Your Personal Injury Questions, Answered.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Personal Injury Law can be complex:

Good question.  Early after an accident, the following items are most important:

1. Police report;
2. Accident scene photos (if available);
3. Vehicle damage photos;
4. Interviews of independent eyewitnesses (if there are any);
5. Interviews of occupants of the vehicles involved;
6. An understanding of injuries and medical care already received.

Clients often would like to know what their case might be worth.  But early on in the process, it is likely an impossible question to answer.  

There is just not enough information yet, and the information cannot be complete until much more is known about the injuries, and how long they will take to heal.

An early investigation may be crucial to your claim, so you should not delay in seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.  

Look for a lawyer who practices in injury cases only.  Look for a Certified Specialist in PersonalInjury/Wrongful Death law.  

The more information you can have ready for your initial meeting, the better your attorney will be able to evaluate the case and answers all of your questions

Monday, October 27, 2014

The short answer: Yes.

Longer response: Arizona is a "comparative fault" state.

That means that each person is responsible only for his/her percentage share for the harm.

If another driver causes a car accident and you are injured, you can make a claim for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other losses.

The at-fault driver will be responsible for the harm you can prove caused by the accident.

If you were not wearing a seatbelt, your recovery MAY BE reduced by injuries that resulted from not wearing a seatbelt.

In other words, if you don't wear a seat belt and you sustain certain injuries because you didn't have it on, a judge or a jury has the option to declare YOU at fault for those injuries, and deny you a recovery for those damages.

You should always wear your seatbelt, where driving to end of the block or farther.

Seatbelts prevent injuries and seatbelts save lives. Protect yourself. Wear your seatbelt.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Answer: Communicating with an insurance company on your own can be like walking through a minefield.

What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? Are they later going to use my statements against me?

Insurance companies are generally not in the “friend” category. Despite what may seem like “friendliness”, they are not there to try to figure out how they can pay you a bunch of money for your injury claim.

Just the opposite. If they can find a way to pay you nothing, they will. Otherwise, as little as possible,

If you are trying to handle your personal injury case on your own, three words of advise: BE VERY CAREFUL.

You see, insurance companies do not really treat people like they say on their commercials.

In “good hands”? Not if you are on the other side.

Like a “good neighbor”? Not like any neighbor I want to have.

15 minutes…. ? Might cost you a whole lot more than 15% if you say the wrong thing.

If negotiating on your own, 1) never give a recorded statement and 2) never put your arguments and issues in writing.

If an attorney writes it, it is attributable to the attorney and part of the negotiation. If you write it, then it constitutes your own words and might well be used against you at any stage of the case.

Not sure what to do or say? Why not seek advice and a free consult with an experienced injury lawyer?

The old adage is that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. If you deal with the insurance company on your own, and say the wrong thing, a “cure” may not even be possible.

Be very careful here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Answer: Whether a whiplash or other injury, all case values are dependent on three factors:

Nature of the injury (what body parts are hurt)

Extent of the injury (how bad are the injuries, fracture, rupture, paralysis, etc..)

How long do the injuries take to heal (a week, a month, a year, permanent?)

Whiplash may be a temporary thing or it may result in a permanent injury.

I have represented clients who needed no treatment, needed only a few weeks/months of care, or who were rendered paralyzed from a whiplash injury.

Everyone is different and everyone is affected differently.

There is no way to answer this questions, in general terms.

The best answer is that 1) you are entitled to a settlement, and 2) that the value will depend upon the injuries and treatment needed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You will benefit from the attorney’s expertise in investigating the matter, preserving evidence, managing treatment and health plans, help you with your property damage and/or to find appropriate medical treatment (that, if necessary, will wait to get paid from your eventual settlement/recovery).

An attorney will deal with all inquiries from the adverse adjuster so you can concentrate on getting better.

An attorney will document your damages so as to maximize your potential settlement/recovery.

An attorney will negotiate a settlement based on experience of what is fair and reasonable compensation for your type of injury claim.