If you have suffered injuries in a car accident or other incident caused by someone else’s carelessness, you may be wondering whether or not you should hire a personal injury attorney. Injury victims are often understandably worried about the cost of attorneys and may not know if hiring an attorney is worth the expense. Others may be concerned about how to pay an attorney when the expenses of medical bills and lost wages are piling up.
No Attorney Fees Unless You Get Paid
Springs Law Group understands that accidents cause unexpected medical expenses and often lead to lost wages or a lowered ability to work. For that reason, we offer contingency fee agreements in which we get paid only if you get paid. Our contingency fees start at the competitive rate of 30%. You pay no up-front fees, and we do not require any retainer under our contingency fee agreements. We also advance most expenses related to handling your personal injury claim.
Adding Value to Your Claim
In addition to the convenience of having a personal injury attorney handle your claim for you, we can also add value to your claim. Unfortunately, the claims and litigation processes often feel like a maze of rules and requirements, like a game in which no one taught you the rules. Springs Law Group lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in navigating that maze, making the correct arguments at the correct time; working with treatment providers and lienholders to maximize not just your gross settlement amount, but the net amount you actual “take home” in your pocket at the end of the process.
As your personal injury lawyer negotiates settlements and prosecutes your claim through the courts, it is important that he or she properly values your case and handles the various aspects of your claim, including:
- Medical bills, including the difference between recovery of billed amounts versus amounts actually paid by you or your health insurer, and the effect of write-offs and contractual adjustments by insurance companies and treatment providers;
- The nature and extent of your injuries and the effects of any pre-existing injuries or subsequently occurring injuries;
- Available insurance coverage, including policy limits, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments (“medpay”) coverage, umbrella policies, and homeowners insurance;
- The other person’s percentage or degree of fault in causing the accident, and the effect of any allegation that you were partially at fault for the accident (e.g., contributory negligence and comparative fault);
- The nature and extent of any permanent injuries or impairment;
- Calculating and proving up past lost wages and future lost wages, and any lowered or diminished ability to earn money in the future;
- Dealing with statutory and common law lienholders, such as hospitals, subrogation rights holders, like health insurance companies, who have a legal claim against your personal injury recovery; and
- Other factors unique to your case, because no two cases are the same.
You may find it helpful to think of hiring an attorney as similar to hiring a mechanic to fix your car. If your breaks down, do you try to fix it yourself, either using knowledge you already have or researching how to fix it? If you are like most people (including us!), you may not know what you are doing wrong until it is too late and you have caused irreparable damage to your car. Other times, your mistakes may be harmless and can be fixed by a professional. Handling a personal injury claim is similar: personal injury attorneys do not possess secret knowledge or superpowers; rather, they have a specific set of skills and experience they bring to bear on maximizing your recovery.
Insurance company employees, like adjusters, may try to convince you not to hire an attorney, pointing out that you have to give a percentage of the recovery to the attorney. But that argument assumes that the attorney cannot get you more, even after paying the attorney. In addition, keep in mind the insurance company’s incentive in lowering what it has to pay out on any given claim. Why would they want you hire someone who can help you take more money from them?
You may be undecided about whether an attorney can help. For this reason, the personal injury attorneys at Springs Law Group offer free consultations to discuss your claim and what we could do to help you maximize your recovery. If we think we cannot add value to your case, we will be up-front and honest with you so that you can weigh your options accordingly.
Searching for Available Insurance Coverage
With the rising costs of health care, it is common to see instances where the medical bills alone exceed the other driver’s insurance coverage. In Colorado, the minimum liability insurance coverage requirement is only $25,000 per person injured and $50,000 per accident. Those numbers might seem high until you consider that an extended hospital stay or surgery can quickly surpass those numbers.
The attorneys at Springs Law Group can help by seeking out other means of payment, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, medical expense (“medpay”) coverage, umbrella policies, and so forth. You might also be surprised that homeowner’s insurance may cover certain acts or injuries, like dog bites and other causes of injury. The experienced attorneys at Springs Law Group can track down these other possible sources of insurance to make sure that you are properly compensated to the extent possible.
Dealing with Insurance Companies and Adjusters
While you probably have little or no experience with personal injury claims, in almost every case the insurance companies and their adjusters have far more experience and superior resources to hire experts to minimize or deny your claims. By hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can level the playing field, so to speak.
In addition, dealing with insurance companies can be unpleasant and time-consuming. There is great value in having someone else deal with them so you can focus on your medical treatment, as well as your other family and work responsibilities.
Finding the Right Treatment Providers
You may find that you do not know what you should do to get proper treatment for your injuries. Of course, we recommend following your treatment providers’ advice, but sometimes you may feel that their treatment is not helping or that you need some other type of additional treatment in a different field of expertise. Other times, you may not be able to afford their treatment. We can help you find competent and well-respected doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other treatment providers for your particular conditions. In addition, we can help find treatment providers who “treat on a lien,” which means you do not have to pay them as you go, but can pay them out of whatever recovery you ultimately get.
Funding Reasonable and Necessary Treatment
Sometimes your doctors or other treatment providers will recommend diagnostic testing or procedures or even surgery that you cannot afford or that is not covered by your insurance. We can help you find appropriate funding for the treatment and make arrangements so that the funding is paid off through whatever settlement or jury award you receive.
Negotiating with Lienholders and Subrogation Rights
Many injury victims do not know or understand when certain treatment providers, like hospitals, must be paid out of their injury settlement or jury award. In addition, almost any company that pays for treatment related to your injury settlement—such as health insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare—are entitled to be paid back out of your settlement or award (called “subrogation rights”). However, there are also rules and exceptions and requests that may apply to lower their claims so you can maximize the amount of compensation you actually get to keep.
In summary, the personal injury lawyers at Springs Law Group can help you maximize your compensation, reduce amounts you have to pay back others, and help you get the treatment you need to recover from your injuries.
Please call us to set up a free consultation to discuss your particular case and what we could do to help you get back on your feet.
Jacob Kimball is a Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from the Ohio State Moritz College of Law, and has been practicing law for 13 years now. Jacob Kimball firmly believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.