FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PERSONAL INJURY LAW
Unfortunately, serious accidents can happen to unsuspecting people. Distracted drivers are more rampant than ever, and it is not uncommon for a motorist to run a red light and total your car. Or, a puddle of water could be left on a tiled floor, creating a slippery surface, causing someone to slip and seriously hit their head. If something unfortunate has happened to you or a loved one, it is critical you understand the process and how to protect your rights and seek the best compensation possible. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, you may have number of questions.
DO I HAVE A CASE?
As you can imagine, every case is different, and depending on the circumstances of the incident, and the extent of your injuries, you may have a viable personal injury claim. Other facts may come into play such as whether you had insurance at the time you were driving, for instance, or, how long ago the incident took place. There are various factors that will impact whether you have a case or not, and further, how strong of a case. In some cases, liability is very clear and may not be contested, while in other cases each party may be pointing the finger at each other. Or it could be that there is a dispute over the extent of injuries and how much money is a fair value of compensation.
In personal injury cases, it is important that you have an experienced personal injury lawyer to best explore your options and find the most effective route possible to advance a successful claim.
WHAT IS MY CLAIM WORTH?
Coming up with a value to your case can be a difficult task at the beginning. There are a number of factors that can influence your case such as lost wages, future income loss, the extent of your injuries, and how your prognosis for recovering looks. A major factor will be how the accident has affected your daily life. The value of your claim will depend on your earning capacity (or whether you were retired). It will also depend whether the other party is entirely at fault or whether you contributed in anyway to accident. Therefore, there are many facets to any claim which could make it worth more or less.
WILL I HAVE TO GO TO TRIAL?
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before they ever go to trial, but sometimes trial is the only option. Trials can happen when the defendant does not offer a settlement or both parties can’t come to an agreement, and liability and/or damages are in dispute.
HOW LONG WILL A LAWSUIT TAKE?
This is a very common question and it is difficult to come up with an accurate estimate of time. It may also depend on the facts of the case and what legal issues are in dispute, as well as what sum of money is at stake. Additionally, some cases take longer because the Plaintiff is still recovering from their injuries, and therefore in order to understand what the claim is worth, it is important to have a thorough idea of what the extent of injuries are and what is the prognosis for recovery. Your lawyer will want to wait until you recover as best as possible to understand what value your claim is worth, albeit no amount of money can likely make you feel whole again.
SHOULD I ACCEPT THE INSURANCE COMPANY’S SETTLEMENT?
Insurance companies are concerned with their bottom lines and making money. They do not have your best interests or recovery in mind. Before settling your claim, you should always consult a lawyer, as often insurance companies will offer pennies on the dollar to unrepresented claimants. The claims process is very complicated and can be overwhelming for those without experience. Our law firm offers a free no-obligation consultation, and we would be pleased to provide you with our feedback on your settlement options.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM THE FIRST MEETING WITH A LAWYER?
At our law office, we request all prospective clients to bring all medical documents and paperwork related to the accident in their possession, including receipts and expenses, and any police report, if there is one. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should also provide our office with as much contact information as possible.
The lawyer will want to get as much relevant information as possible about the accident and your injuries. At our office, we want to know exactly what treatment providers you have seen, and then come up with a comprehensive treatment regime moving forward. Sometimes insurance companies have already signed up injured victims to insurance-company-friendly physiotherapy clinics for instance. These clinics do not want to bite the hand that feeds them and are typically pro-insurance oriented—denying claims more often and providing sub-par treatment.
Once we have a good grasp of your case, we will discuss the next steps and provide a detailed discussion of our specific fees and expected expenses. At our office, there is only a fee if we win your case or are successful at resolution.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office immediately for a free no-obligation consultation.
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