Many people, when hiring a personal injury attorney, think only of the cost and often make the mistake of hiring the cheapest injury lawyer they can find. This is not to say that hiring the most expensive car accident attorney is the best thing to do, either. However, cost should be one of several factors you consider when hiring a car accident attorney.
As mentioned previously, you want to hire a personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced. You should also determine the attorney’s availability and caseload and the experience of his support staff.
Additionally, when you meet with an attorney for an initial consultation, you want to evaluate how well he listens to you, whether he is willing and able to discuss the issues of your case with you, and whether you feel a rapport with him.
Note: The answers to the following questions are intended to provide general information about the law of Colorado. This information is not intended to serve as legal advice or to be a substitute for consultation with an attorney. If you have a specific legal issue, you should get the advice of a licensed attorney.
Following are several questions that you may want to know upon hiring a personal injury lawyer in Denver:
Q: What will the attorney charge me?
The Colorado personal injury lawyers at MINTZ LAW FIRM, LLC do not require clients to pay any attorney’s fees on their personal injury claims unless their claim is settled. If no money is recovered, MINTZ LAW FIRM, LLC does not charge any lawyer’s fees. This is called a “contingency fee agreement”. This fee agreement is placed in writing and provides a guarantee that clients will not have to pay attorney’s fees until or unless a recovery is made.
Q: When I’m looking for a personal injury lawyer, what qualification should I look for?
Just as one would not request their family doctor to perform brain surgery, an attorney who handles a personal injury claim should be experienced in these types of cases. It is important to find out how many years of experience a lawyer has handling personal injury cases and whether the lawyer has substantial trial experience. Many attorneys say they are ” trial” lawyers but have minimal experience. Insurance companies know which lawyers are excellent trial attorneys. This affects whether they will settle the claim.
Q: Does a person really need a lawyer to resolve a Colorado personal injury case?
Approximately twenty years ago insurance companies attempted in good faith to settle claims with persons not represented by legal counsel. However, that’s usually not true today, unless they simply offer ridiculously low amounts. Several respected studies, including one funded by the insurance industry, have determined that people represented by legal counsel end up with significantly more money from their claims than people without legal counsel, even after paying their attorney.
Q: When should I contact a personal injury lawyer?
If you are planning on pursuing a case, or wish to discuss it, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately. Although it may seem as if there is plenty of time before a lawsuit must be filed, there are other reasons to begin working on your case quickly. Depending on your case, there may be crucial deadlines that pass only ninety days from the date of your injury or accident.
In addition, our attorneys may need to take action within days of an accident to protect your case. It may be necessary to act fast in order to preserve important evidence, locate a witness, or investigate the scene of the accident or injury
Q: Should I be talking with an insurance adjuster before I contact a lawyer?
No. Many insurance adjusters are trying to reduce the amount of money they must pay to resolve your case. Occasionally an adjuster will ask to speak with you about your case and may attempt to record your conversation. Such statements with adjusters may be used against you in the future. If you would like to speak with an adjuster, one of our attorneys will discuss with you how to handle such statements, what to avoid and appropriate cautions.
Q: How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” which govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you may lose your legal right damages for your injury. Consequently, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as you suffer or discover an injury.
Q: What should I bring with me for my meeting with a lawyer?
You should provide a lawyer with any documents that might be relevant to your case. Police reports, for example, contain eyewitness information and details about the conditions surrounding the event from which your claim arises. Copies of medical reports and bills from doctors and hospitals will help demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries. Information about the insurer of the person who caused your injury is extremely helpful, as are any photographs you have of the accident scene, damaged property and your injuries. The more information you are able to give your lawyer, the easier it will be for him or her to determine if your claim will be successful. If you haven’t collected any documents at the time of your first meeting, however, don’t worry; your lawyer will be able to obtain them in his investigation of your claim.
Q: What is my case worth?
There is no standard value for what an injury is worth. Rather each case is unique and must be valued individually. Factors that affect the value of a case include the nature and extent of the injuries, the length of treatment and recovery time, lost wages, whether there is a permanent impairment, whether there is comparative fault, and whether punitive damages are appropriate.
Q: How long will it take to resolve my case?
The answer to this question depends greatly on the injuries and amount of treatment necessary for you to heal. In exchange for settling with an insurance company a plaintiff must sign a release or paper that states they will no longer attempt to recover money from the insurance company or defendant. It is important to be certain of your injuries and necessary treatment before signing the release. Resolving a case prematurely often results in a smaller recovery.