Frequently Asked Questions Part 3
Why am I not being compensated when I have full insurance coverage?
Many drivers believe they have full coverage, but are not insured under certain circumstances. There are several different types of insurance coverage, and failing to have a particular one may limit recovery.
In many cases, our clients often find that even though they believe they have “full coverage,” they do not have underinsured or uninsured coverage, which will cover you in the event of an accident where the other party cannot pay.
Contact your insurance company and discuss what coverage you have, when the coverage is applicable, and, if necessary, call us if you believe your insurance company is trying to avoid paying a valid claim.
If this is not the case, and you do have full insurance coverage, you may not be satisfactorily compensated because your insurance company wants to minimize payouts.
There are often disagreements about specific language in your insurance contract, how much a claim is worth, and whether any other parties are involved who may be responsible.
If other insurance or health insurance companies are involved, there may be disagreements over who is responsible for payment. These issues can cause serious delays in compensation.
How soon should I file a lawsuit?
You should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. The timeframe that you have to file a lawsuit is referred to as the statute of limitations.
If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your case will be forever barred. However, with respect to claims against government entities or for medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is much shorter. Therefore, due to the time-sensitive nature of personal injury claims, you should immediately contact an attorney regarding your injury.
What does it mean to “file suit,” and why do we do it?
The act of filing legal papers at the courthouse is called filing suit. The client gives the authorization to file suit after all other options have been exhausted during pre-suit.
It is becoming more and more common for the insurance industry to step up and employ aggressive tactics in defense injury claims. This shift in insurance industry practice is why it is more important than ever to hire an attorney that is not afraid to go to trial and has the experience to win.
When a case is filed with the court, it does not necessarily mean you will be accompanying your lawyer to the courthouse but it becomes a more distinct possibility. Most cases are able to be resolved before trials begin, but some still reach the courtroom.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is where the attorney representing the other side can ask you questions to better understand your claims and injuries. Our attorneys can prepare you for a deposition by reviewing documents, such as police reports or medical records, which are related to your personal injury claim.
We will also prepare you for questions that may be asked during the deposition and we will be there during the questioning to assist you.
What Are Some Typical Questions That Might be Asked During Deposition?
- What types of illnesses and injuries have you suffered from during the course of your life?
- Have you previously been involved in any other lawsuits or legal claims (i.e. workers compensation)?
- Were there any witnesses to the accident?
- Did you file an insurance claim?
- What is the nature of your injury?
- What is your job history?
- How has your injury affected your life?
- When was your last treatment?
I was injured when I fell down a slippery step, can you help?
Whenever you are injured because of a dangerous condition on someone’s property, you may have a claim to recover compensation for those injuries.
Landowners have a duty to warn of dangerous conditions on their property and to make their property safe. As with any personal injury claim, the most important thing you can do is find an experienced attorney to help you preserve your evidence and protect your rights.
Often a delay in retaining an attorney can adversely affect your claim.
I was injured by taking a prescription drug, what should I do?
If you have taken a prescription drug (or over-the-counter medication) and believe the product has caused you to experience serious adverse side effects or serious injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the injury.
The first thing you should do is preserve all evidence. This means keep all medical records, receipts, prescriptions, packaging and anything else related to the drug, including whatever is left of the drug itself.
Do not give the remaining drug or packaging to your doctor, pharmacist, drug manufacturer or insurance company.
Can you help if my baby was born with a serious injury?
You may have a case. The most tragic injuries can happen during a birth. Sometimes the injury is caused by negligence or malpractice. When this is the case, the pain and suffering it causes can be eased by an award that compensates you for the full consequences of the injury and its long-term effects.
If a person dies before bringing a personal injury lawsuit what should we do?
This is referred to as a wrongful death. Spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, and grandparents can have a claim for wrongful death against a responsible party.
The possible types of damages that can be sought for wrongful death are: Financial support that the survivor(s) would have received, Value of household services that would have been provided by the decedent, Loss of companionship, affection, love, care, comfort, society, Loss of consortium for the surviving spouse, Funeral, and burial expenses.
These cases are complicated because the loss of a loved one can completely alter the life of the surviving family. It is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled wrongful death cases, and we have had great success and compensation for our clients.
The person that hit me does not have insurance, what can I do?
Insurance companies offer what is call uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. What this coverage provides is protection for personal injuries that are caused by the negligence of a person with insufficient insurance to cover the costs.
In order to be protected by this type of insurance, you have to carry it on your own policy. In the very small number of situations where a negligent driver is uninsured, your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy holder will be liable for the damages you incur.
These claims often operate in exactly the same way as a normal personal injury case, with the difference being that you are recovering from your own insurance carrier.
It is very important to remember in these situations that the representatives from your carrier are not out for your best interests. Just like every insurance adjuster, they will be looking to minimize the insurance company’s loss.
Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you in these situations is the best way to ensure that you are protected.