Do I Need an Attorney?
One question that our attorneys hear frequently is: Do I need a lawyer? If you have been injured and you believe others are at fault for your injury, you should talk to an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand whether you have a valid claim and guide you through the legal process if a lawsuit is necessary. In many instances, you may obtain a higher settlement if you have legal representation than you would obtain on your own.
NC injury lawyer Robert "Chip" Younce Jr. explains when you do and don't need an attorney to help defend your injury claim.
It is important to know where you stand after a serious accident. You can inform yourself about your legal options by scheduling a free consultation with an attorney at Younce, Vtipil & Baznik to review your accident and discuss the proper steps to take. If you were injured in North Carolina, where our law firm helps victims of personal injuries, we can answer your questions and provide a free review of your case.
If you have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina and you believe someone else was at fault, talk to a lawyer about your legal rights.
Is Hiring a Lawyer Worth It?
You are not required to hire a lawyer to settle an accident claim. But having a lawyer negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf may lead to a larger settlement.
A report by the Insurance Research Council entitled Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs, found that 85 percent of the money paid out for bodily injury claims went to clients who had hired attorneys and that people filing claims received a higher rate of reimbursement per dollar of economic loss. The insurance payouts are 3.5 times higher for clients who have an attorney.
The higher your medical bills and other losses due to a car accident, the more likely the other motorist’s insurance company is to dispute your claim. Insurance companies are focused on protecting their profits rather than treating claimants fairly.
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers advising them. You will be at a disadvantage if you try to deal with insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers on your own.
Should I Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
When considering whether you need a lawyer, ask yourself the following questions:
- How serious are your injuries?
- Can you afford to do without a settlement if you handle the case on your own and make a mistake?
If your accident involved only damage to your car and no injuries, you may not need the assistance of a lawyer. You may be able to reach a settlement with the insurance company on your own to pay for repairs to your car or replacement of the vehicle if it is totaled.
If you were injured and your injuries are serious enough that you are going through weeks or months of medical treatment and having to miss work, then you need to consult a personal injury lawyer. An experienced injury lawyer can guide you through the process and help you avoid mistakes.
As Chip Younce explains in a video, when his family purchased a house, a substantial amount of money was at stake so he couldn’t afford to make a mistake. Rather than handle the closing on his own, he hired a real estate lawyer to handle the closing. He did so to make sure the real estate closing was handled correctly and there were no costly omissions or missteps. The same principle applies to hiring a personal injury lawyer after a serious auto accident.
If you are going to hire a lawyer, it is better to do it sooner rather than later. The sooner a lawyer gets involved with your case, the better the chances that the lawyer can preserve evidence and find witnesses to support your injury claim.
What Can an Attorney Do for an Injured Person?
After an accident in which you were injured and the other driver was at fault, you need to educate yourself to fully understand your legal rights and the right steps to take.
A knowledgeable injury attorney can protect your rights. After you receive medical attention right after the accident, one of your first calls should be to contact a lawyer to discuss your rights.
You may not realize all the damages you are entitled to claim. An attorney will evaluate the details of your accident and help you determine what types of compensation you have a right to claim.
We can provide an informed perspective on the fair value of your claim including taking into account your present and future medical expenses, loss of income from missed work, permanent disabilities, diminished quality of life disabilities and the need for modification of your house.
An accident involving more than two cars can complicate the settlement negotiations and dealings with insurers. Insurance companies may deny liability and point the finger at other drivers. A knowledgeable attorney will identify all the potentially liable parties and seek to hold them accountable.
Most car accident and personal injury cases are settled out of court. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of the situation by making low ball offers. Our attorneys at Younce, Vtipil & Baznik have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and understand the tactics they use.
An attorney can help you evaluate whether the settlement offer made by the insurance company is reasonable. If an insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement, our attorneys will be prepared to go to court to seek justice.
The initial consultation at Younce, Vtipil & Baznik is free and an excellent way to familiarize yourself with your legal options even if you do not hire us.
How Can I Get a Lawyer with No Money?
We recognize that people who have been through the trauma of a serious accident frequently often are out of work and are experiencing financial stress. Finding money to hire a lawyer should not be on your list of concerns while you are trying to recover your health.
Younce, Vtipil & Baznik puts the needs of the client first. Our attorneys do not charge a legal fee unless we obtain money for you.
Our Raleigh law firm handles a wide range of personal injury claims including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall cases, wrongful death cases and product liability cases. Our legal team handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis which is a common arrangement.
