Should you seek advice of more than one personal injury lawyer?
Injuy Attorneys are like any other professionals. Opinions can vary between them, while some may be more knowledgeable and experienced than others. It all comes down to confidence and trust.
Does the attorney come off as knowledgeable? Does the attorney instill confidence in you? Do you find the attorney trustworthy?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you probably don’t need to confer with another attorney/firm.
If the answer to these questions is no, or you’re not sure, then by all means consider consulting another attorney/firm.
The key is to make sure you have the right law firm representing you in your case. Car accidents in Phoenix can be complex. Not only are there many variables that are involved, but giving the responsibility to a law firm who doesn't have expertise could harm your case.
Having the right personal injury lawyer will absolutely make a difference in your case.
Are there any signs that point to needing an attorney Or does it depend on the severity of the accident?:
Every case is different, but some factors to consider:
Is fault for the accident clear or is liability being disputed? Is the a police report or incident report confirming what happened?
Has the adverse adjuster accepted liability? Are they fixing your car?
If not, do you have the resources by which effectuate the repair of your vehicle?
Do you have the resources by which to procure any needed medical treatment?
Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions that could possibly be blamed for your post-accident complaints?
Do you have the time and patience to deal with the insurance companies, knowing that their real job is to pay you as little as possible no matter how nice they may initially appear to be?
These are just a few questions that you need to look into on deciding to hire a personal injury attorney, or if you wish to handle the situation on your own.
Yes, you can handle your own car accident, but why not get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer to see what options you really have. It's free. There is no real obligation for a free case evaluation.
ADOT will unveil new plans to combat wrong way drivers in Arizona. The state has seen a huge increase in wrong way driving accidents that have killed seven people and injured 11 in only 6 weeks.
Investigators suspect impairment in all the incidents.
ADOT officials were scheduled to discuss changes in signage at Phoenix-area highway interchanges at an event this morning as part of the agency's efforts to grab wrong-way drivers' attention before they enter the road in the wrong direction, according to a statement from the agency.
Officials are scheduled to discuss changes regarding highway signage to help get the attention of drivers before they make the mistake of getting on the freeway incorrectly.
There were 78 Arizona deaths due to crashes involving wrong-way drivers from 2008 to 2012, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.
ADOT should have started to create a plan for wrong way drivers decades ago. This isn't a sudden trend. This has been happening for years. ADOT really needs to get work hard to keep everyone safe on the roads. Safety is key.
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Motorcycle safety is crucial. Motorcycle riders are well aware of how alert they have to ride. As a rider you must assume that no one can see you on the road. That means you must make sure you ride with care and ride smart.
There are many tips that can help you ride a little safer in this free motorcycle accident infographic. Get to know T-CLOCS. Don't know what that is? Make sure you refer to the graphic.
Your initial contact with a personal injury law office is a two-way street. They will interview you about the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries so see if this is something they can and want to help you with.
At the same time, you will be interviewing them in order to decide if you have enough confidence in this attorney and/or his or her office that you want them to represent you.
The exact nature of the process varies dependent on the attorney and/or firm.
- When you first call in, many firms/offices do an initial screening, often by someone other than an attorney. They gather some basic facts of the accident, that parties involved, how it occurred, your injuries, available insurance coverage (be it auto insurance, commercial liability insurance, health insurance, etc). This initial contact serves several purposes. First, the firm is assessing whether the case has merit. Secondly, the firm uses this information to run a “conflict check,”, to ensure that the firm hasn’t already represented other parties to the same accident in prior cases or even the case at hand.
- Once the conflict is cleared, some firms will have a paralegal or intake rep take over to get more information and/or get you to sign a fee agreement. With some firms, you never meet or even speak to the attorney in this initial meeting. In those cases, the attorney will hopefully follow-up with phone call to at least introduce themselves, review your case, and hopefully set up a personal meeting for the very near future. In other firms, the attorney will conduct most, if not all, of the initial consultation/interview, explaining the fee agreement and process and answering any questions before asking you to sign a fee agreement. Personally, I explain the entire process, including potential problems or issues that may arise. This way, there are no surprises down the line. Also, an educated client is less likely to have unreasonable expectations as their case progresses.
- As far as you are concerned, ask enough questions to make sure the process is fully explained to you. Also ask enough about the attorney, his or her staff, and their policies to ensure that you made the right choice calling that attorney or firm. Remember, just because you call and even meet with an attorney or their staff, you are not obligated to sign with them. An attorney is like a doctor, some are better than others, while some have better bedside manners than others. You want to be comfortable with whom you retain, so do your homework.
