Personal Injury FAQ
1 How much will it cost to hire you?
It won’t cost you anything to talk to me over the phone. I also do not charge for an office visit or even represent you. Instead, if I agree to take your case, it will be based on a contingent contract which is a fancy term for “I only get paid if I win”. The contingent fee is usually around 1/3 of the money we recover but that can vary depending on simplicity, or complexity of the case.
It amazes me how often people think they can’t afford to hire a lawyer when they have been in an accident. But this is a common concern despite the thousands of lawyer commercials that scream “No Fee unless We Collect!”
Here is how it works with me; I get calls all the time from people I don’t know who have been hurt, or have a loved one that has. No one wants to actually come out and say, “How much?” but that’s on their mind the whole time. I assure people they won’t owe me anything if I decide not to take their case after we visit the first time.
If I accept the case, we negotiate the specific percentage based upon the facts involved. From that point forward, I can represent the clients, deal with the insurance adjustors, hire the needed investigators and experts, and begin gathering records. The client’s primary job after hiring me is to try to get better if they are injured or to work on putting their lives back together and figuring out how to move forward if they have lost a loved one.
2What makes you different than any other attorney on the web?
So this is probably my favorite question, and I get it all the time. Here is the answer: My Experience.
I have been practicing personal injury law, which includes wrongful death, since 1987. In those 30 years, I have collected over 100 million dollars for my clients in cases in which I was lead counsel, or co-lead counsel. That means I was doing the work on the case. Not another law firm. Not another lawyer in my firm. Me. My name was on the pleadings. And that matters. It is one thing to hire a firm that you have heard about, it is another thing to find out that the person working on your case is not the person you hired. You wouldn’t go to a gifted heart surgeon for a transplant and expect that after you were put under for surgery that another less experienced surgeon would step in to do the work. So why hire a firm from a TV ad and be relegated to a baby lawyer?
If you have been injured in an accident, chances are, I have handled a similar case and I believe that in this business, experience matters.
I have dozens of old clients who I still stay in touch with and who have referred me business. I am not sure how I lucked into this job but I enjoy all of it especially dealing with people who need help and knowing that I can help them. The best part is that I can usually collect an amount well in excess of what the client could have hoped to collect on their own and certainly in excess of the amount of my attorney’s fees.
3Do I have a case?
Most people I talk to have been referred to me by someone in a position to let them know in advanced that they do have a case. If you are wondering if you have a case. Just call me (720) 663-1864.
I’ll answer your questions, free of charge, and discuss the case with you. Once I know all the facts, it is usually relatively easy to tell if you if you have case or not and why. Some of the more important things that you need to keep In mind are the following:
- You don’t have a case forever. Every state imposes deadlines for filing a lawsuit, which is called the statue of limitations. I am licensed in Colorado, Texas, and Louisiana and there are different deadlines for each state and for each type of accident or injury. For instance, if you are in a car wreck in Louisiana, you only have one year to file a lawsuit. If that wreck is in Colorado, we generally have three years. In Texas, it is two years. Don’t read this and think you know the law. Call a lawyer and find out for sure how long you have to file a lawsuit based on your particular circumstances. Every case is different.
- Can I sue the government? Great question. I am not going to give you a blanket answer. Any case involving the government, government entity or government employee would require careful consideration and research. If you think you have been injured by the government, you should take action as soon as possible. These cases can have some of the shortest deadlines and therefore require you to act quickly.
- If I am in the military, or am about to leave the military, does that change anything? Absolutely. The “Savings to Suitors” Act gives military personal special protection against deadlines regarding lawsuits for injuries, this is a little known law and it is possible to apply to your situation. If you are an active duty military and have been injured anytime during your service or even shorty before you came active. You should at least give me a call to discuss the circumstances of your accident.
If you suspect that someone injured you through negligence or if you were intentionally injured by someone’s actions or words, you should probably call me to discuss the circumstances. It won’t hurt, you might get some peace of mind and it won’t cost you anything.
4What is my case worth?
My dad was a geologist in the oil business. He would often travel to drilling locations to inspect the wells and their progress while drilling. When the drilling was finished, he would come home and we would all ask “did you make a well?” Sometimes the answer was yes and our next question would be, How much is it worth? Dad’s response was always the same: “we wont know until its over. The well is going to produce what it is going to produce and there is no way to predict it at this point.”
Me telling you what your case is worth on the internet, without knowing anything about your case, is obviously impossible. It would be like guessing how much oil you could recover if you drilled directly underneath the spot where you are now. First, you do not even know if you would hit oil and if you did, you have no idea how much will be produced.
The best way to predict what your case is worth is to call me (720) 663-1864 I have worked on literally hundreds of car wrecks, dozens of slip and fall cases, and all sorts of miscellaneous accidents. I have handled cases for longshoremen, maritime workers, plant workers, and farm workers. I have investigated accidents in the oil field and electrocutions from power lines… the list goes on and on. There is a good chance that whatever type of accident or injury you have had, I have either some experience that would help me evaluate your case or I can call a lawyer who is a personal friend and get an answer for you.
If I don’t think I am qualified to answer your question, I will try to find you someone who can. The reality is that the only person qualified to tell you what your case is worth is the lawyer who has worked on it, taken the depositions, employed the experts, looked at every document and is ready for trial. And that won’t happen until you have hired that lawyer.
Every case is different, but if you have been in a small car wreck, I can probably tell you roughly what it is worth once I know what your medical bills are and what type of economic damages you have. If you have been in an accident and have more complex injuries, we should talk.
5How can I make dealing with an insurance adjuster less frustrating?
If you are asking yourself this question, the likely answer you can’t. One of the best weapons an insurance adjuster has is to delay. That means every time you send them something they ask for something more. They can play this game for months and it often works to their benefit. Adjustors know you would like to resolve your claim for a fair amount and get on with your life. Anyone who has been injured feels this way. But it is the adjustor’s job to pay as little as possible and to save their company money.
One of the ways they can do this is by gaining your trust, making you think they truly care about you, dragging the process out as long as possible and then when they sense how tired you are of gathering records and answering questions, they can make you a low-ball offer. If you are like most, you will probably be tempted to take the offer and get on with your life. Before you do that, consider the risk/reward ratio of calling a lawyer like me. The risk is you will get a second opinion as to what your case is worth for no cost and it will take 20 minutes of your time. The reward could be that you are settling to cheaply and I can get you substantially more money. The reward could also include the fact that you have overlooked something that the insurance company has not told you about or that you have a claim that you are not even aware of. In other words, there is no risk and the reward could be substantial. Seriously, call me (720) 663-1864.