Personal Injury Claim FAQ: Common Personal Injury Claim Questions and Answers

Personal Injury Claim FAQ

Personal Injury Claim FAQ: Common Personal Injury Claim FAQ

Due to physical injuries and emotional distress and financial worries, a personal injury claim can be dizzying to handle and comprehend. We at Legal Chiefs can connect you with a personal injury attorney, but we have also answered some of the most common questions people have about personal injury claims below.

Q: I Don’t Know if I Have a Case. How Do I Know What To Do Next?

A: All parties injured during an accident have the legal right to financial compensation. However, every case may be different, but in the most common cause, the following need to be determined:

1. Is the other party at fault?

2. Have you been injured?

3. Have you suffered financial loss due to the injury (including wages, medical bills, car repairs, etc)

Answering Yes to these questions means you should qualify for a case.

Q: How Soon After the Accident Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

A: Different states have different rules, but in most of the states, you have two years to file your personal injury claim. However, in some states, this period is only a year (Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee) but other states have extended the statute of limitations to 3, 4, and even 6 years (the last one goes to Maine).


The period begins not right after the accident but on the day you learn of your injury. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that a single lawsuit may contain multiple claims that are usually subjected to different deadlines.

Q: Can I Represent Myself, and Do I Really Need an Attorney?

A: Here at Legal Chiefs, we recommend that you always protect your rights in the best way you can. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation in personal injury cases, so you’ve got nothing to lose. That is why our advice is to consult a professional attorney immediately.


The insurance company will call you shortly after the accident to request a statement from you, and in most cases, this statement will be recorded, which means it could be used against you in the future. Also, the company will request you to sign authorizations so they can obtain information about you. Having a lawyer that can prepare you for the statement and determine what the insurance company is and is not entitled to obtain and a review can help your future case.


Q: I Decided to Contact a Lawyer, but I’ve Already Taken Steps Independently. Is It Still Worth It?

A: This is a common thing people do, and a lawyer should be able to step in, appropriately. As stated above, it’s best to have some basic grounding in personal injury, and working on your case with a lawyer from the very start is usually the smartest option. Nevertheless, if you’ve already taken steps independently, you will still stand better chances of a reasonable settlement with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side.


Your lawyer should start gathering information and inform the insurance carriers to direct all communication to their office as soon as they are hired.


Q: Why Did My Insurance Company Say I Didn’t Need a Lawyer?

A: Keep in mind that your interest and the interest of the insurance company are not the same. Insurers do everything possible to provide legal advice designed to benefit not you but them. This is why seeking professional advice from other lawyers with experience is your best possible course of action.


Q: What Is a Contingency Fee?

A: A Contingency Fee is a fee that is agreed upon between you and your lawyer, to be paid after a successful lawsuit or reasonable settlement. Also known as “No fee unless you win,” the contingency fee is paid as a percentage of your monetary recovery.


Q: What Percentage Is the Contingency Fee?

A: Most attorneys take between 33 and 40 percent, but you can always try and negotiate a reduced percentage, especially if you are diagnosed with minor injuries.


Q: What Documents Should I Bring When I First Visit an Attorney?

A: You should bring all the documents in possession related to your injury. A typical example includes:

● Copy of police/incident report

● Copy of your automobile insurance declaration page

● Photographs of your vehicle and injuries

● Copies of medical records

● Correspondence from insurance companies

● Estimates and repair records, including receipts for your vehicle

● Receipts for towing or car rental fees

● Any wage loss information


Q: What Damages Am I Entitled to Recover?

A: Generally, you are entitled to recover money damages for all losses and expenses that have occurred as a result of the incident. Here’s a partial list of common damages:

● Medical bills

● Lost wages (including overtime)

● Pain and suffering

● Physical disability

● Disfigurement

● Emotional trauma

● Permanent scars

● Mental anguish

● Loss of love and affection

● Loss of enjoyment

● Mental disability

● Embarrassment

● Property damage

● Pocket expenses (transportation charges, house cleaning, grass cutting, etc)


Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Claim?

