Frequently Asked Questions
Insurance Defense & Personal Injury
“We would have felt indebted to Mike regardless of the favorable outcome. Mike’s calming and informed approach was not only reassuring, but it provided a big sense of relief, during a time of great stress and uncertainty. Since the accident, we felt like we were living with a black cloud over our heads, but once we started working with Mike he provided tremendous reassurance. Mike was professional and we were especially appreciative of his availability. He (or his office) responded to our inquiry the same day, if not immediately. We felt as though we were his most important client.“—Louis C.
You should expect to hear from our office within a few days of having an attorney assigned to your case to schedule your initial conference with the attorney. During this initial conference, the attorney will review the lawsuit with you and discuss details such as the anticipated length of time your case is expected to take, what information you will need to provide, and the areas of the case in which your participation will be needed.
If we are able to contact you before the deadline to submit a response, and you are interested, you certainly may read what is submitted on your behalf. If you are interested in seeing more details from the case file, please discuss with your attorney.
This will depend on the claims being made in your case, but will likely include contact information, job information, and details about where you were going and what you were doing at the time of the accident. Some information is provided to us from your insurance adjuster when your case is assigned, but often we will need you to supply additional details. When you have your initial consultation with an attorney, you’ll get a more detailed list of information needed.
You may need to attend a deposition in person where opposing counsel will ask you a number of questions. Your attorney will prepare you before-hand with what to expect during the deposition. In some rare cases, depositions can be handled via video. If your case proceeds to trial, you will need to attend the trial in person. You will have detailed preparation sessions with your attorney before any event that requires your participation.
If you anticipate being deployed or moving out of state during the course of your case, please make certain to inform your attorney of this as soon as possible. In some cases, you may need to travel back for depositions and trial, although we can explore the potential of deposition by video if possible. For deployed military members, we will discuss with you the potential applicability of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the protections it may afford you.
The length of a lawsuit depends on the court which it was filed in and the specifics of the case. While most of our lawsuits take about 12 months, some are significantly faster while others can take several years to complete appeals. If we can resolve the lawsuit quickly, we will.
We will stand by you every step of the way throughout the defense of your lawsuit. Our team will explain to you what’s happening and why, what you can expect, when you will be needed, and what insurance will and will not cover. We will prepare you for all meetings and for trial. If you have questions along the way, our team can quickly provide answers or set up a meeting for you to have a more in depth discussion with your attorney.
If you’re injured, the first thing you should do is take care of those injuries. Call 911 and request whatever emergency services you need. While you may expect the police to create a report that thoroughly documents the scene and contains the contact information for the others involved and any witnesses, this does not always happen. Take pictures of the vehicles before they are moved, and detailing the damage once they are safely out of the roadway. Obtain names and phone numbers from all witnesses and the other driver, if they are agreeable, have them provide a brief recorded statement into your phone of what occurred.
Once you’re stable, you can reach out to an attorney to discuss next steps.
If you’re injured, the first thing you should do is take care of those injuries. Call 911 and request the emergency services you need. While you may expect the police to create a report that thoroughly documents the scene and contains the contact information for the others involved and any witnesses, this often does not happen. If you can, and when it is safe to do so, take pictures of the vehicles before they are moved as well as more pictures detailing the damage once they are safely out of the roadway. Obtain names, phone numbers, and addresses from all witnesses and the other driver(s). If they are agreeable, have them provide a brief recorded statement into your phone of what occurred. If you are not safely able to do this due to your injuries, ask if someone else at the scene can do so and provide the information to you. Once your injuries are stable, you can reach out to an attorney to discuss next steps.
Being involved and injured in an accident does not mean you have a personal injury claim, but you might. First, you cannot have been a cause of your injuries, even if someone else was also a cause. The findings of “fault” by the police officer are typically not determinative, unless the officer was an eyewitness to the accident. Finally, there has to be a way to quantify the harm done to you. It is much easier to make a claim for a broken arm, for example, than for simply being rattled and uncomfortable driving through a particular intersection. Difficult does not mean impossible, though. If you would like to review the specific facts of your case, reach out to schedule a free consultation.
No! While you must report the accident to your own insurance company and cooperate with them, there is rarely any benefit to speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. Typically, your insurance company will communicate with the other driver’s about preliminary determinations and reporting. If this does not happen, at most you should contact the other insurance company only to have them open a claim and provide your contact information and general information about the accident. Do not give them a recorded statement and do not provide specific information about your injuries, treatment, or how the accident occurred. This should be done by your attorney.
Initially, you are responsible for your own medical bills. This likely means that your health insurance company will pay those bills and you will owe out-of-pocket and deductible costs for your treatment. If you do not have insurance, there are times when the medical provider will not require you to pay your bill and instead will be entitled to be paid from any final settlement or judgment you receive. Keep in mind that once you do collect from the Defendant or their insurance company, a portion of that will go towards paying any outstanding medical bills or repaying your health insurance company for any subrogated interest it may have.
The value of personal injury cases is very fact specific. When calculating the demand for your case, your attorney will take into account your medical bills, future anticipated expenses due to the accident, income loss, property loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of a relationship, loss of someone’s assistance, and other potential elements of damage. All these figures will have to be justified and documented in the demand letter and in any litigation.
Many personal injury cases are taken “on contingency” so that the person injured does not have to bear a significant cost to collect from the party who injured them. This means that the attorney takes a percentage of the settlement or judgment as their fee, getting paid when the case resolves. Typically, expenses that your attorney has advanced on your behalf will also be reimbursed out of this settlement.