If you have been injured in a car accident, Rodli, Beskar, Krueger and Pletcher, S.C. has the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and see that you are fairly compensated in the following areas:
- Lost wages compensation (past)
- Lost wages compensation (future)
- Medical bill compensation (past)
- Medical bill compensation (future)
- Pain and suffering compensation (past)
- Pain and suffering compensation (future)
We represent people in claims of all the these types in order to get them compensated for their losses for medical expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering. What follows is a very brief summary of the process we follow once we have been asked to represent a person on their personal injury claim.
The first step in the process is to evaluate the chances of success on your claim. We will collect the facts surrounding your injury. The facts in some cases are obvious. If you were rear ended at a stop sign, there will be no doubt about responsibility of the other driver.
Any investigation which may have been done will be checked out, potential witnesses will be contacted, and photographs will be taken where appropriate. Any necessary information from employers, schools or other persons will be obtained as necessary.
After the appropriate investigation, we will discuss with you the strengths and weaknesses of your claim and the advisability of pursuing it. We may be able to do this at our first meeting, or it may take more time on a more complicated claim.
You will not be charged any fees to discuss your case with us. If your case has merit, you will be given the option of a contingent fee or an hourly fee. A contingent fee means that the legal fees will be a percentage (usually one-third) of the amount recovered for your injuries payable at the time of settlement. There would be no fees if we were not successful in reaching a settlement or winning at trial. Under an hourly arrangement, fees would be billed at an hourly rate based upon the time that the attorneys and support staff spend working on your case. Your attorney can explain these options to you in more detail.
Evaluation of damages:
Letters will be sent to all involved health care providers requesting information regarding your condition.
It is important to know that no case is settled until the damages have all been determined and all investigation has been completed. It generally takes several months to gather the necessary information. Time may also be needed in order to determine the long term effects of your injury to allow for treatment and healing. If a trial becomes necessary, it can take longer to complete the case. One of the most important requests we must make of you is to have patience.
As soon as our investigation is completed and all necessary information obtained, we will make an evaluation of your case, and contact the insurance company to determine if they are interested in entering into serious negotiations.
Starting a lawsuit:
If settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, we will consider the advisability of filing a lawsuit. In some cases, however, it is important to start a lawsuit as soon as possible.
A lawsuit is started by delivering to the other party a document called a Complaint, which indicates that the party is being sued as a result of your injury. The other party is called a defendant. The defendant submits these papers to his insurance company, which then delivers them to its lawyers. The lawyers then file a document called an Answer and, at that point, the case is ready to move forward.
We want to point out that although a lawsuit may be started, settlement is always possible and is very often made just before trial.
Once the lawsuit has been started, both sides have the right to obtain information about the case by discovery depositions and interrogatories.
Discovery deposition is the testimony of some party or witness given under oath in the presence of attorneys for both plaintiff and defendant, and before a court reporter who takes down the testimony.
Interrogatories are written questions which either attorney may submit, and which have to be answered in writing under oath.
We may use both interrogatories and depositions to help us investigate the facts. The defendant’s attorneys also have the right to take testimony and submit interrogatories.
Under the laws of the State, there are no longer any secrets in lawsuits. The attorneys for both sides take depositions and submit interrogatories to assist them in finding out all of the facts. At any time throughout this period, the possibility of settlement may come up again and we will endeavor to discuss settlement as we move along. If anything concrete occurs in any of these discussions, we will advise you promptly. Many courts now require mediation, which often results in settlement without going to trial.
The majority of cases do not go to trial. Often, however, they are settled just a few days before the trial date. If your case cannot be settled for a fair amount of money, we will proceed to trial. Before we go to trial, the few weeks before the trial date are spent in detailed preparation of your case. What is expected of you at trial will be explained to you in detail well in advance of your going to the courthouse.
This information is intended to be viewed as general information. Your individual situation or needs require consultation with the advice of an attorney. We are here to help you today.