Frequently Asked Questions on Personal Injury
Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer’s help?
It is in your best interest to only provide your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.
What determines the amount I might recover?
Every case addresses three issues:
- Liability — establishing someone’s negligence
- Damages — the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
- Source of collection — insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered
What is a typical settlement amount?
An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim:
- Incurred medical bill amount
- Impact on future earning capacity
- Future medical bills
- Activities you can no longer do
- Loss of past income
- Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
- Your age
- Prognosis for further problems
- Any permanent limitations caused by the injury
- Strength of lay witness testimony
The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury and an experienced attorney will know what a reasonable jury would award. The strength of lay and expert witness testimony will likely influence the amount.
Can the insurance company refuse to pay my medical bills if my car was not damaged?
No. While the insurance company might try to draw a direct correlation between damage done to your car and the severity of your personal injury, it is possible that the body sustained damage even if the car did not. The reverse may also be true—a car might experience major impact, but the people might only suffer minor cuts and bruises.
What is wrongful death?
The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also brought harm to the people who depended on that individual for financial and/or emotional support. The wrongful act might be:
- A negligent or careless act (e.g., careless driving)
- A reckless act
- An intentional act (e.g., murder)
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?
State law sets the timeframe for filing. Time begins with the time of the incident/the party became aware of or discovered the injury. The state will not honor a wrongful death claim filed after the legislated timeframe, and the opportunity to recover damages for the family will be forever lost.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
State law defines the person(s) allowed to bring a wrongful death suit. This varies from state to state.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice or professional negligence is the failure of a doctor, hospital, nurse, technician, pharmacist or other health care provider to uphold good and accepted medical techniques or principles. In other words, they provide substandard care. Failure to provide at least average, standard care is substandard care, and if it results in injury or death to the patient, it is malpractice.
How do I prove my case?
A plaintiff in a medical negligence case must establish through evidence that:
- The defendant was negligent (rendered substandard care)
- The negligence was a proximate cause of injuries
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result
All three elements must be proven. Expert testimony is almost always required to prove negligence and causation of damages. Licensed physicians who are familiar with the standard of accepted medical care for the medical specialty involved are required as witnesses to prove the case. The experts must establish what the standards were, how the defendant violated them, and what damage was caused by the substandard care.
Contact Dunbar & Fowler PLLC for a free review of your case
To discuss your injuries and your case with experienced attorneys who really care, contact the firm at 304-863-8430 today or fill out the form online to submit your case for a free review. The injury help line is always available, and the firm works on a contingency fee basis.