Personal Injury FAQ

How much will this cost?

You will pay nothing. We at Nichols & Churchill use pure contingency agreements, meaning that you do not have to pay anything out of your pocket. Our fee comes from a percent of any recovery that you may get whether it be by way of settlement or verdict. We also advance any costs.

Do I have a case?

Each case is different. The first step therefore is to have you come in for a consultation, during which we will discuss all the facts, the law with regard to your case, answer your questions and tell you if you have a case. We will be honest and straightforward with you.

I don’t like the thought of having to sue somebody and am not looking to get rich quick.

Nobody wants to have to sue anybody. However, if somebody else’s negligence has caused you to suffer injuries and a major impairment to your life, you are entitled and deserve to be put in a position that you were before the accident. You will receive what you are legally entitled to receive. You should not be in a position worse off than you were before the accident. You certainly did not ask for the accident or its consequences, and you should not have to bear the responsibilities and consequences for the accident. You will simply receive what you are entitled to. The average person obviously does not want to have to sue somebody, but sometimes it’s necessary to protect yourself.

How much of my time would a lawsuit involve? How long will it take?

We try to minimize your inconvenience. We will have an initial meeting with you at which time we will gather as much information as possible, so we will not have to bother you in the future. At some point, the defendant may send out a request for documents and/or interrogatories. However we should have the information from your initial meeting to respond to those inquiries. At some point defendant, may want to take a deposition or statement from you. That would require your personal appearance. Other than that, we will handle all the activity. The only other time that you would have to get involved is at a mediation or in the unlikely event the case goes to trial.

How much is my case worth?

Under Maine law, a court can award damages for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, future medical expenses, other out of pocket expenses and a sum to fairly compensate you for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment you’ve experienced and will experience as a result of your injuries. In addition, if you are married, your spouse is entitled to recover an amount which will fairly compensate him or her for the effect your accident has had on your spouse’s life.

Do I really need a lawyer if I’m hurt in a car accident?

Handling a personal injury matter without a professional is asking for trouble. You don’t handle complex medical issues without help from a doctor. You need an expert to advise you on your rights and to help you in dealing with well trained insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters are not trained to look out for your rights. They are trained to get a quick settlement and dispose of your case. We will help you with protecting your rights and get yo the maximum amount of money which you are entitled to.

Why does the insurance company say I don’t need a lawyer?

Insurance industry statistics show accident victims represented by lawyers get significantly larger settlements. It pays to have an expert on your side. Insurance adjusters are trained to settle your case for as little money as possible. We know the adjusters and have dealt with them. We will get you the maximum money that you are entitled to.

Will I have to go to court?

Most cases don’t require a lawsuit to get a fair settlement. Even if you go to court, approximately 95% of the cases settle. However, if you do have to go to trial, we are prepared to try your case and get you the maximum recovery before a jury of your peers.

Can I harm my case by talking to the insurance company on my own?

Definitely. More harm is done to the client’s cases by trying to deal with the insurance company on your own. For example, the insurance company will take a statement from you and that statement will be used against you later. Insurance companies are pretty smooth when it comes to asking questions, and they know how to entrap people even when you don’t think you’re being entrapped.

How will my car get fixed?

If the other driver is at fault for your accident, the other insurance company is responsible for the damage to your car. Can I get a rental car while my car is being repaired? Yes. Maine law provides that the insurance company for the person that hit you must pay your rental for a period of up to 45 days or until your car is repaired and you are paid for your car, whichever comes first.

Should I see an attorney even if I made only one visit to see a doctor?

Yes. It is difficult to tell early on how serious the injury is. Often an injury that does not appear serious at the beginning turns out being worse. No case is too small when it comes to recovering what you are entitled to.

Who will pay the medical bills while I’m waiting for settlement?

Initially, your automobile insurance policy will pay under what’s called medical payments coverage. This is a no fault type of insurance that would not be chargeable against your driving record and will pay immediately for any medical bills you have up to a certain amount. Secondly, your own health insurance coverage should pay if your own automobile insurance is insufficient or you have no other insurance. Your own health insurance may have to be paid back when you enter into settlement, but at least the bills will be paid at the time and when the money comes from the other driver’s insurance company, it can be paid back. Even then, we will be able to negotiate with your own insurance company, so you will not have to pay back the full amount.

Learn more about how Nichols & Churchill can help you with your personal injury case.