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FAQS

Hiring an Attorney

  1. Do I have to put any money up front?
  2. What will hiring an attorney do for my case?
  3. Why do I need to hire an attorney?

Your Case and settlement

  1. Can I settle my case on my own?
  2. What is “negligence”?
  3. Should I accept the insurance companies settlement offer?
  4. What compensation can I get for this claim?

Medical Treatment

  1. Should I go to a Dr. or hospital right away?

Personal Injury

  1. What should I do with medical bills while my personal injury case is in process?
  2. What if no one is at fault for my accident?

Car Accident

  1. Am I partially at fault if I am involved in a pedestrian accident?
  2. What do I do if I’ve been involved in an auto accident?
  3. Why should I file an injury claim after an auto accident?

Wrongful Death

  1. How is a wrongful death case different from a personal injury case?

Workers Comp

  1. What is the time limit for filing a notice of injury and claim with my employer?
  2. I was injured on the job but my employer said it didn’t happen at work, now my Insurance company is denying my claim. What can be done?

Before and After

  1. Can I talk to the insurance company and answer their questions or give a statement?

Question: Am I partially at fault if I am involved in a pedestrian accident?

Answer: Not if you were in compliance with Nevada law. You must be in a crosswalk and you must not dart out in front of a vehicle. Each case is different and you should always seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Question: What should I do with medical bills while my personal injury case is in process?

Answer: If you are treating on an attorney lien the doctor will wait to be paid until after your case settles. If you have health insurance you may want to treat under your health insurance. Each case is different and you should always seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Question: What is the time limit for filing a notice of injury and claim with my employer?

Answer: 7 days to file a Notice of Injury with your Employer and 90 days to see a Doctor fill out a Claim for compensation.  Of course, always best to notify your Employer immediately of an injury

Question: I was injured on the job but my employer said it didn’t happen at work, now my insurance company is denying my claim.  What can be done?

Answer: Find an attorney who specializes in workers compensation like we do to represent you and appeal the denial immediately.  You are only allowed 70 days to appeal the Insurer’s initial determination.

Question: Do I have to put any money up front?

Answer: NO! We offer our potential clients a completely free personal consultation with one of our trial attorneys.  If we accept the client’s case we fund the costs of the case ourselves.  Our clients do not pay us directly!  Rather we write a check to them out of our trust account after we have collected the money from the insurance company.  We also arrange medical treatment at no out-pocket-cost to our clients.  We don’t get paid anything until our clients get paid.  And best of all—the client’s financial recovery is tax-free!

Question: What will hiring an attorney do for my case?

Answer: A lot, IF you hire the right kind of attorney!  There are basically two kinds of personal injury attorneys.  The ones running a volume “mill” where the clients never meet the attorney and all the work is done by non-attorney legal assistants.  These firms usually advertise on tv and just settle the cases fast and cheap so they can buy the next commercial.  They take a fee larger than the client’s share and often cut off the client’s medical treatment before they are really recovered.  The wrong attorney truly adds insult to injury!  They are much better at taking money from their clients than they are at taking money from the at-fault parties!

The right attorney is the trial attorney who has the personal skill and experience to truly understand the client and his/her case and deals with the client one-on one.  Every individual client is unique and needs a personal game plan by the attorney to achieve the best result.  The client feels comfortable and can concentrate solely on getting well and carry on with their personal responsibilities while having frequent and informative communication with the lawyer.  Insurance companies are not stupid!  They know when they are dealing with a serious attorney who will truly fight for his/her client.  they know they will have to pay a higher settlement for the case.

And an ethical trial attorney never charges more for his/her fee than the amount which the client receives personally at the end of the case.  Choosing the right attorney can make all the difference in finding real justice.

Question: Should I go to a Dr. or hospital right away?

Answer: The most important thing is your health.  If you’re in a car crash, you’ve likely been hit by a several thousand pound piece of machinery and pushed suddenly.  Or, possibly you’ve had a serious fall and may have broken or torn something.  Whatever happened, if you have pain you should get it checked out to be safe.  You don’t want to make things worse.  Many times treatment done early on and done well can reduce recovery time or otherwise caught a problem before it becomes irreversible.  The next important thing is the legal reason to get checked out.  The insurance company or defense attorney will argue if you didn’t go to see a doctor right away then you must not have been hurt.  They’ll assume lack of treatment means lack of injury.  Going to a good doctor is not only the best course of action for your health, but also creates a record that can be used to prove your damages.  Records are very helpful, if not absolutely necessary, when making a claim.

Question: Can I settle my case on my own?

Answer: You have to ask yourself if you have sufficient knowledge to go toe to toe with the insurance company or defense attorney.  Do you think what they’re going to tell you is accurate or in your best interest?  They have completely opposite interest than you.  They don’t want to protect you.  Instead, they want two things: 1) protect their insured/client; and 2) pay you as little money as possible to settle the claim.  They don’t care if you need medical treatment.  In fact, they want you to settle as soon as possible, even if you still need treatment, haven’t fully recovered, and still may miss work.  A good, experienced attorney will know how to prove your claim, what’s necessary, when to negotiate, and how to negotiate, all with the threat of a lawsuit if they’re not reasonable.  This is the best way to avoid regrets, including being taken advantage of by your lack of knowledge and power position.

Question: What if no one is at fault for my accident?

