About our law firm
Excellent client service is the mission of Paloucek, Herman & Wurl Law Offices. We have helped hundreds of clients confront complex legal issues affecting their lives, and we have the expertise, experience, and commitment to take care of your legal needs in a broad range of civil law areas. We look forward to visiting with you and being of service.
Jim Paloucek has been a lawyer in North Platte since 1989. After working with several other attorneys in a different North Platte law office, Jim and fellow attorney Royce Norman established Norman & Paloucek Law Offices in 1995. The firm became Norman, Paloucek & Herman Law Offices in 1998, when Steve Herman’s law practice was merged. Steve had been in solo practice in Curtis since 1980. When the practices combined, both locations were retained. Brock Wurl became an associate in 2010 and became a partner in Norman, Paloucek, Herman and Wurl in 2017. Royce Norman retired in 2018.
Since inception, we have provided personal, prompt, economical, and effective representation to our clients. We are very proud that many people come to us by referral from satisfied current and past clients, and at the recommendation of many attorneys across the region.
Our practice is focused on civil matters: personal injury claims, workers’ compensation injuries, social security disability, disputes with insurance companies, commercial litigation matters, probate law, wills and estate planning, trusts, real estate transactions, business entity planning, and municipality law.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is perfectly natural to have questions before you begin pursuing a matter related to civil litigation. These are some questions we commonly encounter in the course of our practice.
What is the statute of limitation on a claim?
The statute of limitation on a claim is the legal time limit for bringing a claim; if the claim is not properly brought within that time limit, it is lost. Statutes of limitation vary widely from state to state and from one type of claim to another. In fact, statutes of limitation for the same type of legal claim may be different depending upon who the claim is against. Determining the applicable statute of limitation is not a “one size fits all” proposition. An experienced attorney should know the various factors that determine what the time limitation is on a given claim.
How long will it take to settle an injury claim?
There are many factors that will affect how long it will take to resolve an injury claim. It is best to wait until all necessary medical care is complete before considering settlement of an injury claim, so the time it takes to heal will impact the time it takes to settle the claim. Often, the amount an insurance company or liable party is willing to pay toward settlement is unacceptable to the injured person, making it necessary to file a lawsuit. There is huge variability in the amount of time that it may take to resolve a lawsuit by settlement or by going through a trial. It is impossible to provide a general time frame for resolution of an injury claim because of all the variable factors involved from one claim to another.
How bad does an injury need to be to make it necessary to hire a lawyer?
That depends on the injured person and the lawyer. Most people who are injured want nothing to do with dealing with the insurance companies, the person who caused the injury, and the other issues that come from being the victim of an injury. Whether it make sense to hire a lawyer to take care of those hassles will vary from person to person and lawyer to lawyer. Most lawyers who represent injured people will provide a no-cost consultation, at which time there will likely be a discussion about whether the injured person should hire a lawyer and whether the lawyer is interested in handling a particular claim. Just because one lawyer does not feel that the injury is bad enough for that lawyer to become involved does not mean that all lawyers would feel the same way.
What if I am at fault in causing an injury?
Make sure that the accident is reported to your insurance companies and that you cooperate with those companies handling of the claim. Do not talk to anyone about the accident other than as required by law enforcement, YOUR insurance companies, and, if you have one, YOUR attorney. If you do not have insurance to cover the claim, consult an attorney. If you have insurance, but the amount of insurance is not enough to pay for the damage from the injury, contact an attorney.
What should I do after being injured?
Most importantly, get the medical care that you need for the injury. Also, make sure that all reporting required by law enforcement and insurance companies is provided. Be careful about talking too much about the accident or your injuries. Insurance companies may want to take recorded statements, and you need to be sure that you do not say something that later may become a problem if it becomes necessary to pursue a claim. Neighbors, family, and friends all will want to know all about the accident and injuries, and insurance companies or lawyers may later be asking those folks what you said about the accident and injuries. If you have been hurt significantly at work or in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you will likely need a lawyer’s help in dealing with the issues from that injury, and it is better to talk to a lawyer too soon than too late.
What if the insurance company wants me to settle and I think it’s too low?
Consult an experienced attorney who can advise you and represent you if you decide to seek more than what is being offered.
What if the insurance company is telling me not to hire an attorney?
The insurance company wants to pay as little on the claim as it can get away with, and you want to recover as much on the claim as you are entitled to. The insurance company has in-house lawyers and lawyers from private law firms that it will use to try to pay as little money as it can. An attorney hired by you represents your interests in the claim and will help even the playing field when it comes to resolving your claim. Most people will never be hurt or suffer damage that makes it necessary to hire a lawyer, but that is a constant part of an insurance company’s business. The insurance company has all the expertise in handling your claim, and you have none. If you are significantly injured, you will need an attorney to help you through the injury claim process; the insurance company will be protecting its own interests which are completely against yours.
How much does an attorney charge?
Attorney fees will depend on the type of work being done and the experience and expertise of the lawyer. Many injury claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, in which the fee is a percent of the dollars recovered on the claim. Other fees are based on the hours the lawyer spends working for the client and the hourly rate the lawyer charges for that work. Some fees are based on a transaction charge, such as a set fee to set up a corporation. As part of the decision to establish an attorney/client relationship, both the lawyer and the client should make sure that each understands the fee arrangement, and it is a good idea to reduce that understanding to writing.