11 Common Questions About Personal Injury
WLF Personal Injury Lawyers Provide Answers
People seeking compensation for personal injury usually have no clue about the legal processes involved in filing a claim. They have hundreds of questions that only personal injury lawyers can correctly answer. Here are 11 common questions about personal injury.
- What is personal injury?
Personal injury is the physical or mental harm caused to a person by the negligence and harmful conduct of another person, company or entity. You have a personal valid injury case if another person, company or entity was clearly at fault when you sustained your injuries. Even if you were partially at fault, you still have a valid personal injury case.
- What is negligence?
Negligence is the failure by an individual, company or entity to exercise reasonable care when carrying out their duty or conducting their business. Examples include a driver falling asleep at wheel, a surgeon operating on the wrong body part, and a property owner who fails to repair a broken railing.
- What does tort mean?
This term is often used by personal injury lawyers. Tort means a wrongful act or a violation of another person’s right that leads to legal liability. It occurs when the actions or inactions of an individual, company or entity causes harm to another person or his property. Personal injury is a type of tort.
- What is comparative fault?
If the injured party is found to be partially responsible for causing an accident, then his or her claim is reduced by the percentage of his or her fault. For example, if you are found to be at 25% fault, then you will receive only 75% of the total recovery amount.
- What are compensatory damages?
Compensatory damages are financial compensations awarded to an injured person. They can include the actual value of measurable costs, such as medical bills, past and future lost earnings, and estimated value of non-economic costs such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
- What is the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time period from the date of injury (or the diagnosis of injury) to the date within which a legal action must be taken. If you fail to file a claim or a lawsuit within that period, then you will lose your right to make any claim. There are different statute of limitations for different personal injury cases. For example, in California, the statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury cases but can be shorter for cases involving a government entity.
- What should I do if the other person’s insurance company contacts me?
Do not talk to anyone, provide a statement (either written or verbal), sign any document or accept a settlement offered to you without consulting with your personal injury attorney first. Do not let yourself be fooled by their faked sympathy and goodwill.
- Who will pay my medical bills while my claim is being reviewed?
Do not expect the insurance company of the opposing party to start paying your medical bills immediately. They will stall as long as they can even after you win the case. Therefore, you should pay your medical bills either from your own pocket or direct them to your personal health care provider. You will include theses bills in your claim.
- Should I seek medical attention immediately after an accident?
Yes, you should seek immediate medical attention after an accident. It is important to do so not just for your health and wellbeing, but it will also strengthen your personal injury claim. The medical bills, doctor’s diagnosis, x-rays and other documents serve as irrefutable evidences.
- Can I resolve my case without having to go the court?
Yes, you can. A majority of personal injury cases are never taken to the court. They are resolved by mutual agreement between the parties involved (called a ‘settlement’), or by other methods such as arbitration or mediation. Only if all alternatives fail should you file a lawsuit.
- How will I get paid if the other party has no insurance?
If you are injured in an auto accident and the other driver has no insurance, then you will be able to recover the damages through the uninsured and underinsured motorist protection coverage if you have one. Many states have made it mandatory to have an uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have any other questions, then talk to personal injury lawyers in your area. They will answer any question about personal injury that you may have.