Answers to common legal questions from the Law Office of Stephen H. Osborne

When you’re injured, navigating your legal options can be confusing. I can help you find answers and get compensated. Below are some common questions and answers to help you get started. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please complete the online forms, or contact me directly.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

Most likely, you need a lawyer. The insurance industry invests billions of dollars training insurance claims adjusters in all aspects of the law, to advance only the interests of the insurance company. There is almost no circumstance involving bodily injuries that a person does not need an attorney. Further, studies have shown that even after hiring and paying an attorney, people with injury claims net more money when they hire an attorney compared to those that handle the matter on their own.

When Should I Hire A Lawyer?

Immediately. If you have been injured in an accident, it is never too soon to hire a lawyer. The more time that passes, the more difficult it may become to protect you and your rights from attempts by the insurance industry to compromise those rights. Plus, the attorney’s fee is usually the same – whether the attorney is involved at the beginning or just before the case is resolved. Therefore, there is no cost benefit to waiting to hire an attorney. Once you hire an attorney, you can focus on recovering from your injuries. The attorney will take care of everything else to ensure your rights are fully protected.

Why should I hire Stephen H. Osborne?

My firm is dedicated solely to helping those injured in accidents. Because I handle each case personally and do not run a typical volume injury practice, I give each of my clients the absolute best representation and personal service. I consider my clients part of my family and always go the “extra mile” for them.

The best compliment a business can receive is a client referral. The main source of my clients is past clients and jurors. If you look in the phone book, my name is not even in bold lettering! That’s because I do not advertise and never have. That is something that cannot be said by any other personal injury law firm in Northern Nevada.

You should hire Stephen Osborne because of the personal service, because of the results, and because there is truly no better law firm in Nevada when it comes to helping people injured in accidents.

How will my Medical Expenses be paid?

If you do not have health insurance, it can be difficult to find treatment options.

Unfortunately, millions of Americans are currently without health insurance. When someone without insurance is the victim of someone else’s carelessness it can be financially devastating, adding to the trauma already experienced. Many accident victims mistakenly believe they have no alternative but to suffer through their injuries, because they are afraid to risk losing everything incurring thousands in medical bills they know they can’t afford to pay. Many of my past and current clients fit this description. I have helped them get the care they need to get better.

Just because you are uninsured doesn’t mean you can’t get excellent medical care. That’s one of the things my staff and I can do to help. We can refer you to Doctors and health care providers who will immediately provide you with the quality health care you need to recover from your injuries. Many providers will agree to defer payment until we have resolved your case, and you will be able to focus on getting better.

How can I afford an attorney?

I provide all legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means when you hire me for your personal injury case, you pay nothing up front for attorney’s fees or costs. In plain language, it means I don’t get paid until you do. If I do not obtain a recovery on your behalf, then I do not collect any fees or reimbursement. You owe me nothing.

Studies have shown personal injury victims, represented by qualified attorneys, recover much more – even after paying attorney fees – than individuals who do not hire a qualified attorney. If I take your case it is because I am confident that I will be able to achieve a positive outcome. And regardless of the outcome, I abide by a policy that I would like other firms to adopt: I will never, ever, take more money (our fee) than you receive due to excessive medical expenses or costs. If my percentage works out to be more than your net recovery, then I will reduce my contingency fee so that I do not earn more in attorney fees than you are awarded.

I encourage you to do your research and find the lawyer that is right for you.

Unfortunately, many attorneys have begun to rely on deceptive marketing practices that lead prospective clients to believe that they will pay a smaller percentage of their recovery than what another attorney might charge. Be very careful when you see these ads. Often the fine print will tell a much different story – one that clients only discover after the percentage has risen from 25% to 40% or even higher! Usually, those low percentage rates only apply in the event that your case resolves in an unrealistically short period of time. “Unexpected delays” and “Defense tactics” are blamed but the bottom line is that clients rarely get the benefit of these schedule-dependent and upwardly mobile percentages.

How do I get my vehicle repaired?

