Handling your Georgia Personal Injury Claim – A Complete Guide Part 2
- How much do Georgia Injury Lawyers charge?
Q: What do you charge clients for your services? What determines the charges?
A: I do not charge my clients any up-front costs, nor do I bill for hours worked on a case. I handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. In other words, we only receive an attorney fee if there is an actual recovery of money damages on the case. The fee is a percentage of the gross recovery amount obtained by way of jury verdict or settlement. It varies depending on case complexity. It is usually between 33 1/3 and 40%. Handling cases on a percentage basis provides me with the ultimate incentive to get my clients the greatest financial recovery possible.
- What other things can an Accident Attorney do for me, which I can’t do for myself?
Q: What other services can you offer clients that they typically cannot conquer on their own?
A: If a client has outstanding (unpaid) medical expenses, we offer assistance negotiating with the medical providers to reduce the amount the client must pay to resolve these outstanding medical bills. This is typically done while we are in the process of negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In addition, if the client does not have health insurance, automobile medical payments coverage or some other source to pay their medical expenses while they are receiving medical treatment for their injuries (prior to resolution of their case against the at-fault party’s insurance company), my firm offers assistance to ensure that each client receives quality medical care to diagnose and treat his/her injuries. My firm has established relationships with doctors in virtually every medical specialty that will provide the necessary medical care to my firm’s clients. In such situations, the doctor will provide the necessary medical treatment on what is called an “attorney lien.” Basically, this means that the attorney signs an agreement with the doctor whereby the doctor charges for his/her services, but agrees to defer receipt of payment for services until the case against the at-fault party and its insurance company has resolved. Such an arrangement ensures that the client does not have to forego receiving the treatment they need due to an inability to pay, and allows the client to receive good quality medical care without having to suffer the burden of paying “out of pocket” for the treatment.
- Who pays for my medical bills while I am waiting for my case to settle?
Q: If a client is injured, isn’t it the negligent party’s insurance company’s responsibility to pay for medical treatment?
A: Yes they are - but the catch is, they are not required to pay the bills until the victim is released from all treatment. That can take months, or even years! If the client is covered under a group health insurance plan, private health insurance plan, medical payments coverage, Medicare or Medicaid, these sources can be accessed to pay the costs associated with medical treatment for injuries prior to resolution of the case. In some situations (including payments made by Medicare, Medicaid and self-funded group health plans covered under the ERISA Act), the amounts paid by the health insurer must be reimbursed to the health insurer at the time the case against the at-fault party is resolved. The amount of reimbursement to be repaid is often negotiable, and my firm assists in negotiating any amounts subject to reimbursement. If the client does not have any type of insurance coverage to defray the expenses for medical treatment, medical treatment can be obtained via an Attorney Lien with a medical provider (see above).