Car Accident FAQs
Common Questions about Auto Accidents
The Insurance Company Made me a Great Offer – Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Making a fast offer is a very common tactic used by the insurance companies to get you to settle a claim for less than it is worth. When you are missing work and struggling to pay bills, it is really difficult to be patient, and the insurance company knows that. They may offer you a quick check in exchange for “signing a few forms” but in reality you are releasing them of all responsibility for the accident. Accepting a check from the insurance company before your medical treatment is completed and all costs are accounted for is a very bad idea.
How Do I Know How Much My Case is Worth?
This is a question that almost every one of my New Jersey auto accident clients has asked, and the answer is never very satisfying. It depends. The value of a claim is typically driven by the extent of the injuries sustained, the medical costs (both past and future costs in the case of on-going medical care or assisted living) and missed wages. Injuries do not come with instructions on how to heal or clear price tags, so there is a lot of negotiation necessary when it comes to the type of treatment you will receive and who will pay for it. Experience is on the insurance company’s side – they settle thousands of claims a year. You get one shot at a recovery – make sure it’s handled correctly.
Why Am I Being Asked to Release My Medical Records?
If you are being asked to release any past medical records, contact my office immediately. You have rights to protect certain medical records. The insurance company is not allowed to access your medical records without a signed authorization from you. Any medical records provided to the insurance company should come from your attorney’s office. I will ensure that the insurance company gets only those medical records that are required to determine your claim. That being stated, if your case proceeds to litigation, the insurance company and their attorneys may be entitled to more records. We can discuss each request and ensure you understand why you have to provide the records if it is required.
What is Contingency? What is a Contingency Fee? How Do I Pay?
Contingency basically just means “depending on something” so in the case of a contingency fee, the fee is depending on whether we win the case. If we do not win, you do not pay. If we do win, I am paid a percentage of the recovery I secure on your behalf. Even after paying an attorney, you are still likely to receive a better total outcome with an attorney negotiating on your behalf.