Frequently Asked Questions
ARE THERE SPECIFIC TIME LIMITATIONS IN WHICH TO FILE A CLAIM?
Almost all suits for personal injury damages or wrongful death must be filed within one (1) year of the date of the occurrence. The deadline can be extended in some cases involving injured children and in worker’s compensation cases. However, you should never wait until the end of the time limit in which to file a claim or lawsuit and evidence gets stale and your testimony regarding the seriousness of the injury becomes less convincing. In addition, the defendant, whom your lawyer must correctly identify and serve with the lawsuit, may disappear. Therefore, it is our recommendation that you seek the advice of an attorney as quickly as possible.
DO I HAVE TO GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER?
With the exception of some insurance policies purchased by you, you are not obligated to give a recorded statement. However, if you give a recorded statement, it may be used against you later. If you chose to give a recorded statement, be sure to ask for a copy of the transcript. However, it is our recommendation that you do not give any statements to an insurance adjuster, including your own insurance company, without legal representation.
DO YOU HAVE SOME HELPFUL TIPS IN REGARD TO MEDICAL TREATMENT?
We recommend using physicians with the best credentials. Not only will you receive the highest quality care and the credibility of your claim will be strengthened, but the opinions of the doctors will influence, in large part, the value of your claim. Comply fully with all of your doctors’ instructions. If you fail to do so, the defendants can request the court to instruct the jury to reduce your damages. Never miss a doctor’s appointment. After each visit or no show, the doctor or therapist makes a written record that later will be used as evidence in your case.
HOW DO I FIND A LAWYER I CAN TRUST?
Look for a lawyer who practices in the area in which you need assistance. This lawyer will have a better understanding of your situation and can offer more effective representation. In addition, ask your friends and family about lawyers they know or have worked within the past. The best way to find a quality lawyer is by word of mouth. So, talk to someone you trust who may have been represented by a lawyer in the past and who had a good experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and expect solid, straight-forward answers. Then choose the lawyer with whom you feel the most comfortable and that you sense is most capable of handling your case.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BEFORE CONTACTING A LAWYER?
The sooner your lawyer can get started working for you, the better. Remember, you have only a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit and the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to obtain the evidence you need to support your case. Furthermore, if you have submitted your claim to an insurance company, the insurance adjuster you are dealing with is more than likely an experienced negotiator trained to settle your case as quickly as possible. It is important to be very careful and cautious when speaking with an insurance adjuster. In fact, it is our recommendation that you do not speak to an insurance adjuster without legal representation.
HOW MUCH DOES Joubert Law Firm, APLC, CHARGE IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES?
There is no charge for your initial consultation or telephone call and all your questions will be answered with no obligation on your part. We never charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you. Our fee is a percentage of your recovery based upon the stage of your case when it settles or is tried. We will advance all costs for investigators, experts, filing fees and other expenses associated with obtaining the maximum recovery possible in your case. If a recovery is not made, you do not owe any attorney’s fees. We will explain the full details of our fee and cost agreement before we begin representing you on your personal injury claim. However, you may be liable for the cost incurred.
HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
This is a very common question, but there is no way to tell without obtaining in-depth information regarding your case. Furthermore, the value of your case is determined largely in part by the amount, type and duration of the medical treatment that you receive. Moreover, each case is unique and often the value is not evident until your medical treatment is complete. This may be a disappointing answer, but it is the truth. You should never use a lawyer who is willing to tell you what your case is worth before he has examined all of the facts of the case, including your medical treatment.
IF I HIRE THE Joubert Law Firm, APLC, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
The Joubert Law Firm, APLC, is prepared to do almost all the work involved in your case. You need only to focus on obtaining the appropriate medical care and getting better. However, we do need you to keep us informed if you switch jobs, or when your address or phone numbers change. It is also very important to keep us updated about your medical treatment. However, we will not ask you to run around town obtaining documentation about your case. That is our job and we are happy to do it.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT THE INITIAL CONSULTATION?
Your lawyer should be able to determine if you have a viable claim. If you do, your attorney will likely ask you to sign a retainer agreement. A lawyer cannot represent you without a written retainer agreement. Once that agreement is in effect, your attorney should start gathering the information he or she needs to take your case to trial. An experienced lawyer would never tell you what your case is worth at the first visit. To arrive at a figure for damages, your lawyer will need to determine the extent of your injuries, including the pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, the cost of medical treatment and your lost wages.
WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I BRING WITH ME WHEN I MEET WITH A LAWYER?
The more information you are able to gather for your attorney, the easier it will be for your attorney to determine whether your claim will be successful. You should supply any documents that might have a bearing on your case, including, but not limited to, collision reports, photographs and medical records. If you have not collected any documents, do not worry because your lawyer will be able to obtain them.
WHAT IS A DEPOSITION?
A deposition is a statement given under oath, usually done in a lawyer’s office before a court reporter. Witnesses called to testify in a deposition answer questions posed by attorneys representing both parties in a case. The court reporter produces a written transcript of everything said at the deposition and the witness can read and sign the transcript, swearing it to be an accurate rendition of the testimony given under oath.
WILL I NEED TO PAY ANY MONEY TO GET MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
No, you will not need any money to get your case started or to initially meet with an attorney. We handle most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you recover money.