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Frequently Asked Questions

The personal injury lawyers of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin serve those hurt by the negligence or misconduct of others throughout the state and nationwide. Here our attorneys provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury law.

Proven professionalism

When you or your loved ones have been seriously injured due to the fault of another, you need the expertise of a focused and knowledgeable personal injury law firm to fight for full compensation. Put the extensive experience and proven skills of the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin to work for you. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means it costs you nothing until we recover a monetary settlement or verdict for you. Contact our firm online or call 866-643-3318 for immediate attention.

There is no cost to contact us. All consultations are completely free.

How much is my personal injury case worth?
This is the most frequently asked question by new clients in a personal injury firm. Most experienced personal injury lawyers have a general idea of the range of value of a case when the client first contacts the attorney. However, the final determination of the value of an injury depends on many factors that are probably unknown at that point. For instance, the value of a case depends not only on the nature and extent or injuries, but also on the factual circumstances of the accident or incident which gave rise to them. A very significant injury may have less value because the liability issues are unclear. In many cases, the value of a claim is reduced if the person bringing the claim was also partially at fault.

Many of these factors cannot be known until the lawyer investigates the claim. Many lawyers will not reveal their impressions about the value of the case because those impressions evolve as the case develops. The role of the attorney ultimately is to advise and make a recommendation to the client about whether or not to accept a settlement or to go to trial. The client is the ultimate decision-maker about whether or not to accept an offer.

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How long does it take to conclude my personal injury case?
Generally speaking, the more complex the case, the longer it takes. Sometimes a relatively simple case can take a long time to resolve because of disputed issues. Also, most lawyers will not attempt to resolve a personal injury case until the client has reached some point where the medical treatment will not help the victim improve any more. That is the point at which the person is either healed or has reached a plateau where a physician has reported that the patient will not improve any further.  The reason the case is not settled until then is that the lawyer needs to know the future consequences, if any, of the injury. Your lawyer should be able to tell you at the beginning of the case approximately how long it may take to resolve.

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Will my personal injury case go to trial?
Most personal injury cases are settled. However, until the lawyer knows the details of the accident or occurrence that gave rise to the injury and the nature and extent of the injury itself, the lawyer cannot state with any degree of reliability whether or not the case may have to go to trial.

Whether or not the case goes to trial, the lawyer who prepares the case as if it is going to trial will get the best result by way of settlement. Insurance companies and defense lawyers know that it is the lawyer who tries cases regularly and gets positive results for clients who will fight the hardest. If a lawyer has a reputation for only settling cases, then an insurance company may be inclined to offer short money just to get rid of the case. Therefore, it is very important to know whether or not your lawyer has experience trying cases in a courtroom.

How much will it cost me to have my personal injury case handled?
Most lawyers take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.  The usual practice is for the lawyer to take a portion of the settlement or verdict received in the case.  Many lawyers pay for the out-of-pocket expenses associated with pursuing the claim.  Some lawyers may ask the client to front the lawyer the money for expenses.  In that instance, if the case is lost, then the client loses those funds.  Most lawyers can tell a client in advance if the client has to pay the expenses up front.  Otherwise, the case should not cost the client any money out of pocket.

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Do I have to sue an individual or company to obtain a recovery?
Yes. Claims are brought against the person whose carelessness caused your injury. If that person was in the course of their employment at that time, then you would probably bring a claim against his or her employer as well. Today, most individuals and businesses have insurance. Even though you name the individual or company, you would seek payment from his or her insurance company. In rare cases of catastrophic injury, a lawyer may consider pursuing the personal assets of the wrongdoer.  Most people are reluctant to bring claims against friends or family members who may have caused their injuries. However, if insurance has been purchased for that purpose, then an injured claimant should feel comfortable seeking compensation under that insurance coverage.

What is the process once I hire a personal injury lawyer?
At the beginning of the case, the lawyer conducts a detailed interview concerning your incident, your background, and any factors relevant to the case. You will probably be asked to sign authorizations so that the attorney may obtain the medical records. Your lawyer will also review and have you sign a contingency fee agreement that explains the terms of the representation. Depending upon the type of case, there are numerous other forms your attorney may ask you to sign.

The next phase of the case is the initial investigation. The lawyer will determine both the facts of the incident that gave rise to your injuries and the nature of the injuries suffered. Many lawyers investigate the matter themselves. Others hire private investigators to collect information such as photographs and police reports. Then the lawyer sends claim letters to the person or company responsible for your injuries and attempts to establish communication with his or her insurance company. From that point, your lawyer exchanges information with the representative of the wrongdoer’s insurance company. When you have reached a plateau and have recovered as much medically as your doctors believe you ever will, the lawyer attempts to settle your claim.  If the claim cannot be settled, then the lawyer may elect to file suit. Once suit is filed, the claim may take a year or more until the trial. While the suit is pending, your attorney undertakes discovery—a further investigation of the facts of the case—to prepare the case for trial.

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