? What does a person pay?
Adam: Typically, the compensation is going to be a percentage of whatever the recovery is.
Interviewer: Is there a state set amount or do attorneys just charge whatever they want?
Adam: There’s no real set amount or maximum. Attorneys are allowed to base their fees on what they feel appropriate, at least to some degree. There could be a point when it gets a little extreme, but it might be a factor as well as it’s going to be incredibly long case, a tough one to prove, or something to that effect. There are a lot of factors that can go into that agreement.
What Percentage Will an Attorney Typically Receive?
Interviewer: Are there any typical ranges or percentages that people charge?
Attorneys May Charge a Lower Percentage for Cases That Are Settled
Adam: I would say the typical attorney is going to charge 25 percent to 45 percent. Part of that is going to be based on whether or not there is a settlement agreement. If there is an agreement, the percentage may be lower.
Trials Are Usually Compensated at a Higher Percentage Due to the Amount of Labor Involved
Trials typically generate a higher percentage because of the amount of work involved.
There Are Usually No Attorney Fees in a Personal Injury Case until the Case Has Been Resolved
Interviewer: Literally, for people looking to pursue a personal injury case, nothing is paid up front; instead it is paid out of the awards?
Adam: That is correct. After the case is settled, it comes out of whatever the settlement amount is.
Your Attorney Will Pay His or Her Own Expenses until the Case Is Resolved
Interviewer: Sometimes an attorney might have to pay bills for a year before they would see any money, is that right?
Taking a Personal Injury Case to Trial Can Entail Filing Fees and the Cost of Depositions, Which All Paid for by Your Attorney
Adam: That is right. There is potentially going to be overhead on the filing fee and depositions for court reporters. It could be expensive just for the attorney to finance the whole aspect of taking the case to trial.
Interviewer: These cases could be paid up front by the person if they wanted to, right? Or by law, are they not allowed to?
Adam: They could. The person could assume all the expenses, but I think that they’re going to find that either way the end result will be the same as if they would have just waited and allotted a percentage of the recovery to their attorney.