Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is my case worth?
A: No lawyer can, or should, answer this question at the initial consultation unless they have the facts, the medical bills, medical records and a good understanding of similar cases. We can give you an idea of how settlements and judgments are determined.
Q: Will my medical bills be paid?
A: If we prove that the injury was the fault of another you are able to collect for the medical bills that you incur because of the injury. Sometimes bills are paid by your insurance company, health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare in which case you may have to pay them back with money from a settlement or judgment. Sometimes bills do not get paid right away and they end up in collection.
Q: How will I pay my bills?
A: Hopefully the injury doesn’t prevent you from working but if it does, you may have to rely on disability insurance, savings or family until your case is resolved.
Q: Do I get my lost wages?
A: Yes if they are the result of the injury. You will have to prove them through information provided by your employer or tax records, especially if you are a business owner or self-employed. You will not get them until the case is resolved however.
Q: What if I lose my job?
A: Unfortunately, this happens. It will depend on how badly you are hurt and whether you can return to your job after the injury. It will also depend on the policy of your employer for time out of work. In some cases you can protect your job under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but you must file for it with your employer.
Q: Will I get fired from my job because of my injury?
A: You might. There is no guarantee of employment and unless your job is protected you could be terminated. You may be able to protect your job under the FMLA or request an accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Q: Should I give a statement to an insurance company?
A: It depends whether it is your insurance company or the other insurance company. You have certain obligations to cooperate under the law and your insurance policy. Your lawyer can review the policy and let you know what to do.
Q: Do I need to sign an authorization?
A: Insurance companies generally ask for two types of authorizations, medical and wage. There is no standard form and some companies reach for more information than others. The extent of the authorization should depend on your injury. You do not generally need to sign an authorization for the other insurance company and should read it carefully if you decide to sign anything. Your best bet is to have you lawyer make the decision.
Q: What if I owe more for my car than the insurance company will pay?
A: Whether the insurance company is your company or the other guys it will only pay the actual cash value (ACV) of the car. If you owe more in financing than the ACV than you will owe money to the lender if the car is a total loss. If you purchased gap insurance the difference will be covered. We help our clients with the property loss, generally free of charge.