Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases and Lawsuits
Q: What types of personal injury claims do you handle?
A: We handle all types of personal injury claims, auto injury accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle injury accidents, bicycle injury accidents, dog bite injuries, ATV injury accidents, boating injury accidents, and any other case where someone else causes you personal injury.
Q: How soon after personal injury accident should I call you?
A: Call us immediately. Do not give the other person’s insurance company a statement until you have consulted with a lawyer. We make a point of returning all calls and e-mails promptly. If you have suffered a personal injury, you need to know right away what insurance coverage is in place to cover your medical expenses and other damages.
Q: Will I get to talk to a lawyer if I call?
A: Yes. Everyone who calls for a free consultation gets to talk to a lawyer. We do not have our staff screen cases unless neither attorney is available. If that happens, an attorney will call you back. Usually you will get to talk to a lawyer right away or later the same day.
Q: Should I call you even if I want to handle my claim myself?
A: Yes. In a few minutes over the phone I can usually give you an estimate of whether you have a good case or not so you don’t get ripped off by the insurance company. If they give you an offer and you later hire us, we will not charge you a fee unless we can increase the amount that goes into your pocket. If we are not confident we can beat their offer, we’ll tell you that upfront. Negotiating on your own and waiting to get a good honest personal injury lawyer carries a lot of risk.
Q: What is my claim worth?
A: The value of your car accident injury claim depends on many factors including the severity and permanency of your injuries. Contact me now for a free consultation so we can assess your claim and evaluate your case to see if you have a strong claim or not and give you some tips for how to avoid problems that will lower the value of your personal injury case.
Q: Should I accept the offer that the insurance company has given me?
A: Often we can get insurance companies to substantially increase the amount of their settlement offer. If you have already received an offer for your injuries, contact us and we will let you know if we think it is a fair offer. We will not charge you for this consultation. If we do not beat their original offer to you, we will not charge you an attorney fee.
Q: Can I recover if the other driver had no insurance?
A: Yes. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can recover money for your medical bills and pain and suffering even if the other driver had no insurance. These are actually very good cases because Idaho has several laws that give you some protection on these types of cases, including laws that force them to pay interest and attorney fees if they don’t want to be reasonable with their offers for your injury case.
Q: Does my auto insurance cover accidents when I am on my bike?
A: Many auto policies will cover you if you are injured in a bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident.
Q: How do I know if I have a good auto accident or personal injury case?
A: You need to contact us and we can discuss your case. Our consultations on personal injury cases are always free.
Q: How long does it take to settle most personal injury cases?
A: It depends on the nature of your personal injury claim. We have settled smaller personal injury claims for the full amount my client wanted within 10 days and we have settled policy limits cases in as little as a few months. Larger personal injury cases typically take longer to settle. Idaho law has a provision that can require insurance companies to pay my attorney fees for personal injury cases under $25,000, so sometimes these personal injury cases can be resolved quickly, as the insurance companies don’t want to get a big attorney fee bill from us.
Q: Will pursuing my personal injury case take up a lot of my time?
A: No. Often we only meet with clients for the initial interview and then we can just talk over the phone. If we do have to go to court, it will take more time. We realize your time is important, so we don’t waste it.
Q: Will I have to go to trial?
A: The vast majority of personal injury cases don’t go to trial. However, we treat each case as if it is going to be a trial, as you have to be willing to go to trial to maximize your settlement. The best way to get a fair settlement is to prepare cases for trial.
Q: Why is it so important to hire an Idaho attorney who goes to trial?
A: Most personal injury cases settle before trial, but you want to maximize your settlement. If you hire an Idaho personal injury attorney who has little trial experience, often they will be afraid to go to trial. Insurance companies know who these lawyers are, and they will often offer them less than the case is worth. We each have 17 years of courtroom experience and we have tried quite a few cases over the years. On several of our recent cases, we have been able to get substantially more than insurance companies have offered by going to trial. Verdicts like these do not come easy and it took years of trying cases. Attorneys who never try cases do a great disservice to their clients and cost their clients millions of dollars by settling cases that should go to trial. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that they are actively trying cases.
Q: Do I need an Idaho injury lawyer?
A: In order to settle your personal injury and auto accident cases you will have to deal with insurance companies. Their goal is to pay you as little as you will take. The risk for an insurance company going to trial with a firm that knows how to try cases helps the insurance company make a fair offer. Only a lawyer licensed in Idaho can file a lawsuit for your accident and injury case here. It is tough for someone who is not familiar with personal injury cases to know what a fair settlement amount is. An experienced Idaho personal injury attorney can help you to determine that amount and reach a fair settlement. Our attorneys are also licensed in Oregon and Utah, if help is needed for a lawsuit or insurance claim in those states.
Q: How do I pay your legal fees?
A: We handle auto accident, dog bites, trip and fall, slip and fall and all other personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means YOU DO NOT OWE US A LEGAL FEE UNLESS WE RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU. We do not ask for any attorney fees or a retainer up front. If there is no recovery there is no attorney fee.
Q: Are there any hidden fees?
A: No. We do not charge you fees for consultations, opening your file, copies, long distance, etc. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you find out what they will be charging you, as these hidden fees can add up.
Q: Lawsuits can be expensive, will it cost me any money up front for filing fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and any other costs?
