DOs and DON’Ts if injured in a car accident
After suffering an injury in an accident that was not your fault, there are a multitude of factors that come into play when negotiating the value of your claim with the insurance ...
As you will hear often, every case is different.
That said, an experienced personal injury lawyer should have a good idea of what your case is worth once your injuries and the treatment required for your injuries are known. At the very least, an attorney should be able to provide a spectrum and explain how various factors such as discovery, liability, and pre-existing medical issues might impact a settlement offer or verdict. Do your research and use your best judgment in evaluating a potential lawyer's claims. Be wary of personal injury lawyers who make estimates that seem completely unrealistic.
Some people indeed negotiate with insurance companies by themselves – but sadly, these accident victims often end up receiving much less than they deserve. There many reasons you should let a lawyer represent you instead of just going it alone.
An attorney understands the full extent of your rights and thus can comprehensively assess what your claim is truly worth. Insurance companies are known to employ delay, deny and defend tactics that weaken an accident victim's claim. We know how to protect you.
The fight for your maximum compensation requires a thorough investigation, strategic building of your case, and fearless representation even in the face of large insurers. Ruck & Wright Law, Ltd,. does all of these competently, backed by three decades of experience in handling accident insurance claims.
Like most personal injury law firms, our firm handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not bill our clients hourly for the time spent on their cases. Instead, we are paid at the end out of the client's proceeds. Our typical fee is 1/3 of the total proceeds paid to our client, however this can be different for a more complex case.
Hiring an attorney on a contingent fee basis is nice because it is results driven. If you come to our firm with a case that settles for $9,000, then our fee we earn is $3,000. However, if we take that same case and work it up, properly preparing for trial and we earn $30,000, then our fee is $10,000. In short, contingency fee contracts align the attorney and client's successes which also tends to create an even more positive experience for the client because our losses and wins are shared together.
Yes, but our firm advances the case expenses on behalf of the client until the case is either settled or tried to a jury.
Typical expenses include minor copying and printing fees charged by your medical providers, costs to file a Complaint in court, paying for depositions, and paying expert fees.
Be wary of any lawyer who tells you early on that your case is going to settle. Your personal injury lawyer should expect every case to go to trial and prepare as if your case will be tried before a jury. That way, you can enter settlement negotiations with the defendant armed with as much evidence as possible. This will help ensure that you receive the best possible settlement. If you cannot reach a settlement and the case goes to trial, everyone will be prepared.
It's important to ask your attorney if they are willing to take your case to a jury trial if necessary. Many people are surprised to hear how few attorneys have tried, or are even willing to try a personal injury case to a jury. Our firm has very recently tried and won a jury trial in Wood County, Ohio in March 2020. We also have three additional cases that are currently set for jury trials which we expect will be tried in the next year. It's always important to know that your attorney has tried jury trials and has had success in them, because Defense Attorneys and Insurance Adjusters know the attorneys who won't try cases, and they do not provide as generous of offers in those cases to settle because they know the risk is far less when working with an attorney who is unlikely to take your case to a jury and win.
This depends on the severity of the injuries suffered by the injured party. In some very minor cases, a settlement can be reached within a couple of months. More serious injuries can take several months, or even several years to settle.
A statute of limitations is the time limitation that you have to bring the case. For most personal injury cases, including Ohio, the period of limitation is two years. As long as you have filed your lawsuit within two years of the date of your accident, your claim is preserved and you can move forward with your lawsuit as well as continuing to negotiate towards a possible settlement.
You may still have a case even if you do not feel hurt at the scene. The biological response to a traumatic situation like an accident sends a rush of adrenaline through the body, which can temporarily reduce sensations of pain. You may start feeling significant pain or developing other symptoms later. It is wise to consult a doctor even if you do not feel immediate, excruciating pain, since some of the most serious conditions emerge over time.
Document, Document, Document – We can't say it enough. If you do seek medical treatment be sure to have everything documented. When filing a claim after an accident, insurance companies will use your medical records to evaluate your claim. That's why it's important to share every pain and discomfort you have with medical personnel helping you. Check out our blog to learn more about this topic https://bit.ly/ShareAndDocument
The only reason you should ever speak to an insurance adjuster is to fill them in on the details of your vehicle. When you are in an accident there is a property damage claim and a bodily injury claim. The adjusters know that you need to resolve your property claim quickly because most people need transportation. Keep in mind that they record your conversations, so even though they may be calling you to discuss your property damage claim, keep in mind that they are also trying to glean information into the accident that can be used against you. 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.
You can still get damages from someone else who was at fault for the accident. The damages may be reduced to account for the pre-existing condition, but you can hold another person or entity accountable for aggravating the condition. Someone who interacts with you takes you as they find you, so the question of whether someone without your condition would have been injured is irrelevant. That said, these cases tend to be more complex and may require the assistance of experts, so hiring an attorney may be especially important.
A release is a document that you sign in exchange for receiving the settlement money. Basically, it provides that you release all of your legal claims against any defendant and their insurer based on this accident. You should be aware that a release usually covers claims not only against any defendant whom you sued or who paid a settlement but also any other potential defendant, including a party that was not involved in the litigation. If you are married, your spouse may need to sign the release too.
If you are injured because of the fault or wrongful conduct of another person or entity, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit to recover money damages for your losses. Some examples of the types of incidents that give rise to personal injury claims include: car accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls, sexual abuse, workplace injuries, dog bites, and nursing home negligence. You should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to determine whether or not you have a case.
Unless your case goes to trial, the actual amount of time that will require your personal involvement in a personal injury case is relatively minimal. The initial office consultation to discuss your claim usually takes about one hour. Follow-up meetings to check on your medical progress and to update you on your case generally take less time and can be done in the office or by phone. If a lawsuit is filed, you would likely need to come into the office to review and sign certain papers required under our court rules. You may also be required to answer questions under oath at a deposition, undergo a medical examination by a doctor selected by the other party and attend a pretrial conference at court.
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