Questions and Answers
Here are some personal injury law FAQs that our team of personal injury law attorneys often receive from clients:
Do you have questions? We have answers. Here are some legal FAQs that our team of attorneys often receives from clients.
How do I get paid for my damages?
There are generally two avenues for obtaining money for your injuries: 1) filing a lawsuit (suing), or 2) reaching a mutually agreeable financial arrangement (settling) with the responsible party. In either case, rest assured that all defendants will have legal representation to protect their interests, and you should too.
In the majority of cases, the parties will settle. Even after a lawsuit has been filed, settlements often occur. However, in seeking full recovery for damages, one should be prepared to go all the way to trial, if necessary.
How do I pay for your legal services?
In all personal injury claims, we work on a contingency fee agreement, clearly explained in an employment contract, signed by both parties. This means that we receive as our fee a percentage of any recovery. If we are unable to recover any money damages, you pay us nothing.
How long will it take to pursue my case?
I have been injured, will you take my case?
This is the most basic question for both a prospective plaintiff and a lawyer in determining whether an attorney-client relationship will be formed. Not every case of personal injury is one in which suit is appropriate. For your case to be actionable, there must generally be a permanent injury, which can include long-lasting difficulty including pain. Furthermore, there must be liability on the part of the defendant. Before Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A., agree to take a case, these factors, among others, must all be analyzed to determine whether we will agree to enter into an attorney-client relationship by taking your case. We provide a free initial consultation to consider these issues, to let you get a feel for our firm, and to decide whether you would like us to represent your interests. If our personal injury attorney agrees to take your case and you agree that you would like us to represent you, we will enter into an employment contract.
Should I talk with the insurance company representative?
No. It is always best to talk with a personal injury attorney before considering this approach. The insurance company is out to do one thing and that is limit the amount of money paid in a claim. They are not your “good neighbor” and you are not “in good hands.”
What are damages?
Damages are the amount of injury suffered by the plaintiff, expressed in monetary terms. In the American legal system, money is the measure of how much damage has been done to you, the plaintiff. Damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, medical bills (past and future), and loss of wages (past and future). All of these factors, when considered together, comprise damages. It is by considering these factors that we, your attorneys, come up with a rough estimation of the “value” of your case.
What is liability?
Liability may result from being “at fault” in an accident. Liability is a term used to express whether a party is responsible for damages. Multiple parties can be liable for your injuries, including yourself. If you are partially responsible for your own injury, then you can be deemed “comparatively negligent,” which will reduce the amount you could be awarded in a lawsuit. Just because you might have some fault in an accident, however, does not mean you are not entitled to a recovery.
What constitutes a personal injury?
The most common personal injury is an auto accident, but the broad definition encompasses any situation where a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Early identification of a personal injury is important to the legal process. Many serious injuries occur each year involving:
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability accidents such as injuries caused by a slip and fall
– Medical malpractice/nursing home injuries
– Wrongful death
– Work-related accidents
– Animal attacks
– Faulty or malfunctioning products (product liability)