When someone suffers an injury because of another person’s carelessness, recklessness, and sometimes, intentional actions, legal questions abound. We hear them all the time.
Perhaps the most common question we hear is, “Isn’t it expensive to hire an attorney in these cases?”
Trial attorneys that handle personal injury cases are compensated for their legal help. However, that compensation always comes in the form of a contingency fee. This means that the attorney is paid if, and only if, there has been a successful recovery for the client. Put more simply, a personal injury attorney only receives compensation for his or her time when the client receives compensation for their injury. In Connecticut, the specific rate is set by state law and is usually about 1/3 of the gross settlement or verdict amount.
The important thing about this type of compensation system is that the cost of working with some of the very best attorneys in the field is no greater than the cost of working with attorneys who have much less to offer in terms of training and experience. In either situation, the attorney is entitled to the same percentage of whatever they are able to recover for their client.
Another common question we hear is “Since there’s insurance, why do I need to pay a lawyer?” Unfortunately, like everyone else, insurance companies are in business to make a profit. In order to do so, the less these companies pay out in claims, the more they’ll be able to keep in their pockets. Don’t expect your insurance company, or someone else’s insurance company, to willingly pay you the full value of your claim. In fact, many times, the insurance company is working actively to weaken your claim, by using recorded statements against claimants, or broadly worded medical authorizations to pry into a claimant’s unrelated healthcare records.
An experienced personal injury attorney negotiates with the insurance companies on your behalf taking into account current medical bills, current, and future lost wages, potential non-facility medical costs, and the prospect of future treatments in case more problems crop up. What’s more, an experienced personal injury attorney knows that the pain and suffering someone endures is also a recognized, compensable injury in Connecticut. In fact, at trial, a judge will instruct a jury to make an injured person whole by taking into account the pain and the suffering they have endured. As you can imagine, this is a difficult thing to quantify, but an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to give you sound advice and guide you as you decide what to do with your case.
Another common misconception people have is that there will be no harm if they take a “wait-and-see” approach to hiring a lawyer. The best cases are the cases that are built on a solid foundation. Building such a case means accumulating the best evidence available, and also making sure that statements to insurance companies and medical authorizations will not harm a case in the future. Waiting to hire an expert to defend your interests often leads to loss of key evidence (such as surveillance videos), difficulty obtaining key evidence, or handing over harmful evidence to the insurance company.
Additionally, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within a tightly defined time-limit depending on the type of case. Finally – and this point is very important – if you accept any insurance money, or any other offer from an insurance company and execute a release, you forfeit your right to file a lawsuit in the future. Having an experienced attorney on your side- one who’s seen thousands of cases- can be a great asset in knowing what your case is worth.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the carelessness or recklessness of another, call a qualified Connecticut personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected. Our personal injury lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of cases like these.
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to personal injury cases in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you.
The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.