Want to read some confessions and insights from a long-time truck accident attorney?
As a long-time truck accident attorney, I’ve been asked a lot of questions over the course of my career. Here are the ones I hear the most (and a few of the ones I wish more people would ask):
Am I Going to Win?
This is probably the most common question I’ve received during the course of my practice. Unfortunately, it’s also the wrong one. When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, there really isn’t a “win” scenario. Rather, there’s an optimal outcome where you receive the compensation you deserve for the time, trouble, distress, pain and lost wages caused by the accident. The better question here is “What can I expect in terms of compensation?”
How Will I Pay the Bills I Have Now?
Lawsuits and settlements aren’t the speediest of processes, so it’s natural for clients and their families to get nervous about mounting medical bills. However, depending on the facts of your case, your attorney should be able to help you set your expectations regarding the outcome and map out a strategy to help you deal with the bills in the interim.
How Much Is This Going to Cost Me?
The answer to this question depends entirely on your case, the facts, and the billing practice of the attorney in question. Some will simply charge a flat fee, while others will bill hourly. Some require a retainer up front, and others will work for a portion or percentage of the dollars they recover on your behalf. Whatever the case, ask and understand the billing structure up front; it’ll save you headaches and misaligned expectations in the long run.
Is All the Hassle Worth It?
A similar and related question to this is, “Shouldn’t I just take the insurance payout?” And the answer depends entirely on the particulars of your case. Depending on the laws of your state, and how fault is determined, you may not have much of a case worth fighting for. Your attorney should be frank with you about the options, and set your expectations right up front. But even if you don’t have a case, an attorney may be able to negotiate a better settlement from either the insurance company or trucking line. It’s important to remember that litigation isn’t the only way to get what you deserve.
What Should I Expect During the Process?
Ok, here’s a confession: this is the one I WISH my clients would ask. Regardless, I inform them all that this isn’t like TV. Lawsuits and settlements take time in the real world, and they can expect to spend months (even years!) grinding their way through the process. It’s not impossible, but it does require patience and staying the course.
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