Frequently Asked Questions

Personal Injury

Q: Do I have a strong case?

Whether or not you have a strong case depends on a variety of factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries or property damage, who is at fault and whether the defendant has sizable assets or adequate insurance coverage, and how long ago the accident or injury occurred. An attorney can evaluate your case in light of these and other factors, and give you a realistic assessment of what you can expect.

Q: I have fully recovered from my injuries. Do I still have a case?

Absolutely. Even if you have fully recovered from your injuries, you are still entitled to compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence.

Q: How does my attorney get paid?

Most personal injury attorneys work on “contingency,” which means that if they agree to take your case, they will take a percentage of the recovery, whether by settlement or a trial verdict. Many advance the court fees and other related expenses, while others expect the client to cover some or all of the costs. If the attorney advances costs, those are reimbursed from your eventual recovery.

Q: How long will my lawsuit take?

This, too, depends on many factors. Most cases settle prior to trial, but if a settlement is not reached, your case will progress through discovery and trial. The latter can take a year or longer in many jurisdictions. You may also not want to resolve your case too quickly if you are still seeking medical treatment and all of the related expenses have not yet been calculated.

Q: What is my role in the lawsuit?

Your attorney will take care of all of the legal aspects of your case. You may be asked to participate in discovery by answering written questions or giving oral testimony in a deposition. If your case goes to trial, you will likely be expected to appear in court. Throughout the duration of your case, you must obtain appropriate medical care and make your doctor, physical therapy, or other appointments.

Automobile Accidents

Q: What should I do if I’m in a car accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, you should seek necessary medical treatment immediately. Even if you are not injured, it is important that you call the police and file a formal police report which can later assist with insurance claims and any lawsuits which may follow.

During this time, you will be required to show your driver’s license and documentation of your insurance coverage. It is important that you obtain this information from the other driver as well. If you have a camera, you should take a photo of the scene or soon after to show any damage to your vehicle. You should also contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible so they can instruct you on the necessary steps to file your claim.

To ensure that you receive the greatest settlement possible, contact a personal injury attorney who can initiate an investigation before witnesses forget their testimonials and evidence is lost.

Q: I was in a minor accident and the other driver and I just exchanged insurance information without calling the police. My insurance company is now giving me a hard time for not having a report. Is a police report necessary for all car accidents?

It is always a good idea to call the police at the time of an automobile accident. All insurance carriers have different policies regarding the necessity of a police report when filing a claim, but many will also accept an auto insurance claim without one. Nonetheless, police reports are helpful in determining the involved parties and documenting who was at fault. This information will assist your insurance company in their investigation and may expedite the resolution of the claim.

Q: I was in a car accident and the other motorist's insurance company just called me for a statement. Am I required to provide one?

No! More often than not, the other driver’s insurance company is calling to obtain information which may be used against you as you seek to recover losses. Respectfully decline their request and inform them that if they would like a copy of your statement, they may contact your insurance carrier directly.

Q: Who is responsible for my medical treatment and expenses?

In most cases, the party at-fault (or his respective insurance company) is responsible for paying for medical treatment and other related expenses. These can also include lost work and compensation for vehicle damage. The extent of liability for an injury resulting from a car accident can vary based on jurisdiction. As a result, it is crucial that you hire a personal injury attorney who can help determine fault and recover any financial losses you’ve incurred.

Product Liability

Q: I was injured when using a hair dryer. If I decide to seek compensation for my injury, who can be held liable?

In most cases, the manufacturing company is held liable for injuries caused by defective products. However, depending on the nature of the case, other parties may be held fully or partially liable. For example, if your product was repaired by an individual independent of the manufacturer, the repair technician may be held responsible. In other cases, the retailer of the product may be liable. To determine who is liable, you should contact an attorney who specializes in product liability matters.

Q: What is the most common defense used by manufacturers to avoid liability in defective product cases?

In many cases, manufacturers will argue that the user misused the product and, as a result of this incorrect use, injury ensued. This defense may be valid in many cases, however, it is still the manufacturer’s duty to provide notification of intended use and warn of dangers of misuse. If these warnings were not expressed on the product prior to use, the defense may not hold as much weight in court.

Q: I received a notification from a law firm that I may be part of a class eligible to receive compensation for injury from a defective product. Should I join the class action suit?

When a product causes widespread injury to its users, class action suits is often initiated by a group of plaintiffs. When contemplating whether or not to join this class of harmed users, be sure to consult a personal injury attorney first to protect your rights. Our law firm can help evaluate your case and advise on the best course of action.

Slip/Trip and Fall

Q: I tripped and fell over an uneven sidewalk outside of my neighbor's home. I sustained a back injury which kept me out of work for two weeks. He is aware of my injury but says it is my fault because I was talking on my cell phone and not paying attention at the time I fell. Do I have any liability?

Your neighbor and all property owners have the responsibility to take reasonable steps to provide for the safety of visitors. However, the injured party must also show that he or she was exercising reasonable caution. If your neighbor can prove that you were being careless at the time of the accident, it may hinder your claim. To fully evaluate the situation and determine who is responsible and to what extent, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney.

Q: What should I do if I am injured on someone else's property?

If you are injured on someone else's property, take note of the surroundings and the hazard which caused you to fall. If you have a camera or mobile phone with photo capturing ability, try to take photos of the hazard as this may serve as evidence of the condition of the property at the time of injury. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information or a written statement of the accident from their perspective. If you are in a business setting, the business will probably require that you submit an accident report at the time of the incident. Be sure to retain a copy of this report for your records. In the upcoming days and weeks, keep clear records of any medical treatment needed and document any missed work which occurred as a result of you injury. Most importantly, contact a personal injury attorney who can review your case and inform you of the best course of action to receive compensation for your suffering and lost wages.

Q: As a homeowner, what am I required to do to ensure that I am not liable for damages should someone slip and fall on my property?

As a property owner, it is your responsibility to maintain a safe environment for all visitors to your property. If there is a defective condition, you must warn individuals of the hazard and correct it in a timely manner. Regular maintenance will ensure that you are aware of any unsafe condition and are able to fix it to avoid injury to others. The extent of liability, if any, can vary depending on each situation, so it is best to consult a qualified personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the specific laws of your local jurisdiction.