Property damage claims are separate from your bodily injury claim. If I take your injury case, I will handle your property damage claims at no cost to you. This is the only way you can be made whole. Before you sign anything, it is always in your best interest to have at least had a conversation with an attorney about your rights under the law. Call us for a no-obligation evaluation of your case, and let us explain your rights to you before you sign a release that may limit the amount the insurance carrier has to pay for your lost property.

How much is my case worth?

The law is designed to compensate you for your injuries and damages. Injuries serious enough to result in a lawsuit can be devastating and life altering. Injuries to the brain, spinal cord, broken bones, burns, disfigurement, and internal injuries can take away your ability to earn a living and enjoy life as you normally would. In addition to the physical distress, the emotional distress of having to pay escalating medical bills, insurance, and managing future care can overwhelm anyone.

Considerations such as past lost income and projected future lost income, past and future medical expenses, pain and anguish, loss of companionship, and punitive damages are all elements of damages for which you may be compensated. Contact us for a free evaluation of the facts surrounding your situation, and let us help you understand what you are entitled to, and how to go about getting it.

How do I choose a good lawyer?

Choosing a lawyer is a very important decision. Choosing a quality lawyer lets the insurance company know that your case is being taken very seriously and will not be settled for any less than the amount that you deserve.

Billboards and slogans tell you very little about the actual performance of an attorney.

Instead of relying on advertising, ask about the attorney’s experience and if they have tried any recent cases. Believe it or not, there are many attorneys who have practiced for years that have never been to trial.

Ask any prospective lawyer if they are willing to go to trial for you. Also, ask if they have done so for other clients in the past. Insurance companies know which attorneys will not go to trial, and they will offer lower settlements, knowing those attorneys are more likely to accept them in order to avoid courtroom appearances.

I will not hesitate to take an insurance company to the court if it means that you will benefit from a trial. I have over 20 years of trial experience, marked with repeated and remarkable success. This means that when I negotiate for a settlement, the attorneys for the insurance company know I am not afraid to represent you before judge and jury.

Will you take my case?

I would be happy to evaluate your case with absolutely no cost or obligation to you. As one of the top firms in Nevada, I take our clients’ injuries very seriously, and I have a history of exceptional results to prove it. I do not take every case that comes to me. I only take legitimate cases from individuals and families who have been injured and require the assistance of ethical, experienced counsel in order to prevail. Call to arrange for an evaluation or complete the online forms. If you have been injured, do not wait until it is too late. The insurance companies are working against you beginning the moment you report a claim. You should have someone in your corner whom they recognize and take seriously.

How long will it take to resolve my case?

I have many years of experience obtaining verdicts and settlements for clients. I will put that experience to work for you, and get you the maximum amount of money for your claim. I always strive to bring your case to a favorable conclusion as quickly as possible. Every case is different and should be treated with individual attention and dedication. Quite often cases are settled quickly. Larger cases often require a period of time to properly assess, investigate, and prepare.

My firm is not a “settlement mill.” Many firms have several employees (often not attorneys!) whose sole duty is to settle as many cases as possible with the least amount of cost to the firm for investigating the claim and future needs. The primary concern shifts from maximum recovery to volume recovery. This is never good for the client. Because of the large number of cases that pass through these firms, the insurance companies know that they can offer less on each case and that the firm will convince their client that the amount offered is “the best they can hope to get.” Unfortunately, in too many cases, clients find themselves in need of additional treatment from an injury after the case has been settled for an amount that did not include provisions for future bills. Clients are often unaware that their cases are settled for far less than they could have received with aggressive, competent representation.

Every case at my office is personally handled by me. I am the former President of Nevada Justice Association, on the Board of Governors and a member of the Multi Million Dollar Advocates, an exclusive honor that can only be attained by attorneys who have achieved awards of multiple millions for their clients.

All the cases I take are handled on a contingency basis with no obligation or fee for the first consultation.

Contact my office today to schedule a consultation, or send me a description of your situation by completing my online forms.