Do I actually need a lawyer?
Yes. As a general rule it is always better to consult with an attorney and allow them to determine what, if anything, needs to be done from a legal perspective to protect your interests. We will answer your questions without obligation and or charge so that you can make appropriate and necessary decisions. Gnerally speaking, many accidents involve difficult legal and factual issues which can be best sorted out by an attorney who is trained in handling such claims. Further, without an attorney an insurance company may underestimate or undervalue the amount of money you are entitled to receive as a result of injuries that you or your loved one may have sustained. McCord Law Firm is well-versed in dealing directly with insurance companies to assure that our client’s are being taken care of, and when applicable, that they are receiving adequate compensation for their injuries.
Similarly, serious accidents oftentimes have long-term effects on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. In such cases, the client is frequently not well enough to handle the rigors of litigation and the stresses that the insurance company and the defense lawyers for the insurance companies generate. Our goal is to stop to protect our clients. We will do everything necessary under the law to represent our client’s interest, and when required, to protect victims from actions of the insurance companies and their defense lawyers.
To that end, while insurance companies do, on rare occasions, admit fault, it is more common that they will contest the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by you, the innocent victim. The insurance company may look for any way imaginable to avoid responsibility for the full extent of a victim’s injuries. Special expertise is required to develop the evidence necessary to prove the full extent of your injuries and their relationship to this accident. Let us do the work for you.
Finally, personal injury litigation is a difficult and complicated area of law. Oftentimes merely identifying the available auto insurance coverages in a given accident is a complicated matter. For example, in the case of an uninsured or underinsured driver, a number of different policies may be involved. Sometimes there are notice provisions under the various insurance policies that must be complied with in order to process your claim. Our experience in the personal injury field will help you accurately identify all potential policies and sources of coverage that might that may be available to your benefit.
In summary, an injured victim has nothing to lose and a great deal to gain by contacting us for free legal consultation concerning any injury claim.
If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster, bear in mind that they do not represent your interests. The relationship between an injured victim and the wrongdoer’s insurance company is an adversarial relationship. The insurance company likely has no concern for your well-being and are not looking to protect your interests. That is why we are here. We can help make the difference as your lawyer.
Does your firm offer a free initial consultation?
Absolutely! McCord Law Firm will be happy to discuss your case with you. There is never a charge for consultation. You can always reach us toll free at 1-866-569-1335 or locally at 317-569-1335, or if you would prefer, take a moment to fill out our on-line claim survey, and an attorney will get back with you within 24 hours. To fill out the form, simply click here.
How can you help me? What will your firm do?
If we accept your case, we will direct every professional resource available to us to resolve the unique issues involved in your particular case and in obtaining maximum dollar recovery on your behalf. While no one can completely remedy or give back to you everything you may have lost by way of a serious personal injury, through our professional services, we work hard to help put your life back together and get you back on your feet.
Our firm is dedicated to servicing personal injury victims. We take pride in preparing all claims with attention to detail. We are strong, aggressive, and experienced legal counsel. Because of this fact, many of our cases do settle without the need for trial and/or arbitration. If attendance at trial and/or arbitration becomes necessary, rest-assured that you as our client will be well-prepared.
A contract for our professional services means that you can expect, among other things, us to help you:
- Educate and inform you about the factual and legal issues involved in your particular case.
- Help you obtain proper medical assessment and treatment.
- Assess future care needs and make appropriate recommendations.
- Carefully and properly evaluate the human and economic loss components to your claim and so as to maximize the potential recovery.
- Demonstrate power and strength in negotiations.
- Present a “winning” case on your behalf (though results cannot be guaranteed).
- Work tirelessly on your behalf until the case is over.
What do your services cost?
The vast majority of our personal injury claims are operated under what is known as a contingency fee agreement. Simply put, a contingency fee agreement means that you only pay the attorney if the attorney makes a successful recovery on your behalf. If there is no recovery, you owe the attorney nothing by way of an attorney fee. The contingency fee is decided on a case by case basis to effect a fair and reasonable arrangement for both our clients and our firm.
What are your office hours?
