Billings, MT Lawyer Blog

Personal Injury Law

How Does Personal Injury Differ From Other Law Practice?

Personal injury (PI) practice differs from other law practice mainly because of financial requirements. In this kind of law practice, a lawyer have to spend his or her time and money getting the case ready for settlement or trial; then gets paid in a year or two, if the lawyer wins the case.

Lawyers don’t necessarily get paid for all the time that they spend in the cases and have to do a lot of work. A PI lawyer usually needs to hire doctors, engineers, accident reconstruction experts, and other professionals needed to analyze critical issues and testify in court. If a lawyer happens to handle many cases, he would have a hard time managing these people and get them paid on time. Thus, a personal injury lawyer needs to generate money to have the capability of handling cases.

Given the financial and personal risks involved, you must examine yourself if you can really tolerate such difficult situations before embarking on personal injury practice career.

Obtaining a favorable verdict at trial is harder for personal injury cases. Many states are implementing tort reforms legislation that places upper limits on the amount of claims of an injured person. Also, a lot of insurance companies and corporate defendants are less motivated to settle before trial.

This means that you are most likely to go through the process of filing a lawsuit which entails expenses on filing fees, depositions, expert witnesses and other court costs for the lawyer and long wait for the court decision for the client. Sad to say, because of the long process, many clients end up settling for a fraction of what the case is really worth.

Need A Personal Injury Lawyer in Billings MT?

I have been providing practical legal advice and representation to individuals, families and businesses since 1998. As a solo practitioner committed to excellent client service, I work directly with every one of my clients. As your lawyer, I will personally handle all aspects of your legal matter and make sure your interests are protected.

The public’s attitude towards personal injury cases is quite discouraging to law practitioners but the rewards of winning a case are enormous. Oftentimes, we heard news on insurance fraud, scams, and conspiracies involving personal injury lawyers, doctors, and their clients. But on the bright side of things, nowhere in the practice of law is there more of a David versus Goliath scenario than a person on a court battle with gigantic insurance company or corporation. PI lawyers come in different personality types, interests, aptitudes, strengths and weaknesses but practicing this profession can give you an opportunity to help other people who are wronged and truly in need. There is no better feeling in the world than having put up with all that abuse from the other side and having his or her cause validated by a jury.

With this, you gain a measure of confidence and assurance that will motivate you to stay in the game for a longer time. If you can manage your practice wisely, then you will be able to experience moments of triumph constantly.

It is quite possible to be successful personal injury lawyer without handling high-risk cases. You can opt for handling routine cases that requires you to go to court once or twice a year. You can also consider working first with a lawyer or firm that handles personal injury cases before going out on your own. When you have decided to go on your own, always remember to keep the following solid foundation to achieve success in the law practice:

Commitment – You must always work hard to make your practice succeed.

Management – You must always manage wisely your time, money and people.

Adequate capital – Since personal injury law practice requires you to risk finances, you might need to gamble your own money first before reaping monetary gains. In this practice, you cannot expect to get rich but you can try investing your wealth in other ventures not connected to the practice of the law if you want to have other income.

You must have the sincere desire to do the right thing for your clients.

injury attorney

Injury Attorney Won’t Take Case: Here’s Why

Sometimes when a person who has had a personal injury contacts an attorney, the attorney ends up not taking the case.

Many times people might think that they have a valid case, but cannot find an attorney to accept it. There can be a myriad of reasons why an attorney might not take your injury case, and we will look at some of the main reasons for that.

First of all, the way the accident occurred makes a big difference. One of the first things that an attorney will take into account is how the accident actually took place. Because there must be a party to hold financially accountable, there has to be a breach of legal duty that caused the injury.

It may not be enough that an accident happen at a certain place, on someone’s property, etc. The severity of the injury may not even matter. Various states have different laws, and in some states, for example, school districts and government entities are exempt from personal injury claims.

It is up to each individual attorney to look at a case and judge the whether there was legal responsibility and to also gauge the likelihood that a settlement will be reached. If those two things are questionable, it is very unlikely that an attorney will accept the case.

Another reason why an attorney may choose not to accept a case is simply because the injury in question is not very serious. For example, just the fact that a person ‘could have been killed’ is generally not enough to warrant an attorney taking a case.

Personal injury attorneys have to prove damages in order to get compensation and the fact that a person ‘could’ have been damaged or lost their life does not qualify. Speculation is not part of personal injury lawsuits. How bad the injury truly was is usually the most important factor. Further more, even if you sustained injuries, if the injuries were fairly minor, then there may not exist the possibility for much, if any monetary compensation.

Need A Personal Injury Lawyer in Billings MT?

I have been providing practical legal advice and representation to individuals, families and businesses since 1998. As a solo practitioner committed to excellent client service, I work directly with every one of my clients. As your lawyer, I will personally handle all aspects of your legal matter and make sure your interests are protected.

This makes the case not worth the time and trouble for the attorney, and probably not worth the time and trouble for the client either. This is many times because the cost of developing the testimony to prove your injuries needs to be factored in and it can be extensive and expensive. There has to be a reasonable amount of monetary compensation at the end of the road to make it worthwhile for all parties involved.

