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Personal Injury

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How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take on Average?

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Did you have a personal injury? If your injury is serious, you should get legal advice from a personal injury attorney right away to learn about all of your options. Always keep in mind that the sooner you see a lawyer, the smoother and more straightforward things will be for you.

“How long will my case take?” is a question that wounded clients frequently ask a personal injury lawyer. Because there are so many factors, that is a difficult question to answer. Here are a few things to think about.

Is it evident who is to blame for the accident?

If there is no disagreement over who is to blame for the accident and the only question is how much your car is worth, the procedure may be accelerated. A lawyer will almost certainly have to go through the fact-gathering and discovery stages of the case to prove the other motorist was at fault.

Is the status of your injuries stable?

While you are still recovering from your injuries, most lawyers will hesitate to settle your case. You’re taking a risk since you don’t know how well you’ll recover. If a lawyer agrees on a settlement based on the expectation that you will continue to improve, but you do not, your settlement may be too low.

Have you returned to work?

Similarly, if you have not yet returned to your prior job or are still working limited hours, lawyers will want to wait before deciding until they know whether or not you will be able to work, and if so, at what level.

Is there more than one party involved in your case?

There may be delays when exams are arranged for discovery and mediation when there are more than two sets of lawyers on a case. Finding dates that work for a group of lawyers can add months to your case’s duration.

What is the value of your case?

Although there are no hard and fast rules, in general, the higher the value of a personal injury case, the longer it will take to process. This is sometimes because the insurance company takes longer to approve the case’s value. It’s sometimes because the insurance company wants to see if you’re serious and if you’ll be a good witness and/or if you’ll improve over time.

Delays in the courtroom

There are already delays in getting personal injury car accident cases to pretrial and trial. Before the global epidemic, there were delays. Those delays are now even longer. As a result, if you have a case that requires the assistance of a judge to settle it before trial or a trial for fair compensation, it may take longer to resolve.

Patience is a virtue that pays off.

In most cases, it is best advised that clients choose between a quick settlement and a fair payout, but they rarely get both. Waiting till the correct time is right and will be worth it if you have substantial injuries and losses.

 

What Personal Injury Cases Can a Lawyer Work On

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If you have been hurt because of a terrible accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer offers a range of legal services so that you have the information and support you need to begin the claims process. It can be tough to know where to begin if you are looking to file a personal injury claim, so a lawyer can help you through each part of the process. These are several personal injury cases that a lawyer handles. 

Car Accident 

Car accidents are cases that are frequently handled by personal injury lawyers. Innocent people get hurt in vehicle accidents each day, and many of them suffer severe injuries that require costly medical treatment. Personal injury lawyers can assist you with your car accident claim by collecting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, creating a list of damages, reviewing your settlement offers, and much more. 

Medical Malpractice

People go to the hospital to be treated for any injuries or illnesses that they may have. If they do not receive the proper care and treatment because of an error made by a doctor or other medical professional, the consequences can be life-threatening or fatal. A personal injury lawyer can provide you valuable help because of their experience with the complex healthcare system and sharp negotiation skills, which is especially important since hospitals have highly experienced legal teams of their own. 

Slip and Fall 

A slip and fall accident can result in serious head, neck or leg injuries. They usually happen without warning, and can be caused by many different things such as spilled food or drinks, uneven pavement, or poorly constructed railings. A lawyer can help you file a slip and fall claim so that you can receive the proper settlement from the liable party. 

Premises Liability

If you are in a hotel, resort, or other facility, the property owner is responsible for keeping visitors at the premises safe. If you were injured because of a lack of proper security, such as if a trespasser broke through a fence to enter the property, you may be able to file a claim against the property owner. 

Whatever your case is, a personal injury lawyer like one from Hurwitz, Whitcher, and Molloy, Attorneys at Law can be at your side to lend you the support and legal advice you need. Contact a lawyer today to set up a consultation.

Can I Sue if My Child Was Hurt at the Beach?

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Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s all too common for a child to be injured while at the beach. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained by your child if they were hurt while at the beach. Whether or not you qualify to receive compensation will depend on several factors as determined by the court. 

Private Beaches Versus Public Beaches

If your child was injured at the beach, you may have the right to sue the property owner. You will be required to prove that the owner of the beach played a role in the injuries that were sustained due to their negligence. It is important to note that laws vary by state. In most places, you will have three to six months to file a Notice of Claim or Notice of Intent if your child was injured at the beach. You could lose your right to file a claim if you do not file a Notice of Intent in time.  

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations varies, allowing anywhere from one to five years depending on the state in which you reside. Depending on the situation, the process will be different whether you are suing the government, a commercial business, or a private citizen.  

