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Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you were in a minor car accident and you were not injured, or your injuries are minor (just a few visits to the doctor were required), you probably don’t need a lawyer. But if the damage to your car was significant (e.g., over $3,000) and your injuries were more than minor, it’s a good idea to at least talk to a personal injury lawyer. Our firm provides free consultations, so there is nothing to lose. Also, because of how we’re paid, you can rest assured that we won’t take your case unless we are confident that we will be successful in getting more for you. That’s because we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing upfront to hire us, and we only get paid if we win your case. You can read more about how we’re paid here.

Examples of “more than minor injuries” are:

  • You went to the emergency room or urgent care.
  • You suffered a concussion (possible symptoms: headaches, blacked out, dizziness, dazed, confusion, nausea, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light or sound, difficulty finding the right word, memory loss, etc.).
  • You have neck pain with radiating numbness and tingling down your arms, or low back pain with radiating numbness and tingling down your legs.
  • It’s been a month since the accident and your pain is not getting better.

The reason you need a lawyer if your injuries were more than minor is that your claim has more value. Insurance companies don’t like to part with their money. The more value your case has, the more the insurance company will fight to pay you as little as possible. If your injuries were serious, there is more at stake, and you should have the protection of an experienced car accident attorney who will fight to get you maximum compensation.

After a car accident, you are entitled to compensation for:

  • Property damage
  • Rental car costs
  • Medical bills (past and future)
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering

Our job is to get you as much money as possible. To maximize the value of your case, our attorneys will make sure you get the medical treatment you need so that all of your injuries are diagnosed. It’s also important that there are no delays or gaps in medical treatment. Delays or gaps will be used against you by the insurance company, which will argue that if your injuries are serious, you would have sought treatment right away.

You may think that you don’t need to hire an attorney because the other driver admitted fault. That is incorrect. Admitting fault is only half of the battle. The other half is getting full value for your case. Even if the other driver’s insurance company accepts admits liability, the adjuster will still try to shortchange you with a lowball settlement offer. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Your injuries may affect you for the rest of your life. You may need future medical treatment. You should protect yourself by at least running your case by a car accident lawyer.

Our personal injury lawyers are available 24/7 for a free consultation. We’ll give you our honest assessment as to whether you need a lawyer. Even if your case is too small for us to take on, or you were at fault for the accident, we are happy to give you free advice.

I Can’t Afford Medical Treatment

You were injured in a car accident and can’t afford to see a doctor.

You may have questions about what to do now:

  • Will the other driver’s insurance company pay for my medical treatment up-front? No. Only after you reach a settlement with the insurance company will they pay you for the medical bills you incurred.
  • I have health insurance, but will health insurance cover medical treatment if it is related to an accident? Yes, your health insurance will apply, regardless of whether the treatment is related to a car accident. Some medical providers will incorrectly tell you that your health insurance won’t apply, but they are wrong. Know that if you receive a settlement from the other driver’s insurance carrier, your health insurance company will likely demand reimbursement for any accident-related medical treatment they paid for. If you receive no settlement, you do not have to reimburse your health insurance carrier.
  • I have health insurance but can’t afford the co-pay or deductible. What should I do? If you hire a personal injury lawyer, your attorney can refer you to a medical provider who can treat you on a lien basis. A “lien” means that the doctor agrees to wait to be paid until the case settles.
  • I have no health insurance and I need medical treatment due to a car accident. What should I do? A car accident attorney can set you up with a lien medical provider. That means you can get medical treatment right away, without paying for it now. When a doctor treats you on a “lien,” the doctor is agreeing to be paid out of the settlement.
  • If I treat with an attorney-referred doctor on a lien, and then I lose my case, am I still on the hook for the lien doctor’s medical bill? Technically, yes. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer, before setting you up with a lien doctor, will first vet the case to make sure (1) that the attorney feels confident that liability on the other driver can be established, and (2) that there’s enough insurance to cover your medical bills. Thus, it is critical that you hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims.

If you were injured in a car accident and can’t afford to see a doctor, call our office for a free consultation. We will explain your options and guide you in the next steps. Don’t let critical time pass without getting your injuries treated and documented, or the value of your claim may be negatively affected.

Should I Go to My Own Doctor?

You were injured in an accident and don’t know what to do about medical treatment.