A contingency fee allows clients to secure an experienced and reliable attorney without having to pay money out of pocket. If we are successful in securing compensation for you, then we receive a percentage of any settlement or jury award as our legal fee.
Our maximum contingency fee is 33 1/3% of the total money obtained through a settlement or court award. Many lawyers charge 40% or even higher percentages of the total amount recovered.
Our compassionate attorneys will work aggressively for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation available under North Carolina law. We are successful in settling nearly all cases without a trial allowing the client to receive the compensation he or she needs as soon as possible.
If your case is the type that we handle and you choose to retain us, we will go over the contingency fee agreement with you and answer your questions before you sign any documents.
More Frequently Asked Questions
Hiring an Attorney
Finding the right attorney to assist you with your particular situation and needs begins with finding one that you trust, feel comfortable with and one with which you can clearly communicate issues and concerns. During your consultation, the attorney needs to be able to ask you the right questions and spot potential issues to ensure your rights are fully protected. Good listening skills are another key characteristic you should look for in your attorney. It is extremely important that clients feel that their attorney is listening to them and really hearing their concerns. Before you leave the attorney’s office, you need to be certain that you fully understand their billing practices and how they intend to handle your case. It is a good idea to meet with a few attorneys to be sure you find the right fit for you and your situation.
In order to represent our clients to the best of our ability, it is vital that we are provided with complete, accurate facts concerning each client’s situation. It is important to trust your attorney so that you feel comfortable in making these disclosures. Our firm holds confidentiality in high regard and you can trust that anything you tell anyone in this office is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed without your permission. You should also feel free to discuss the details of your case without fear of judgment. Our firm is here to help you and not pass judgment on any past actions or allegations that have been made in your case.
This is the most commonly asked question by clients and the most difficult one to answer. Each case is different, and as a result the amount spent on attorney’s fees is different. While we can make general estimates of ranges of anticipated fees based on our past experience, you must understand that these estimates are not guarantees. These estimates are for your financial planning purposes and preparation. Our firm charges on an hourly rate basis or a flat fee basis, depending on the type of legal service you are seeking. For claims which seek a judgment of absolute divorce based on one year’s separation and which are not contested, we normally charge a fixed fee. With regard to other claims, we generally charge for our services at an hourly rate, which varies from attorney to attorney. Staff time is also billed at a lower hourly rate. Any specific concerns regarding the fees charged by your attorney should be explained in your legal services contract. You should always contact your attorney if you have questions or concerns about the fee arrangement as soon as possible.
My Spouse and I are on great terms; we both want to end the marriage. Can we both hire the same attorney to save on the expenses?
It is not ethical for an attorney to represent two people who have interests that are in actual or potential conflict. In cases of separation and divorce, the spouses’ interests are necessarily in actual or potential conflict. As a general rule, we cannot represent you and your spouse. This does not mean that your spouse must hire their own attorney; however, we cannot give your spouse legal advice because we represent our client’s interests. This can limit what questions we can answer for your spouse. If your spouse does not have a lawyer, and wants to meet to discuss any non-legal questions he/she may have and/or to execute your agreement, we can meet with you and your spouse together to do so.
What can I do as a client to make my case progress in a more cost effective manner (i.e. how can I keep my legal expenses down)?”
Always notify your attorney of any change of address, telephone number, email address or employment. Be truthful; if you are not, your attorney may not continue to represent you and this may also create undue delay in your case causing unnecessary legal fees and expenses. Handle your financial commitments to your attorney in a prompt and professional manner. Our firm understands that separation can cause significant financial strain. Thus, it is important to us that we keep our clients informed about the amount of funds left in their retainer and when it is about to be depleted. Before you get to that point, we will advise you in writing of the status of your case, your options toward resolution and the related retainer amount to pursue each option. By doing this, our firm hopes to avoid high outstanding balances that cause strain for both you and the firm.
Contact Our Raleigh Personal Injury Attorneys
The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil & Baznik are prepared to offer experienced legal representation and help you seek the compensation you need to fully recover and move forward with your life. From our offices in Raleigh, Younce, Vtipil & Baznik serves clients throughout the Triangle and eastern North Carolina.
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured, we understand that you and your loved ones are going through an extremely difficult time and likely experiencing financial stress. Call today to discuss the situation with a compassionate injury attorney at Younce, Vtipil & Baznik. Our initial review of your claim is free and without obligation.