Many people who have been in an accident call us with questions. Here are answers to some of the most often asked ones.
Q. I was hurt in an accident, but I am hesitant about making a claim. If I make a claim, will I have to go to court?
A. Probably not. Most claims — over 80% — are settled out-of-court. Even if a case is filed, most valid claims are settled without ever having a trial.
Q. How long will it take to resolve my case?
A. The answer depends on many factors, including whether there’s a dispute over who was at fault, the nature of your injuries, and the other side’s willingness to resolve the matter. Many claims are resolved very fast, while others take longer. Every attempt will be made to resolve your claim as fast as possible, with the goal being to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Q. I was in an accident, but I don’t think I was hurt. Should I still see a lawyer?
A. Yes. Many accident victims do not have pain right away. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months for physical symptoms to appear. A lawyer can help protect your rights in case the physical symptoms are delayed.
Q. I slipped on a wet floor in a supermarket. Can I recover money from the market for my injuries?
A. It depends on the facts of your case. Generally in “slip and fall” cases like this, the store is liable if employees knew or should have known about the danger and did not take steps to fix it. Thus, if the floor became wet just before the accident and store employees had no time to clean it or post adequate warning signs, the store is likely not liable. But if the floor was wet for a while and employees knew or should have known about it but did not do anything, you have a good case.
Q. Shortly after I was in an accident I settled my case and signed a “release” without consulting a lawyer. After my settlement I found out I had more serious injuries. Can I get more money?
A. Probably not. Once you sign a “release,” you usually cannot recover any more money. This is one of the main reasons why it’s important to consult your lawyer before settling your accident claim. Many accident victims sign a quick settlement but later discover that their injuries are a lot worse than they first thought. As a result, they end up paying their losses themselves. Consulting your lawyer before settling your claim can prevent this unfortunate situation from happening to you.
Q. I was hurt in an accident. How much am I entitled to recover?
A. The answer depends on several factors, including the type of injuries that you suffered, how long-lasting and severe your pain is, your medical expenses, and your lost income. Your attorney can evaluate these factors, and then, based on settlements and jury awards in the community for similar injuries, estimate how much money you might recover.
Q. Can I still get damages if the accident was partly my fault?
A. Yes. In most states, accident victims can recover money even if they are partly at fault. Your damages will just be reduced by the amount of your fault. For example, if your damages are $10,000 and you are 20% at fault, your award will be reduced by 20%, or $2,000. You will still recover $8,000.