Here are a few questions you’ve probably asked:

  • Will the other driver’s insurance company help me get medical treatment? No. Do not let valuable time pass while waiting for the other driver’s insurance company to set you up with medical treatment. It will not happen.
  • Should I go to my own doctor? Sure. If you have your own doctor and are comfortable with that doctor, and they can get you in, that’s a good option. Because the doctor’s practice is not focused on treating car accident victims, make sure that the doctor notes in your chart all symptoms you have experienced since the accident, even if they’ve gone away by the time of the visit. For example, if you had headaches, dizziness, or nausea right after the accident, it’s important that the doctor notes those symptoms in the chart. Why? Because you may have suffered a concussion, and if those details aren’t noted in your medical records early on, the insurance company may dispute that you suffered a concussion.
  • Is it better to hire an attorney and go to a doctor that the attorney refers me to? Going to an attorney-referred medical provider after an accident is a great option that has many benefits:
    • Generally, an attorney-referred doctor can get you in right away. Delays in getting medical treatment and documenting your injuries will hurt the value of your case.
    • Your lawyer can find a doctor whose office is convenient for you.
    • An attorney-referred doctor has experience treating car accident victims and will know how to write a medical report that will be helpful in your legal claim. They will also know the types of tests to order, which will document your injuries for your case. Identifying and diagnosing your injuries increases the value of your claim.
    • An attorney-referred medical provider will work on a “lien” basis, which means the doctor agrees to wait to be paid until the case settles.
    • Once your case settles, attorney-referred medical providers are usually willing to reduce their bills, which means more money in your pocket.

If you were injured in an accident and don’t know where to treat, call our law firm for a free consultation. Our lawyers are available 24/7. Even if you decide not to hire us, or if we can’t take your case, we will give you free advice.

What is My Case Worth?

Right after an accident happens, no lawyer can accurately predict the value of your case. That’s because the value depends on many things that may not immediately be known right after an accident.

Some of those unknowns are:

  • Is liability clear or disputed?
  • Extent of your injuries
  • Whether you will suffer future pain and emotional distress due to the accident
  • Amount of your medical bills
  • Amount of your lost earnings
  • At-fault party’s insurance policy limit
  • Your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy limit

If you call a law firm right after an accident and the firm does give you a case value, it only means the law firm is saying what you want to hear so that you’ll hire them. Clients hire McGee, Lerer & Associates because they want lawyers they can trust. We will be honest with you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. We’ll give you an honest appraisal of your case and a realistic timeline.

We know that after an accident, you can be scared, confused, and not know what to do. We’re here to help guide you through the process and get you maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation.

How Long Will It Take?
If you were injured in an accident, you may be under financial stress and need to know how long it will take until your case settles. You may need money now to pay for a new car or pay medical bills. Maybe you can’t work due to your injuries and need money for food and rent. Bills can pile up quickly after an accident.

The length of time it takes for a case to settle will vary. The general rule is this: When you’re done receiving medical treatment, we collect all of your medical bills and records, and documentation of any lost earnings, and submit a settlement demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company. They respond about 30 days later with a settlement offer.

Many factors can impact the case timeline, such as:

  • The length of time you receive medical treatment.
  • The other driver’s policy limit. If it’s obvious right away that your claim is worth more than the defendant’s policy limit, then his or her insurance carrier may offer you the policy limit right away.
  • The amount of your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy limit.
  • The number of injury claimants. If there are more than two claimants making claims against one driver’s policy, the insurance company may hold back settling with any individual claimant until all claimants are done treating.
  • If there’s a liability dispute, then a lawsuit may have to be filed, which would lengthen the timeline.

We don’t want to rush the case if we don’t have to. It really depends on what our client wants. If our client tells us they need the case settled ASAP, then we’ll handle the case and make decisions with that goal in mind. If our client is not suffering immediate financial distress, then our focus will be on maximizing case value. We do that by making sure that our client treats with the appropriate medical providers, including specialists, so that all injuries are documented.

Every case is different, and every client’s needs are different. It’s important that you communicate your needs to us so that we can handle your case in a way that meets your needs while allowing us to get you as much money as possible for your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.

I Have a Lawyer, But I’m Not Happy with the Firm

You’ve already hired a personal injury law firm, but you are unhappy with the service they are providing. What now?

Do any of these complaints sound familiar?

  • You never actually speak with the attorney; you only speak with case managers or assistants.
  • You never get a call back.
  • You never speak to the same person twice.
  • When you do speak to someone, they know nothing about your case.
  • You never get updates on your case.
  • It’s been weeks and your car has still not been repaired.
  • Your lawyer is providing no guidance on medical treatment.
  • You’re not happy with the settlement offer the lawyer is trying to get you to take.

If these complaints sound familiar, you should seek a second opinion on your case. At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we provide free second opinions. We’ll ask you the questions we need to know, and then we’ll give you our honest assessment as to whether your lawyer is handling the case the way it should be handled. If we think the firm is not doing a good job for you, we’ll tell you that. If you do decide to change attorneys, it costs you nothing additional. You still only pay one attorney fee, when the case settles. That one fee is then divided between the first law firm and the second law firm, based on the work done by each firm. The attorneys work out that fee division.

If you suffered serious injuries in an accident, you’ve got one chance to get it right. Your settlement may need to last you and pay for medical treatment far into the future. You want the best attorney on your side. You want a lawyer that is experienced, trustworthy, and really cares about you. There’s a reason our law firm has great reviews. We know what we’re doing, and we do it well. Call McGee, Lerer and Associates for a free second opinion if you have lost confidence in your current attorney.

What If My Injuries Affect me for the Rest of My Life?

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The Police Report Isn’t Ready

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