Beach Related Injuries

There are a number of injuries that could happen at the beach that you should be aware of. Drowning isn’t the only injury that can occur at the beach. Some other injuries could include:

  • Slipping and falling
  • Unsafe equipment, such as playground structures
  • Injury from conditions of the water
  • Being cut by glass

It is important to note that if a person were to drown at the beach, compensation would not be guaranteed. When an accident occurs as the result of a natural circumstance, such as a riptide, the property owner can not be held accountable. Whether the beach is privately or publicly owned, the property owner is responsible for the upkeep of the beach and ensuring that it is safe. A property owner could be considered negligent if they do not maintain the beach by keeping it free of debris such as glass and other objects. They may also be considered negligent if they fail to maintain equipment on their property such as a play structure and someone slips and falls as a result.  

Contact an Attorney

It will be in your best interest to speak with an experienced lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, if your child sustained an injury while at the beach. They will be able to determine if you have a case by looking at the factors that led to the injury. There is no risk in speaking with an attorney, as the majority of personal injury lawyers offer the first consultation for free. 

Learn the Steps to Take After a Car Accident 

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Personal Injury Lawyer

Car accidents can be unnerving. You may faithfully come to a stop at stop signs, use your blinker when making a turn, and allow pedestrians time to cross before proceeding into an intersection. However, even the safest of drivers can still get into accidents because others on the road are driving negligently and distracted. Especially if you have never been in a car accident before, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from future harm and to help when you want to file a car accident claim. 

What should I do if the other driver was uninsured? 

This is, unfortunately, a possibility. Although Texas requires its drivers to hold auto insurance, not all drivers will obey this law. In this instance, you would rely on your own insurance to cover costs for things like medical needs and property damage. If your insurance does not fully cover what you need, you will need to pay the rest out of pocket. Speaking with a lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the way to go if you would like to have your expenses covered. 

What if the car accident was partially my fault? 

Even if you believe that the car accident was partially your fault, you should still not say anything about it to the other driver or their insurance company. Without all of the details, it is hard to understand precisely what caused the accident and who is fully or partially responsible. Especially when you are concerned about being partially responsible for the car accident, you may wish to enlist the help of a lawyer like a car accident lawyer from a law firm like John K. Zaid & Associates. 

What can be helpful to bring if I have a consultation with a lawyer? 

If you take the plunge and meet with an attorney for your car accident, there are a few things that can be helpful to bring to your consultation. 

  • Your medical records
  • Photographs from the scene
  • Photographs of car damage and personal injuries 
  • The police report
  • Any insurance information you have from the other driver and insurance statements

Remember, your priority after being in an accident is making sure you get the medical attention you need. Car accidents can leave many people suffering from invisible injuries, like traumatic brain injuries. You want to ensure you are getting the care you need. If you are interested in legal help, consider working with a local attorney to start your claim. 

I Have a Disability Hearing Coming Up, What Can I Expect?

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Personal Injury Lawyer

When you have been denied social security disability, it is your right to file an appeal. There are several levels to the appeals process with the first being a re-examination. At this time, your case will be re-examined to see if a mistake was made. You could be approved at this level, but many people won’t be. The next step is to schedule a disability hearing. 

What Happens at a Disability Hearing?

A disability hearing will give you the opportunity to present your case before an administrative law judge. The objective will be to see if your medical condition is so disabling that you cannot work. Most hearings are similar, but have slight variations depending on the case and the judge. 

You should understand a disability hearing is nothing like what you see on the TV. It won’t be held in a trial courtroom, and there will not be many people watching what is going on. A disability hearing is typically held in a small conference room. They are private and only include yourself, your disability lawyer or advocate (if you have one), the administrative judge, a hearing assistant (who records the proceedings), and one or two expert witnesses that have been hired by the administration. If you bring a family member or friend, they will be asked to wait outside. 

You Will Be Asked Questions

Once all parties are in the conference room, the judge will review a statement of facts regarding your claim. At this point, you will likely be asked questions by the judge. In general, these questions will be regarding your medical condition, your treatment, past employment, and limitations that prevent you from working. This hearing is not “you” versus “them”. The judge is not trying to prove you are not disabled or don’t deserve benefits. As a disability lawyer will tell you, it is important to be honest, don’t exaggerate anything, but make sure you include any important details. You might want to include examples on how your disability hinders your ability to do different things. 

A Lawyer Can Speak For You

Once you have given your testimony, the judge will usually allow your representative, or disability lawyer, speak for you on your behalf. If your lawyer will be asking any questions, he or she will let you know before the hearing. If any expert witnesses are present, the judge will ask them to present their own opinions. These witnesses may include medical or vocational experts who can testify about your condition and whether you can sustain employment. You may be asked a few more questions, and then given the opportunity to speak. In general, you won’t receive a decision for 3-4 weeks, via mail. On occasion, a judge will make a bench decision. Even if this happens, and you are approved, you must receive it in writing before you will get any benefits. 

