Answers to your questions related to personal injury, car accident cases, hiring a lawyer, and lawsuit expectations.
Are you feeling fatigued about life these days? Many of us are in the same boat. We’re living in tumultuous times and the uncertainty is influencing our day-to-day routine. With that in mind, we’re going traditional in this week’s column: FAQs. In prior weeks we’ve covered legal consultations, car accident aftermath, even what constitutes “personal injury” (our area of expertise but very broad, more than just car accidents). Let’s get back to basics: there are tons of questions that come with stepping into the legal world, as a potential client or inquiring mind.
In movies and TV shows, clients may choose to represent themselves. Can I do that?
Can you? Absolutely. Should you? Probably not. There’s a lot that goes into a claim: paperwork, deadlines, communications with insurance companies, court attendances, processing and legal fees. These things are time-consuming and downright inconvenient. If you’re trying to save money or feel your claim is mild enough you can handle it, think of the value of convenience and peace of mind. A lawyer has the contacts, knowledge, and resources to get things done efficiently and correctly. What you think you’ll save in fees you’ll lose in time and sanity (trust us, we know!) and in the end, you’re missing out on the expertise of a lawyer who can help you get the most bang for your buck.
When do I need a lawyer?
An age-old question. A good one, too! When is it too soon or too late? The answer to both is “Never.” Getting ahead of the game is sage advice, as you can prevent a nuisance from turning into a full-blown problem. Likewise, if you’re overwhelmed, it’s never too late to tag someone in to handle what may be getting out of control.
I’m not happy with my current attorney. Can I get a new one?
Absolutely! Don’t ever feel stuck with your current legal representative. The process is frustrating enough without distrusting them. To end their services simply let them know and putting it in writing is always best. They’ll prepare the necessary paperwork. Depending on services rendered and the fee agreement you’ve signed, you may be on the hook for some costs to fully discharge them. Read any agreements and feel free to ask before signing – a just-in-case or what-if scenario. Don’t be intimidated by the process as your new attorney will also guide you on next steps. Legal claims can be exhausting; don’t settle for easy or just okay.
I’m on the fence about my situation – what’s my time limit on filing my case?
Take your time and really think on it. In most cases, you have two years from the date of your injury to file. However, there are some incidents that have a much shorter time frame.
I’ve heard horror stories of lawsuits taking years to resolve! What’s the reality?
The reality is, prepare yourself! There are so many factors at play in the resolution of a case and an honest attorney will never guarantee a timeline. From the opposing party and their counsel, to the court’s availability and deadlines, to your own mindset and patience level, these will all factor into how far you’ll go, want to go, and what it will get you. A seasoned attorney will advise you on the process as each step unfolds.
Rereading this, we’ve barely scratched the surface! There’s even more to cover. Do you have other questions or concerns? Reach out to us! That’s why we write these columns: to educate you and confirm what a good attorney should discuss. If you’re stuck at home a little Q-and-A is good for the brain and in the meantime, put your wellbeing first – and think about giving us a call!