Frequently Asked Questions Part 2
What should I bring with me for my initial no-cost review?
You should bring all documents in your possession that are related to your injury.
For example, with an auto accident you should bring:
- A copy of the police or incident report,
- A copy of your automobile insurance declaration page
- Photographs of your automobile
- Photographs of your injuries
- Copies of any medical records for treatment related to the accident
- Correspondence from the insurance companies
- Estimates and repair records and receipts for your automobile
- Receipts for towing and car rental
- Any wage loss information.
During our meeting, we will make photocopies of all of your documents so that you can retain a copy for your records. We will also provide you with checklists for any other information that we may need from you.
How much is my case worth?
Each case is unique so it is hard to determine a client’s damages at the very beginning but every injury claim depends on the severity of the injuries, case details, limits on insurance or the ability of the responsible party to pay, and the identity of the defendant.
Assuming the liability issue is straightforward, a case’s worth is mostly based on the five areas listed below.
A case’s value is based on evidence, such as discrepancies in the testimony or other portions of the case that may detract from the integrity of the injured party’s claims.
Based on our experience with past cases, we may be able to estimate the value of your case once we have gathered all medical records and statements and have an idea as to whether you or your loved one’s physical and mental state has improved or worsened from the date of injury.
The following factors will be considered when determining the amount of compensation owed for your injuries:
- The severity of your injuries;
- The details of your accident;
- The manner in which you obtain medical treatment,
- Your litigation history will also be considered.
Is my case big enough for a lawyer to handle?
Lawyers handle small, medium, large, and very large damage cases. Our injury cases range from soft tissue injury auto accident cases to catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. We are equipped to handle all personal injury cases resulting from negligence and we are happy to review any case free of charge.
What is negligence?
To have a viable personal injury claim, the victim must have been injured from the negligence of another individual or entity. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages.
Is there a different basis for personal injury liability besides negligence?
Yes, the other basis for personal injury recovery is called strict liability. Strict liability holds people accountable for the harm that that they have caused others, even if there was no negligence involved.
Under a strict liability theory, a person who is injured may recover compensation by a defective or dangerous product without showing negligence, but this theory of liability is limited to specific situations and is a narrow exception for most cases. The most common strict liability cases are dog bites but they also can include a person using explosives, or storing dangerous substances.
Why do I have to pay the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) deductible on my insurance?
When choosing a plan, you have the option of paying a low monthly premium with no deductible—should you be in an accident.
You also have the option of purchasing PIP insurance with deductibles ranging from $250 up to $2000. If you have a deductible, your premium will be higher depending on the amount you choose.
If you choose to have a deductible, you are agreeing to pay that amount up front in the event of an accident before the PIP insurance will begin coverage.
How long will my personal injury lawsuit take?
There is no general timetable for personal injury cases because each case is so unique. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others may take longer to complete.
Who can be held liable for a catastrophic injury?
To determine liability, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. More than one person may be responsible for your injuries. Depending on your type of personal injury, the liability may rest on a hospital, doctor, motor vehicle driver, truck driver, employer or drug manufacturer.
What can I do if the person that caused my injury is claiming that it was my fault?
Many negligence cases involve a he-said/she-said situation, where it is initially unclear exactly what happened. An experienced attorney will have a plan of action for proving who caused the injury.
Lawyers can work with a number of investigators and accident reconstruction professionals that can often provide scientific evidence of how the accident occurred and who is to blame.
It’s important to note that not every case is the result of just one person’s negligence. Often more than one person, sometimes including the injured party, is to blame for the resulting damage. In this situation, an accident victim can often recover a percentage of the damages that he or she sustains.
Working with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys is often crucial for receiving compensation in this type of situation.
Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at fault for my injuries?
It depends on your jurisdiction. In a few areas, individuals cannot recover compensation if their negligence partially contributed to their injuries. However, in Utah, victims can still receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries. In these cases, the amount of compensation awarded to the victim may be decreased in accordance with the victim’s degree of negligence.