Question: How soon after I am injured should I file a lawsuit?
Answer: It differs by state, but in some states you have as little as one year to file a lawsuit before you risk losing your legal right to damages for your injury. Statutes of Limitations are written laws that set the maximum amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. It is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as you become aware of an injury to see if you could be entitled to compensation.
Question: What are some questions to ask before hiring a lawyer to represent you?
Answer: Does the lawyer have any past experience in representing clients that were in similar situations? If so, what were the outcomes of those cases? How will the lawyer charge you for his or her service?
Question: How much is my case worth?
Answer: The value of your case depends on many factors, including:
– How great are your losses?
The compensation you get in personal injury cases is based in large part on making up for your harms and losses. If a person undergoes costly medical treatment for example, then the case tends to be worth more. Basically, the more severely injured you are and greater the losses, the more compensation you are entitled to.
– How badly did the wrongdoer act?
Jurors are motivated to give higher compensation in personal injury cases if they are angry at what the wrongdoer did as well as protect others from similar injuries. If the wrong was intentionally committed the vaule of the cases usually goes up. But if the injury resulted from a simple mistake the value generally goes down.
– Can the wrongdoer pay?
If the wrongdoer is not inherently wealthy, then the value of your case usually depends on the size of their insurance policy. Even if your losses are over $1 million, if the insurance policy only provides $50,000 in coverage then the award will likely be limited to $50,000.
Question: What should I do if I witness a personal injury accident?
Answer: If you witness a personal injury accident caused by another, then please take time out of your busy day to do these five simple steps to ensure the injured person receives proper compensation.
- Stop and Dial 911: Please stop and immediately dial 911.
- Aid: While you wait on the emergency responders to arrive on the scene, see if you can provide immediate assistance.
- Exchange Contact Information: Exchange your name and contact information with the injured person. If they are badly injured, give your name and contact information to the emergency personnel and explain that you witnessed the injury.
- Take Pictures: If you have a regular camera or smart phone, take pictures. Take as many pictures of the surrounding accident scene as possible. Pictures provide the injured person evidence, in order to get compensation for their injury.
- Take Notes: Write down what you witnessed as quickly as possible. Memories fade over time, so it is essential to take notes right after you witness the accident. If you do not have a pen and paper on hand, send yourself notes through text messages, or see if your smart phone has a voice memo or notes application.
Question: What is a contingency fee?
Answer: A contingency fee is any fee for services provided where the fee is only payable if there is a favorable result. In legal terms this means the lawyer’s fee (usually calculated as a percentage of the client’s net recovery) is contingent on whether the lawsuit is successful or is favorably settled out of court. Basically, the lawyer only gets paid if he wins or settles in the client’s favor.