COMMON QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Auto Accidents

What types of injuries are included in a claim?
The following are some of the most common incidents that result in personal injury:

·         Auto Accidents

·         Wrongful Death

·         Home Accidents

·         Slip and Fall (Premise Liability)

·         Dog Bites

·         Product Liability

What compensation is available for my claim?
Those suffering injuries are entitled to recover money damages for all losses and expenses they incur as a result of an accident. The damages may include the following.

·         Medical Bills

·         Pain & Suffering

·         Lost Wages, including sick pay & PTO

·         Disability & Disfigurement

·         Emotional or mental distress

·         Loss of Enjoyment, Love & Affection

·         Property Damage

·         Out of pocket expenses

How do I know if I may need an attorney?
There are many complications that may arise in injury claims. The problems are sometimes subtle and difficult to maneuver. You should talk with an experienced personal injury attorney before you give any statements or sign any papers after an injury.

In a serious injury case, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Most firms offer a free consultation without charge.

How Do I Pay the Attorney? And What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is a fee that is used by lawyers in most personal injury cases. After suffering an injury, most people are not in a good position to pay an hourly rate to an attorney. Instead of paying an hourly rate, a contingent fee is conditioned upon your attorney’s successfully resolution of your case. A contingent fee is paid as a percentage of your monetary recovery. A contingent fee is what is meant when you hear “there is no fee unless there we recovery”. The client is generally responsible for the out-of-pocket costs of litigation. Contingency fees are usually one third of what you win from the case.

If I have a personal injury claim do I have to go to court?
Litigation is expensive and time consuming. It is in everyone’s best interest to resolve matters fairly without litigation. Most personal injury cases are settled prior to court. If a case does go to trial you most likely will have to appear so that your testimony can be heard.

How long do I have to make a claim for Personal Injuries?
Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit or make a formal claim. In some types of cases the time period is very short and may require formal action in as little as 6 months or less. If you miss the statutory deadline for filing a case, your case will be thrown out of court. You should consult with an attorney regarding the time limitations in your potential claim as soon as possible.

How long will it take to settle my claim?
The time it takes to settle a personal injury case depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to settle. Many cases can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months to settle depending on its complexity. Some cases have issues that are contentious and cannot be settled without substantial litigation. Some cases require a neutral to evaluate the case which may be accomplished with a jury, or through some alternative dispute resolution program. Jury trials can be quite expensive, time consuming and unpredictable. The primary goal of an injured victim should be to get healthy. Damages are based on the extent of injury suffered, so the assessment of damages must be made after the victim returns to a pre-injury condition, or achieves a maximum benefit from medical care.

What should I do after a car accident?

A car accident can be scary. It may be easier to say than do, but the first thing you should try is try not to panic. Take a deep breath and then follow these tips:

·         Call 911: Let the 911 operator know where the accident occurred and whether anyone has been injured. The operator will dispatch a police officer, who will take the accounts of the witnesses and the drivers involved in the accident, and will also send EMTs (emergency medical technicians) to provide medical attention to those who need it.

·         Exchange information: Exchange basic information with the other drivers, including names, addresses, license numbers and insurance information. Also write down the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident. Be polite, but don’t admit to any fault in the accident — either to the other driver(s) or to the police.

·         Take pictures: With cell phones and smart phones, we have the ability to take photos at our fingertips. Use the camera to take photos of the accident scene and damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles.

·         Take notes: As time fades, so does our memory. As soon as you are able after the accident, take notes. Write down your version of what happened in the accident and your recollection of any statements made by the other driver or the witnesses. Jot down the weather conditions, the road conditions and the locations of any traffic signals.

·         Contact an attorney: A personal injury attorney can help you deal with insurance companies and seek compensation for your injuries resulting from a car accident. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Jonathan Bae at Ezer Law Group for an initial consultation.

Why is it important that I see a doctor after my car accident?

There are two important reasons to see your doctor immediately after your car accident. First, you need to get medical attention for your injuries, making sure that you heal properly. This is especially important if you suffer a serious injury. Second, seeing a doctor means that your injuries are documented in your medical records and diagnostic tests, including X-rays and MRIs.

How long do I have to bring my personal injury claim?

Generally speaking, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in an accident, the worst thing you can do is wait to speak to an attorney. As time goes by, memories fade and evidence can start to disappear. Most importantly, you could miss the deadline to file your lawsuit, losing the opportunity to receive compensation for your injuries.