Frequently Asked Questions
Answers To Common Questions
I was recently involved in an accident. Do I need an attorney?
If you suffered an injury and believe it was due to the fault of someone else, it is prudent to consult an attorney to discuss your rights and determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Is it expensive to hire an attorney?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means there is no fee unless the law firm is able to recover money for you. Typically, attorneys receive one-third of the net recovery for a case as their legal fee.
The insurance company is being so helpful and is saying that I don’t need an attorney. Is that true?
Beware of insurance companies that are extra helpful. It is important to remember, in general, an insurance company’s goal is to resolve claims paying as little money as possible. Studies have shown that on average, a lawyer receives settlements 3.5 times higher than if you go it alone.
Will a personal injury lawyer offer a free case evaluation to discuss my case?
At Palermo Law, P.L.L.C., we offer a free case evaluation to all prospective clients. We believe it is best to meet with you to determine if our law firm is a good fit for you. We can meet in our offices or have a phone consultation. We are available after hours as well. In many instances, we can even meet you at a convenient location if you are unable to come to one of our Long Island offices.
What should I bring to the initial consultation?
It is a good idea to bring as much information about your potential case as possible. Some helpful items are: a police report, photographs, witness names and contact information, insurance information, and medical treatment information. Don’t panic if you do not have all of these items. We can usually obtain them for you after the consultation.
How long do I have to make a claim?
The time in which you have to make a claim varies greatly depending on the circumstance of your accident. In some cases, the time that you have is as little as 30 days. Therefore, it is important you do not wait to file a claim.
I didn’t go to the hospital immediately following my accident, but I’m in pain now. Is it too late to seek medical assistance and do I still have a case?
This is a very common situation. Many people do not feel pain from an accident immediately. Often, pain develops in the hours, and even days, following an accident. It is never too late to seek medical treatment. However, the sooner that you seek necessary medical treatment the better off you are for several reasons. First, medical treatment will help in diagnosing injuries and provide relief of pain. Second, it is easier to prove a causal relationship between the injury suffered and the accident that caused it, if you receive treatment close to the time of the accident.
Can I see my regular doctor if I am involved in an accident?
Yes. Your primary doctor is often a good place to begin your treatment for injuries suffered in an accident. However, a general practitioner may not be the best place for all your treatment needs. Injuries suffered in an accident often require treatment from a specialist such as an orthopedic doctor or neurologist. Your doctor can usually provide you with good referrals for specialists.
I got hurt at a friend’s house, I don’t want to sue them, but how am I going to pay my medical bills?
A serious injury at a friend or relative’s home often presents an uncomfortable situation for friends and/or neighbors. However, it is important to realize that homeowners insurance often covers all the expenses associated with an injury in someone’s home. Further, an attorney can resolve many claims of this type amicably without the need for legal action.
Should I call my family lawyer to handle my accident case?
That depends on the type of legal cases your family practitioner handles normally. Not all attorneys are well versed in personal injury law, a complex body of law that requires a great deal of knowledge, ranging from searches for expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists to arriving at accurate costs for rehabilitation to rebuild your life. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
The ER department at the hospital told me I need to file a no-fault application. What is it and why do I have to do this?
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your auto insurance carrier is your primary source of insurance for medical bills. The insurance company requires written proof of your claim or they will not pay your medical bills and lost wages. To provide written proof, you must obtain a no-fault application from your auto insurance carrier and file the completed application with them within 30 days of the accident.
I Aggravated An Old Injury In An Accident. Do I Still Have A Case?
Yes. While cases involving old injuries are common, such cases present challenges. You will need to establish how your injury has worsened from its pre-accident status. As your attorney, we are usually able to obtain the facts with the aid of your treating physicians.