Personal Injury lawyers represent individuals that have been injured or die in an accident that is the fault of another. The most common types of accidents are motor vehicle accidents; slip and fall accidents; and dog bites.
Do I Need An Attorney?
If you are injured you need an attorney. Meet with an attorney who can explain to you what your rights are and what you are entitled to. Your attorney will insure that your bills are paid timely. Your attorney will be your advocate and will attempt to negotiate a settlement or, if necessary, file a lawsuit which starts the process towards a trial. The insurance company is not interested in paying you an amount of money equal to what your case is worth. The insurance company’s primary goal is to get rid of you and your claim for as little as possible.
What Should I Bring When I First Meet With My Attorney?
A good checklist of items includes:
- The police report or accident information summary;
- Any written communications from an insurance company;
- Any medical records or medical bills;
- Lost wage information;
- Your health insurance card;
- Your automobile insurance policy;
- Pictures of property damage or injuries.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The most important thing to understand is that each case is different. What a family member or friend may have received for their case has no bearing on the value of your claim. The damages you are entitled to receive either by way of a settlement or verdict, if the case goes to trial, are of two types:
- Economic Damages – medical bills that have not been paid by insurance, co-pays or deductibles, and lost wages
- Non-Economic Damages – pain and suffering, permanency of injury, and loss of your ability to enjoy the activities you engaged in prior to the accident.
How Long Will My Case Take?
That really depends on you and the types of injuries you have sustained. A good rule of thumb is that your case cannot be properly valued until about 1 year from the date of the accident or 1 year from the date of any surgery you have gone through. If your case cannot be settled, a lawsuit will be filed. Once your case is in the court system it can take up to 1 to 2 years to come to trial. Therefore, a conservative estimate of how long your case will take is from 1 to 3 years.