Included below is a compilation of our top 25 most Frequently Asked Questions. Please review these for important answers to questions you likely have regarding your injury. At Farrow & Pulice, P.A. we believe information is power and the better informed our clients can be, the better their chances for a successful outcome.
What is personal injury
The term personal injury encompasses many situations. This may involve injuries that result from a vehicular accident, medical malpractice, defective products, nursing home neglect, workplace exposure or defective medications. It can also include wrongful death.
What is neglect?
Neglect is where the provider, usually a health care provider, has failed to provide the care they were paid to do. In nursing home neglect, this may mean medications or assistance with daily needs were not given.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death involves cases in which death occurs as a result of an accident or other occurrence. Read more about wrongful death cases and wrongful death lawsuits.
If I am injured, what should I do?
It is important that you document the injury as soon as possible. If the option is available to you, file a report. Try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Read "What to do after the accident".
When should I speak to an attorney?
If possible, seek legal advice as soon as you can after the incident. While we may still be able to help you if your injury is not recent, we are subject to the statute of limitations, or the legal time limit for filing suit.
If the other party or their attorney offers a settlement or requests that you sign a release, it is important that you speak to an attorney prior to doing so. This is a common tactic. You want to be sure that you know the full extent of your injuries, as well as any potential problems you will face, before signing a release.
What is my case worth?
Case values can vary substantially depending on a number of factors including the amount of medical bills incurred, lost wages, the extent of your current injuries, any potential future problems, any liability you may have for the accident and the other party's ability to pay. Our attorneys here at Farrow & Pulice, P.A. will review your case to determine its potential value and the likelihood of a lawsuit being successful.
What damages will be included in my case?
Damages typically include medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, trauma and damage to your property. We also attempt to have the opposing party pay the costs associated with the lawsuit, including our fee.
Will I have to pay anything up front?
In most cases, no. If we feel that you have a strong case, we work on a contingency basis and cover expenses out of our own pocket. However, there are some cases in which you may be asked to cover some or all of the costs associated with your lawsuit. This may occur if you have a weak case.
How much are expenses in a typical case?
This can vary depending on the complexity of your case. In general, filing fees are less than $500 as are depositions. Expert testimony can cost between $300 and $7500. There are also costs associated with investigation, process servers and medical records. We attempt to keep expenses low, but in some cases, they are unavoidable.
What is a contingency fee?
With a contingency fee, we only get paid if your suit is successful. Once the court has found in your favor or we have reached a settlement, our fee will come out of your award. In most cases, it is one third of your award. In some cases, such as highly intricate cases or those in which fees are governed by state law, your fee may be more or less.
In some cases, the court awards legal fees. In this situation, if the awarded fees are equal or greater than the contingency fee, you will receive your full award.
What will I need to do for my case?
You will need to provide us with information on the accident and any potential witnesses. It is important that you keep us informed of your medical condition and any changes. You will also have to answer interrogatories and depositions. It may be necessary for you to be evaluated by other doctors. If your case goes to trial, you will need to be there.
What does it mean to file suit?
This is where we file paperwork with the court on your behalf to begin your court case. We do this after we have exhausted other methods of reaching settlement.
What is the process my case will take?
Initially, we attempt to negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf. If negotiation is not successful, we proceed with filing your lawsuit. Depositions will taken of you, the other party and any witnesses. Just prior to trial, we attempt a mediation conference. If this is not successful, we continue to trial. Your case may be settled at any point during this process, including during the trial.
What are interrogatories?
Interrogatories are written questions given by the opposing party for you to answer.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a formal interview with the opposing party's attorney. Prior to the actual deposition, we will set up a time to prepare you for questions you may be asked. We will likely be deposing the other party and their witnesses as well.
What is mediation?
Mediation occurs prior to going to trial. It allows the opposing parties to attempt to reach a settlement. Each side gets an opportunity to tell their side of the story before a mediator, typically a lawyer or judge. If a settlement is not reached during mediation, the case proceeds to trial.
How long will my case take?
This depends on the complexity of your case. If you are still recovering from your injuries or there is the potential for future problems, we here at Farrow & Pulice, P.A. prefer to have a handle on these before the case is concluded. This is to prevent the possibility of other problems cropping up after you have signed the release and waived your right to future compensation. Typically, in cases of auto accidents, premises liability or basic negligence, you can expect your case to take between ten and twelve months. Keep in mind that this can vary widely depending on your individual case.
Why are we including my insurer if the accident was not my fault?
If you have no-fault insurance coverage, your insurer is required by law to cover a certain percentage of medical bills and lost wages. If the other party had inadequate or no insurance coverage and you have paid for this type of coverage, your insurer may also pay in this situation.
Why do I have to pay a deductible?
This is a common question when a claim is filed against your insurer. Insurers can set a deductible that must be reached before they pay a claim. When you begin your policy, you have the option of setting a lower deductible or none at all. The deductible the insurer charges, if any, is based on this.
What is a letter of protection?
If you have incurred medical bills, but can not afford to pay them, some physicians or hospitals will accept a letter of protection. This ensures you can continue to receive medical care while your case is being resolved or you are fully recovered from your injury. However, it is important to remember that you are still responsible for these bills if your case is unsuccessful.
What is MMI?
After you have received treatment for your injuries, your physician will provide a final statement. MMI is maximum medical improvement or the healthiest point you can reach. In many cases, this can be less than you were prior to your accident. The physician may also assign a permanent impairment rating.
Can you guarantee success?
While our attorneys here at Farrow & Pulice, P.A. review cases to determine the potential for success prior to taking the case, there are no guarantees. Our assessment is based on our experience with your type of case, the actual injuries and previous verdicts in similar cases.
If my suit is unsuccessful, will I owe you anything?
If we are working on a contingency basis, no. We only get paid if you win your case.
The insurance company said I can handle the case myself. Can I?
This is a typical statement by insurers. They prefer that attorneys not get involved as they know attorneys will seek out all possible damages available under the law. They also know that attorneys such as the ones here at Farrow & Pulice, P.A. have the experience and funds to go toe to toe with them.
Can I discuss my case with you before deciding?
We would be happy to review your case to determine the viability of your claim. Call our office to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. Or Submit our FREE Case Evaluation Form and we will contact you.
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