In order to make a claim for injury you must be hurt or injured; either physically or emotionally by someone else’s negligent conduct. This includes negligence, strict liability or intentional misconduct, commonly referred to as tort liability. In some cases, even if you were partially at fault, the other at-fault party may be responsible for some of your injuries and damages; this is called comparative fault.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, which means their fee is contingent upon him/her recovering you some money for your injury claim and it is a percentage of the amount recovered. Just as with a real estate broker, the attorney earns a percentage of the total amount recovered or “gross settlement.” Unless the attorney can close the deal and keep his client happy, then he/she does not get paid. This means you will not pay anything up front, until there is a settlement or a winning verdict at trial. Typically, after your settlement or verdict, your attorney will receive a percentage fee of the total case recovery, in addition to case costs.
Most people ask themselves this question: will I get more with an attorney then if I handle the case myself? Almost always, hiring an experienced attorney can actually increase the amount of money damages recovered; so the answer is generally yes. So, even after paying the attorney’s fees and costs, the client usually ends up with more money in his/her pocket than if you attempted to represent yourself. An experienced trial attorney knows what you are entitled to receive as compensation, and will fight to get the best possible result for you. Having a personal injury attorney on your side shows the insurance company that you are serious about protecting your rights. Simply put, the insurance adjuster will be less likely to make a low-ball settlement offer.
No. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before filing a lawsuit. In fact, in less than 20% of all personal injury cases is filing a lawsuit necessary. Of course, every case is different; and depending upon the facts of your case, it is impossible to determine whether your case will settle before filing a lawsuit, before reaching the courthouse steps, or go all the way to a jury trial. A general rule of thumb however is this: “as you get closer to the courthouse steps, the insurance company gets nervous and usually agrees to be more reasonable!”
In short: a low-ball settlement offer. If you are dealing with an insurance adjuster, they assume you do not know anything and treat you accordingly. They try to tell you what your case is worth, that you do not need an attorney, and you can trust them to be fair and save attorneys’ fees. At some point, most people learn the exact opposite and call an attorney. In fact, they realize it was all a lie designed to take advantage of you and get you to accept a low-ball settlement offer.
There are two types of damages, general damages—pain and suffering and special damages—out of pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages, co-payments, mileage, etc. The amount of damages you are entitled to depends upon the nature and severity of your injuries (broken bones, surgery, or soft tissue); the duration of your physical and emotional pain and suffering, the amount of your economic hardship or financial loss, the amount of your decreased earning potential and physical impairment. The following is a sample of some of the typical types of damages you can be compensated for in a personal injury case:
The short answer: a fair and reasonable amount of money to fully compensate you for all harms and losses that you have suffered; or in short, you are entitled to “be made whole.” Although we cannot put you in a time machine and send you back to where you were before the accident, we try and recover all of your damages, past, and future.
This is where the insurance adjuster will try and “nickel and dime” you! Typically, the adjuster gives very little, if any, for pain and suffering. Often times they require ridiculous amounts of documentary proof and then when presented overwhelming evidence, they still refuse to pay for lost earnings and future medical bills. As you can imagine, a dispute will always arise when you attempt to put a dollar value on someone’s pain and suffering endured as a result of the negligent or reckless acts of another driver. The adjusters routinely ignore of minimize this aspect of your claim.
As you go through these frequently asked questions ask yourself who do I trust more to represent me? The adjuster for the other driver, or my attorney?
Don’t go up against the insurance company alone. The Choyce Law Firm will help you maximize your compensation. Call (707) 422-1202 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced accident lawyer. You may also contact us online. With two offices in the greater Fairfield, our lawyer is able to meet with you at your most convenient location. We also offer in-home, after-hours, weekend and video conferencing appointments by special arrangement. There is no fee unless we recover damages for you.
To schedule a free consultation, call us at (707) 422-1202. You may also contact us online using the contact form on this page.
This is my second time hiring Mr. Choyce for my son, who was charged with a criminal act. Both times that I hired Mr. Choyce, I was very impressed with his knowledge of the law, his professionalism, and the fact that he was relatable. He is trustworthy, tells you the truth about what you are facing. He is organized, he is a very good listener, came up with strategies that were appealing.I can’t say enough good about Mr. Choyce! I knew that he was going to give my son’s case everything he had, and he did!
Hiring the Choyce Law Firm was the best decision I made while trying to decide what to do after getting charged with a 3rd DUI. I tried to use a lawyer that I had previously used when in trouble with the law, he was near retirement and wasn’t able to give my case the attention I was looking for understanding that I was facing jail time. When contacting Mr Choyce we discussed my case and he told me he could help, he even knew my previous attorney. Mr Choyce was aggressive in fighting my case with filing motions on my behalf an trying to get my case dismissed, I was very pleased that he was not just looking to get the first deal the D.A. offered but was aggressively trying to win my case. Although we were not able to get the dismissal we were looking for he was able to keep me out of jail an I was able to serve my sentence on the EHD Program, which allowed me to keep my job an that was very important to me. Mr Choyce also handled a second case for me, I was charged with driving on a suspended license and no registration. Once again Mr Choyce was aggressive with this case and took it to trail an was able to get a not guilty verdict, which saved me a great deal of money in fines that would be pending with a guilty verdict. Overall hiring Mr Choyce and his team was the best decision I made, he provided great service at a respectable rate, an explained things as they were happening and with the charges I was facing I was very happy with the outcome of my cases that he handled. I would strongly recommend Mr Choyce and his team to anyone I know that needs legal representation he knows the law and will provide you with the best service you could hope for form a lawyer that wants to win.
“This is my second time using Mr. Choyce, and I would choose no one other than him. Both times that I hired him, it was for my son, and they were very serious cases. Mr. Choyce is smart, professional, practical, and relatable. He is a serious person, who listens, speaks in laymens terms, so that you understand what is going on. Not like some that I have experience, who talk over you, and dont take the time to really answer your questions.The second case got very close to going to trial, however, I was confident that I had the best of the best representing my son. Thank God that after willing to go to trial, we got a deal that, I think was a win win.I would definitely, without a question, hire Mr. Choyce again!”