This is truly up to you. You need to have confidence that the personal injury attorney you hire is not merely competent, but is empathetic and sympathetic to your situation and needs and is also knowledgeable, skilled and aggressive enough to fight for you, etc.
You may get a good vibe that the first attorney you speak with and/or meet will have all of these qualities and abilities. You may have researched that attorney and/or firm before speaking and/or meeting with the attorney.
They may have already been recommended by a friend or colleague. Under these circumstances, you may be absolutely justified in retaining that attorney without speaking to any other attorney.
On the other hand, you should never feel pressured into signing with the first attorney you meet. When I have a potential client that tells me they are attorney shopping and/or want to meet with another attorney before deciding who to hire, I encourage them to do what feels right for them.
I suggest some things they want to keep in mind when comparing attorneys. I’ve touched on these things before, but they deserve repeating:
How experienced is the attorney you are considering?
How experienced is their support staff?
Is the firm you’re considering an assembly line, with a different person handling every aspect of your claim?
Will the firm handle every aspect of your case? Some firms do not assist with property damage, while other firms do not litigate their own cases.
Does the fee change dependent of the type of case or whether it is litigated? Some attorneys charge discount fees if they can settle your case without litigation but then jack up the fee dramatically if your case requires litigation. Other attorneys charge larger fees for non-auto accident cases, such as premises liability or products liability cases.
What is the attorney’s policy in terms of his/her fees as compared to your potential in-pocket recovery at the end of the case after attorney fees, costs, and medical bills? Many attorneys will take a full fee even if the eventual recovery was capped by inadequate insurance coverage or due to other circumstances which leave the client with far less than the attorney’s fees. Other attorneys will reduce their fee so that their fee does not exceed the client’s in-pocket recovery if the case resolves without litigation.
Does the injury attorney estimate the probable length of your treatment, amount of your medical bills, or probable settlement amount during that initial meeting?
Every person and every case is different, so unless that attorney has a crystal ball or mystical powers, any such suggestions made at your initial meeting is designed to get you to sign on the dotted line.
While I encourage the prospective client to educate themselves and do what they need to do to be comfortable with their decision, I will also advise them if, given the facts of their case, any delays in making a decision could potentially adversely affect their case.
For example, there may be a case where it is critical to make every effort to preserve possible evidence as soon as possible, such as surveillance footage, products, witnesses, etc.
I have found that, more often than not, when I educate the potential client as to what they should consider in hiring an attorney, they usually decide that I have the qualities they are looking for and they retain me at that initial meeting.
Of those that still elect to attorney shop before making a decision, many come back to me after having met with one or more other attorneys.
Remember, the choice is yours! The right Personal Injury Lawyer WILL make all the difference in your case.
The best way to answer this question is to explain the process involved with disbursing settlement proceeds
First and foremost, the injury attorney needs to prepare a “final accounting.” This means that the attorney has to tally up his/her total costs and confirm who is to get paid what amounts from the settlement proceeds.
While many costs are documented as they occur (such as payments out for records, reports), what are often referred to as “soft” costs (photocopies, faxes, postage, long distance phone calls, etc) are often finalized once the case settles. Of course, some firms charge a flat rate for soft costs, in which case it’s not at issue at settlement time.
Who gets paid what from a settlement can be simple, but it can also be complicated. A client is personally responsible for any accident related medical expenses they incur, but not all such expenses necessarily need to be paid from settlement proceeds.
Only those medical providers protected by a “lien” must be paid from settlement proceeds.
Such liens can be consensual (the client signs the lien with the provider promising to pay their bill from any recovery), some can be recorded (the provider files a lien with the County Recorder’s Office), And some can be statutory (such as governmental Health Plans like AHCCCS or Medicare).
The attorney has to confirm balances due to any provider either entitled to payment or that the client wants to be paid. Sometimes the attorney seeks reductions from providers, but the amount of any potential reduction often depends on the amount of the settlement.
Under Arizona law, only certain Health Plans are reimbursable, and some of those might reduce while others will not.
In such circumstances, the attorney first needs a payment ledger from the Health Plan to confirm that all claimed payments were indeed for accident related treatment. This can take some time, especially with certain Health Plans, such as Medicare.
In addition to having all of the above mentioned ducks lined up in a row, the client needs to endorse a settlement check and sign a “release” in exchange for the check.
Once the check is endorsed, it gets deposited into the Attorney’s Trust Account until it “clears,”, a process that takes three to ten business days.
Only after the check clears can everyone entitled to payment be paid from the settlement proceeds, including the attorney and the client.
If everything described above was accomplished before the attorney receives the settlement check and release, settlement proceeds can be disbursed within three to ten days of executing all of the settlement paperwork.