What If You Are Denied?

If you are denied benefits after a hearing, you can file a Request for Reconsideration. According to the available statistics, you have the greatest odds of being granted benefits at the hearing stage, or this stage. If you are denied at this point too, the chances of being approved later on are slim. For this reason, it is important to plan for your hearing and come prepared. Call a disability lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, to help protect your rights and interests. 

Types of Insurance Coverage for a Bike Crash

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Personal Injury Lawyer

When you’re in a bicycle crash, you may wonder where the compensation is going to come from. You now have medical bills to pay for, property damage to take care of, and a variety of other expenses resulting from your accident. Is there some type of insurance coverage for a situation like this? The following are some options to consider.

Homeowner’s and Renter’s Insurance

When you purchase homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you are insuring everything that is considered your property. Your bike is your property, so if someone pulls into your driveway and runs it over, you have insurance coverage to replace it. What if your bike sustains damage off the premises? It is still considered your property and it is still covered, but there may be some limits that apply.

If you’re involved in a bicycle accident in which you were at fault, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will not cover to replace the bike. If you’re hit by a car while legally riding down the street, the insurance coverage would step in to replace your bike. Some homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies even include no-fault medical coverage up to a certain limit.

Auto Insurance

In most bicycle accident cases, you’d receive compensation through yours or the responsible party’s auto insurance. If you are hit by someone, be sure you get their insurance information so you can contact the insurer and let them know of your intent to file a claim. If the accident is a hit-and-run, or if the driver is uninsured, you can lean on your own auto insurance. You probably have something called “uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.” 

This is a protection to you if the other driver bails or is driving without proper protection. Some auto insurance policies also have something called “medpay,” which would be included in your own auto insurance policy, and is something you might be able to use. This type of coverage often caps at a certain amount, so you should speak with your insurer to find out.

Bicycle Insurance

If your bike is valued over $1,000, you might want to get insurance just for your bike. Whether you’re at home, on the road, or have the bike chained up somewhere, bicycle insurance will pay for the full value of your bike if it’s destroyed.

Contacting a Lawyer

Bicycle accidents can cause a host of issues, but you do have some options when it comes to insurance. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC, today for help getting the compensation you deserve.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

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Car Accident Lawyer

As rideshares like Uber become more popular so do accidents involving Uber drivers. If you were in an accident with a rideshare driver, what should you do? The truth is that the steps you take are similar to what you would do in any other accident.

Visit a Medical Professional

After any accident, regardless of who the other driver is, you should see a medical professional. Not everyone needs to go to the hospital directly from the scene of the wreck. While it is smart to call the paramedics, no matter your physical state, you may not have to go to the hospital right away.

If you do not go to the emergency room right away, it is crucial that you look for signs and symptoms of serious injuries. Some injuries may show symptoms later. You may not experience pain or discomfort for hours or days. For instance, whiplash, spinal injuries and head injuries may not reveal themselves right away. If you have headaches, muscle pain or any other discomfort caused by the crash, you should see a doctor right away.

Odds are you will see an emergency doctor. He or she may send you to see a specialist afterwards. You can set up an appointment with your primary care physician, but there is a risk that he or she won’t see you. Not all doctors are willing to testify in court and may not want to deal with your insurance company. Make sure to keep record of your injuries and all treatment costs associated with your injury.

File a Report

If the other driver worked for a rideshare company like Uber, you have to file a report. Rideshare companies provide forms on their website to report an accident. Once you do this, you will most likely hear from the insurance company. If you are worried about the insurance company’s phone calls, you may want to speak to a lawyer in advance. He or she can advise you on what to and what not to say to the insurer. A mistake in what you say could lead to a lesser settlement.

If you were in a wreck with an Uber driver, you may have a claim if the driver was at fault. When it comes to rideshare companies, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company too. It depends on the nature of the accident. To determine who you should file suit against, consult with a car accident lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca, as soon as possible.

How to Handle a Drunk Driving Claim

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Car Accident Lawyer

After an accident with a drunk driver, it’s normal to ask whether the claims process would be different if you were in an accident with a sober driver. Some of the basic steps are the same, no matter the reason for the accident. It can be a more complicated process, though.

When to File the Claim

In most cases, it is advisable to file the claim right away. In a drunk driving case, however, it is more common to wait to see if criminal charges are pending. If the other driver has criminal DUI charges pending, you can wait until after the conviction. The reason you want to wait until after the conviction is that their conviction is going to be proof of your case and it will be easier for you to win your settlement.

