When you meet with your lawyer, there will be some forms to sign. We want to take the mystery out of hiring a lawyer, so below is an explanation of the forms that we might need you to approve:
- Retainer Agreement: This is the contract between you and our firm. It explains how our fee structure works. In personal injury cases like automobile accidents, we have a contingency fee. This means that you do not pay us upfront, and you do not pay us hourly. Our fee is a percentage of the total recovery. If we resolve the case before a lawsuit is filed, our fee is one-third of the total. If we resolve the case after a lawsuit if filed, our fee is forty percent. Case expenses (postage, photocopies, etc…) come out on top of that amount, and are usually fairly modest in the average district court case. Most importantly, however, is that our firm takes all the risk, so if there is no financial recovery, you will not owe anything.
- Power of Attorney: In order to process your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) application, we will have you sign a power of attorney limited to that purpose. PIP is insurance on your policy, oftentimes called “no-fault.” It helps to quickly pay medical bills and lost wages after an accident (usually between $2,500 and $10,000). This allows us to process your claim quickly, without having to get your signature on every piece of PIP paperwork.
- Prior Claims History: In some cases, we might want to check up to see what prior claims you have made against insurance companies. The insurance companies keep this information, so it is important that we have it, too. This way, we can correct any errors, and discover more about prior injuries that you may have forgotten about. Prior injuries are important because a typical defense argument is that the automobile accident victim was not seriously injured, and any injuries were actually the result of prior accidents. This information will help us to refute those defenses.
- Medicare and Medicaid Authorization: If you have received Medical Assistance or Medicare because of the accident, the government may be entitled to be paid back for their expenditures. The authorization will allow us to determine whether they have a lien.
- HIPAA Authorization: HIPAA is a federal law that, among other things, deals with the privacy of patient medical records. In order to access your medical records and bills (an important part of proving your case), we will need a signed authorization that allows us to communicate with your doctors and other health care providers.
- Lost Wage Form: If you missed time from work because of the auto accident, your supervisor or human resources department may have to certify your hourly wage and how much time you missed after the accident.
If you have questions after an automobile collision in West Virginia or Maryland, contact our automobile accident attorneys at 1-800-776-4529, or send us some brief information about your automobile accident through our online portal. We’ll put our expertise to work for you right away.
More Maryland Automobile Accident Information
Click below for information on:
- What to Do After an Automobile Accident
- Hiring a Maryland Automobile Accident Lawyer, Part I
- Medical Treatment After A Maryland Automobile Accident
- What’s My Maryland Automobile Accident Case Worth? (coming soon!)
- Ingerman & Horwitz: Main Auto Accident Webpage