I have the police report that states other party at fault i just need to know is it worth the almost 5k to pay for a lawyer when i have more to pay in med bills and what is the minimum amount the insurance have to pay for bodily injury?
You are entitled to full cost of current and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages (usually as much or more than the "economic" damages -- e.g. cost of medical lost earnings, etc.). Most all personal injury attorneys (including my office) will not charge any fees unless and until the case settles. From the description of your injuries, it would appear that your case may have fairly significant value given the severity of the injuries. It never hurts to speak with an attorney over the phone or in person to determine the possibilities for recovering as much as possible from any and all sources of insurance including the driver's insurance and your own underinsured motorist policy, if you have that coverage.
A personal injury lawyer will take the case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing up front, and the lawyer takes a percentage when the case settles. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement, not your lawyer.
Please seek the consult of a reputable local personal injury attorney. They will meet with you free of charge and advise you as to whether or not you can handle the case on your own or if you will need the assistance of an attorney. There are many factors to be considered that cannot be addressed here, such as what are the defendant's insurance limits? Who paid your medical bills? What kind of insurance coverage do you personally have?
Your best bet is to get a lawyer that is reputable (check to see if they are rated by peer review entities) and ask around your community as to who you should go speak to. There is a tremendous difference between attorneys and the results that can be achieved. Find the best one near your location! Feel free to email any questions you may have.
It's not clear where the estimated $5k attorney fee comes from (1/3 of a policy limit of $15k?). The minimum amount of insurance allowed by law for bodily injury liability is $15k per person, $30k per incident. With the facts you describe, your claim is worth much more than the minimum liability coverage, but its possible that the insurance coverage is higher. There are too many variables for us to tell you whether you will be better off with an attorney if there is already a policy limit offer on the table. In all other situations, I would say you need an attorney and its best to get a free consultation with an injury attorney to evaluate all of the factors before making any decision.
Your question reminds of a saying I heard from a great trial lawyer. It went like this: any lawyer can win a million dollar case - all he has to do is screw up a 10 million dollar case. The moral - no one can tell you what your case is going to be worth at this time, nor can anyone tell you have much insurance is available. You will be much better off consulting with a fair and honest personal injury lawyer. They do exist.
Most if not all states have contingency fee attorneys on personal injury claims which means if they do not recover a settlement or judgment (the difference being a judgment is rendered by a jury) for you then you owe them nothing...no attorney's fees, no costs. Equally, there is no exact formula for the amount on a personal injury claim, and one of the factors will be how much coverage the at fault driver had. That said, a fractured wrist alone is generally worth a considerable amount of money...if you have an attorney. You should immediately consult with a local personal injury lawyer that offers free consultations.
Depending on your state laws, the insurance company can always offer no money. The value of your cases is dependent on how much you could receive by verdict at trial from a jury. This is also dependent on state law.
An attorney will be able to get a higher settlement than you can becuase they are trained and exerienced in providing the insurance adjuster the proper documentation, while not sending documents that are not mandatory by law that will reduce your settlement amount.
Personal injury attornies do not cost money as most work through a contingent fee contract.
Most of us personal injury type attorneys offer free consultations and then if we offer to take a case, and the potential client likes us, we represent the client on a contingency basis - meaning that we get paid from money collected from the "other side." Thus, the only question a victim of a car crash needs to answer is which attorney he or she wants to hire. Free consultations and contingent fees... there really is nothing to fear by calling us.
Also, an attorney will be able to better evaluate how much the case is worth, who should be paying (driver, car owner, employer, etc.), and, thus, get the best recovery for the victim.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
What your are describing is a potential personal injury case. More would need to be discussed to evaluate the liability and damages aspect of your case. Such cases are usually taken on a contingency basis so if you dont recover, there is no fee. My firm (and of course others) take such cases. I would not worry too much about "paying" an attorney at this point. If you have a good liability case and decent damages, a PI attorney would likely take your case. If you would like to discuss this further, I would be happy to discuss it with you.
I would not pay a lawyer $5,000.00 to take your case. In my experience, many lawyers who require a large payment like that on a personal case l are not giving the client a fair shake. It's pretty greedy and/or shady. I, like several of the others who answered your question, would take your case on contingency after a diligent review of the evidence and witness interviews. There is no minimum amount an insurance company has to pay for bodily injury.
It is hard to know whether or not yet need a lawyer. If liability is clear, then the issue is what is the full extent of your injuries. If there is limited insurance on the other side, than you will need to check to see how much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you have. However, in cases where there is clear liability and limited insurance available, you may not need an attorney. But, it is worth exploring first to assess the issues. You should not need to pay a lawyer to do the assessment though.
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