Q .How much is my case worth?

A .

This is one of the most common questions clients ask, and it’s easy to appreciate why. Understandably, you want to know how much to expect from your case. If your case goes to trial, it depends on the verdict returned by the jury, which varies from jury to jury. Your case could be tried to 10 different juries and return with 10 different verdicts

If, on the other hand, you case goes to the settlement table, the value of your case depends on a wide variety of factors, including the percentage of fault between you and the defendant, the amount of your economic damages, the total value of your non-economic damages, and your attorney’s experience. Because not all lawyers are trial lawyers, it’s important to consider just how comfortable your lawyer is in the courtroom before you retain him. Don’t depend on lawyer advertising alone when making your decision.

Q .Do I need an attorney?

A .

Obviously, if you can recover the full value of your claim without incurring attorney fees, you would not hire an attorney. However, you likely don’t know the full value of your case and how that value compares to the insurance company’s offer. The value of your case also depends on how well your case is presented, the evidence collected, the expert witnesses retained, and the attorney’s skill of persuasion.

Q .When should I contact an attorney?

A .

Immediately after an accident occurs. The insurance company will immediately send an investigator to visit the scene of the accident to look after its own interests. You want someone looking after yours, too. Certain kinds of evidence disappear and degrade quickly; it’s important to take pictures and document as much evidence as possible as soon as you can. Also, the defendant’s insurance carrier will probably want to obtain your recorded statement. Insurance adjusters are trained to try to establish fault on your part. Your attorney can help you avoid making admissions that may hurt your case.

Q .What if the Defendant has no money or insurance?

A .

You may still be able to recover money damages. An experienced trial attorney can help you evaluate whether there are other sources of recovery available. For example, if the individual who caused your injury was working at the time of the accident, his employer may be liable for your injury. If the Defendant was driving a vehicle owned by someone else, that car’s owner may be liable under Iowa’s owner-liability statute (in Nebraska, if the vehicle was a “family-purpose vehicle”). To make sure you know who is responsible, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who concentrates in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death.

Q .In a rear-end collision, isn’t the back driver always at fault?

A .

Not always. Attorney Ed Keane has represented clients who were injured, and one tragically killed, after their vehicle collided with the rear of a front vehicle. In two separate cases, after a thorough investigation and expert testimony by an accident reconstructionist, the jury found that the front vehicle was at fault. In both cases, the insurance companies for the front driver denied any liability, but both juries returned verdicts for Ed’s clients, with one setting damages in excess of $2 million.