Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to settle my personal injury case?
A: It is impossible for any lawyer to tell you exactly how long it will take to resolve your claim. Many factors play a role in how long it will take to settle your claim. These include the extent of your injuries, the length of your medical treatment, and even the insurance company that is responsible for paying your damages. It is generally not appropriate to consider settling a claim until your medical treatment has concluded. This is because insurance companies refuse to consider any damages unless there is conclusive evidence that the damages have been or will definitely be incurred. Therefore, for example, simply telling an insurance company that you will obtain more medical treatment is never something that will be considered. Call us for a free consultation at Medlock and Gramlich, LLP. We’ll be glad to review your case and answer any questions that you may have.
When should I call a lawyer after an accident?
A: You should call a lawyer as soon as possible in order to obtain witness statements and locate and preserve key evidence to process your claim. It is also important to have an attorney before you speak to any insurance company, even your own, if you have been injured. Early representation by an experienced personal injury attorney is essential in most cases to obtaining fair compensation for your injuries. Why should I hire Medlock and Gramlich, LLP rather than one of the other law firms that I see advertising on television? A. At Medlock and Gramlich, LLP, we have the experience necessary to effectively handle and pursue your claim. Our legal team includes both young attorneys and those that have been practicing for over a quarter of a century. We have the resources and knowledge to know how to handle your claim. While we aggressively handle your claim, we know that the key to quick resolution is to effectively communicate with insurance companies and to promptly provide the necessary information that is needed to settle your claim. When you retain us, we know that you probably don’t want to have to file a lawsuit. By providing sufficient information to insurance companies to show that we will prevail if we do have to file a lawsuit, we are able in most cases to obtain fair compensation without filing a suit. And you never pay a fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf.How do I know that you have the experience necessary to handle my case? Our attorneys have effectively and successfully tried numerous jury trials in both civil and criminal cases. Jered Medlock and Luke Gramlich have long family histories in Sebastian and Crawford County. Our experience is outlined in our biography pages. If you have questions, call us and we’ll be glad to discuss our accomplishments with you. Our reputation is important to us. If we didn’t have the experience necessary to handle your case, we wouldn’t take your case in the first place.
What factors does an insurance company use in evaluating my case?
A: In Arkansas, the factors that a jury must consider in awarding damages to you are contained in model jury instructions. These factors include the following damages which resulted from the other party’s negligence: the nature, extent and duration of the injury and whether it is temporary or permanent; past and future medical bills; past and future pain, suffering, and emotional harm; lost wages; loss of earning capacity; and other elements of damage.
Can I afford to hire you in my personal injury claim?
A: Yes. Our fees are contingency fees, meaning that they are based upon the amount that we recover for your personal injury claim. Our fees are competitive with other law firms and you never pay us a fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf.
What can you do to help me if you are my attorney in a personal injury case?
A: What we do for you depends upon the specifics of your case. No two cases are exactly alike. We will contact witnesses and obtain statements when appropriate, obtain and preserve the evidence, and guide you in every step of your claim. We’ll be with you through the entire process and can even assist you by recommending doctors if you have difficulty obtaining medical treatment. After all, in Arkansas and Oklahoma, many doctors simply refuse to treat persons who are injured in an automobile accident, persons who are making a personal injury claim, or persons who are unable to pay cash in advance of treatment. We can assist you throughout the entire process.
Is there any reason that I shouldn’t try to settle my personal case without an attorney?
A: Generally, there are many reasons. First, unless you are an experienced personal injury attorney, you probably aren’t familiar with the law. If you give a statement to an insurance company, you may say something that places fault on someone other than the other driver, which reduces the amount the other insurance company has to pay to you. Or, you may say something that places fault on yourself, which also reduces the amount the other insurance company has to pay to you. Second, you probably are inexperienced in how to obtain, collect, and preserve the evidence. Failing to obtain the appropriate evidence may reduce your ability to obtain fair compensation or at least delay the process. Third, if you begin negotiations with an insurance company, the amount of your last offer will generally be the most money an insurance company will ever consider paying for your claim, even if your later retain an attorney. You may be willing to settle your claim at a “bargain basement” price but when the insurance company refuses, you have set that “bargain basement” price as the maximum amount that the insurance company will ever consider.
I had an accident and the other driver’s insurance company called me to arrange for my medical treatment. What should I do?
A: Do nothing. This is a scam. The other driver’s insurance company will not be arranging your medical treatment. Automobile liability insurance companies try their best to delay cases to save their money. They never arrange for medical treatment for someone that they do not insure.
I just had a wreck and my car is totaled. How can I determine how much my car is worth?
A: Most reputable insurance companies will accept the NADA blue book value, which is available online at http://www.nada.com. Keep in mind that they will want to value your vehicle somewhere between private party and trade-in value. The other insurance company should also pay for sales tax based on the value of your vehicle, if the sale of your vehicle at such price would require the payment of state sales tax. Some unscrupulous insurance companies utilize services which are organized solely to cater to insurance companies. Such services, such as CCC Information Services, Inc., provide purported valuations on vehicles using “comparable” vehicles. The alleged comparable vehicles are never available by you for purchase and are typically vehicles that were sold at quick sale prices. Be prepared to challenge the insurance company’s CCC valuation if it is significantly different than the NADA value. You can do this by asking the insurance company to have CCC provide you with a list of comparable vehicles that you are able to purchase at the time of settlement.
I just had an accident and I only hurt a little and the insurance company just gave me a check for $1,000. What should I do?
A: If the insurance company gave you a check for a release of any claim for injury a day or two after an accident, you should never cash the check until you are absolutely sure that you do not have serious injuries. We frequently see a delay in the onset of injuries of several days and, in some cases, even a week or longer. If you cash the check, you can never make a claim for injury in the future.