Personal Injury Ins & Outs
Learn generally how engaging with a personal injury attorney in Iowa works. Find out how we interact with insurance companies, Medicaid, and the at-fault party!
How does this work?Every attorney should take the time that the attorneys at Johnston Martineau take to explain how the personal injury recovery process works. First, you don*t pay the attorneys at Johnston Martineau anything until you receive your recovery. The attorneys work on contingency. That means that the attorneys only receive money if they are able to recover money for your injuries. Therefore, if they don*t collect money for you, barring any unusual situation, you owe them nothing! That is important, because if a personal injury attorney requires a fee upfront or requires you to pay for your consultation, then there is a strong likelihood that they don*t believe in the strength of your case. The attorneys at Johnston Martineau will never charge you a consultation fee upfront.
Do I have to sue the other party?You do not have to file a lawsuit to recover money for a personal injury claim. Most of the time, clients receive a money settlement without ever having to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit is typically only necessary under two conditions: 1) to preserve your rights due to an upcoming statute of limitation; or 2) to recover a larger or more expedient settlement. The statute of limitation is a point in time at which a potential plaintiff must claim their rights against another party. In other words, you must either finalize your settlement by that date or file a lawsuit by then. If you do not, you will lose your right to recover anything. If you have been injured, call us to find out if your statute of limitation has passed. Your rights are on the line.
Instead of a lawsuit, the attorneys at Johnston Martineau work with the defendant*s insurance company to negotiate the highest settlement possible. At the same time, the attorneys will work with your health insurance company, Medicaid, Medicare, and all other necessary parties to negotiate a lower reimbursement for your medical costs. The attorneys do this because you are required to pay all other primary insurance and government agencies back money you owe them for your medical care. The attorneys at Johnston Martineau have established relationships with all of those institutions and have successfully negotiated lower bills for many clients. Lowering what you owe those institutions means you receive more money from your settlement. Therefore, come to Johnston Martineau for all of your personal injury needs!
How do I get my money?To prepare for settlement negotiations, the attorneys of the law firm collect information about the incident, your injuries, your medical treatment, your damages, your pain and suffering, and all other information needed to resolve your matter. Next, they consider all the possible available legal theories through which you can recover money against the other party. Then, the attorneys organize your information into a narrative-style document known as a demand letter. The attorneys will work closely with you to make sure all of your injuries are noted and a dollar amount is given to your future medical treatment and pain and suffering. Lastly, the attorneys will send the finalized demand letter to the insurance company.
At this point, four things can happen. First, and most likely, the insurance company responds with a reasonable offer. From there, your attorney will contact you and discuss possible dollar amounts for your recovery. Next with your consent, the attorney hammers out the best settlement possible and available, and then finalizes the agreement for you. A second, possible option is an offer that is low. In that situation, we discuss with the insurance adjuster to figure out how to make a stronger demand. For example, they may find that a recommended course of future medical treatment from a specialist physician versus a chiropractor to be more persuasive. If that occurs, we will work with a specialist physician that suits your needs to develop a stronger demand. Our attorneys have found that every insurance company and every adjuster is different. Such a request from an insurance company is not unusual, but it is also easily remedied and fixed.
Typically, it takes about 30-90 days to hear a response from the insurance companies. As mentioned above, there are two other possibilities. Those last two possibilities are highly unusual from our experience. The insurance company may deny one or more parts of the demand or, they may deny the demand outright. If either of those two responses occur, your attorneys will work with the adjusters to get to the bottom of their denial. Oftentimes, it comes down to them attempting to play hardball. The attorneys of Johnston Martineau are experienced attorneys who know how to get insurance companies to come to the negotiating table. Neither of those last two responses mean the end of your case.
What if we can't settle with the insurance company?If the insurance companies refuse to offer a reasonable settlement, your attorneys, with your permission, will file a lawsuit. Even then, there are many possible outcomes. For example, filing a suit may push the insurance company to the negotiating table. It helps them realize how serious your attorneys are about helping you get the best possible recovery. The attorneys at Johnston Martineau will not give up and the insurance companies know that.
What happens after we settle?After we have finalized your settlement, the insurance company will require you to sign a release. That release is a binding agreement in which you promise to accept their money now in exchange for not trying to get more money from them in the future. We will of course make sure the release is acceptable before you sign it. Next, they send the law firm the money in the form of a check. The firm will deposit the check in to a trust account for a short time in accordance with state law. Next, we will issue checks to you and anyone else that we negotiated your reimbursements with earlier in the process. It is only until after all of those steps that your attorneys get paid. Your attorney has to work hard to earn their fee.
Call the attorneys of Johnston Martineau because they know personal injury law. The attorneys are experts of motor vehicle accident recovery, slip and fall compensation, dog bites, and many other common injuries. We will work hard to make sure you recover the best recovery for you.