Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney FAQ’s
In general, if you hire a personal injury attorney, you should expect your injury lawyer to educate you on your case and the legal process, to advise you throughout the recovery process, to represent you in the best way possible, to communicate with you honestly and effectively, and to advocate on your behalf.What Should I Expect From a Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney?
In short, your personal injury should be your “champion” — someone who aggressively pursues your best interests and advocates on your behalf to make sure that your needs are met.
Why Should I Hire a Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawyer for A Personal Injury Claim?
Frankly, if you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you’re much more likely to get more money for your personal injury lawsuit than if you tried to do it by yourself. Injury lawyers know the law, they know the courts, and they know the process. Not only does this give their clients peace of mind at an otherwise stressful time, it gives them the legal representation and expertise they need to recover the most they can for their injuries and suffering.
How Does Your Law Firm Charge Attorneys’ Fees?
At Gebhard Law Office, we recognize that injury and accident victims can rarely afford to pay an attorney by the hour. This is why we work on a contingency basis. This means that we do not get paid unless we actually win a case. Our contingency fee is in line with other high-quality personal injury attorneys, and we do not require upfront costs advance fees.
What About Up Front Costs for a Personal Injury Case? Who Pays Those?
There are many costs associated with launching a personal injury lawsuit, such as hiring experts, conducting discovery and preparing for the trial. For all of these ancillary costs, we advance payments for clients. Once a case settles, the client is responsible for reimbursing those costs. And, if we do not recover any damages (monies) for you, you are not responsible for the advance fees — you owe nothing.
What Is the Value of My Injury Claim or Case?
There is no “magic formula” to determine exactly how much a case is worth. In cases of serious injury and/or negligence, recovery is determined by a number of factors, including the amount of available insurance coverage, the seriousness of the injuries, and who is at fault. In all cases, our primary goal is to get clients fair and just compensation for their injuries.
Wisconsin allows recovery of damages for the following:
- The injury itself, with awards varying based on the extent, nature and duration of the injuries
- Medical expenses, including past and future medical bills
- Lost wages, including past wages and future earnings that will be lost due to the injury and/or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering, including the loss of personal property
- Spousal or martial distress that may result from the injury
Why Does It Take So Long To File a Claim?
Because personal injury claims require medical reports that document injuries and outcomes, it can take months (and sometimes even years) to complete a case. While sometimes this may be due to doctors being slow to make and supply reports, sometimes it is due to doctors needing to wait until a patient’s medical condition has stabilized.
Because part of the value of a case rests on the extent of the injuries (for instance, is there permanent, lifelong damage that will never heal?), it is important to make sure that a victim has stabilized and reached “maximum medical improvements” before moving forward with a case. Otherwise, victims might not get compensation for conditions that are associated with their injuries but do not show up until after a case is settled.
At Gebhard Law Office, we understand that victims are impatient to receive the justice and compensation that they’re entitled to for their injuries. One of the hardest things we can ask of our clients is patience while we pursue your case. You can trust us to work as aggressively and quickly as possible to settle your case.
Should I Talk to Anyone About My Case?
No, you should not talk to anyone about your accident other than your lawyer and your doctors. If an insurance company wants to talk to you about your injuries — regardless of whether it is your insurance company or that of the liable party — refer them to your personal injury attorney. Also, never sign anything related to your accident until you have it checked by your attorney first.
Can I File a Claim Against the Government?
Personal injury claims against government are subject to special rules. This includes lawsuits made against a city, county, state, local government or the United States as a whole. Generally, something called a “Notice of Claim” must be filed with the government within a short period of time following the accident. If you think that you have a case against the government, notify us as soon as possible so that we can take discuss your case and take appropriate action.
The Dos and Don’ts for Injured Victims
If you are injured in an accident and pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, there are a number of things you should and shouldn’t do to protect and build your case.
As a personal injury victim, you should:
Immediately contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced injury lawyer can give you valuable advice in your initial interview and help you understand what you need to do right away.
Notify your lawyer if you move, change phone numbers or have any employment changes (including changes in employer, job title, duties or salary).
Take numerous color pictures of accident damage to your vehicle before you get it repaired. Use a whole roll of film if possible.
Save all physical evidence of treatment, including medication bottles, braces, casts and any other items you get from your doctor.
Give your accident lawyer any and all pictures and/or videos you have of the accident and accident scene.
Get and save any receipts you have for expenses related to your accident. Receipts should be dated and contain complete and legible vendor identification.
Tell your accident attorney anything that you think might have bearing on the case, including hospitalization, medical treatment and the like.
In addition, as a personal injury or accident victim:
- Do not admit fault. In fact, do not offer any opinions about what caused the accident or who is at fault.
- Do not talk to anyone about your accident or case other than your attorney.
- Do not give or make any statements (oral, recorded or written in any form) to anyone about your accident or injuries without first talking to a lawyer.
- Do not wait to see your doctor, and do not minimize the pain you are in.
- Do not make any false statements about prior injuries to any doctors. It is also important that you do not make incorrect statements, so if you do not remember past information, just say so.
- Do not ignore your physician’s advice.
What Information Should I Keep For My Case?
To mount the best case you can, it’s crucial that you keep accurate, detailed records. Record the following information on an ongoing basis:
- Lost time from work and wages
- Any and all expenses associated with your injuries (for instance, transportation costs, home care costs, medication costs, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disabilities and limitations
It is also helpful to keep copies of receipts and checks for payments related to the case because they can be used to recall any out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering and other details when asked by an attorney or insurance company.
What About My Doctor’s Advice?
Always follow your doctor’s advice, and be sure to show up for all appointments. Showing up for doctors’ appointments often serves as proof of injury, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation. If you do not show up for appointments, the insurance company and the jury will not believe that you were in pain and that you needed medical treatment to cope with your injuries.
Milwaukee personal injury attorney Karl Gebhard is available throughout Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the surrounding areas, including Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, West Milwaukee, West Allis, Wauwatosa, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, River Hills, Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Hales Corners, Greenfield, Greendale, Glendale, Franklin, Fox Point, Cudahy, Brown Deer, Bayside, Green Bay, Madison, Racine, and Jefferson. All services handled on a “you only pay if we win,” contingency basis.