Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about personal injury cases, accident lawyers, or how to get recovery after a car accident or other incident, you’re not alone.

We’ve gathered some of those commonly asked questions to help you get started.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

An attorney will advocate for you against the insurance companies, and can help maximize your recovery. Insurance companies know this is fact. For example, management consulting firm McKinsey and Company and Allstate have conspired to reduce attorney representation because attorney represented claims settled on average five times more than those without.

Although you can try to handle your claim on your own, there is a serious risk the insurance company will be protecting its own interests, not yours. An attorney can help you navigate the many different insurance coverages that may apply, negotiate and resolve any liens that may exist against your case, ensure that your medical bills are properly paid, and assess and explain your options. Before you talk to the insurance company, talk to an attorney.

If I call you, will there be any pressure to immediately sign a contract?

No – absolutely not. Your decision to hire an attorney may be one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. It should not be taken lightly, and you should be very careful in choosing a lawyer.

How much do you charge to review a case?

An initial appointment with an attorney at Flanigan Legal, PLLC to discuss the facts of a potential case is free. You can also ask any questions you may have regarding your case. There is no obligation to choose our firm. In most cases, where it appears that the claim is meritorious, we will advance the costs necessary to investigate and prosecute the claim. In the event we undertake formal representation, any costs advanced are reimbursed to us at the conclusion of the case, assuming we are able to make a recovery on your behalf.

What are your fees?

We accept cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that we collect no attorney’s fee unless we succeed in recovering damages for you through settlement or trial. We also advance all costs and expenses involved in the investigation and proof of your case, and we only recover our expenses if we are successful on your behalf.

What is a contingency fee?

A contingency fee is a legal fee that is dependent upon the successful outcome of a claim. We represent clients on a contingent fee basis. If we recover money for you, our fee is a percentage of the amount recovered. The percentage typically ranges from 1/3 to 40% depending on when the case is resolved and the total amount recovered. If we do not recover any money for your, then you owe us nothing.

We believe in our clients causes and spend our own money to finance our clients’ cases. We don’t make money unless our clients make money. One of the reasons that Flanigan Legal, PLLC utilizes contingency fee agreements is because lawsuits are often very expensive. Injured people rarely can afford to pay an attorney for service rendered on an hourly basis. If there is no recovery in a contingency fee case, we receive nothing. When there is a recovery, the ultimate total recovery provides a fund from which the attorneys’ fees are paid. Contingency fees are open to negotiation between attorney and client; however, in certain types of cases (e.g., claims against the Federal Government) maximum fee limits are established by law.

What work will I have to do if I hire your law firm?

You are not responsible for preparing your case for trial. It is your responsibility to provide our office with information that you have available to you, but you will not have to do work to prepare your case. That is our job. It’s a job we take seriously and we have spent years learning how to do.

Do I have to go to court?

We prepare every case as if it will be tried to verdict in court. Some cases resolve without litigation. Other cases do not. Our experience is that often to get the insurance available a lawsuit needs filed. If we have to file a lawsuit, then you may have to give a deposition, attend a mediation or court hearings. You may eventually have to testify at trial. We will discuss all possible options with you and will help you determine which is the best course of action to pursue in your particular case.

Will my case go to trial?

Not necessarily. Many people settle their claims in negotiation, but you need a strong legal team to ensure you receive a fair settlement. If their offers don’t meet your needs, you and your attorney may decide to file a lawsuit, which is the formal beginning of a court-based process that ends in trial. Many people are able to settle before trial, but if you can’t, it’s in your best interest to have an experienced attorney on your side during this process.

How long does a personal injury case take?

Our goal is to resolve every case as quickly as possible. It is impossible to predict how long any particular case will take to resolve. Every case is different. However, we can give you a more accurate estimate of how long your particular case will take.

What is the time limit for me to make a claim?

Different rules govern different types of cases. The statute of limitations (time limit for filing a claim in court) in West Virginia for a negligence claim is two years. The limitations period starts to run when the cause of action arises, the plaintiff knows, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should know that the plaintiff has been injured, the identity of the entity who owed the plaintiff a duty to act with due care and who may have engaged in conduct that breached that duty and that the conduct of that entity has a causal relation to the injury.

The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is sometimes complicated and you should consult with a West Virginia lawyer immediately if you are concerned about that you are approaching the time limit for filing a claim.

To illustrate this point, in West Virginia, the statute of limitations for breach of a written contract is ten years. The time limit for breach of an oral contract is five years. The limitations period starts to run when the breach of contract occurs, or when the act breaching the contract is discovered. However, the limitations period for a sales contract under the Uniform Commercial Code is four years.

The statue of limitations for an insurance bad faith case in West Virginia is one year for a bad faith claim based on a common law theory or a statutory theory under the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act.

It is impossible in this space to set forth the rules that apply in all cases. Where injury does not manifest itself for many years after an event or exposure (such as during a period of latency after exposure to harmful chemicals) the statute of limitations may not run for many, many years.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?

Although we know that this is an emotionally trying time for your family to go through, it is important to pursue legal action in a timely manner. In West Virginia, there is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death actions. West Virginia's discovery rule applies to wrongful death actions. Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations begins to run when the plaintiff knows, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should know: (1) there is an injury; (2) the identity of the party who owed the injured party a duty to act with due care; and (3) the entity's conduct has a causal relation to the injury.

We understand that dealing with the death of a family member is incredibly difficult emotionally and financially. We promise your case will be handled with compassion and integrity. It is beneficial for surviving parties to contact our team of wrongful death lawyers soon after the death occurs so that we can bring the full force of the law against those responsible.

What Kind of Damages can be Collected in a Wrongful Death Case?

In West Virginia, the damages a wrongful death claimant is entitled to as the surviving family member or dependent include loss of care, love, and protection, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, medical care, treatments, and hospitalization expenses, loss of income, funeral and burial expenses. Our West Virginia wrongful death lawyers understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family. It is recommended that families contact our wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible to expedite the legal process and ensure a positive outcome.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

In West Virginia, only the deceased’s personal representative (also referred to as an estate administrator/executor appointed by the court) can file the wrongful death claim. It is recommended that families contact our wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible to expedite the legal process and ensure a positive outcome.

What is Wrongful Death?

In West Virginia, a wrongful death lawsuit seeks damages when one person's death is another party's fault. This horrific scenario can arise in cases involving motor vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, intentional acts (including crimes resulting in death), work place accidents or any other type of fatal personal injury. It is recommended that families contact our wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible to expedite the legal process and ensure a positive outcome.

What Should I Do Immediately Following an Auto Accident?

Call 911. Stay at the scene of the accident. Provide law enforcement the information they request. If it is safe, you or another occupant of the automobile should photograph all of the vehicles involved in the crash. Document information about the circumstances surrounding the crash. If injured, please request immediate medical attention. Sometimes, injuries are not immediately felt after a crash and become painful in the days and weeks following an accident. Regardless of when you first feel discomfort, it is important to see a doctor right away

When should I seek medical care?

You should seek medical care as soon as possible. Delays in treatment can be detrimental to your health and can adversely affect your recovery. Sometimes, injuries are not immediately apparent. If your injuries are immediately apparent, you should request emergency treatment at the scene. Some injuries are not immediately obvious. Often times, pain does not set in until hours, days or even weeks later. Regardless of when your pain begins, it is important to see a doctor right away so you can address and treat any injuries you might have. The longer you wait to see a doctor in the hope that your pain will resolve on its own, the more likely the insurance company will deny or minimize your claim.