In this article, you will discover:
- What to expect from your personal injury attorney
- Why to avoid working with some of the biggest law firms you see on television
While you’re still finishing up your treatment plan with your medical provider, we’re gathering all your bills and records for all the providers you saw before you entered your main long-term treatment plan. As soon as you’re released from that doctor, and they say that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, it usually takes us about 30 days to get the rest of those bills and records. Once we have a complete set of bills and documents, we send everything over to the insurance company as if we’re presenting it to a jury and we give them 30 days to respond. Once we start negotiating a settlement, we’d call the client every step of the way because they’re the ones that give us authority to negotiate, and then they are the ones that tell us when to settle their claim or when to file a lawsuit on their case.
Between getting released, getting the final bills and records, having the insurance company evaluate, and quickly contacting the client thereafter, it can take anywhere from three or four months or less. In a perfect world and best-case scenario, somebody will hire us right after the accident, and then three to four months later, if everything goes well, we can have their case resolved, get their bills paid, and get them settled and with a check in hand.
Realistic Expectations That A Client Should Expect From Their Personal Injury Attorney
It’s a significant red flag upfront if a personal injury attorney tells you what they’re going to get you at the beginning of the case before they’ve even seen any of your medical bills and records and documentation of your injuries. Your attorney should be honest in explaining a timeline of how long it will take your case to resolve. Then, after we get your medical bills and records and we are ready to make a demand, we should be able to give our clients a range of what we expect their case to settle for. And if it doesn’t settle within that range, then plan for litigation. You need to have an attorney that knows the way to the courthouse and has been in litigation similar to yours before them so that they can protect your interests if they’re not able to get the case settled.
An attorney should also give you accurate status updates. If you’re calling, they should be able to tell you that you’re still waiting on bills and records, or they’re still dealing with the health insurance subrogation, or the insurance company still has two weeks to respond. They should have a working understanding of where your case is at in the process. We try to give proactive updates in cases where we’re just waiting on one more provider, or we’re waiting on one more item from the insurance company, and it can get annoying for the client if they keep calling and getting the same update. So, if we get in a situation where we’re kind of stuck, and we’re doing all we can, but we’re waiting on somebody else to do their job, then a proactive update every couple of weeks goes a long way to keep a client informed and updated and satisfied.
The Importance Of Establishing Expectations Upfront And Having A Good Understanding Between The Client And Attorney Right From The Start
Your attorney is your advocate and is on your side. And suppose there’s some expectation that isn’t set early on about how the case will go, a roadmap, a plan. In that case, that advocate and confidante relationship can break down, and it may seem like not only the client is fighting the insurance company but fighting their attorney at the same time. So, one of the things I like to do when I meet a client for the first time in their initial consultation is to go over a roadmap to give the client an idea of what to expect. That keeps everybody happy, and it helps cases get resolved easier if everybody knows what to expect. Our clients also know that they can schedule an appointment with their attorney at any time they have questions.
Why Working With A Major Law Firm May Not Be In Your Best Interest?
The big law firms have a huge budget to advertise on TV. They’re at the top of all the Google search pages, and that’s because they’re looking for significant incidents and accidents. I hate to say this, but potential death cases and huge semi-truck cases support that level of huge advertising. Of course, they do more minor cases too, but they’re looking for those huge cases. Now, some attorneys don’t advertise on TV and are at the top of the Google search results. Like our firm, we’re smaller and still handle that kind of case. We just choose not to invest massive amounts of money in advertising, and we prefer to invest in our staff and prefer to invest in services that help our current clients. So, concerning people on TV, they’re not bad lawyers; they just are budgeting their money differently. And since we’re a small firm too, we’ve got clients that call up here and talk to specific people all day long or just stop by to say hi. We’ve got repeat clients who just stop by at lunch to say hi. It’s just easy for them to come in and know who they’re talking to, see the face to the name on the phone, and feel more comfortable that their case is being taken care of and they’re going to get better from their injuries with our team on their side.
Some of the bigger firms in our state have 150-200 people working for them. Our firm has 11 people. So, it’s easier for our clients to feel at home and know who will answer the phone when they call. It’s easier to talk about confusing and stressful situations like a car wreck claim when you have a relationship or can form a relationship with the people in the office that are working to help you.
For more information on Personal Injury in Arkansas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (479) 337-7077 today.