General Personal Injury FAQ's
How do I know if I need to hire an attorney?
Many people fall victim to the belief that they only need to hire an attorney for the most complicated personal injury cases, such as those that include catastrophic injuries or death. Simply stated, that is a grave mistake. Retaining an attorney should be your first priority in any situation involving an injury (of course, after you seek the necessary medical attention); death; and/or any sort of professional malpractice involving personal injury and monetary damages - no matter how small or large it may appear to you.
What kinds of personal injury cases does your firm handle?
We handle all types of personal injury cases. The range includes:
- Transportation accidents of all kinds (motor vehicle, train, bus, plane, truck, ATV, tram, motorcycle, snowmobile, and so on)
- Premises accidents (snow and ice cases, stairway accidents, trip and fall cases, escalator and elevator accidents, and so on)
- Construction accidents
- Defective product cases (product liability)
- Defective pharmaceutical products
- Defective medical devices
- Toxic substances
- Municipal liability (sidewalk defects, and anything that involves municipal vehicles or employees, including accidents in parks, schools, housing projects, subways; this would also include situations involving the police, sanitation and fire department cases, and so on)
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home cases
- Cases arising out of intentional misdeeds (assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, libel, slander, and so on)
Who can bring a lawsuit?
Under tort laws and civil laws in the U.S., a person must have "standing to sue," which simply means that the person must have suffered some kind of a legal wrong for which the law can provide recourse to compensation.
In a case in which a person dies, the law defines certain classes of persons who are entitled to recover.
What types of damages may be recovered?
If you are injured, you may be entitled to the following damages, if proven:
- Pain & Suffering: The physical pain of the injury itself and any pain you endure during the healing process.
- Physical Injury: The actual injury itself, such as broken bones, loss of a limb or loss of eyesight, for example. These injuries may eventually no longer cause physical pain and suffering; however, they may cause an impairment of the person's body that, in turn, may cause numerous problems for a long period of time.
- Medical Expenses: Past and future medical expenses related to the incident, including doctors' and hospital bills, plus the price of prescriptions, home healthcare and medical devices, including prosthetics.
- Loss of Income and Impairment of Future Earning Capacity: Loss of income from date of the incident to the present – and into the future, including increases for inflation and productivity, as well as consideration of impairment to one’s ability to earn in the future.
- Mental Anguish: The mental pain an injured victim experiences stemming from the realization of the fact that the injury in question has changed them, perhaps irrevocably; that they are not the person they were before and face mental anguish over their inability to do the same things that they could do prior.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Damages to the quality of a person's life, that affect them to the extent that they are no longer capable of enjoying life due to pain or the loss of the ability to do basic things they did before the injury.
- Loss of Consortium: A spouse or children of an injured person may have a claim for the impairment of their relationship, including loss of love, comfort or society.
How much time do I have to File a lawsuit?
The deadline for filing a lawsuit is commonly referred to as the "Statute of Limitations" or, as attorneys like to say, the “SOL”. The time available to file a claim varies depending on the state of residence and the circumstances of your case. Unless there are special circumstances, the SOL begins on the date of the occurrence that caused the injury.
If you have any questions about when you need to file your case, you should contact us immediately.
What is the duration of a typical lawsuit?
Personal injury lawsuit claimants often wonder how much time it requires for their case to run its course; they are especially concerned, usually, as to when they can expect to receive their settlement or award. The fact is, there is no typical personal injury case, and especially no typical time line. Every fact pattern, issue, party, and injury differs, even if only slightly. It's impossible (and unfair to the claimant) to make an accurate prediction.
Why shouldn't I deal with insurance companies on my own?
Insurance company studies have shown that people who hire an attorney receive, on average, at least three times more money than those who do not hire an attorney and settle their cases on their own.
Will I need to pay attorney's fees upfront?
Your case will be handled on what is called a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing unless we are able to get you money for your injuries.
Will you accept my case?
Whether we accept your case depends on a number of factors —each of which has to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, the law may not support an action you want to take. Nevertheless, if you think you may have a case, don't hesitate to contact us today to arrange a free consultation. We will be happy to consider your case, answer your questions, and address your expectations honestly and directly. You won’t know if we will accept your case until you ask…so go ahead and ask.
What happens during a free consultation?
We offer a free initial consultation with an attorney, investigator or intake specialist. You typically will be asked to provide detailed information regarding your claim, including the cause and nature of your injury, your current condition, as well as any related treatment you may have already undergone – or may have been told you will have to undergo in the future. It is our job to be attentive and to devote whatever time is required for us to reach a full understanding of your claim. And, we will avoid any rush to judgment.
After discussing your claim with you, we will be able to determine whether we can accept your case or whether we need additional time to perform further research.
The initial consultation also provides you with the means to ask an attorney any questions you have that are related to your claim, as well as any inquiries you may have regarding our particular firm and the spectrum of services we offer.