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Email : info@oxnerpermarlaw.com Todd Oxner is a founder and managing partner of Oxner + Permar , a North Carolina workers’ compensation firm. Since 1994 Todd has been known statewide for his success in handling workers’ compensation claims.

10 Mistakes in Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer You Should Avoid

Personal Injury

Personal injury law is an area of the law that deals with injuries sustained by people due to negligence. This includes accidents caused by car crashes, slip and falls, and other types of personal injuries.

Personal injury claims can be complicated because they involve many different parties. There are insurance companies involved, doctors, lawyers, and more.

As a result, choosing a personal injury attorney can be difficult. You may not know where to start looking and you may make mistakes along the way. This article will discuss some mistakes in choosing a personal injury lawyer you should avoid.

 

1. Not Hiring A Lawyer In The First Place

Many people think that if their injuries are minor, then they don’t need a lawyer. However, this is not always true. You could still make costly mistakes involving your medical bills and other expenses if you don’t hire a lawyer.

If your injuries are severe or you have lost income as a result of the accident, it is best to consult a lawyer.

 

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

2. Not Doing Your Homework First

This is probably the biggest mistake people make when hiring a personal injury lawyer. There are plenty of bad lawyers out there, but there are also plenty of good ones too. So how do you know which is which?

The answer is simple: ask around. Ask friends, family members, colleagues, and anyone else you know. They may have had experience with a particular lawyer, and can tell you whether they were satisfied with the results. Look at reviews online and discover the basic steps of a personal injury case for added insight.

Just do not forget to investigate his or her background thoroughly. You need to make sure that they have no prior criminal convictions. In addition, you should look into their disciplinary records. This will give you a good idea of how honest and trustworthy they are.

 

3. Hiring The First Person Who Offers You Money

It sounds like common sense but many people hire the first person who offers them money. It is not wise to choose someone based solely on monetary incentives, especially when they are just promised. Some unscrupulous lawyers will take advantage of injured victims and charge them exorbitant rates. Others will simply disappear after taking your money.

To help prevent mistakes in choosing a personal injury lawyer, you should always look for a reputable personal injury lawyer who has a proven track record. Do not hesitate to ask for references from previous clients. Also, try to find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. This way, you know he or she has extensive knowledge about the field and will not be simply using you.

 

4. Focusing On The Wrong Things

When you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, you want to focus on finding someone who knows what they are doing. But you shouldn’t just settle for any lawyer. You should ensure that they are qualified and experienced enough to handle your case.

For example, you should look for a lawyer who has handled similar cases before. This will allow him or her to understand what you are going through and advise you accordingly.

 

5. Not Knowing What To Expect When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

It is important to understand what to expect from a personal injury lawyer before hiring him or her. Some lawyers charge hourly rates while others bill their clients per case. Some lawyers only accept certain types of cases while others specialize in specific areas such as car accidents.

Before you make any decisions, you should research all these aspects so that you don’t end up with a bad experience.

 

6. Paying Them Up Front

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If you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, do not hand over your entire life savings right away. Instead, there are many attorneys that will charge you a percentage of your final settlement.  If you do not receive payment for your injuries, you may only be required to pay minimal expenses the attorney incurred while working on your case, such as fees for obtaining medical records.

 

7. Not Expanding Your Options

Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes. For example, some involve car accidents while others concern slip-and-fall incidents. If you are unsure what type of accident you are dealing with, it is important to consult with a professional immediately.

You should also always have a plan B when choosing a personal injury lawyer. This means that you should have another option in mind if your first choice turns out to be unsuitable.

Additionally, you should also consider carefully all options before even deciding whether or not to sue. For example, you may want to try mediation instead of going through litigation. Mediation involves two sides talking to each other. Both sides agree to settle out of court.

 

8. Not knowing what to ask

You should know exactly what questions to ask a potential attorney. Here are some things you should ask:

How much does the lawyer charge?

What types of cases does the lawyer handle?

Have you handled a case like this in the past?

Can I talk to the attorney if I have questions during the process?

 

You should not be afraid to ask these questions. In fact, you should find out everything you need to know about a particular lawyer before making any decision.

 

9. Failing to Discuss a Timeline

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When you choose a personal injury lawyer, you should immediately discuss a timeline for your case.  An attorney that tells you they can quickly put cash in your hand, is probably being untruthful.  You want a lawyer that will be honest with you, and set appropriate expectations for your case.  While they may not be able to give you an exact timeline, they will be able to estimate a range, so you are aware of the time needed to appropriately handle your case upfront.

 

10. Going To An Unlicensed Attorney

Unfortunately, there are unlicensed attorneys out there who claim to be able to help you. However, these individuals lack the necessary qualifications to represent you in court.

It is illegal for anyone other than a licensed attorney to practice law in most states. Therefore, you should avoid hiring an unlicensed individual. The consequences could be severe.

 

It’s important to know that choosing a personal injury lawyer is a big decision.

The right lawyer can make all the difference between getting a fair settlement and having to go through the entire process again. Make sure you do your research and pick someone who has experience handling similar cases before you hire them.

