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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Answers from a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
If you have questions about your personal injury case, you have come to the right place. The Long Island personal injury lawyers at The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. would like to make sure that you know what to expect when pursuing your injury claim, so we have decided to answer some of our past clients’ most frequently asked questions. If you do not find the information that you are looking for below, you can always discuss the specific nature of your case with our firm through a free initial consultation.
All you will need to do is give us a call to get started.
Q: Are Personal Injury Lawsuits Worth It?
In most cases, yes. Studies show that people represented by an attorney in personal injury cases recover an average of 40% more than people who represent themselves. Without a lawyer, insurance companies try to get away with a lowball settlement offer. The best way to get full compensation is to work with a skilled Long Island personal injury attorney.
If you were hurt in an accident, a personal injury lawsuit can help you get the money that you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, if your accident was relatively minor and did not involve injuries, then it may make more sense to settle directly with the insurance company. Contact The Odierno Law Firm to talk to a Long Island personal injury attorney about your claim.
Q: Are Personal Injury Lawyers Bad?
No. There is a misconception about personal injury lawyers being “ambulance chasers.” This stereotype comes from big corporations like insurance companies, who don’t like the fact that personal injury attorneys hold them accountable and make them pay maximum compensation on claims. Personal injury lawyers work for the little guy and help them get justice. Reach out today for a free consultation.
Q: Are Proceeds from Personal Injury Lawsuits Taxable?
Compensation that results from a physical injury is not taxable. If you get a settlement or verdict for an emotional injury, then that amount is taxable. In addition, punitive damages and interest on judgment are taxable.
A skilled personal injury lawyer may be able to structure your settlement to minimize your tax liability. Contact The Odierno Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Q: What Should I Do If I’ve Been in a Car Accident?
If you have been in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. If you can, you should collect information at the accident scene, such as the name and insurance information for the at-fault driver and the names and contact info of any witnesses. You can also take pictures and videos of the scene.
Once you are able to do so, call a Long Island personal injury lawyer to schedule a free consultation. They can help you decide how to move forward with your claim.
Q: Can Personal Injury Lawyers Make Millions?
Personal injury lawyers can earn a good salary, but they typically do not earn millions of dollars on a single case – or even over the course of many cases in a year. Personal injury law firms handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if the case results in a settlement or verdict at trial. Their total fee will be a percentage of the recovery, so it may be possible for them to make millions on an exceptionally large verdict or settlement – but it is rare.
Q: Do Most Personal Injury Lawsuits Settle?
Yes. Most cases in the American legal system do not go to trial – including personal injury lawsuits. According to some estimates, as many as 97% of personal injury claims are resolved outside of court.
It may be necessary to file a lawsuit if your lawyer cannot negotiate a fair settlement. This does not necessarily mean that your case will go to trial. Your lawyer will continue to negotiate with the insurer up until the eve of the trial to get you the money that you deserve.
Q: Do Most People Win Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Most personal injury cases are resolved outside of court and often result in a favorable settlement for the injury victim. Generally, most personal injury lawsuits are successful – but the likelihood of success depends on the facts of any given case. A skilled Long Island personal injury attorney will put together a strong claim for damages and work to get the best possible result.
Q: Do Personal Injury Lawyers Always Win?
While many personal injury cases result in a settlement or verdict at trial, that does not mean that personal injury lawyers always win. In fact, you should be wary of any attorney that guarantees success. Instead, focus on law firms that have a strong track record and who give you a realistic overview of the merits of your claim and the potential outcome.
Q: Do Personal Injury Lawyers Defend?
Most personal injury attorneys only represent victims, not the insurance company or at-fault party. If a law firm advertises that they defend against personal injury claims AND represent personal injury victims, then you may want to look elsewhere. A law office that is dedicated to helping accident victims – such as The Odierno Law Firm – will fight for your right to maximum compensation.