How to Handle Insurance Companies

Often, insurance companies will pay up to the policy amount if their policyholder drove while drunk. Once the claim is over, the company will typically cancel the policy or raise the premiums. While damages to the drunk driver’s vehicle do not usually get paid by their insurance if they were driving while intoxicated, their liability policy may pay for you, your car’s damages, and medical bills.

While an insurance company will rarely reject you if their driver was intoxicated, you still do not want to accept the first offer. The insurance company wants to settle as quickly as possible and will often offer you less than the policy amount. Do not accept any settlement right away. If you’re unsure about whether you should accept an offer, then you need to discuss the terms with your lawyer. He or she can gauge whether it is a fair settlement or if you need to continue negotiations.

Why Hire an Attorney

Whenever you choose to file a drunk driving claim, you may want to hire an attorney. Drunk driving cases can be complicated when you deserve more compensation than the insurance policy provides. You may even want to use specialty laws for a DUI. For instance, in some cases, you can file a claim against a bar who served the drunk driver.

If you were hit by a drunk driver, you have every right to file a claim against the other driver. It is important to remember that most car accident claims can become complicated and you may need assistance receiving the settlement that you deserve. Consult with a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, for questions about your claim.

4 Factors That Determine the Value of Loss in a Personal Injury Case

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Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, the financial impact can be especially difficult. Medical bills, pain and suffering and the inability to work might all affect your finances and your future. If you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit as a way to recoup your losses, there are a few factors that can affect the economic value of your case you may want to be aware of.

  1. Future Medical Costs 

While an injury may land you in the hospital and cause several thousand dollars’ worth of medical bills, you may require future treatment for long-term bodily damage as well. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver and suffered spinal injuries that require future surgeries and rehabilitation, you could add the total amount of these costs to your lawsuit. You may want to ask your doctor about the projected value of these medical needs so you can forward the information to your lawyer.

  1. Lost Earning Capacity 

If your accident prevents you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you might be able to add your inability to earn wages to the economic value of your case. This factor can be especially important if you were the main provider for your family and now the future of your household is in question. While future earning potential might be difficult to compute down to the dollar, your attorney may be able to help you decide a fair and reasonable amount.

  1. Judge and Jury 

Because all personal injury cases differ, there is typically no set dollar amount or universal award offered. Judges and juries usually use a damages model to consider what the case is worth, using several factors that might include your current and future impairments, how the injury has affected your quality of life and whether you are suffering any mental or emotional anguish as a result of the accident.

  1. State Damage Caps 

The amount you can receive from a personal injury case may be limited by your state of residence, but usually in cases of non-economic awards. Some laws may restrict the amount you can receive for future medical needs, while others cap punitive damages only. Your attorney can provide you with information regarding state caps and how they might affect your case.

Computing the economic value of your personal injury case can be difficult, but there is help available. Contact an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer from John K. Zaid & Associates, today for further information and assistance.

When to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident

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Car Accident Lawyer

Every time you get behind the wheel, you’re taking a risk. You may not think of it that way because you almost always arrive at your destination without incident. However, the possibility of getting into an accident is real. If you’re on the wrong end of a car collision and you suffer injuries, you need to take the right steps to protect your health, rights, and finances. In some situations, it may be best to hire an attorney to advise you.

First Thing’s First

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, be sensible and keep your emotions under control. Do not admit fault or place blame. Call the police and calmly exchange insurance and contact information with the other party. Once police officers arrive, give your account of what happened. Be accurate and honest. Let the officers do their job as they investigate the scene and fill out a report. In the meantime, you can take photos of the accident and speak with eyewitnesses to get their view of what caused the wreck. You should then call your insurance company to file a claim. If the accident wasn’t your fault, call the other driver’s insurance company to report the incident.

Next Seek Medical Care

Before you consider taking legal action, let a medical professional examine your injuries. If they are severe, you should go directly to the emergency room from the accident scene. You can take care of the insurance steps later. If the injuries are minor or moderate, go to an urgent care center or to your family doctor’s office. Don’t ignore your symptoms and pass them off as inconsequential. Some injuries won’t manifest for a couple of days. Let a qualified physician check your vitals signs and assess your health. Once you’ve taken this step, it’s time to speak to an attorney. Don’t wait too long, though. Most states require that you file a personal injury lawsuit within a year of the accident.

Signs That You Need a Lawyer

Not all car accidents warrant a personal injury lawsuit. There are times, however, when this makes sense. If your insurance company and the other driver’s provider are being difficult to work with or denying your claim, you should involve your attorney. If the other driver is at fault but denies responsibility, you should get legal help to intervene. Also, if your injuries are severe, resulting in mounting medical costs and lost time at work, you should consider filing a lawsuit. You could get compensation for your financial responsibilities.

Follow these guidelines as you consider whether to make a personal injury claim. Speak to a car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX, as soon after your accident as possible.

 


 

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into when to hire a lawyer after a car accident.