Personal injuries are expensive. There is no getting around that fact. Many of our clients are shocked at the large medical bills and car repair estimates they receive following a crash or other accident. These folks are already living paycheck to paycheck, and now they feel so much pain they can’t go into work. It’s not an exaggeration that some people are pushed to the brink of bankruptcy following an accident. What can they do?
With money tight, many victims simply assume they can’t afford a lawyer. They wrongly assume they will need to negotiate their own settlement for the collision or incident that sent them to the hospital, and they call insurance companies asking for forms to fill out, which they don’t really understand.
At Larson & Gallivan Law, we have represented accident victims like you for decades. The fact is that you can afford our services. Below, our Glens Falls personal injury lawyer gives you all the reasons you should contact our firm today.
You Can’t Afford NOT to Have a Lawyer
We can’t say this enough. If you hope to receive a settlement, you absolutely need an attorney. We don’t care how obvious it is that someone else was at fault for injuring you. Many accident victims get taken for a ride because they are too trusting of insurance companies and don’t have qualified legal counsel looking out for them.
- You might leave compensation on the table.
Do you really know how much your injuries are worth? If the answer is “no,” then you cannot effectively negotiate on your own. For example, someone with a burn on their face might have needed $10,000 in medical care. However, the emotional distress you feel also deserves compensation, as does the physical pain.
Most victims do not realize they can request money for pain and suffering, including mental anguish. But compensation for these non-economic losses often make up a majority of any settlement. Let an experienced attorney evaluate your claim so you aren’t settling your claim for a fraction of what you deserve.
- You probably can’t negotiate effectively.
Insurers love to see injured victims without legal representation. Their thinking is, “We can outlast this person.” As a result, you might find that the insurance company has delayed their investigation, or they aren’t returning your phone calls. When you submit a demand, they take months to even respond, and they categorically reject what you think is fair compensation.
Having been in the personal injury trenches for decades, we know how insurers think. They are trying to put pressure on you. If you can’t work, you are probably in dire need of money to cover your mortgage or rent and buy groceries and other necessities. Insurers know this. And they know that desperate people might accept any settlement, even a low amount.
An attorney can push back on these delaying tactics. In fact, some of this behavior might qualify as bad faith under New York’s insurance laws, and we will remind them of this fact.
- Bringing a lawsuit is harder than it looks.
If you can’t settle, then your only shot of getting compensation is to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. Judges won’t take it easy on you and let you slowly learn the law. You are expected to know all court procedures and evidentiary rules, just as a lawyer would.
New York has a small claims court, for those cases that are worth no more than $3,000 (or more than $5,000 in some cases). These courts have simplified procedures so you don’t need a lawyer. But you can’t sue for pain and suffering, and $3,000 or $5,000 is not a lot of money. Most accidents cause much more economic loss in terms of medical care and lost income, so you are better off hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer.
We Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
The lawyers at Larson & Gallivan represent our personal injury clients on a contingency basis. What does this mean, exactly?
Traditionally, lawyers billed by the hour, or 10- or 15-minute increments. This means that every day the lawyer would add up how much work they did for you. At the end of the month, they sent a bill to their client. This is how divorce lawyers and criminal defense attorneys still operate, so it might be the arrangement you are most familiar with.
Contingency fee agreements are different. Your lawyer will not charge any legal fees upfront. Instead, you and your attorney agree that the lawyer will take a percentage of any settlement or court award if they win your case. Most agreements call for 33-40%, depending on several factors.
This means that if your lawyer doesn’t win, you end up owing nothing. And if you win, then the lawyer simply takes a portion of your settlement, and you should get the rest. It really is that simple.
Contingency Fee Agreements Have Many Benefits
Here is how a contingency fee agreement will benefit you:
- We assume the risk. If for some reason we can’t win your case, you owe us nothing. That removes risk for injured victims.
- We have an incentive to avoid frivolous cases. If your case has no merit, then we have no reason to take it. All our work would go down the drain since the case is a sure loser. This means that your case probably has merit if we are willing to take it on.
- We have an incentive to maximize your settlement. Since we are taking a percentage of your settlement, we benefit by making the settlement as big as possible. That also benefits you.
- You gain a lawyer’s experience with no upfront cost. It’s hard to negotiate a settlement, as explained above.
The benefits of contingency fee agreements are obvious. And anyone suffering following an accident should schedule a free consultation to discuss whether they have a case.
Experienced Glens Falls Personal Injury Lawyers
The lawyers at Larson & Gallivan Law have helped hundreds of injured people over the years. To learn more, call us today.