Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
Q. Does a contingent fee mean that I only pay if I win?
A. Yes. A contingent fee means that your lawyer does not charge you any fee unless you win your case.
Q. Is there a charge to meet with Attorney Gladish?
A. No, initial consultations are always free. Attorney Gladish also will make himself available for the consultation on a date and at a time convenient for the client. This includes setting appointments on the weekends and evenings. Attorney Gladish will also visit the client at home, in the hospital and/or another location, if the client is unable to travel to the office.
Q. Is there a minimum or maximum personal injury settlement amount?
A. There is no minimum settlement amount. The amount of a settlement in a personal injury case depends on many factors, including the nature and extent of the injury, the amount of economic damages (such as lost wages and medical bills) and the amount of time that the injury is expected to last. If you are trying to put a value on your case, the best thing to do is talk to an experienced and competent personal injury lawyer. However, there are maximum amounts depending upon the type of case. Under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, the maximum amount recovery for an act of malpractice is $1,250,000.00. Under the Adult Wrongful Death Act the maximum amount of recovery is $300,000.00 for a person that is not married and does not have any dependents.
Q. Are medical bills included in a bodily injury claim?
A. The term “bodily injury claim” usually refers to a “personal injury claim.” Economic damages include, but are not limited to: lost wages, medical bills and/or rental care expenses. General damages include: pain, suffering disability, humiliation and/or emotional distress. If you settle your bodily injury claim, it must include all the types of damages available to you, or you’ll likely lose your right to recover for those losses.
Q. If my own healthcare insurer pays my medical bills, do I have to repay them out of my settlement?
A. Most health insurance policies now have a “subrogation clause” that allows the insurance company to be repaid out of your settlement with the insurance company for the person who caused the accident. However, health insurance companies also must discount the amount it is to receive from the total amount of medical bills. An experienced lawyer can often get your healthcare insurer to take a reduced amount or waive their claim entirely.
Q. Who will pay the expenses associated with my case?
A. The Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. pays the expenses involved with filing your case with the Court. Other expenses that will be paid include depositions, expert fees, costs of developing exhibits for trial and so on. If the Plaintiff were to lose the claim, the Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. would make no claim for reimbursement of these expenses. If there is a recovery, the expenses are paid out of the Plaintiff’s portion of the recovery. Evidence of these expenses will be provided to the Plaintiff and included in the statement of settlement prior to distribution of any settlement proceeds.
Q. How long will my case take to complete?
A. The length of time needed to resolve a case is very uncertain. Prior to even attempting to resolve a case, the Plaintiff needs to have completed their medical care and treatment, or at least know what their prognosis is for the future. At that point in time, a value can be placed upon the case. Once we have a value, negotiations with the Defendant’s insurance company may begin. If the insurance company makes an unreasonable offer, the case may have to be presented to a jury. Thus, the Plaintiff’s condition, the insurance company and the Court’s calendar often affect the time necessary to resolve a case.
Q. Can I set up meetings with my attorney when I have questions about my case?
A. The Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. will meet with a client as often as necessary to ensure that the client is satisfied with the representation being provided. If a client’s questions are not being answered, the attorney is not adequately representing the client. Attorney Gladish makes himself available to clients not only during the day, but also evenings and weekends.
Q. Who determines whether or not a case will be resolved?
A. The Plaintiff and Defendant’s insurance company have the most input in resolving a claim. The Plaintiff, through their attorney, will make a demand on the Defendant’s insurance company. The insurance will then provide a response to that demand. This process may go back and forth several times. However, there will be a point reached when one or both sides decide not to make any other offers to resolve the case. At that point in time, the Plaintiff in consultation with their attorney must decide whether or not to accept the Defendant’s offer. If the case is not settled, a jury will decide the amount of compensation a Plaintiff is entitled to receive from the Defendant.
Q. Do I get a copy of my settlement statement?
A. Yes, and you should. As a client, you are to receive a copy of the settlement breakdown sheet before your settlement is finalized and sign off on the distribution of funds.
Q. Do I have a case?
A. This is a question that many clients have as it relates to a loss they have sustained. The only way to answer this question is to schedule a meeting with the Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. so that you may discuss your case with Attorney Gladish. Attorney Gladish will listen to you, review documents and answer your questions. Attorney Gladish will then tell you if you do indeed have a case. This meeting and discussion comes at no charge to you.
Q. What if I have a case that the Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. does not handle like a criminal or family law case?
A. The Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. is happy to help clients find an attorney that specializes in the area of law that Attorney Gladish does not handle. This ensures that clients of the Law Office of David Gladish, P.C. always receive quality representation.