Answer: In the event that you do not know who the at-fault party is, as in the case of a hit and run collision, your attorney may be able to make a claim for benefits. Auto insurance carriers typically offer what is called uninsured motorist / underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage which may apply to a situation like this. Customers are required to accept or waive UM/UIM coverage in writing when they purchase their auto insurance coverage. As long as the coverage has not been waived, there may be insurance coverage available when the identity of the at-fault party is unknown.

Question: Why do I need to hire an attorney?

Answer: In today’s world, a great deal of information is just a few clicks away, on the Internet. As a result, people are tempted to read a few articles on-line and adopt a “do-it-yourself” approach to their case. The “do-it-yourself” approach, at least with respect to legal matters, is a bad idea.

Think about it like this: If you needed surgery, would you operate on yourself? No. you would go to a medical professional with the education, training, experience, and skill necessary to handle the task. Why, then, would you try to “do-it-yourself” when it comes to handling your case? Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is your best bet.

It doesn’t cost a thing.

In most cases, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney won’t cost you a thing. The consultation is free. You will have an opportunity to meet with a licensed attorney so you can ask the questions that are important to you and gather the information you need before making an educated decision about how to proceed with your case.

Work with a professional.

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney means you will have a strong advocate in your corner. Someone who has been “in the trenches” for many years and has the education, training, experience, and skill necessary to handle your case. Working with a professional also ensures that you will not fall victim to the many tricks and pitfalls associated with the handling of personal injury claims.

Maintain your focus – on getting better.

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney means you can focus on what is most important to you – getting better. With a professional handling your case, you will have more time to focus on your recovery, your family, your work, and all of the things that you hold dear. You will have more time to go to doctor visits, have tests and medical procedures performed, participate in therapy, rest, and do whatever else is necessary to get better. Having the benefit of a strong team means you can maintain your focus – on getting better.

Question: What is “negligence”?

Answer: Negligence is a legal cause of action used when someone is injured due to the fault of another.  In order to win a case based on Negligence you must show 4 things.

  1. There is a legal duty owed by the defendant (at fault person) to the plaintiff (injured person).
  2. The defendant breached the duty.
  3. The plaintiff was injured.
  4. The injury was caused by the defendant’s breach of the duty.

Question: Should I accept the insurance companies settlement offer?

Answer: It depends.  You only get one chance to settle with the insurance company.  Once you agree to settle, there is no way to re-open your case or get more money.  If you take a settlement too early, you may not fully understand your injuries, or the extent of the injuries and the needed treatment.  That is why it is important to see the proper doctors and get the appropriate recommendations for treatment.  It does not benefit you to rush into settlement, which is what the insurance companies want you to do.  You have 2 years from the date of your injury in most cases to file a lawsuit (medical malpractice is 1 year).  You absolutely do not have to rush into settlement.  Take your time to fully understand the injuries you have and what your need for future medical treatment will be.  The Insurance company will still be there several months or even a year later.   Most importantly, speak with an experienced attorney to understand all your rights and make sure you are receiving everything you are entitled to under the law.

Question: Can I talk to the insurance company and answer their questions or give a statement?

Answer: When you file a claim with the insurance company the claims adjuster will likely want to speak with you to get your statement about what occurred as well as gather some information about your injuries.  Typically they ask to take a recorded statement so that they have a record of what you say, which will become part of your claim forever.  Recorded statements can be harmful to your case as the adjuster is an expert at asking questions or phrasing them in a way to trip you up to say things that may negatively affect your claim. You are not required to give a recorded statement to the adjuster.  If you do decide to give a statement, and have not consulted with a personal injury attorney, then it is best to stick to the facts of the crash.  Write them down and read them verbatim from your paper.  Do not add personal comments or give narratives or even go off script because those distract from the facts and the adjuster may use that extra commentary against you.  If you find yourself in doubt, do not be afraid to decline to give a statement and contact an attorney for advice.

Question: How is a wrongful death case different from a personal injury case?

Answer: A wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim that arises because of the intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct of a party that caused the death of another. The representative of the person’s estate, his or her heirs, including the surviving spouse, surviving children, or the surviving parents if no spouse or children, may be able to bring a claim for money damages. In Nevada, a claim for wrongful death must be brought within two years from the date of the death. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise on the rights and remedies available under Nevada law.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AUTO ACCIDENTS

Question: What do I do if I’ve been involved in an auto accident?

Answer: First, seek immediate medical care and evaluation of any injuries that you and anyone else in the vehicle has sustained. Injuries that go untreated for too long can develop into serious health complications. Also report the incident to the police immediately, so that there’s an official report of the incident. Get information from any other drivers who were involved, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance details, and the make and model of their cars. If possible, get the names and contact information from any witnesses as well. If you or someone you know has a camera available, take pictures of the scene where the accident took place, so that you have an objective record and don’t have to struggle with the trauma of trying to remember every detail yourself.

Question: Why should I file an injury claim after an auto accident?

Answer: Victims of auto accidents may be entitled to benefits, but insurance companies are not always willing to extent compensation. That’s why you need the help of a dedicated law firm like Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith. We’ll fight to make sure that you receive all the compensation that you deserve.

Question: What compensation can I get for this claim?

Answer: The compensation you may be entitled to depends on the extent of injuries: damages as well as liability. To make sure that you’re receiving fair compensation, you should consult with an attorney who has experience about Nevada vehicle law and rights to compensation.

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