Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury and About Our Firm
“How do I get the insurance company to pay for my injuries?”
This depends on the type and size of your claim. Insurance companies are known for dragging out the process. They may start by saying they don’t owe you one cent. They may even say you caused your own injury. If you convince them that they should pay your claim, they’ll invent dozens of reasons to delay. After all, they figure the longer they wait, the happier you are to settle for even a small amount.
The first thing you should do is call me. I’ll ask you a few simple questions over the telephone. Then I’ll explain how to protect your legal rights and the steps we should take to make the insurance company pay you the money you deserve.
“The insurance adjuster said I don’t need an attorney. Is that true?”
No. Insurance adjusters are paid – and sometimes given bonuses – for getting you to accept a very small amount of money for your injuries. I highly recommend that you choose an experienced injury attorney who is focused on your best interests. In fact, I recommend that you not even talk with the insurance company until you have an attorney representing you.
“The insurance company is offering me a good settlement. Shouldn’t I just accept it?”
No. It is almost always a mistake to accept a settlement without first talking with an experienced personal injury attorney. Once you agree to a settlement, you lose any other rights you might have. That’s why it pays to talk with an attorney first. For example, you could find out six months down the road that your injuries are causing other problems. If you have already settled your case, you cannot open it again. Your file is closed.
“I want a lawyer who works full time negotiating with insurance companies. Is this your primary area of practice?”
Yes. I limit my law practice to serious injury and death claims against insurance companies. These are the type of claims I handle most often:
Auto Accident Cases. Trucking Accidents, 18 Wheelers. Pedestrian Accidents. Construction Site Accidents. Brain and Spinal Injuries. Injuries to Children. Nursing Home Abuse. Wrongful Death.
“How much do you think my case is worth?”
It’s impossible to answer this question until I evaluate your case. However, I may be able to give you an estimated range based on the facts and circumstances of your situation.
Factors that determine the value of your claim include: • how severe your injuries are • whether your injuries are permanent or temporary • whether you earn an income and support others • the cost of your medical treatments whether you have pain and suffering • whether you or the other party was negligent, and • whether you’ll need lifelong care.
I have a great deal of experience handling injury cases because I’ve been evaluating cases and representing seriously injured people for 36 years.
Please feel free to call or e-mail me and I will be happy to give you the benefit of my experience and offer you a free, no-obligation consultation.
“Will I have to go to trial to collect the money I deserve, or can we settle out of court?”
Most of the accident claims I handle settle without going to court. However, there are times when you will likely get better results if we do go to court. You and I will make this evaluation together. I am prepared to take whichever path will better serve you.
“I need help finding the right doctor. Do you know experienced doctors I can go to for treatment?”
Certainly. Over the past 37 years, I’ve worked with many of the top doctors in Texas. I’ll be glad to help you find the doctor who is most likely to help you improve your condition – and help document your insurance claim.
“What happens if I need expert witnesses and investigators? Can you help with them, too?”
Yes. I can find qualified, experienced professionals I depend on in many different fields. No matter which professionals we need, I’ll take care of everything.
“What level of success do you achieve for your clients?”
I can’t put that into a percentage, but the fact that I’ve represented plaintiffs and worked with insurance companies for 37 years is evidence that I have in-depth experience. I have tried over 50 jury trials both in civil and criminal law, in State and Federal Courts. I have represented a large number of plaintiffs in wrongful death cases. And I even represented the Federal Government in complex banking cases. So I am no stranger to the courtroom.
In addition, I am a member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, and American Bar Association. And the international legal directory Martindale-Hubbell awarded me an AV Preeminent® rating, which ranks me “at the highest level of professional excellence.”
Certainly not all cases have high values. And, on the other hand, a case that you might think isn’t worth much could wind up being worth a great deal. It depends on the facts in the case — and on the experience of the lawyer evaluating those facts.
“I need help in rural Texas. Can you help me outside your local area?”
Yes. If your case involves serious injury or death, I will gladly represent you anywhere in Texas. Let’s talk about your injury and if I can help you, distance won’t be a problem.
“How do you charge for your services?”
I work on a contingent fee basis. This means I do not collect any attorney’s fee or recover any costs unless you win the case and you collect money. I will never ask you for a retainer or any money up front.
Here is how I calculate fees for most cases:
- If your case settles before filing a lawsuit, I collect (33 and 1/3 %) of the gross amount of money we recover, plus expenses incurred to develop the case.
- If we have to file a lawsuit, I collect (40 %) of the money we recover, plus expenses incurred to develop the case. In a personal injury case I will never ask you for a retainer or for any money upfront.
“Do you charge me to review my case?”
No. I’ll gladly review your situation and discuss your claim at no cost.
“When can we start?”
Right now, if you like.
Just call me at 713-869-7030 and let’s talk about your injury over the phone. Or drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set a time for a phone appointment.