Frequently Asked Questions From Personal Injury victims.
1) What do I do after an accident?
After an automobile accident never just drive away. Calling the police to report the automobile accident and making an official report will help to protect your legal rights. A police report will detail what happened in the accident and will help to ensure that you are not falsely accused or held liable for the automobile accident.
It is important to collect all of the information you can from the other people involved in the automobile accident. Key information includes the names, license plate #'s, telephone number and insurance information. Provide your information as well. If any other people witnessed the accident, be sure to collect their information also. Take pictures of the scene and the vehicles etc.
Beyond providing this basic set of information, do not make any specific statements regarding the cause of automobile accident to anyone other than the police and your automobile accident lawyer.
2) How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
If you sustained injury or damages in an automobile accident, and those injuries or damages were caused by another person’s negligent act, you have a case; however, unless there was valid liability insurance on the vehicle you were driving, you have lost your claim on the first $10,000.00 in damages.
3) The insurance adjuster has offered to settle and s/he said I don’t need a lawyer. Is this true?
Not necessarily. It is in your best interest at least to get a free initial consultation from a lawyer to find out if the adjuster’s offer is a fair one. Remember, the adjuster works for the insurance company, whose goal is to minimize the payout to you. A lawyer will work for you to maximize the dollars you receive for your damages.
An experienced lawyer is more likely to get you all of the money you deserve. You may expect an insurance company to do the right thing, but that would be unwise. A lawyer will make sure that your interests are aggressively represented through the process, that your losses are fully compensated and will negotiate fair settlement of your claim. A lawyer will also be able to tell you if you have any additional civil claims arising from willful actions by the insurance company.
4) How much will it cost me to hire a lawyer?
You pay nothing unless you win.
5) What damages can I recover for my injuries?
You may recover all or some of the following:
1) Property damage
2) Medical expenses (present & future)
3) Lost wages
4) Loss of earning capacity (present & future)
6) Pain and suffering
7) Loss of consortium
8) Punitive or exemplary damages in some situations such as DWI.
6) How long do I have to make a claim?
Generally, you have one year in which to file a claim. Request a free case evaluation from a lawyer as soon as possible.
THE ABOVE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT A LAWYER FOR ADVICE ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL SITUATION.