CALL (800) 863-5312 TODAY TO SPEAK WITH A ZINDA LAW GROUP PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY about what your case is worth
Personal injury victims may seek financial compensation for costs incurred as a result of another’s negligent, reckless, or intentional acts. Naturally, victims ask questions such as, “What types of compensation are available?” and “How much money can I recover or receive?” In other words, they want to know what their case is worth. The answers to those questions typically depend on the facts of each case. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney may provide valuable insight into the details of your personal injury claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and are interested in filing a claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT
Immediately after an accident, it is imperative that you do certain things in order to ensure your personal injury case will result in the recovery of fair compensation. Follow these steps:
1. Determine whether medical attention is necessary
Fortunately, not every accident requires professional medical attention. Some accidents result in nothing more than temporary embarrassment. However, many accidents do require immediate or future medical treatment.
Thus, the first thing to do following any type of injury is to determine whether medical attention from a trained professional should be sought. Answer this question by considering factors such as the type of injury sustained, the amount of pain you are in, and your medical history. If medical attention is necessary, do not hesitate to visit your family doctor or make a trip to the emergency room. Seeking prompt medical treatment may be the difference between a quick and efficient recovery and a prolonged rehabilitation process.
2. Report the accident
Once healthy and capable, file an accident report with the proper parties. If you were injured in an automobile accident, you should file an accident report with local law enforcement. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a store, you should file an accident report with a manager or supervisor. If you were injured in a dog bite accident, you should contact animal control.
Filing a report will create an official record of the accident and may be used as evidence to reinforce the legitimacy of your claim. Thus, when filling out a report, be sure to include as many details as possible, including where the incident occurred, how it occurred, and what injuries you sustained. Do not admit fault, and refrain from saying that there was something you could have done to prevent the accident.
3. Document the accident
Documenting the evidence means maintaining an organized record of all information and documents relating to the accident. Such information may include photographs of your injuries, photographs of the site of the accident, a copy of the accident report, witness statements, and copies of all medical records relating to the accident.
4. Call a personal injury attorney
Finally, to get a reasonable estimate of how much you can recover from an accident, you should consider discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney may wish to speak with you in person or over the phone to gather important details relating to your accident. From there, the attorney may be able to provide legal advice regarding the rights and remedies that may be available to you.
TYPES OF COMPENSATION IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES
Following a personal injury lawsuit, the at-fault party (or their insurance company) may be responsible for making the victim whole by paying the victim monetary damages. Such damages may cover concrete expenses incurred by the victim, such as trips to the doctor’s office. The damages paid may also cover the victim’s loss of enjoyment of life. Thus, the types of damages that may be available to a personal injury victim fall into two broad categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer generally to identifiable costs that the victim has incurred, or will incur, as a consequence of the accident that resulted in injury. This means that economic damages represent objective costs that can be accounted for and calculated or estimated with reasonable certainty. In personal injury cases, economic damages may include:
- Medical bills (e.g., doctor’s appointments and hospital stays)
- Pharmacy bills (e.g., prescription drug costs)
- Rehabilitation bills (e.g., physical therapy)
- Future medical costs
- Lost income and wages
- Future lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
In contrast, non-economic damages refer generally to intangible, subjective losses which relate to the victim’s diminished capacity to enjoy life. Because these costs incurred by the victim do not have a corresponding bill or pay-sub, this class of damages cannot be easily quantified. Courts often handle this by allowing the jury to assess the extent of a victim’s non-economic damages. Types of non-economic damages in a personal injury case may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
A third class of damages also exists in some jurisdictions. This class is referred to as punitive damages. However, even in jurisdictions where punitive damages are allowed, such damages are rarely awarded. This is because punitive damages represent a form of punishment to the at-fault party rather than a make-whole payment to the victim. As a result, punitive damages are awarded only in a handful of cases where the at-fault party’s actions were determined to be intentional or egregious.
WHAT IS MY Case WORTH?
Determining how much people will get in personal injury cases following a personal injury lawsuit takes time, effort, and expertise. Determining your claim’s value is somewhat of a good news, bad news situation. The bad news is that there is practically no way of pinpointing an exact dollar amount that you should expect to receive from your personal injury case. However, the good news is that there are several factors that can be relied upon for estimating the value of your claim. A careful analysis of the following factors may help you estimate your claim’s value:
- The nature and severity of your injury or injuries
- How the accident giving rise to your injury or injuries occurred
- The extent to which the victim was responsible for the accident occurring
- The amount of medical care required to rehabilitate your injuries
- The amount of time you have taken off work to recover from your injuries
- The amount of which your enjoyment or enjoyment of life has diminished
- The extent to which your injuries have caused you emotional distress
- How much insurance coverage is available
Generally, more severe accidents result in larger settlements and awarded damages. For example, a claim arising from a car accident resulting in permanent brain damage is likely to be worth more than a claim involving a sprained wrist. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” rule for determining the value of your claim. A brief consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys may allow you to better understand this claim valuation process.
UNDERSTANDING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Personal injury lawsuits are governed by statutes of limitations. A statute of limitations acts as a legal time limit witch which a personal injury victim must file a claim. Failure to file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations may lead to forfeiture of some or all of the victim’s legal rights, including the right to receive compensation. Thus, it is imperative that personal injury victims understand not only that a statute of limitations exists, but also the amount of time that the governing jurisdiction gives a victim to file a claim.
Statutes of limitations for personal injury claims vary from state to state. Many states have a two-year statute of limitations. Such states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and Texas. Other states have a three-year statute of limitations, such as Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. Other states may have longer or shorter periods.
It is important to note that these time periods may differ depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. For instance, under narrow circumstances, a state’s statute of limitations may be extended, or “tolled,” beyond the typical time period. A state’s statute of limitations period may also be shorter for certain types of accidents.
Because the statute of limitations is a critical part of any personal injury claim, it is important to stay aware of all relevant dates pertaining to your claim and how such dates fit into your state’s statute of limitations scheme. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney may help you understand these details and can put you in a better position to ensure that a claim is timely filed.
ZINDA LAW GROUP’S PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
Following an accident, a personal injury victim is unlikely to want to research his or her state’s statute of limitations. Similarly, the notion of speaking with claims adjusters, filling out pages and pages of paperwork, and negotiating with insurance companies is unlikely to sound appealing.
Fortunately, Zinda Law Group’s experienced personal injury attorneys are ready and equipped to handle such tasks. Our team will investigate your accident, research applicable law, develop a strategy for strengthening your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and do everything else necessary to protect your legal rights. Should you ever want to discuss the progress of your case or learn more about the rights and remedies that may be available to you, our attorneys are just one call away. Let us focus on navigating your claim and protecting your rights while you devote your time and energy to healing, self-care, and family time.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.