Q: What is the Nolan & Shafer Guarantee?

In personal injury cases, you never pay an attorney fee unless we collect money for you. That's the Nolan & Shafer Guarantee.

Q:  I was seriously injured in a car accident in Muskegon.  Should I hire a local lawyer or one who has his/her office over an hour away?

A:  This is a commonly asked question.  We have Court Rules and Statutes that dictate where a case must be filed and handled.  If your accident occurred in Muskegon and either you or the at-fault driver reside in Muskegon County the case MUST be filed in the Muskegon County court system.  We are very familiar with the local judges.  The local judges see us more than any other personal injury lawyers.  Furthermore, many of the lawyers you call from the Metro-Detroit area or Grand Rapids will simply refer your cases to other attorneys.  We are very knowledgeable about the area as most of us have been born and raised in Muskegon and West Michigan.  We know many of the law enforcement officers, doctors, paramedics, firefighters, investigators and others that are important witnesses in your case.  Therefore, we can obtain nearly instant and fully open access to important people involved in your case.  We have handled more personal injury cases in the counties in which we principally practice than any other firm.  

Q:  How is it that you and other law firms can afford to take cases in which you agree that you will not receive a fee unless a client makes a recovery?

A:  Most personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis.  This means that the attorney or law firm agrees to pay the costs (filing fee, records fees, deposition fees, etc), which can be substantial, and then agree to be reimbursed for those costs at the end of the case.  We then typically take 1/3 of the net settlement after reducing the total settlement by the costs.  This means that the client pays no money to the lawyer unless we secure a recovery.  This allows seriously injured clients to hire the best lawyers to handle their cases without the concern of having to pay some hefty fee even if they happen to lose their case.

Q:  I was seriously injured in a car accident.  I was a passenger in another person’s car.  I did not own a car at the time of the accident.  I am receiving many medical bills and I am losing my wages every week.  What can be done if I had NO insurance at the time of the accident?

A:  Since you were not driving your own car, as you did not own one, you would first ask yourself, “Do I live with any relatives?”  If the answer is “yes” then your medical bills and wage losses will be paid for by that person’s insurance carrier.  If you did not live with any relatives on the date of the accident then you would seek payment of your medical expenses from the insurance company for the owner of the automobile that you were in at the time of the accident.  If that person does not have insurance, and the driver was someone other than the owner, then you would seek payment of your benefits from the driver’s insurance company.  If no one has insurance you would seek payment of all of your medical expenses, wage loss and other no-fault benefits from the Assigned Claims Facility, a governmental entity that assigns insurance carriers to claimants in your situation.  The good news is that you will receive payment of your medical expenses and wage losses that were incurred as the result of the accident.  This is a very complicated area of the law.  We specialize in handling these claims.  Please call us for a free consultation.

Q:  I was bitten by a dog.  What are my rights?

A:  If you were bitten by a dog you are generally entitled to money damages.  As long as you were lawfully on the property where the dog bite occurred; you did not provoke the dog; and the dog BIT you, you are entitled to compensation.  The compensation typically is paid by the dog owners homeowner’s insurance company.  You are entitled to payment of your medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering and scarring.  The insurance company for the dog owner will likely contact you to attempt to settle the case or obtain a statement from you.  You should contact us before you speak to the insurance company, as we look out for your best interests, while the insurance company will look out for its best interest.