If some of the things described above have not been done by the time the settlement check and release arrive, actual disbursement can be delayed by weeks and sometimes even months.
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Of course, there is no pat answer to this question, as every case is different and fact specific. However, having an injury attorney handle your case is designed to minimize or otherwise reduce your worrying.
A personal injury attorney in Phoenix can help you get needed medical care or car repairs. An attorney can help you find a medical provider that will wait to get paid until your case resolves, thereby relieving you of the stress of paying for medical care as you go. An attorney will handle all communications with an insurance company so you won’t have to.
So what time will you have to spend on your case? You’ll need to spend the time it takes to undergo the treatment you need to resolve your injuries. As such, your time going to and from medical providers will require an investment of some time on your part. Depending on your injuries and treatment, this may involve several appointments a week. However, we can help you find medical care close to your home or work to cut down on travel time.
From time to time we may ask you to provide us information for our follow-up, such as an employer that will be able to verify any time you miss from work as result of your injuries and/or treatment.
Once you’ve completed treatment, we only ask your patience while we gather up medical records, bills, and other documentation to go into a settlement demand package we prepare to submit to the insurance company after we review it with you. Additional patience will be required while we negotiate a settlement of your claim.
Although we like to see you as often as you like, required meetings are minimal. If you prefer, most “meetings” can be conducted over the phone or via SKYPE.
If your case cannot settle and needs to be litigation, there will be more participation required on your part. There will be a pre-litigation meeting where the process, and strategy is discussed. There will likely be one or more meetings during “discovery,” during which you’ll provide written and oral questions. Of course, you’ll need to attend any hearings and meetings to prepare for any hearings.
Typically, a soft tissue injury claim can resolve within six to eight months of the injury date, with the actual time varying depending on your length of treatment. Litigation cases can add another six to twelve months, depending on the type of litigation. More complex cases may not resolve for one or two years, depending again on your treatment, injuries and the complexity of the case, with litigation extending the time on these cases as well.
The important thing to remember is that we take injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless, and until you get paid.
As such we are motivated to move your cases as quickly as possible, but not at your physical, emotional, or financial expense. Zachar Law Firm focuses on you.
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Getting injured can cause an array of different complications. For one, whoever is injured more than likely can't work whch means medical bills are mounting and you have other bills to pay. The insurance company is not responding favorably or not responding at all. You need a lawyer on your side, but lawyers are expensive and you certainly can’t afford one right now.
Question: What do you do?
Answer: Pick up the phone and call an experienced personal injury lawyer
Not all personal injury lawyers are the same. There are lawyers who can handle personal injury cases, and there are experienced personal injury lawyers.
Experienced personal injury lawyers generally have FREE initial consultations. Then, if they decide to accept your case, they will handle it on a “contingency fee”, which means you pay nothing, but rather agree to give them a percentage of your settlement at the end.
In the meantime, they perform all of the investigation, they maintain awareness of your injuries and treatment and give advice when needed and they will pay out costs of the case until settlement.
When the case settles, you give them a percentage and reimburse their out of pocket costs, and you get money for yourself. If the case is not won or no recovery occurs, then you owe the attorney NOTHING.
Zachar Law Firm handles ALL of its cases with FREE consultations and contingency fees only.
Zachar Law Firm only gets paid if there is a settlement or a winning verdict.
Knowing this information, you now also know that there is no reason not to make a free call to find out if you have a good case.
1. Copies of any reports you have regarding your accident, from the police or others;
2. Pictures from the scene or pictures of your injuries;
3. Your auto insurance and health insurance information;
4. Any papers you received at the hospital or from other health care providers related to your treatment;
5. If your claim involves a defective product, it would be helpful to bring the product;
If you don’t have all of the above, you can still meet and determine whether the lawyer is the right one for you. Eventually, your lawyer will need the above items, but they are not required for a first meeting.
At the meeting, the lawyer should be able to fully explain the law relating to your case, the process and procedure that he will take in handling your case and the eventual resolution process of your claim. The lawyer should discuss fees and costs, and be willing to explain the fee agreement for your case.
The more your lawyer understands about the case, the more detailed his explanations can be---so having as much of the above information and documentation will be very helpful for everyone involved.
Hiring a injury attorney in Arizona should not be a painful experience—just the opposite. It should be a huge stress and anxiety reliever for you, knowing that you have an experienced, professional involved to manage all aspects of your case.
Do you get this sense from your lawyer? Do you believe that your lawyer is knowledgeable and has the experience to help you with your claims and the eventual resolution process?
These are important issues for you, and they should be important for your lawyer too.
Do some research, and choose the lawyer that is right for you.