Our regular office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. However, we recognize that oftentimes people are in need of emergency assistance – an accident can occur at anytime of day/night. In those situations, a person may need to meet with an attorney from our office after normal office hours. We recognize this fact and are more than amenable to coming to a perspective client’s home, hospital, or place of business. When you contact us, we can discuss what time and place works best.
How much is my claim worth?
This is one of the first things many of our clients would like to know. However, even the most experienced personal injury attorneys would never go about trying to answer this question until they have had an adequate opportunity to fully investigate the underlying facts and obtain adequate information about the damages.
Sometimes it takes several months after an accident before all the necessary factors become known that will in turn enable the lawyer to make an informed decision about the evaluation of your particular claim. Once that occurs, the lawyer can begin settlement negotiations with any insurance company that may be affording coverage. If the client insists on a quick settlement, this might be accomplished, but many times the client will end up getting less than the full value of the claim. Yet another problem with settling too soon is that sometimes injuries do not appear for weeks or months later as injuries are oftentimes progressive in nature. Once a claim has been settled and the responsible party released, the claim cannot be re-opened or prosecuted against them.
Our firm prides itself on working hard to represent our clients’ best interests. We look to the quality of the cases we take as opposed to quantity. We do not sacrifice the value of our client’s claims in favor of quick and easy settlements when adequate compensation has not been offered in exchange.
Oftentimes we are successful in achieving a full and fair settlement even before we resort to filing a lawsuit in court. We have a great deal of experience and have developed contacts in dealing with various insurance companies. If, despite our best efforts, settlement negotiations do not result in a settlement, we may have to file suit and push the case through the court system. If this becomes necessary, we do everything we can to complete this as rapidly as possible. Our goal remains the same throughout – that is, to represent our client’s best interest throughout every step of their case.[back to top.]
Is it possible to settle out of court without having to go to trial?
Yes. The vast majority of our cases settle before trial. Oftentimes the insurance companies that represent the wrongdoers come to an understanding that if they proceed to trial, a jury of your peers may very well return a verdict in your favor for significant monetary damages. It is not at all uncommon that the insurance company will solicit a demand or make an offer after the case is put into suit because of this fact.
How long will my lawsuit take?
Again, this varies from case-to-case. Many cases are settled within months of retaining counsel and some even prior to suit. Others take longer. Factors that can affect the length that a lawsuit may take, including, though are not limited to, where the action is pending, the complexity of the lawsuit, the nature and extent of the injuries involved, and ongoing medical treatment. McCord Law Firm will be able to provide you with an educated guess as to how long your case may take during your initial consultation, but this is only speculation based on our experience in this area. No attorney can guarantee how long a case will take from beginning to end.
What damages might I be entitled to recover?
In Indiana and Illinois a victim of accidental injury may be entitled to recover damages, including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and disfigurement, all in the past and into the future. If the injury is serious and disabling, a spouse, parent, and/or child might also make a separate and additional claim for loss of consortium and companionship. Further, in wrongful death cases, the spouse, children, parents, and heirs of the deceased may be able to sue for monetary damages. All cases are fact sensitive and the many factors dictate the direction and available remedies of each respective case.
What happens if my child was injured?
Minors (children under the age of 18) technically lack the legal capacity to make a contract or sign a release. As such, claims for an injured children are oftentimes brought by their next friend on their behalf. We can arrange for appointment of a next friend to help prosecute the claim on behalf of your child. Normally, this is one or both of the child’s parents. However, it could also be a relative or person closest to the injured child.
If I have been injured, what steps should I take to protect my legal rights?
The very first thing we suggest you do is to contact McCord Law Firm, LLC, for consultation. It is critical that you not do anything that might adversely affect or prejudice your rights. No statements, written or recorded, should be given to adjusters or investigators. No signed authorizations permitting the insurance company of the wrongdoer to have access to your medical providers and no records should be provided without the advice of counsel.
What should I do after an accident and personal injury?
Immediately following an accident where you have injured, it is very important to take certain steps to protect your rights:
- If involved in an automobile accident, immediately after the collision and if you are physically able, obtain the name, address, telephone number, driver’s license information, and insurance information of the other parties involved. Write it down someplace where you won’t forget it. Keep it someplace where you won’t lose it.