A: Your case starts as soon as your doctor releases you from treatment. This is the perfect time to contact an attorney, and your claim should be filed with the insurance company between 5 and 10 days. The adjuster may need 2 to 4 weeks to evaluate your claim and make an initial offer. From there, it’s only a matter of negotiation and agreeing on a reasonable dollar amount.


Some cases reach a settlement within a few months, some take years, and some lead to a trial. It depends on the complexity and the specifics of your case.


Q: What Would the Value of My Personal Injury Claim Be?

A: Attorneys are prohibited from promising to obtain a certain amount of money for you, and there is no way of knowing the total amount until all the information on your injuries is available and all the facts are known.


Q: Does Filing a Claim Mean I Have To Sue Someone?

A: Not really, as around 80% of the cases will result in a settlement before involving the courts.


Q: Whom Will I Be Suing If Things Escalate to Filing a Suit?

A: If the party at fault’s insurance company is not making an acceptable offer, the next step is to sue that party. However, you will be rarely involved, and your lawyer will mainly deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company.


If you intend to file a lawsuit, a personal injury attorney could be extremely useful to have on your side throughout the case. With the help of Legal Chiefs, getting in touch with an attorney working locally has never been easier. 

Find a Personal Injury Attorney in Your Area




Personal Injury FAQ

The official definition of personal injury is when someone has sustained an injury to the body, mind, or psyche caused by another person’s failure to execute reasonable care. If the negligence of another person has led to your injuries, you might be entitled to some kind of compensation. Getting in contact with an attorney is crucial at this point to determine whether or not legal action should be taken.
Trying to decide whether or not you have a case shouldn’t be something you do on your own. Contacting an attorney and getting a free consultation is ideal to evaluate your situation in great detail. Your attorney will tell you who you can sue, what you can expect to get in terms of compensation, and more information based on the facts of the accident as well as the laws in your state.
On average, personal injury case expenses are 20% of the amount recovered and can range from $10,000 to $100,000. Some might even go beyond this average, depending on the instances. It’s crucial to work with a law firm that specializes in your specific type of case.
Since each case is different and will require various negotiations, details involved, etc., the time it takes to resolve each case can differ. On average, it can take from 6 months to a few years to settle. Not all cases will go to trial. A large majority of them will end in a settlement involving the defendant or the insurance company. However, the time that it will take to reach this settlement can be tough to determine, and it can range quite a bit. A claim that involves substantial injuries and a significant amount of money can often take longer to settle because the insurer will likely fight harder to avoid settling. If your case is complex or the liability is unclear, the settlement can also take longer. When you hire an attorney, you might be able to speed up the process because you’ll likely motivate the insurer to settle fairly earlier since they’ll be less likely to take advantage of you.
If you were partly at fault for the injuries, the damages you can recover would vary state-to-state. Some states use contributory negligence, which means that a victim will not be able to recover damages if they had any fault in the situation. Other states will allow you to recover damages if you were not 50% or more at fault. When it comes to what happens if you’re at fault, the rules are technical and very state-specific, which is why you should consult with an attorney after reading this FAQ.
The most common type of damage is referred to as compensatory damages. This is divided into non-economic and economic damages. ● Economic Damages: These are considered to be tangible objective costs and losses such as medical bills, property damage, lost income and earning capacity, cost of future treatments. ● Non-Economic Damages: These are considered to be more subjective and cover items like pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and mental anguish. Damages have to be reasonably quantifiable, instead of speculative, to be awarded. If the defendant in the case has acted egregiously as the victim, you might be able to recover punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. These damages punish the defendant and deter the type of conduct. While rarely awarded, punitive damages can be substantial, but there are constitutional limits.
After you’ve been injured, you might wonder how long you have to file your case. This can depend on the specific statute of limitations in your state. Most personal injury cases will have to be filed within a year of the accident; however, you have as many as 4 years to file in some states. Check the rules in your state and be sure not to waive your rights accidentally. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they can be quite narrow. In most cases, you should pursue your claim as soon as possible so that the evidence is still fresh and it can help you prove liability as well as the scope of the damage.