Frequently Asked Questions

YOU PAY NO FEE UNLESS WE COLLECT FOR YOU

Q:

I have been seriously injured or I have lost a loved one due to another’s carelessness. I don’t have enough money to hire an attorney. What can I do?

A:

In injury and wrongful death cases you NEVER pay a fee unless we collect money for you or your family.

Q:

Does Nolan & Shafer have a Guarantee?

A:

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

HIRING LOCAL IS THE BEST OPTION

Q:

I was seriously injured or my family member was killed in an auto accident, motorcycle accident, or trucking accident in West Michigan. Should I hire a local lawyer or one that is located an hour or more away in a larger city?

A:

This is a common question. The Michigan Court Rules and Statutes require where a case must be filed and handled. If your accident occurred in Muskegon or along the Lakeshore, there is a high likelihood that the case will need to be filed here. We are very familiar with the local judges and the members of the community who could serve on your jury. Many of the lawyers who advertise a bunch are in the Metro Detroit area or Grand Rapids. Often these attorneys are nothing more than referral sources. They want to sign you up so they can get a portion of a fee by referring you to another attorney from another firm.

Many times they will not even be the person who actually meets with you the first time. Some of these out of town lawyers have been known to send non-lawyers to meet with you during the crucial first meeting. We were born and raised here. We know the important people involved in your case: police officers, paramedics, doctors, witnesses, and others. We are able to obtain instant access to crucial information to properly represent and take care of you. We handle more injury and wrongful death cases in this community than any other firm.

HOME AND HOSPITAL VISITS

Q:

Should I call David Shafer immediately? What if I am still in the hospital or confined to my home?

A:

Yes. You should call immediately. There is no fee for having us come out to talk to you and inform you of your rights. Remember, we only get paid if we collect money for you. We routinely travel all over the state to meet with our clients who are often injured and unable to travel to our office to meet with us.

We spend a great deal of time in hospitals and clients’ homes addressing their concerns and advising them of their rights. We can also meet you in the evenings or on weekends.

OTHER QUESTIONS

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 fees, record 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 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, and you were not married to someone that did own a car with insurance in effect, 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 Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, 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 owner’s homeowner’s insurance company. You are entitled to payment of your medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, scarring, and other damages. 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.
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MUSKEGON INJURY ATTORNEYS

There is no other firm on the Lakeshore that is better than Nolan & Shafer, PLC.

"DAVID SHAFER IS THE ONLY ATTORNEY TO WHOM I REFER PEOPLE WHO CALL ME FOR REFERRALS TO AN INJURY ATTORNEY."
Jim and David, Attorneys on the Lakeshore

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