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January 2018

Frequently Asked Questions Part 1

By | FAQ, Personal Injury | No Comments

How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

There is no cost for initial consultations, so you can talk to a Lawyer risk-free. Any information you share with the Lawyer will be kept strictly confidential. Personal injury cases are done on a contingency-fee basis. That means that you don’t have to pay anything until the case is won or settled.


Why do I need an attorney?

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s mistake, you need a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies do this every day, and they don’t get to be big companies by paying a lot of claims.


In fact, they have teams of experts whose job it is to reduce the amount they pay out on claims. If this makes you feel a little sick inside, it should. Someone paid premiums on that insurance policy, sometimes for years, expecting that if they made a mistake, the insurance company would compensate the people they hurt.


The idea that a rich insurance company would take those premiums every month, and then work so hard to avoid paying claims is disgusting. That machinery is exactly what you are up against when you are injured in an accident.  You need expert advice to help you navigate these dangerous waters, and avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance industry.


It is important to remember that your personal injury claim will not be decided by the person who accidentally hurt you. The claims are decided either by the insurance company or by a jury in court.


Lawyers are here to protect you, and to uphold the rules of law that promote and protect the safety of the community. If careless people and their insurance companies can hear your experience and be made to provide full compensation, they will learn to be more careful, and our community will be safer for everyone.


Insurance companies avoid paying damages by pointing the finger. They will claim that your injuries aren’t real, that it was someone else’s fault, that your suffering is made up, and if that doesn’t work, they may even suggest that you are a liar and a cheat.


We know this sounds a little extreme, unfortunately, this is an argument we see insurance companies make over and over.


Their lobbyists spend billions of dollars every year trying to convince people like you that frivolous lawsuits are filed all the time, and that money-grubbing plaintiff’s and their lawyers are ruining America.


If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by the negligence of someone else, you know this “tort reform” propaganda is false. It takes a skilled attorney to help jurors understand that people do not go through the hassle and expense of filing a time-consuming lawsuit when their claims are frivolous.


You need an experienced attorney to fight for you against this “tort reform” bias, and help jurors understand who you really are, and what you are suffering because of this needless accident.


The insurance company said I don’t need an attorney – is that true?

It is a violation of the Utah Administrative Code for an insurance company representative to discourage you from hiring a lawyer. If that happens, make sure and take down the name of the representative and the name of their company so that they can be reported to the insurance division.


Utah created this rule because your interests and the interests of the insurance company are not the same. This suggests that even the State of Utah recognizes that it is better for you to deal with insurance companies through an experienced personal injury lawyer.


Again, if you have been injured in an accident, always get an opinion from an experienced personal injury lawyer. You have rights, and lawyers are trained professionals who will help to protect those rights. Lawyers can give you unbiased legal advice at no cost to you.


Why not get the opinion of an experienced lawyer before trying to deal with the insurance company, especially when it doesn’t cost you anything?


What if I tried to start my case on my own?

Some people have already tried to deal with the insurance company on their own. Often, they end up going to a lawyer because they feel they are not being treated fairly, and they find the process stressful and burdensome.


We are here for you! When clients come into our office that have tried to deal with claims on their own, we immediately begin reviewing the files to protect their interests and undue (whenever possible) anything negative the insurance company has already done to their case.


This process begins by gathering the necessary information and immediately informing the insurance company not to communicate with our clients anymore. They are asked to direct all further communication to our office, and we will take steps to protect your private, personal information from their prying eyes.


It is our goal to alleviate as much stress as we can from you so you can concentrate on getting healthy again, both mentally and physically.


Should I sign a release?

No! This sounds harsh, but never sign anything that has not been reviewed by your attorney. Insurance companies would like nothing better than for you to sign away all of your rights and privileges without consulting with a lawyer to determine what your claim is actually worth. If you sign a release, you may be unable to recover future damages.


In some instances, the insurer may offer an early settlement, which may not fully compensate you, as they may still be unaware of the extent and future costs of their injuries. We will help you every step of the way!


Should I accept the insurance company settlement?

No matter how nice the insurance adjuster seems or how many details they give you regarding your compensation, the adjuster’s goal is to pay you as little as possible.  In fact, the adjuster is usually rewarded for resolving claims for as little as possible and as quickly as possible.


It cannot be reiterated enough that insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts to maximize company profits.


For these reasons, it is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to visit you very soon after an accident.  To entice you to accept a settlement for far less than you could recover, the adjuster often comes ready to make a payment immediately.


This is an underhanded tactic used to end a matter right away when an injured party is at their most vulnerable and has not had time to fully evaluate their injuries and options.


It is important not to fall for this trap!   There is no reason to make rash decisions about a settlement or offer from an insurance company.  It is prudent to fully think through all legal decisions and not to sign away legal and/or medical rights without being fully aware of the consequences.

Should I make a statement to the insurance company?


The short answer is no! Remember, the insurance company’s interests are not the same as your own. There is no benefit to making recorded statements or providing material to the insurance company without first getting legal advice.


In most cases, these requests are made specifically to use your words against you in possible legal cases in the future.  Even if you simply intend to state that you were not responsible for the accident, it is very easy for these comments to be taken out of context and used adversely.  Please, always get legal advice first.