Q: What does a personal injury case mean?
A: A personal injury case is a case in which an injured person is seeking redress – usually monetary compensation – for a wrong that was committed by another person. For example, if a drunk driver struck your car with his vehicle, and you were physically injured in the collision, the personal injury case is a means by which you – usually through your attorney – can obtain a settlement from the drunk driver’s insurance company. If you are not satisfied with the offer made to you by the insurance company, our firm will file a lawsuit against the drunk driver on your behalf and go in front of a judge and jury to recover the money damages you deserve.
Q: Is a personal injury case a criminal law case or a civil law case?
A: A personal injury case is a civil law case which allows you to seek rightful compensation for your injuries from the at-fault party or their insurance company. If the at-fault driver was drunk or driving recklessly, the government could choose to file criminal charges and prosecute the at-fault driver. That action by the government would be a criminal case.
Q: What kinds of things can we ask for in the personal injury case?
A: There is a potentially long list that may include some or all of the following:
Q: How much will I have to pay my attorney to file the personal injury case?
A: There are no up-front costs in a personal injury case. We take our cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that unless we settle the case successfully with the insurance company or take the case before a judge and jury and win a judgment, there are no attorney’s fees at all. However, if we successfully settle the case with the insurance company or win in court, the attorney’s fees, court costs, investigative costs, and the cost of taking the case to court or to settle will be deducted from the ultimate settlement amount. In short, we only make money if you make money. We may invest considerable resources developing your case when it is appropriate. Those costs will be deducted from the ultimate amount settled or won.
Q: What is my case worth?
A: This depends on many factors, and it can get complicated. Generally speaking, your case is worth what the insurance company will agree to settle for or the amount we win in court. The actual amount depends on the medical costs, property losses, past and future lost income, length of treatment, disfigurement, severity of the pain and suffering, and the future impairment which remains after treatment, if any. Each case is different. It is difficult to give a reliable estimate of the value of your case until you have finished receiving medical treatment and we know what your physical condition is at that time.
Q: I have been told not to communicate with my insurance company or sign anything. Is this good advice?
A: The insurance representative may be friendly, helpful, exhibit a feeling of trust to you and may even tell you that you don’t need an attorney. Beware. They are only interested in closing your claim and paying out as little as they can when doing so. It is best to let your attorney communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance company will want to take a recorded statement of you. DO NOT ALLOW A RECORDED STATEMENT. They will use it against you later. Insurance companies are in business to prosper and succeed. The less money they pay out, the richer they become. It is not in their best interest to give out large sums of money. Our firm has handled thousands of cases and know how to present your case in the best possible way to ensure you recover a fair settlement.
Q: How long will it take to receive a settlement or a court award?
A: Each case varies according to the facts involved. However, as a general rule, we usually can negotiate a settlement within one to two months after you finish receiving your medical treatment. Some cases take much longer if there are issues of who was at fault for the accident or the complexity of the medical treatment. But do not worry – we will be with you every step of the way to explain the process.
Q: I have heard that Attorney Paul VanDerwerken has settled some 2000 cases, and that represents about a 95% settlement success rate. Is this good?
A: Attorney VanDerwerken has indeed settled more than 2000 cases out of court on behalf of his clients. He also has tried over 125 jury trial with successful results. His skills as a litigator and negotiator and advocate are well known by the insurance companies. . They know his firm will not be intimidated and be afraid to go to trial. Most would rather settle the case in a fair deal rather than fight him in court. That is why only 5 percent of his cases actually go to trial. The other 95 percent settle.
Q: Can I speak with Attorney VanDerwerken?
A: Yes. Attorney VanDerwerken personally speaks with every potential new client before they retain his services. He offers a free case review, which will give you the opportunity to ask any questions and discuss your future options on how to proceed. You can schedule an appointment by calling his office at 702-385-5050. Attorney VanDerwerken represents clients in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Pahrump, Overton and other cities. He is a member of the Nevada, Colorado and New York Bars.