Most personal injury lawyers will work on your case on a contingency basis. If you have plenty of money and can afford to pay between $250 and $400 per hour, you can always try to negotiate that with the attorney, but most people don't have that kind of money going into a motorcycle accident case.
The benefit of a contingency fee contract is that the attorney takes on some of the risk. The attorney will spend all of the money up front to help you, and if you lose and there is no recovery, you pay nothing. On the other hand, in some contingency fee cases, the lawyer may get a higher fee than you would really like to pay, which is the nature of the contingency and risk assessment.
What Are the Main Concerns About An Initial Consultation?
The first thing everyone wants to know is, “Do I have a case?” Most of the time, if they have the accident report or if I'm familiar with the accident scene and they tell me the facts, I am able to say whether or not they have a case.
When it comes to determining how much the case is worth. I can't tell them that on the initial visit, because that hinges on a number of factors, including the amount of insurance the other side is carrying. A case may seem as if it's worth a million bucks, but if the other person only has a $25,000 insurance policy and no assets, you'll get $25,000.
We will also look at the nature and extent of the injuries, how much the medical bills are, what type of medical treatment will be needed, whether the injury will affect their work and whether they will lose their ability to earn money in the future, among other factors.
My advice is, if you meet with a lawyer initially and they tell you exactly how much your case is worth, hire that lawyer immediately and make them write that number on a piece of paper, make them sign it. Either that or get up and leave that attorney's office immediately.
Can An Attorney Help Negotiate Down Medical or Hospital Bills?
In Indiana, hospital bills related to accidents are covered under the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute, which gives hospitals what we call ‘super priority.' We can negotiate the hospital lien, but we don't have as much wiggle room as we do with doctors.
It's much easier to negotiate the medical liens with doctors, which is why I prefer that my clients stay outside the hospital system for medical treatment after the initial emergency room visit.
Many hospitals have purchased clinics and they have big physicians' groups. When you go to a physician as part of the hospital group, they go ahead and do all of the diagnostic testing at the hospital which means you'll be charged full price, whereas if you go somewhere outside the hospital system, you'll be charged a lot less, perhaps even half as much. The same is true of physical therapy. If the hospital does it, it will be expensive, but outside of the hospital system it'll be far less. That's why I try to keep clients out of the hospital system.
What If the Other Party is Uninsured or Under-Insured?
If you purchased uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy, you're protected. It's not required, though, so make sure you're covered. Many of those driving on the road with you don't have adequate insurance to pay for your injuries if something happens.
I can't tell you how many potential clients have been busted up on motorcycles, incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, but there was nothing I could have done for them because they had no insurance and the other party was judgment-proof.
What If a Loved One Dies from Injuries Incurred in a Motorcycle Accident?
If a loved one passed away because of a motorcycle accident and it was somebody else's fault, it's possible to make a wrongful death claim depending on the circumstances. For example, if there is a spouse, or kids, those will be factors, as will or the age of the decedent, or the relationship between the decedent and their siblings or parents.
For more information on Contingency Fees for Motorcycle Accident Cases, please call (219) 874-4878 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you're seeking.