Being hurt unexpectedly can be traumatic. It can also cause emotional distress and great expense in addition to physical pain. More than likely, you want and need answers to help you know what to do and what not to do after you have suffered a personal injury, whether it’s in a car accident, from a dog bite, or a malpractice case.
What should I do?
Q: I have been injured in an accident. What should I do?
A: Seek medical help, especially if you are badly injured. Then contact your attorney before making any statements to the at-fault person’s insurance company or attorney. Your statements could be used against you if you file a case or a claim.
Q: How do I know if I have a legitimate claim?
A: Even if you’re not sure if the other party is to blame or if there is enough evidence, contacting an attorney is a good idea. A consultation is usually free and can help you make sure you’re not waiving your rights to compensation if you do have a case.
Q: What elements determine if I have a personal injury claim?
A: There are four elements that support a personal injury, or tort, claim. (1) The person at fault is obligated to act or not. (2) Said person neglects that obligation. (3) You suffer damages, and (4) they are the direct result of the at-fault person’s actions.
Q: Do I have to take the at-fault person to court?
A: No. In fact, most personal injury cases are resolved by the at-fault person’s insurance company.
What are my rights?
Q: What are considered damages in a personal injury case?
A: Damages include all expenses and losses that result from the incident. These can be anything from medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, to permanent scars, mental anguish, and disability.
Q: What if I am partly be to blame for the incident?
A: As long as your actions can be proven to account for less than 50% of the accident, you can still file a claim and collect from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Q: Who is responsible for paying my relevant bills?
A: Until your case is settled, your insurance company may be relied upon to pay your medical bills and possibly any lost wages, depending on your coverage plan.
Q: How do I know if my car has been totaled and what happens then?
A: If it will cost more to repair your car than it is worth, then your car will be deemed a total loss. The insurance company should offer you a fair amount to enable you to purchase another vehicle of comparable value. You can choose to argue for more compensation from the insurance company. This requires an independent appraiser or your personal research based on similar vehicles’ prices in the current market.