Do not rush the process. Call Oxner + Permar, pllc at 1.800.319.9000 to speak confidentially with a personal injury attorney today.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Personal Injury

Even the most experienced drivers can find car accidents to be stressful and hard to understand situations. From medical issues to insurance fees, there are countless questions that are put in your hands when you’re the victim of a car accident. Here at Oxner + Permar, PLLC our attorneys have been working for decades to make sure that accident victims like you keep their rights protected and get compensated fairly, even if it all can seem a bit overwhelming.

Here are a few helpful tips on what you can do if you’re a victim of a car accident.
1. Be informed: One of the most important things to do right after a car accident is to make sure you know as much as you can about the incident. Don’t just leave it up to your memory. At the scene of the accident have someone else, preferably a bystander, take pictures of what happened. This should include the scene and any cars involved. Also get the phone numbers of any witnesses, as they might be able to help support you. A few days after the car accident, you should get a copy of the police officer’s report, which should be made available online. It will have any statements you, the other person, or bystanders made. It will also have photos of where each vehicle was.
2. Document injuries: If you go to the hospital, don’t be afraid to ask your doctors questions and tell them everywhere that you hurt. You want them to understand the full situation. Unfortunately, the other driver’s insurance company won’t cover any medical costs until your case is settled, so you should make sure to use health insurance if you have it. Health insurance will let you get the medical attention you need while keeping any bill collectors off your back as much as possible.
3. Be ready for a phone call: Within the next day or two after a car accident, you might get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance adjuster. They will usually ask questions about how and why the accident happened and will want to know if you were injured or any damages to your vehicle. However, the insurance adjuster could be using questions designed to figure out whether you did anything to cause the accident. Any of what you say to the adjuster could be used against you in a case, so it could be a good decision to not tell the adjuster anything more than the basics. We recommend telling them that you were injured if this is a case, you need a rental vehicle, and/or you need repairs done on your car. Once you speak with an attorney, they can advise you on how to work with the adjuster best.
4. Call your insurance company: Check in with your insurance company to see if you have coverage on your policy towards “Medical Payments.” This could cover thousands of dollars towards your medical bills, to help you pay for the deductibles and co-pays that might come after an accident.

If you’re in the unfortunate situation where this does happen to you, reach out to Oxner + Permar, PLLC for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Does My Employer Have To Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Workers' Compensation

I often hear potential clients say their supervisor told them they do not carry workers’ compensation insurance or that there is no way to file a worker’s comp claim. Although there are a few exceptions, in North Carolina employers who employ three or more people are generally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

This appears to be a tactic that employers use to try and decrease the number of claims that are filed in an effort to keep their insurance rates from rising. Unfortunately, a lot of people will take their supervisor’s word for it and not file a claim.

The longer someone waits to file a claim, the more damaging it may be to their claim or benefits. If your employer ever tells you that they do not have workers’ compensation insurance, it is best to consult with an attorney to determine if this is true as you may still be entitled to benefits in the event that your employer does not carry the required workers’ compensation insurance.

If you have been hurt on the job and are not sure if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, please give us a call for a free consultation. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to help defend your rights.

Who Is At Fault When A Self-Driving Car Causes A Wreck?

Personal Injury

We are living in a time where technology is advancing quickly and in ways our great grandparents probably would not have predicted. As impressive as self-driving cars are, there are also questions about how safe they are.

 

 

When two cars collide under normal circumstances, North Carolina law holds the at-fault party responsible for all damages and losses that he or she caused. But in the age of self-driving cars, the question of responsibility must be determined. In general, liability depends on one or more of these options:

 

Human Error

Human error is still the first place an injured victim should look. Even the best technology cannot protect the public from negligent human operators, if the human driver has ultimate control of the vehicle. If a driver fails to remain alert while at the wheel or misuses the technology, then the driver may be responsible for a crash.

 

Vehicle Malfunction

Sometimes technology simply fails. If a driverless vehicle is being operated properly and as designed but somehow fails, then the manufacturer may be the appropriate party to hold responsible for any injuries that the faulty machine caused.

 

Lax Government Oversight

A government regulatory agency that permits self-driving vehicles to be tested on public roads may potentially be responsible for allowing experimental vehicle testing on public roadways if the testing exposes the public to unreasonable risk of harm.

 

Improper Design or Manufacturing

In some cases, the design of the vehicle is defective and it must be considered whether this is something that the manufacturer should have recognized.

 

Self-driving vehicles raise new questions of liability. If you have been injured by a self-driving car and have questions give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation!

No tiene seguro de lesiones laborales?

Spanish

Si su empleador no tiene seguro de lesiones laborales, usted todavía puede proceder con un reclamo si eres lesionado en el trabajo? Si su empleador no tiene seguro, tienes la opción de proceder en contra de ellos directamente, o, si su empleador era un subcontratista de un contratista general, puedes proceder en contra del seguro del contratista general. Antes de empezar un reclamo sin seguro, debes saber que el proceso será un poco más complicado – esto es porque tendrás que estar directamente en contacto con su empleador.

 

Es por esto que es importante que usted se ponga en contacto con abogados con experiencia si eres lesionado en el trabajo. Nosotros aquí en Oxner + Permar tenemos bastante experiencia con estas situaciones, y podemos ayudarle en español.  ¡Llamenos!