Q: Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
Personal injury lawyers only get paid if they get money for you, whether through a settlement or a verdict at trial. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement. Your attorney will get a percentage of your total recovery, but will not get paid a fee if they do not win. This type of arrangement aligns your interests with your lawyer’s and allows you to hire a lawyer even if you don’t have the cash to pay attorneys’ fees upfront.
Q: Do Personal Injury Lawyers Make a Lot of Money?
It depends. Personal injury lawyers are usually paid on a contingency fee basis, rather than an hourly rate. This means that they only get paid if they win a case through settlement or verdict at trial. The amount that they are paid depends on the total recovery in the case. In addition, they may put in a lot of hours to earn their contingency fee.
Q: How Can an Injury Result in Both Civil and Criminal Lawsuits?
If a person acts intentionally or with gross recklessness, then they may face criminal charges as well as a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a person causes a drunk driving accident, then they may be charged with a DUI and also be sued for any injuries that they caused. A seasoned Long Island personal injury lawyer can help you understand how a criminal case may impact your claim against the at-fault driver.
Q: How Do Lawyers Choose Personal Injury?
Many lawyers choose the field of personal injury through a desire to help others. They may have seen firsthand how regular people can be treated unfairly by the legal system or big corporations, and want to stand up for injury victims. In many cases, personal injury lawsuits are the only way for people to achieve justice and get the compensation that they need to move forward with their lives after an accident.
Q: How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Find Clients?
Most personal injury lawyers do not go out looking for clients. Instead, potential clients find them, whether through advertising, word of mouth, or good reviews online. In fact, one of the best ways to find a great personal injury attorney is to ask for recommendations from family and friends.
Q: How Much Commission Do Personal Injury Lawyers Take?
Personal injury law firms handle cases on a contingency fee basis, where they get a percentage of the total recovery in a case. Typically, this percentage is between 30 and 40%, with the higher number usually reserved for situations where the case goes to trial. In New York, state law limits contingency fees to 33%.
Each law firm is different, so it is important to carefully review any contract that you are asked to sign and to ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Q: How Successful Are Personal Injury Lawyers?
A good personal injury lawyer will be able to achieve a favorable outcome in most of their cases. This does not mean that success or a certain outcome is guaranteed, but that they will work hard to achieve the best possible result for each client. Looking at an attorney’s case results can give you an idea of how successful the law firm is. You can also schedule a free initial consultation to talk over your case and get a ballpark estimate of your case’s value and the likelihood of success.
Q: What Kind of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
While each law firm is different, most personal injury attorneys handle a variety of cases that involve physical and/or emotional injuries to individuals. This often includes things such as car accidents, slip and falls, pedestrian accidents, bus accidents, dog bites, rideshare accidents, and wrongful death. Some law firms also handle other types of injury cases, such as medical malpractice and workplace injuries. You should look for a lawyer who has specific experience handling the type of accident and injury that you suffered.
Q: What Percentage of Personal Injury Lawsuits Go to Trial?
By some estimates, just 3% of all personal injury lawsuits go to trial. In other words, if you file a personal injury claim, the chances of having to go to court are very small. Most often, these cases are resolved outside of court. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, then it may be necessary to go to trial to get the money that you deserve.
Q: What Should You Look For in Personal Injury Lawyers?
If you have been hurt in an accident, you should start your search for an attorney by asking your loved ones for recommendations. When choosing a law firm, look for their track record, the experience they have with the type of accident that you suffered, and the size of the firm. You want a law firm that is big enough to take on the insurance company – but small enough to provide you with personalized attention. Be sure to schedule a free initial consultation so that you can ask a lawyer questions before making a decision about which law firm is right for you.
Q: Why Do Personal Injury Lawyers Have a Bad Reputation?
Personal injury attorneys often get a bad rap because they hold big insurance companies accountable. By standing up for injury victims and forcing insurers to pay their clients the money that they deserve, they put a target on their backs. The media also likes to sensationalize big verdicts (like the McDonald’s hot coffee case) to make it seem as though personal injury lawyers are filing frivolous claims. In truth, personal injury attorneys are just helping everyday people get fair compensation for their losses after an accident.
