If you have been injured in an accident, the most important priority is getting medical attention. Assuming that you are not taken to the emergency room immediately, you should take photos or videos of the accident scene and get the contact information of any witnesses. You should not admit fault or apologize to anyone else who was involved, even if it seems like a polite thing to do. Anything that you say in the aftermath of an accident can be used against you if you pursue a claim or lawsuit later. If you suspect that someone else may have been at fault, you should set up a consultation with an attorney to discuss your options. The first consultation is always free.
The main type of damages is known as compensatory damages, which is further divided into economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are based on tangible, relatively objective costs and losses, such as medical bills, lost income and earning capacity, property damage, and the costs of future treatment. Non-economic damages are more subjective, covering items such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of life. Damages must be reasonably quantifiable to be awarded, rather than being speculative. If the defendant has acted in an especially egregious manner, you may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. These are meant to punish the defendant and deter this type of conduct. Punitive damages are rarely awarded but can be substantial, although there are constitutional limits on how much they can exceed compensatory damages.
You should not speak with an insurance adjuster for someone else involved in the litigation. They may seem friendly and sympathetic, but they are almost certainly trying to coax statements from you that would reduce or eliminate the liability of their insured. Tell the insurance adjuster to contact your attorney, if you have retained an attorney, or contact your insurance company, if you do not have an attorney. The same points apply if an attorney for someone else contacts you.
You do not need to make this decision on your own. Contact us and set up a free consultation to go over your situation in detail. We will be able to tell you whom you can sue and what you can expect to recover, based on the facts of the accident and the state laws. Essentially, in most situations, you will have a case if someone acted carelessly under the circumstances and caused your injuries. Applying this standard is more complicated than it sounds, however, which is why it is important to consult an attorney.
A personal injury case needs to be filed within two years of the accident. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they are very narrow, so you should not assume that an exception applies. As a practical matter, moreover, you should try to pursue a claim as soon as possible while the evidence is still fresh. This will help you prove liability and the scope of your damages.
You should not be worried that you do not have the money to pay for a lawyer. Almost all personal injury attorneys take cases at no charge, collecting their fee as a percentage of any settlement or judgment that they obtain for you. Thus, if you get nothing from the case, neither does the attorney. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement. The percentage that an attorney takes from a settlement varies, but it is often around 30-33 percent. It may be higher if you go to trial.
You should not expect a long delay between getting your settlement and getting your check. Most insurers want to close out their case files efficiently, so they will send out the check within a week or two of signing the settlement agreement. The timing may depend on whether the insurer waits to send the check until they receive your signed release. Once you get the check, if you have an attorney, they will put together a settlement statement. This will state the total amount of money collected and subtract the attorney’s fee, court costs, reimbursements to your insurers (see below), and any other necessary deductions. You will review and sign the settlement statement, and then the attorney will send you a check for the remainder.
At the Law Offices of Timothy L. Denton, your case is in the hands of experienced proven legal professionals.
Since 1981, Tim has represented injury victims against insurance companies and major corporations.
Tim accepts cases ranging from auto accidents resulting in whiplash injuries, multiparty, catastrophic injury and more.
The team at the Law Offices of Timothy L. Denton work with some of the best experts in the personal injury industry to maximize your settlement and prove your case.
All cases are handled on a contingency basis. There is NO FEE unless we resolve your claim.
NO OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES or UP FRONT COSTS.
We will never put our interest ahead of your best interest.