The Denver personal injury lawyers at the Frickey Law Firm understand the challenges faced by injury victims and their families, from costly emergency care to long-term medical expenses to lost wages and beyond.
Our accomplished attorneys also know that insurance companies don’t always offer injury victims the money they need to adequately recover from their injuries. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping victims pursue fair compensation and move forward with their lives. If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries due to the negligence of another, please call 303-237-7373 for your free consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.
Finding a Good Personal Injury Attorney
Having a good lawyer on your side is critical if you or a family member sustained serious injuries due to someone else’s carelessness. Factors to consider when selecting a personal injury attorney include:
- Experience with insurance companies: Most people don’t deal with insurance providers on a daily basis, but successful personal injury attorneys do; insurance companies are aware of this, which is why your chances of receiving a fair settlement are substantially higher with quality legal representation
- Legal knowledge: It’s important to work with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases and has thorough knowledge of the specific laws that apply to your situation, whether your case stems from a motor vehicle accident, defective product, premises liability issue, dog bite or workplace accident
- Medical knowledge: Your attorney should have a detailed understanding of accident-related injuries and the corresponding costs associated with immediate treatment, rehabilitation and long-range care
- Courtroom experience: The best personal injury lawyers are adept at negotiating with insurance companies to achieve fair settlements, but also have the trial experience necessary to take your case to court if a settlement offer is inadequate for your needs
Finally, your attorney should make you feel comfortable and provide peace of mind. A good personal injury attorney will be up-front about legal fees and court costs, clearly explain the process, establish expectations, and help ensure you receive the care you need.
Personal Injury Lawyer Fees
Most reputable personal injury law firms provide representation on a contingent-fee basis. Simply put, this means you pay nothing unless you receive a settlement or court award; legal fees and other expenses are reimbursed at the conclusion of a successful case.
At the Frickey Law Firm, we work diligently to keep your costs low while providing the highest level of attention. We also provide you with a detailed accounting of all fees and related expenses through our straightforward contingent-fee agreement and disclosure statement.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Insurance companies are in business to make profits, and they will often do everything in their power to avoid paying injury victims more than they need to.
Without an attorney, you will likely find yourself facing insufficient settlement offers or pushback from insurance providers. A skilled personal injury lawyer knows how to recover fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages and any related property damage, as well as general damages like pain and suffering when applicable.
Working with a personal injury attorney dramatically improves your chance of achieving fair compensation. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, injury victims backed by legal representation tend to receive significantly larger settlements than individuals who attempt to negotiate a settlement without legal assistance.
Personal Injury Process
Although every personal injury case is different, there are some basic procedural steps that typically remain constant once you’ve made the decision to work with an attorney:
- Investigation: Your lawyer will conduct an initial investigation of your claim, which may include gathering relevant medical records and other documentation, interviewing witnesses, collecting and preserving physical evidence, and collaborating with investigators or other appropriate experts
- Settlement negotiations: After the circumstances of your case have been evaluated and the preliminary investigation is complete, your attorney will engage in negotiations in an attempt to reach a fair settlement; most personal injury cases can be resolved without the need to file a lawsuit
If a just settlement cannot be achieved in a timely fashion, you and your attorney may decide to initiate legal action. The litigation process may then include:
- Complaint and Answer: In this phase, a document (the Complaint) is filed on your behalf that details the circumstances of your injury and the extent of damages; the defendant must then file a document (the Answer) in response that may acknowledge or deny your claims
- Discovery and fact-finding: This is the process in which your attorney and lawyers representing the defendant exchange information with one another in order to establish relevant facts in the case
- Pretrial motions: Many personal injury cases are resolved through pretrial motions, which may ask a court to take a certain action regarding your case—such as dismissing specific claims made by the defendant—based on information gleaned during the discovery step
- Mediation: During the litigation process, mediation may be requested in which the plaintiff, defendant and their respective attorneys meet with a court-approved legal mediator and attempt to arrive at a fair settlement; it’s important to note that mediations are non-binding, and either party is free to accept or reject any settlement offer
- Trial: If the pretrial steps fail to arrive at an adequate settlement, your attorney will present your case in court to a judge or jury
Your lawyer will discuss your individual expectations with you in detail based on the unique circumstances of your case.
How Long do Personal Injury Cases Take to Settle?
Although there are statutes of limitations that dictate how long after you suffer a personal injury you have to take legal action for damages, the actual time frame for reaching a settlement or court decision varies depending on the case.
To ensure the protection of injury victims and to preserve the ability to seek comprehensive financial compensation, attorneys generally prefer to begin settlement negotiations after you reach what doctors call “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). MMI is the point at which an injury victim is discharged from medical care or the medical condition has stabilized such that no additional major improvements can be expected.
Following this stage, it may take one to two months to secure medical records and other necessary documentation, conduct a thorough investigation, and submit a settlement package. The review by the insurance company and subsequent negotiations may then take an additional one to two months before a settlement may be reached or further legal action is initiated; if your case goes to court, an additional 12 months or more may be required to reach a settlement or verdict depending on court schedules and the scope of your case.
Again, each personal injury claim is different; some can be fairly resolved in a matter of months while others require extensive legal action to recover the compensation you and your family need. Your attorney will help you develop an understanding of what to expect based on your individual circumstances and help ensure that you receive the care you need while your case is resolved.
If you were hurt or a family was killed due to the negligence of another, please contact the Frickey Law Firm online or call us at 303-237-7373 for your free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims and their families from Lakewood and the greater Denver area.