A: Filing a lawsuit, paying court costs and expert witness fees can be very expensive. Every year we spend thousands of dollars in litigation costs. We know that most people cannot afford these costs up front, so we forward most of these costs up front in almost every case we take. Spending a few thousand dollars on a good expert witness can make the difference between getting several thousand dollars and getting nothing for your personal injury claim. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that they are willing to forward the money to adequately pursue your personal injury case. Otherwise, you may be forced into taking a minimal settlement if you cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars to pursue your personal injury claim.
Q: Do you charge more for filing a lawsuit or going to court?
A: No. Unlike most lawyers, our fees do not increase for filing a lawsuit, going to court, litigating motions, or going to mediation. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure they don’t increase their fees just for filing a lawsuit or spending a few hours in mediation.
Q: What types of accident cases do you handle?
A: We handle all types of personal injury, wrongful death and products liability cases, including: auto accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, ATV accidents, boating accidents, truck accidents, dog bites, paralysis or paraplegia and many other types of injury cases. We also love to handle uninsured and underinsured motorist cases, and we have done very well on those cases for our clients.
Q: What if the person who hit me does not have any insurance?
A: When our clients are hit by someone who does not have insurance, we can usually get them more money that if they were hit by someone with insurance. The reason for this is that the lawsuit will be you versus your insurance company, and juries tend to award more money in these cases, so insurance companies tend to pay more in settlement in these cases. When you sue the other driver’s insurance company, the insurance company’s name is not on the lawsuit and the jurors are not told that the other driver has insurance. Although the other driver almost never has to pay out of their pocket, the jurors don’t know this and sometimes award less money than if they knew insurance would be paying the judgment.
Q: Who pays my medical bills?
A: Most Idaho auto insurance policies have Medical Payments coverage. Utah and Oregon have variations of Personal Injury Protection coverage. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not like to pay these bills and will often times send you to an “independent” medical exam, where you are evaluated by a doctor who works for companies that mainly do exams for insurance companies. These doctors almost always say what the insurance companies want them to say, regardless of what your treating doctor says. If your treating doctor believes the treatment is related to the accident, we can usually get the insurance company to pay the medical expenses, and we do not charge extra for helping our clients get their medical bills paid.
Q: What if my medical bills are more than my Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection coverage limit?
A: If your medical bills are more than your medical limits, your medical payments or personal injury protection insurance will no longer pay your bills. You are then personally responsible for any bills in excess of your personal injury protection coverage. If you have healthcare coverage, they will usually pay for any treatment in excess of your medical payments or personal injury protection coverage, but they usually will want to be paid back out of any settlement or judgment you get. Many times we can obtain reductions of what they are requesting, which helps your bottom line.
Q: The doctors are coming after me for unpaid bills, can you help?
A: We routinely work with doctor and healthcare providers to keep them from sending our clients to collections for unpaid bills. Often, we can keep them from sending bills to collections if we agree in writing that we will pay them first once we get paid on a settlement or judgment. We work hard to obtain the best result possible, even if there is only a limited amount of insurance available to pay for your injury from an accident claim.
Q: I am out of work as a result of my injuries. Can you help me?
A: Yes. If your injuries are permanent and you are forced to find a new line of work, the other party should have to pay for any future lost wages and retraining costs. We can hire a vocational rehabilitation expert to determine how much your future lost wages and retraining expenses will be, so we can make these costs part of any settlement or judgment. We have also sometimes been able to work with landlords and other creditors to provide some relief.
Q: Do you handle on the job injuries?
A: We handle third-party on the job injuries. What this means is when your injuries are caused by someone other than your employer, such as another driver, faulty equipment, subcontractor, etc. We do not handle first-party workers compensation claims, where you are hurt on the job, but it is not a third-party’s fault. If you have a first-party workers compensation claim, I can refer you to a lawyer who specializes in these claims, as they are an entirely different kind of law than personal injury claims.
Q: I don’t want to bankrupt somebody. What happens to the person I sue?
A: Although the lawsuit will have the other driver’s name on it, we are actually going after the insurance company’s money. In virtually every case, the person we sue does not have to pay a penny, as their insurance company pays the settlement or verdict amount, as well as all of the legal fees.
Q: Where do you handle cases?
A: Although our main office is located in Boise, Idaho, we will handle and take cases throughout the state of Idaho including the following counties and cities:
Counties: Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Washington, Ada, Boise, Elmore, Valley, Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls, Idaho. If it is the right case, we will consider cases from anywhere in the State of Idaho.
We are also licensed in Oregon and Utah. We handle cases from those States too.
Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, Eagle, Idaho City, Melba, Emmett, Star, Payette, Homedale, Parma, Marsing, Mountain Home, Cascade, Donnelly, McCall, Twin Falls, Jerome, Glenns Ferry, Burley, Grangeville, Kooskia, Fruitland, Weiser, Cambridge, Council.
We will handle cases from anywhere in the State of Idaho under the right circumstances.
We regularly handle cases in Eastern Oregon, including Vale, Nyssa, Ontario and other Malheur county cases, and we have also handled cases in many other Oregon counties. We also handle some Utah cases, and our attorneys are licensed and qualified to do so.
To add to your convenience, we have established branch or interview offices where we will come to you in Fruitland, Twin Falls and Nampa, in addition to our main office in Boise.