Personal Injury Common Questions
Common Questions About Personal Injury Claims
Many of the clients we see at the law office of Douglas V. Stoehr, have never had to deal with insurance companies before and are not aware of the problems they may encounter when trying to get an insurer to honor their claim.
We have prepared this FAQ section to answer some of the most common questions people have about bringing a personal injury claim and why you can benefit from working with an attorney. This is general information. It’s always best to talk directly with a lawyer who can review the facts of your case and give you advice appropriate to your situation.
Do I have a case? If you were hurt in a car accident or motorcycle accident because the other driver was negligent, or you suffered a back injury in a slip-and-fall accident in a store because the property was poorly maintained, chances are you can recover money for your injuries if you had medical costs.
You do not need a lawyer to help with every accident claim; however, when serious injuries are involved, that’s when insurance companies balk at paying the bills — and when a lawyer who really understands insurance companies can help. Attorney Doug Stoehr can investigate the accident scene, review your medical records, and consult with you and your family to advise you if you have a case.
How much does it cost? At our Altoona law office, your initial consultation is always free — whether in person or over the phone. At your initial consultation, the lawyer will advise you whether he believes you have a good case.
If we take your case, the final cost will depend upon the complexity of the case and whether experts are needed to prove the claim. HOWEVER, all personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that our firm advances all costs for bringing your case to settlement or verdict, and attorneys’ fees are paid only if we recover money for you. Our law firm is paid through the settlement of your case, not out of your pocket.
How long does it take? This can vary tremendously depending upon the facts of your case and the stubbornness of the insurance company you are up against. Our goal is to ensure you receive full and fair financial recovery. If the insurance company will not make a fair offer, then court may be the only way to get a good resolution of your case.
How will I pay my bills in the meantime? If you have health insurance, your health insurance policy will pick up your bills to the limit of your coverage. There may be other sources of insurance coverage as well and Attorney Stoehr will look into that. He can also negotiate with your medical providers to gain their patience and cooperation until your case is completed. Once a fair settlement is received, all bills will be negotiated and paid.
Should I just accept what I’m offered so I can get this over? The danger of accepting an early settlement is that the insurance company is likely to be offering you far less than your case is actually worth. You may not receive enough to cover all of your medical bills, now and into the future.
If your medical treatment is not complete, you do not yet know how much your final costs will be. In cases of very serious injury you will have expenses far into the future. These should all be taken into account when determining the full value of your claim. This is what your attorney will do for you.