Question: Are there any special documents I should bring to my first meeting with my personal injury attorney?
A: You should provide your attorney with as much information as possible. If your attorney has more information, he will be better able to properly inform you of your legal rights. You will need to bring all documents related to your case. The accident report is a very important document that you should bring with you to your attorney. Article by Attorney David Slepkow (401) 437-1100.
Also, if you have any eyewitness statements or medical records or doctor’s reports, you should bring them to your attorney. If you have photos of any accidents or injuries, bring those photos to the lawyers’ meeting. If you do not have documents, your attorney can collect them for you.
Question: What type of information will an attorney ask for during my initial consultation in my Rhode Island personal injury or auto accident case?
Answer: Your attorney will ask for general information about your medical care. The surrogate will attempt to compile a list of the names and addresses of all attending physicians and medical providers. This includes physical therapists, chiropractors, visiting nurses and other healthcare providers. The attorney may also ask you for a list of previous providers.
Question: What usually happens in the first consultation:
A: The personal injury attorney you choose will tell you if you have a valid legal claim. If you decide to hire the attorney, the attorney will ask you to sign an engagement agreement. An employment agreement is an important legal document that lawyers must obtain. During an initial consultation, it can be difficult for your attorney to tell you the value of your case. The value of your case depends on many circumstances, including the amount of your medical bills, and the nature and extent of any pain and suffering. The value may depend on whether your injury is permanent, whether there is a period of partial or total disability, whether there are any disfigurements, scars or other bodily injuries and the amount of your lost wages, etc.
After you have completed your treatment or reached a certain point in your treatment, the attorney will provide the insurance adjuster with a billing request and all related medical records and documents. If the insurer believes the claim has merit, and the insurance adjuster and attorney can agree on a figure, the case is settled out of court. Although the lawyer will try to resolve the case, if the case is not resolved, the lawyer will prepare the case to go to court.
Q: What is necessary to have a valid personal injury case?
Answer: You have a potential cause of action for personal injury if you were injured as a result of the negligent or willful act of another person or entity. Bodily injury is not always required to file a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits can be filed for damage to your reputation or intentional emotional distress.
Q: What exactly is a settlement in a personal injury case?
A: If you settle a Rhode Island personal injury car accident or slip and fall case, you agree to receive a payment in exchange for not pursuing a personal injury case against the person or entity or dismissing the personal injury case against the person or entity. If the case settles, you will be required to sign a release releasing either party from any future liability they may have. To determine whether you should accept a personal injury settlement, your attorney will need to evaluate the amount of damages you have suffered, your likelihood of winning your case at trial, and any other factors the attorney deems appropriate.
Settlement can be reached at any time before or after litigation is filed and at any time before a jury verdict. Cases can even be settled after trial if the case is appealed.
At Slepkow, Slepkow & Associates, Inc., our firm belief is that the client decides whether to accept a personal injury settlement. We will be sure to help you make a decision by providing all the basic information and answering any pertinent questions you may have. We usually make recommendations on whether the settlement is fair. We always let our clients make the final decision on whether to accept a personal injury or auto accident settlement.
Question: What if I am not satisfied with the attorney handling my case? Do I have the right to hire a new attorney in Rhode Island? If I hire a new attorney, will he pay for the legal services provided by the old attorney?
A: In Rhode Island (RI), if you are not satisfied with your legal representation with an attorney, you have the right to get a new attorney at any time. Your old attorney may have a statutory lien on your personal injury case. If you win or the case settles, your original attorney will be entitled to payment for the legal services he provided you. However, after you get a new surrogate, you do not need to pay the old surrogate. When your case is resolved or you receive funds from a judgment, the old and new attorneys will split the contingent legal fees equally. In other words, if you hire a new attorney, you won’t spend extra money. The old and new surrogates must agree on a fair share that the old surrogate receives.
Question: Is it a good idea to wait a while before I hire a lawyer?
A: You should contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney immediately after the accident. It is not a good idea for a person to deal with an insurance adjuster regarding their personal injury or auto accident claim.
Question: Do I need to provide a statement of record to my insurance company upon request?
A: There is no law requiring you to provide the insurance adjuster with a statement of record. However, if the insurer is your own, you may be contractually obliged to provide a statement of record. You should not make any statements unless you are legally represented and you should obtain a copy of the transcript.
Question: What types of cases are typically handled on a contingency fee basis?
Answers: Auto/Auto Accidents, Slips and Falls, Trips and Falls, Site Liability, Bicycle Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Boating Accidents, Truck Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Wrongful Death, Uninsured or Underinsured, Motorist Claims, Intentional Emotional distress, dog bite claims and more
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