Speaking of monetary compensation, the economic reality of the situation must be taken into account. Many attorneys will accept cases on a contingency basis. This means that they have to take a wide variety of factors into account, which includes the amount of time that the attorney and their staff will have to spend on the case.

personal injury attorney
personal injury

Sometimes the out of pocket expenses to develop the case and take it to trial, simply exceed the expected fee that may be the outcome of the case. While there may be an injury involved, and there may be financial compensation to go along with it, it may not be enough to make economical sense for the attorney to handle the case.

Strictly speaking, Defense attorneys require an hourly rate and most of the time a client must pay upfront most, if not all, of the fees associated with the case. In order for an attorney to take a case on a contingency basis, the eventual fees must be much higher than the fees that they would normally get by defending a client.

In other words,

“the more time and effort the attorney is willing to risk for a client on a contingency basis, the greater the reward needs to be.”

Sometimes that reward just does not exist in certain cases.

Another reason an attorney might turn down a case is because the potential client indicates that they have spoken to a large amount of lawyers. Of course it is important that a person selects the correct attorney for their individual needs and their individual case. However, many cases are turned down because the potential client seems to be hunting for an attorney based on the value of the case. The problem exists in these instances because it is virtually impossible for an attorney to give a client a value before they have delved into all the facts of the case.

This can include many facets, not the least of which is the insurance coverage involved in a given case. Because of this, victims should be wary of attorneys that promise a certain level of compensation after the first consultation. There is no way to no anywhere close to 100% of the facts after one consultation and a financial evaluation cannot really be accurately made at that time.

Another factor might be if a person has been dropped or ‘released’ by another firm. This will almost always cause an attorney to think twice about taking on your case. This could be the result of a liability perspective or just an unreasonable expectation perspective.

It is safe to say if you have been dropped by another attorney or firm, it will be harder to get someone new to take up your cause, especially on a contingency basis.

For a free consultation of your situation, get in touch with Mark Hilario today.

Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury Lawyer: When is the Right Time to Hire?

Obviously there is no ‘correct’ time for a person to hire a personal injury lawyer, but if you are reading this article then you probably have a situation that has compelled you to think about when is the right time to hire one.

Perhaps you have been in an automobile accident or suffered an injury in the workplace, but no matter the cause, if you have a personal injury you probably don’t want to be without counsel during any part of the process, which can many times be quite lengthy.

Personal Injury
Personal Injury

Your personal injury lawyer will be vital in the conversations that are inevitably going to take place with the insurance company(s) that are involved in your case. Your attorney will do things such as making sure your medical bills are paid up to date and also that property damage is taken care of in instances such as an auto accident so that you can get your vehicle back on the road or make sure that you have a rental to use in the meantime.

If you are in a car accident, the best time to find a personal injury lawyer is immediately following the accident and/or when you leave the hospital or emergency room.

Time can also be of the essence if you have an issue such as a medical malpractice claim. Many states have statutes that require you to notify the doctor involved within a specific time frame if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice.

These types of cases take a lot of time and require a lot of work on the part of your attorney. You are best off to give them as much time as possible to prepare and handle your case.

Keep in mind, the insurance companies have plenty of time, resources, and experts on their side of the equation. You need to make sure that you have your own experts in the form of your lawyer and legal team, when it comes to representing you in your personal injury case.

The other party, be it a private citizen, a business, or a doctor, will be representing their best interests, not yours. Rather than try and take on the task by yourself, get a lawyer to handle your side of the case so that you avoid situations that you don’t have the expertise to handle. Remember, no one in these situations cares about your best interests as much as you do. Do all you can to make sure you are properly represented.

Along with having the proper legal team to represent you, you will want to have the correct medical team as well. Your personal injury lawyer will be familiar with the laws in your state and can contact the right medical experts to not only examine and prescribe treatment for you, but also be available to serve as witnesses should the case end up going to trial.

You will need these doctors to provide proper treatment, of course, but it is also important that they have the ability to testify about the long term effects your injury may have on you and your family.

Need A Personal Injury Lawyer in Billings MT?

I have been providing practical legal advice and representation to individuals, families and businesses since 1998. As a solo practitioner committed to excellent client service, I work directly with every one of my clients. As your lawyer, I will personally handle all aspects of your legal matter and make sure your interests are protected.

Some personal injury law firms will have medical personnel on staff and they are capable of evaluating your case on the spot. They can also take a look at any medial records that exist from before and after the injury and serve as a go-between between you and the other physicians involved. These on staff medical teams will make sure that you receive proper care during the process and that your best interests are always at the forefront.

Along with a medical staff, many personal injury lawyers will also have an investigative team on staff as well. Investigators may perform such tasks as recreating your accident or injury scene in order to obtain information to be used in a trial. In general, they will attempt to arm your attorneys with as much information as possible, so that moving forward they can obtain the best possible settlement for you as you pursue your claim.

The more people you have on your end, the better off you will be.

As you are trying to determine if you actually need a personal injury lawyer, keep in mind that even small events or accidents can result in injuries to your person that may affect you long-term.

Personal Injury Car Accident
Personal Injury Car Accident

Even a low speed car accident can result in injuries to your spine, back, and neck. If there is any question at all as to the extent of your injury, don’t hesitate to involve a personal injury lawyer. In most cases there is no charge for an initial consultation and generally there is no risk to you if they take on your case and do not recover any money.

So overall, you have nothing to lose if you have been involved in any type of accident, by reaching out to a personal injury lawyer and at least finding out how you should proceed.

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