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Rice Law Office Blog

This blog reviews important legal issues including: personal injury, employee compensation, workers compensation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

My Injury Case: What To Do and What To Expect-Practical Tips and Answers to the Most Common Questions. Part II

PART TWO

Tell Me: How Can I Afford an Injury Attorney, What is a Contingent Fee, What will My Injury Attorney do first and What Is My Case Worth?This is part two of our three part article, My Injury Case: What To Do and What To Expect-Practical Tips and Answers to the Most Common Questions. In part one we addressed the initial phone consultation and office meeting and gave you inside tips as to what questions you should ask to improve your outcome. In this, part two of our discussion, we answer some of the most common questions clients have: How Can I Afford to Hire an Injury Attorney, What is a Contingent Fee and What is My Case Worth? We also address what happens after you hire an attorney.In Part three, we will explain what is means to "settle" your case and discuss the considerations that go into deciding whether your case will settle or go to trial and what you can do to help your case along.

QUESTION #1: How does the Attorney get paid? I don't have enough money to pay for all this!ANSWER:

In almost all strong personal injury cases Attorneys will offer their clients a contingent fee agreement. We do this at Rice Law Office in most personal injury case and also in worker's compensation, Social Security and some employment cases. This means your attorney will be paid by keeping a percentage or portion of the final settlement or court award resulting from your injury. In a contingent fee arrangement, you are not expected to pay your attorney and hourly rate for his or her services. Essentially, the attorney gets paid only if and when you get paid and that fee comes out of your award. This contingent fee arrangement should be described in writing so there will be no misunderstanding about the fees your attorney will charge or how much your case will cost.

QUESTION #2: If I hire an attorney to represent me in a personal injury claim caused by the negligence of another, what will my attorney do first?ANSWER

Once you hire an attorney, they should handle all the phone calls, leg work and paperwork for you. After the initial office meeting (addressed in our first article) our office usually takes the following steps to begin:

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My Injury Case: What To Do and What To Expect:Practical Tips and Answers To the Most Common Questions

PART ONE: I'VE BEEN INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT,

You've been injured and you are in pain, the bills are coming in, you're missing work, the doctors are talking in another language and you don't know what to do.  To make matters worse, you are getting phone calls now from insurance adjusters and you're not even sure who they are. Are they from your insurance company or the other guy's company?  They want to take your statement or maybe, they are offering you money to "settle", what are you supposed to do?  On top of it all, your boss is calling and asking when you will be back- you're worried you might lose your job while you are out recovering.  It's too much to deal with and the stakes have never been higher.  YOU NEED HELP. 

THERE IS HELP OUT THERE AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RICH TO GET IT.

First, you start by contacting an injury lawyer who will give you a FREE CONSULATION to discuss your injury claim.  Ok,  but then what? In this three part article we will empower you with the information you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. We will give you insider Tips and actual Questions you can ask your attorney to improve your outcome.

We will tell you what you can do, and what to expect if you have been injured and need help. In this first article we'll tell you about what you should expect from the initial call and that first the office visit with an injury attorney. We'll also give you practical tips and actual questions you can ask to help choose an attorney.  In the next article we will tell you  how you can afford an attorney without paying an expensive hourly rate  and explain what your attorney will do for you in the initial stages of representation. Finally, we will address common questions clients have about case value, demands and settlement.

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CAR ACCIDENT? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Question:I was in a car accident and the insurance company for the other driver has already contacted me. Is it okay for me to give them a statement?

Answer:No, not if you have been injured. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you should first seek an experienced personal injury attorney before giving any statements to the insurance company.

Question:I was in a car accident two weeks ago and the insurance company for the other driver has already offered to pay me for my injuries. Is it okay for me to take the check?

Answer:It may be, but first you should consult with a personal injury attorney. It is possible that the insurance company is simply offering to assist you with your ongoing medical bills or make payment for your damage to your vehicle, but they may also be attempting to make an offer in settlement. Acceptance of that payment may require that you sign a release of all claims. Depending on the circumstances, especially if you have been injured, it would not be wise to sign any kind of release or accept payment without first consulting an attorney. Once you have released your claim, any additional treatment, injuries or loss wages will not be covered by the insurance company. So, while a quick payment may seem tempting, there may be huge consequences attached. That check today may leave you with huge bills to pay tomorrow. Be patient and be smart because if it seems to good to be true... it probably is

Question:I’ve Been Hurt in a Car Accident, How Do I Know if I Have a Case?

