What’s our fee? Most personal injury lawyers work on what is called a “contingency fee” basis, meaning we only get paid if we get you money. If a lawyer wants to charge you up front on a personal injury matter, you may want to look at that carefully. They may be new to handling personal injury matters or don’t have the resources to handle your claim. It’s important that a lawyer handling a personal injury claim is well funded to properly put all the pieces in place to maximize your recovery. Northland Injury Law never charges any money up front and only gets paid if we get you money.
How does the fee work (how does the firm get paid/when do I owe you money)? On a worker's compensation claim, our percentage fee is 25% of money recovered for you. Again, this is only if we get money on your claim. This is the standard fee most workers compensation lawyers charge for their services.
Is this consultation free? Consultations with us are always free. We are happy to meet with you over the phone, by video or in person to help decide if we can benefit you on your claim. Also, it’s important for you to see if you think we’re a good fit for you for your injury claim.
What are out of pocket expenses? Out-of-pocket costs (or advanced expenses) are the money we spend to properly put your claim together. Common examples of out-of-pocket expenses include things like the fees associated with obtaining police reports, medical records, expert witness fees, and court costs. For workers’ compensation cases, the largest out-of-pocket cost we generally have is the fee we pay our doctor to review your medical records, examine you and write a report with their findings. Out-of-pocket costs on a work comp claim generally are around $1,000.
You are better off with an attorney because we help you maximize your workers’ compensation benefits. Studies have shown people with a lawyer get more money than those without a lawyer. Our many years of experience have proven that normally people walk away with at least 3 times more in their pocket than they would have on their own. This is AFTER paying us our fee. Your employer and their insurance company want to pay out as little as possible for your injury. When you hire us, we bring our expertise to the table and make sure to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits, so your employer’s insurance company doesn’t shortchange you.
When we sign up a person as a work comp client, we go about the process of helping them through their work injury claim. One of the very first things we do is reach out to the work comp insurance company and let them know that we are now helping our injured client in the process. We make sure that benefits that should've been getting paid are on track and that the medical treatment that should be happening is on track as well.
Next, we file the claim for compensation with the Division of Worker's Compensation. This is the official filing to properly preserve the claim with the work comp division. This must be filed within two years of either the date of injury or the date of last authorized medical care. It is important that this filing happens as soon as we get involved.
As our client continues to get treatment through the work comp process, we are there alongside them to make sure things are proceeding as they should. Sometimes, the work comp authorized medical providers do not want to provide the care and treatment that our clients, and we, believe are appropriate to get our client back on the road to healing so they can get back to work. In that event, we need to step in and deal with the insurance company to get things moving for a client.
Once our client is completely done getting medical treatment through the work comp system, we then schedule an appointment with our doctor to have our client's medical records reviewed, our client evaluated by the doctor, and get a report from that doctor as to the findings of disability and whether any further treatment is required to help our client.
With our doctor’s report in hand, we then provide that to the work comp insurance company, and either work on getting our injured client more treatment or settling the claim based on our doctor’s disability rating.
When we sign up a person that has been injured in a car accident, one of the very first things we do is make sure we preserve any evidence that might become necessary in pursuing that injured person's claim against the at fault driver. Time is of the essence as evidence can get destroyed. When vehicles are rendered a total loss, accident scenes can change, witnesses can forget what they saw and data from the car can get destroyed.
One of the other very important things we do immediately is contact the at fault drivers’ insurance company and let them know we are representing the injured person. By doing this, we are putting them on notice the injured person has a lawyer, and they usually categorize it with greater weight than they would for a person without a lawyer. Also, by contacting the insurance company immediately, we prevent our client from giving a recorded statement to the insurance company which can cause problems later in the claims process. We always advise people not to give a recorded statement to an insurance company.
Once we have taken all the initial necessary steps to properly prepare for the claim, we then follow along with our clients as they get medical treatment for their injuries. The treatment process varies quite significantly from client to client, depending on the severity of the injury. Either way, we are alongside our clients to make sure they understand the process, get their medical treatment, and any billing issues that arise are handled. If our client is missing time from work, we make sure to have the information in our files to prepare for a lost wage claim as well.
Once treatment is completed, we then go about the process of gathering all medical records, medical bills, and any lost wage information as needed. If for any reason, we need an opinion letter from a doctor about the injury or future care needed, we go about that process as well. Once we have everything put together, we then send off a demand for settlement to the at fault driver's insurance company. It is at this point we attempt to begin settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
In a large amount of cases, we can work with the insurance company and come to a settlement of the claim. However, there are times, depending on the circumstances of the particular injury claim, that we do not believe the insurance company is making a fair offer of settlement. It is at this point we must go about the process of filing a lawsuit to move the claim forward.
Once the claim is filed as a lawsuit, we then begin the process that is known as "litigation". This can be a rather lengthy process in and of itself. There is documentation exchanged between the parties, depositions occur where lawyers ask the parties involved, and possibly other witnesses, questions in front of a court reporter. There are possibly liability and medical experts involved that will also have their depositions taken. Finally, there is a jury trial date that is set. If the claim cannot be settled amongst the parties during the lawsuit process, then a jury of 12 people will be the ultimate decision makers as to how this claim is resolved.