Below are answers to some questions concerning bike laws, cyclists’ rights, and specifics about accident attorneys and the cases they represent.
An initial consultation is conducted on a complimentary basis, and if the case is accepted, the attorney works on a contingency fee basis. In other words, the fee is a percentage of the monetary recovery “if and when the case is resolved in your favor.” The percentage is usually between 33 1/3% and 40%.
When your doctor releases you.
Yes. Your attorney should have a candid discussion with you in the first interview regarding “costs” versus “fees.” Fees are contingent, but costs are not. Costs during the initial phase of the case can run approximately $15.00 for a police report, $300.00 for a private investigator and $400.00 for medical records. These are usually advanced by your attorney and repaid through the settlement. Obviously, some cases are more complex than others and costs can accelerate rapidly. Nonetheless, your attorney should always discuss costs with you before they are incurred.
Hopefully, not much. This means you have a minor injury and will be back on your bike in a couple of days. However, if the injury is more serious such as a concussion, broken bone, separated shoulder, permanent scarring or torn cartilage, then the value increases accordingly. These cases typically require on-going medical care and sometimes surgery. It is hard to evaluate cases at the early stages because the costs of future medical care, loss of earnings, and disability or permanent injury are unknown. Nonetheless, assuming we can prove fault against the defendant, clients are advised in the first interview of a rough estimated value in the “thousands,” “tens of thousands,” “hundreds of thousands,” or more. It is impossible to be more specific until all the medical, loss of earnings, and disability records are reviewed.
The majority of cases are usually resolved within eighteen months from the date of the incident. This may sound like a long time, but keep in mind that cases proceeding to trial can take up to three years or more.
Fortunately, the property damage portion of the case can usually be resolved within the first two months of the case.