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Motorcycle & ATV Accidents

It's that time of year when riders take that last sweet ride of the season in the open air and think about putting the bike away until next spring.  As you close things up for the season, its a good time to be sure you are not just protecting your vehicle, but that you are taking care of yourself and your riders too.  We all know motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and sure, it follows that they're more likely to be in a crash, but did you know that according to the NHTSA the fatality rate for motorcyclists in 2006 was 5.5 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants?  While motorcycles account for only 3% of all registered motor vehicle and 0.4% of vehicle miles traveled in 2006, 4810 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2006.  This is fun that comes with a risk.  We all know that, but are we all fully protected?  What would happen if you were hurt riding? 

According to the NHTSA, motorcycle drivers and their passengers are more exposed and thus they are more likely to suffer general bodily injury, head injury and more serious injuries then a comparable impact involving automobiles. It makes sense then to learn that when motorcyclists are injured, through no fault of their own, they are typically awarded higher damages as a result of their high medical bills, extensive pain and suffering and the lost wages they incur.

The problem is, even when a claim is valid, motorcyclists face the obstacle of prejudice and the public perception that they are reckless drivers. This means it is all that more important that if you or your loved one is hurt as a result of a motorcycle accident, you seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to maximize the chances for success in obtaining all the compensation to which you are entitled.

At Rice Law Office, our attorneys will help you through this difficult time, providing support by dealing with the insurance companies, attorneys, and other accident parties so you can focus on what is important, getting better and getting back to your life. The attorneys at Rice Law Office provide tough and compassionate representation, directed at moving your case forward and obtaining full compensation for you and your family. We will fight to get every dollar allowed by law and work to resolve your accident case faster with less stress and less anxiety.

If you have questions, call Rice Law Office now for a free, no obligation telephone consultation at (603) 528-5299.

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Avoiding and Managing Motor Vehicle Accidents

AVOIDING AND MANAGING MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS Driving is one of the single most dangerous activities in the United States- virtually every driver will experience an accident over their lifetime, and motor vehicle accidents remain a leading cause of death among young people.  That said, most Americans continue to rely on their cars for daily transportation.  Given this circumstance, its important to understand how to decrease your risk of an accident, but also, the steps and procedures that need to be observed should an accident occur. On average, drivers will experience an accident every 17.9 years.  Most American start driving at or around age 16, which means almost every driver on the road will be involved with an accident by the time they are 35.  There are, however, a few simple, and logical precautions that can greatly reduce this risk: •Drunk driving remains a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. In 2010, nearly one third of all traffic fatalities involved an alcohol impaired driver.  Avoiding these circumstances is a must.•Distracted driving is a growing cause of accidents, and accounted for nearly 10% of traffic deaths in 2012.  Phones, food, and the radio are all examples of potential driving distractions.•Motorcyclists and pedestrians are involved in a high proportion of fatal accidents.  While driving your car, watch out for motorcycles and walkers- they can be hard to spot, and are more likely to suffer serious injury in an accident.  •Construction sites or other zones with changing traffic patterns, speed limits, and congestion are unusually dangerous.  Be especially aware in these areas. Even if all of these precautions are perfectly observed, the reality is that accidents will still happen. Drivers need to understand the appropriate steps and procedures should an accident occur in order to protect themselves both financially and legally.  Below are a few steps that should always be followed: •Do not leave the scene!  Following an accident, stop your vehicle in a safe space as near as possible to the spot of the accident.  Running from the scene can result in serious consequences, regardless of who is at fault.  You should contact police or other emergency services as necessary.•Exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses.  Relevant information includes name, address, phone number, license plate number, drivers license number, and insurance details.•Reporting the accident to the DMV within 15 days is necessary if there is not a police report filed on scene, and the accident causes injury, death, or more than $1,000 in damages.  The form can be found online, and you should always keep a copy for personal records. All of this can be challenging and stressful.  Most of us drive every day, and staying safe and informed on the roads is very important. In the case of an accident, particularly one resulting in injury or serious damages, you should contact an attorney.
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