Our San Luis Obispo Personal Injury Law Firm Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The fact that accidents and injuries are fairly commonplace does not take away from the pain and confusion that results when something happens to you or a loved one. If you are exploring your legal rights after an accident or injury, then you likely have a number of general questions about the law. Below, the legal professionals at James Mckiernan Lawyers, a San Luis Obispo personal injury law firm, have taken the time to answer a few common questions for you. If you have questions about your particular case, then contact us to speak directly with a lawyer.
Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions
- What is a personal injury?
- What is negligence?
- How do I know if I have an actionable personal injury case?
- Who is responsible for my medical bills?
- How do I handle my medical bills until my case is completed?
- What are damages in a personal injury lawsuit?
- What damages can I recover in a personal injury lawsuit?
- How much is my injury case worth?
- How long will settling my claim take?
- What is a contingency fee?
- How do I contact a personal injury lawyer?
A personal injury is any injury or loss inflicted on a person by another as a result of a negligent or intentional act, or an omission. Personal injury claims and lawsuits involve numerous types of accidents. These may include: car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, premises liability, dog bites, and slip and fall accidents.
Negligence is the failure to act reasonably in the given circumstances. In order to have a valid claim for negligence, you must prove that the person who caused the injury owed you a legal duty and also that they breached that duty. Additionally, that person’s negligent act must have caused you injury or material loss.
Every case is different, and your ability to file a personal injury claim will depend on a number of unique factors. However, if you have been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence then contact our San Luis Obispo personal injury law firm. We can evaluate your case at no cost to help determine whether you have a valid personal injury case.
After a serious injury, most accident victims worry about how they will afford the medical bills. However, if someone else caused your injuries, then you may not be personally responsible for these costs. Your insurance, either auto or health, might cover your medical costs. Otherwise, you may have to rely on the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.
In any case, the best course of action is to speak with an attorney at our firm to discuss your options. Our initial consultations are free, so you can feel comfortable coming to speak with a personal injury lawyer at our firm about your concerns.
Your health insurance or auto insurance policy may cover your medical bills. Still, under most insurance policies, the insurance company will require reimbursement from any settlement or judgment you receive. If you have no insurance or are unable to pay your medical bills, then your medical providers may agree to be paid out of the settlement or judgment. However, you will likely be required to sign a lien against your recovery to ensure satisfaction of your debt.
Damages are losses or expenses you experience as a result of an accident and injury.
Victims of personal injuries are entitled to monetary damages for reasonable losses and expenses that result from the accident. These damages can include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Past and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical disability
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
If someone gives you a dollar value for your case right away, do not trust it. If it is the insurance company, then they may be trying to persuade you to settle for less than your injury claim is actually worth in order to settle quickly and save money. It is impossible to know what your case may be worth before an investigation. A thorough investigation will determine the injuries sustained, medical bills, lost earnings, future expenses and other damages. It is critical to hire an attorney who will complete an in-depth investigation so you know what damages you may claim. Each case is unique, so speak without attorney about your particular circumstances before filing.
There is no way to state with certainty how long a case will take because all cases are different. More complex personal injury claims take longer to settle. Additionally, the more money that may be at stake for the insurance company, the longer it will take. In many cases, the settlement process does not begin until the doctor releases the individual from treatment. If you have questions about the timeline for your particular case, then contact us today.
Most personal injury attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay a fee for representation if we settle your claim or obtain a judgment in your favor. Essentially, your attorney’s ability to collect fees is “contingent” upon your case’s success. The fee is generally a percentage of the settlement or judgment we obtain for you.
Attorney James McKiernan represents injured persons and their families in wrongful death and personal injury claims. Our law firm provides legal representation in San Luis Obispo, California and surrounding areas. If you sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence, then you should contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations, which refers to the time that you have to file a lawsuit, in personal injury cases generally begins at the time of injury or discovery of the injury. Therefore, you should not delay.