Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
Accident victims often have many questions when considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. Richard M. Lewis, the founder of The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis, collaborated with his legal team to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions that we hear from clients in our offices.
Personal Injury FAQs And The Answers
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
Personal injury lawsuits are often related to car or truck accidents, but they can cover a broad array of situations, including being injured due to a defective product, medical malpractice by a doctor or dangerous drugs that are prescribed incorrectly. A personal injury lawsuit must meet four conditions:
- The person or organization causing the injury (the at-fault party) had a duty to protect your safety.
- The at-fault party breached that duty to protect you.
- Your injuries were caused directly by the accident in question.
- You suffered damages or loss – physical, emotional and financial – because of this accident.
A qualified attorney can review the elements of your case before filing a personal injury lawsuit and help you assess its chances of success.
What is my personal injury case worth?
Calculating damages in a personal injury claim is a complicated task, but our attorneys have extensive experience in investigating an accident and coming up with a fair and adequate claim amount. We look at economic losses such as your medical bills, the projected cost of ongoing treatment or care, and the income lost during your recovery. We can also help you put a dollar value on what are known as “noneconomic losses” such as your emotional anguish or your pain and suffering after the accident.
I was injured in a car accident, and the other driver was uninsured. What are my options for collecting a settlement?
In Ohio, more than 10 percent of motorists are uninsured, meaning they do not carry the state’s mandated minimum insurance coverage for accident liability. If you have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, you may file a claim with your own insurer for your damages. Our firm’s attorneys can handle the details and represent you in court if that becomes necessary. You may also sue the uninsured motorist directly for compensation – insured or not, they are still considered the “at-fault” party.
How can I pay my medical bills before my case is settled?
Until you receive your settlement and your case is closed, your medical bills are your responsibility. You may be able to use your personal health coverage, personal injury protection insurance (for an auto accident) or (in some cases) workers’ compensation. Some doctors and other health care providers are willing to treat injury accident victims before the case is settled in exchange for their fees being placed as a lien on the settlement and paid out after the victims have received their money.
Will my lawsuit end up being decided in court?
Probably not. Most personal injury cases are settled through negotiation between your lawyer and the other party’s insurance company. But our attorneys always research and prepare your case for litigation, so we can advocate for your best interests if negotiation fails.
How long will it take to settle my personal injury case?
The timeline from accident to settlement or judgment varies considerably from case to case. If you have serious injuries, the negotiation process in your case will not begin until you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement” and you are released from treatment. (This does not include ongoing care needs for catastrophic injuries.) After that, much depends on if or how quickly your attorney and the other side’s lawyer can reach a settlement. If a settlement is not possible, litigating the case in court will take considerably longer.