Q: How Much Do Lawyers on Personal Injury Cases Get?
In a personal injury case, the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered in a settlement or verdict at trial. This is known as a contingency fee. The larger the recovery, the bigger the attorney’s fee will be. If the lawyer does not achieve a successful result, then they will not get paid for their work.
Q: How Often Do People Win Personal Injury Lawsuits?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, most – about 73% – of personal injury cases are resolved via settlement. Another 24% are resolved in some other way (such as an arbitration award or default judgment), while just 2.9% go to trial. Overall, most personal injury lawsuits are a “win” for the injury victim, as the vast majority end in a settlement or other favorable resolution for the plaintiff.
Q: What Cut Do Personal Injury Lawyers Take?
Under a contingency fee agreement, most personal injury lawyers get a 30 to 40% “cut” of any settlement or verdict at trial. If they don’t recover money for their client, then they do not get paid. Each agreement is different, which is why it is important to carefully review the contract before signing anything.
Q: What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Personal injury attorneys fight for the rights of injury victims. They investigate the facts of a case, research case law, and work with experts to put together a strong claim for compensation. In most cases, they are able to reach a settlement with the insurance company. If that isn’t possible, they will take the case to trial to ask a jury to find in their client’s favor.
To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, call The Odierno Law Firm today.
Q: What Happens if I Am Injured By a Motorist With No Insurance?
While it is against the law to drive in New York without minimum liability auto insurance—which includes $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage—drivers continue to get behind the wheel without an adequate level of coverage. Fortunately, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is also mandatory in the state of New York. This means that you should be able to file a claim with your own insurance company after being involved in an uninsured motorist accident. It is important to note that you could also do the same if you were ever involved in a hit and run accident.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?
What do I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?
When do I call an attorney after a car accident?
Who is liable in a truck accident – The driver or the trucking company?
What exactly is a catastrophic injury?
What is a serious injury?
What to do in a premises accident?
What damages are recoverable in a construction accident case?
I’ve been in a motorcycle accident at the at-fault party does not have insurance. What are my options?
Q: How Are You, As My Attorney, Paid on a Personal Injury Case?
At The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. our Long Island injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not receive payment unless we are able to secure compensation on your behalf. If our firm wins your case, however, our fee will simply be based on a percentage of your recovery—which, in New York State, is generally one-third of the net recovery. The remainder of the reward would be distributed to you. Since our fee will come out of the recovery, you will never be asked to pay for our legal services up front. You will never actually receive a bill from our firm, either.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Case?
The length of each personal injury case will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries and the insurance company’s willingness to cooperate. Most importantly, however, it will depend on whether or not you are taking your claim to trial. Since most personal injury cases are resolved outside of court (an estimated 95%), it is safe to say that your case will be resolved in less than a year. If you decide to move forward with a trial, however, it may take up to four years or more. For this reason, the only person who can accurately answer this question is your lawyer.
Q: How Much Will I Be Awarded at The End of My Case?
At the end of the day, there is no way to answer this question until your case has been resolved. It is possible to generally predict the amount of compensation that you will be able to walk away with, however, as most personal injury claims will hinge upon three main factors: 1) who bears the legal responsibility for the accident, 2) the severity of your injuries and/or damages and 3) the level of insurance that covers the person who has injured you. Once all of these factors have been taken into consideration, it may be easier for you to determine just how much money you are entitled to.
Q: Will I Have to Take My Personal Injury Case to Trial?
Most people hesitate before pursuing compensation after an accident because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of going to trial. That being said, it is important to understand that nearly 95% of all personal injury cases are resolved outside of court. This means that there is a good chance that you will avoid a trial altogether. Your Long Island personal injury attorney will simply manage negotiations with the insurance company outside of court. Only if they are unable to agree about the settlement amount, you can explore the option of taking them to court.
Contact Us Today
For further information about your personal injury case, contact The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. for a free initial consultation: (631) 752-8580 or submit a contact form online.
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