- If involved in slip and fall or trip and fall accident, as soon as you are able, be sure to look at what caused you to trip and/or slip and fall. See if you can determine what caused the condition to materialize and see if you can determine where the condition came from, what caused the condition, and how long it may have been there based on the physical surroundings.
- If there are any witnesses at the scene of your accident, ask them to give you their name and telephone number so you might be able to contact them, if necessary.
- If you are injured on the property of a commercial establishment, like a department store, restaurant, or grocery store, be sure to report the incident to personnel and be sure the incident is documented by the personnel by way of some written form.
- At the scene of any automobile collision, call the police, since you are required by law to do so, and this will ensure that the offending driver, if any, is given a citation. Do not leave the scene of the accident until such time as the officers have authorized to do so. The presence of police officers will help to assist in interviewing witnesses at the accident scene. By all means, if the police recommend you be transported by ambulance to a medical facility, follow their recommendation.
- At your first available opportunity, contact your insurance agent and/or your insurance carrier and report your accident to them.
- When and if the offending driver’s insurance company and/or other driver contacts you directly for purposes of giving a statement or signing an authorization to release medical information, respectfully decline to do so. Refer them to your attorney, Goodman, Acker, P.C. Ask that they only contact you by and through your attorneys in the future.
- If you have gone to an emergency room, contact your family physician or recommended specialists as soon as possible for necessary follow up treatment.
- If you need to see a doctor for injuries you sustained, be careful in what you tell your doctor about how the accident occurred so that he may accurately reflect that in the history, and be sure to explain to your doctor the full nature and extent of any complaints you may be experiencing at the time of the examination, as well as what you have experienced leading up to the examination.
- Shortly after the accident, take time to write down a detailed accounting and/or chronology as to the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident while it is fresh in your mind.
- If you have been injured by any kind of product, you should be sure to retain all parts of the product and all purchase documents in order to prove a claim against the company responsible.
- If medical receipts or bills are generated regarding your injuries and treatment, you should save those documents as well so as to make a claim for out of pocket expenditures at a later date.
- You should keep a log of all events regarding your condition and document any pain and suffering, loss of work, impairment, and/or life impact as it occurs on a daily basis.
- As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." Arrange for photographs to be taken of any cuts, bruises, visible injuries, slings, casts, and/or other devices.
- Similarly, if you have been injured in a slip and fall, an auto accident, or the like, you should attempt to take pictures of the condition you deem to be responsible as soon as possible. This will help document the unsafe condition and is especially important in proving the existence of transient hazards such as ice, snow, water, oil, etc.
- If you are inside a premises, be sure to bring the matter to the attention of personnel in charge so they may document your injuries, your potential claim, and the existence of the unsafe condition. Be sure to point out to the premises owner and/or occupier where you fell or what caused your injury. Be sure they write it down. They are obligated to preserve this documentation and it might prove to be extremely important to any lawsuit you might file in the future.
- Be sure to contact McCord Law Firm, your personal injury specialists as soon as possible to assist in your claim.
- Please keep an accurate record of all time lost from work because of your injuries, including time off to visit doctors and therapists. Please have your employer send Goodman, Acker, P.C., written confirmation of the amount of wages represented by this time lost. We require this information even if you are compensated for your lost pay through sick leave or vacation time.
- Similarly, provide us with copies of all your medical, hospital, and/or pharmaceutical bills. Keep a record of any out-of-pocket expenditures you might have in connection with your accident such as the hiring of extra help around house, mileage, or taxi fare for doctor visits. All these expenses should be paid by check and you should get a receipt so that there is a paper trail.
- If you have health or medical insurance to cover medical bills, please consult with us prior to submission.
When should I hire a lawyer?
If you are going to retain legal counsel, you should always do it sooner rather than later. Evidence can spoil or be lost. Oftentimes we find witnesses who are first more than willing to help become uncooperative or their memory forgets as time passes. Consulting with an attorney during the early stages of the case can help secure this evidence and supportive testimony.