ANSWER: Yes and they are very important. All legal claims are governed by statutes of limitations which are time periods in which a law suit must be filed or you will lose your claims. These time periods are different in each state and vary by the particular legal claims you can make. It is important that you consult with an attorney as time is of the essence in injury claims in Kentucky.
ANSWER: You should always consult a lawyer to explain your legal rights and responsibilities so that you know your options. Then you can make your own decision. We will provide a free consultation for this purpose, as well as to determine if you would benefit from legal representation. There are cases in which an attorney is invaluable, typically because of liability disputes, serious injuries, unknown insurance coverage or other complex legal issues. In our initial consultation we will advise you whether we think you need a lawyer to represent you or whether you can handle the claim on your own. We bring the threat of trial by jury to the table which often is enough to force reasonable minds to prevail and settle the case.
ANSWER: This depends on the circumstances of your case and what you decide to do with it. There is simply no way to predict at the outset exactly how long a case will take other than to estimate average time lengths for settlement and trial. Since it takes several months to investigate and evaluate a case and several more months for the other side to do the same after an offer is made, most settlements take at least some months. Trial on the other hand requires a lot more time and effort to steer your case through the legal system and consequently the earliest a Kentucky personal injury case can be tried is usually a year from the date work began and often longer. If the case is appealed, add another year on to the process and any retrial takes even longer. Settlement is faster than trial but there is no guarantee that settlement will occur.
ANSWER: That depends entirely on the facts–both liability (fault) and injuries (damages). But ultimately your case is worth exactly as much as the jury says it is worth, no more and no less. Settlements occur when the parties’ opinions about the potential jury verdict are close enough that they realize that trial would be a waste of time, effort and money for all concerned. The only way to evaluate a case to determine what it may be worth is to fully investigate the cause, develop the damages, research the law and evaluate a number of other factors from the parties’ background and the attorneys’ experience to the county in which the case will be filed and the judge who will try it.
ANSWER: While the insurance adjuster may be right, this comment should always raise a red flag telling you to at least consult an attorney. Remember, insurance companies are not on your side despite trite slogans such as “You’re in Good Hands with Allstate” or “State Farm is There” Personal injury attorneys have a legal and ethical duty to act in the best interests of their clients. We work for you and part of our job is to advise you whether and to what extent you need our help.
ANSWER: No. Your health plan benefits should not be affected by whether or not you have or pursue a personal injury claim. If the health insurance company tries to tell you otherwise, such as it does not pay for certain medical conditions because you have a personal injury claim, it is time to contact an attorney. Depending upon the health care plan involved you may have an obligation to repay the costs of benefits received from it out of any third party recovery. But that does not affect whether you are entitled to receive your health care plan coverage in the first place.
ANSWER: There are many injury victims who do not have the financial resources to pay for a personal injury attorney out of pocket. Our firm is primarily interested in helping victims that need it most, which is why we often reach agreements with potential clients to work on a contingency basis. Contingency means that you will only need to pay us if we win your case. Before we officially take on your case we will work with you to determine what our fees will be should we win, which may vary depending on if the case is settled out of court or not. It is also possible to pay for our services at an agreed upon hourly rate as well.
ANSWER: The first thing you should always do following an accident is seek out appropriate medical care. Going to see a doctor is important to your case as well, because it creates a record of your injuries that can be used as evidence. Even if you are not in a great deal of pain, going to see a medical professional will ensure that you are not actually hurt – sometimes you can be injured, even seriously, and not be aware of it. A doctor’s visit, and any subsequent medical care, will result in documents that we can use to demonstrate that you were in fact hurt, and the exact nature of your injuries.
Once you are been treated by a medical professional, your next step should be to contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you make certain that all your actions moving forward are in your best interests and the best interests of your case.
ANSWER: One of the benefits of talking to an experienced personal injury attorney is that you can get knowledgeable insight into your situation. On your own, especially following an injury, it can be difficult to see things clearly. Also, without legal training, it is hard to know what the potential of your case is. A lawyer will be able to look at all the details and give you an accurate assessment of the potential of your case.
Our firm takes on small, medium and large cases. Just because your case is not record-breaking does not mean it is not worth pursuing. If there is a good chance that you can win and get damages for your injuries, our firm will let you know. And we will help you through the entire process – start to finish.
ANSWER: When you have been hurt, and especially if you have not talked to a lawyer, it can feel like you are completely alone in a very difficult position. Talking to the insurance company, you may encounter a representative of the company that appears to be understanding of what has happened to you, and claims to want to help you. The representative may offer you a settlement, an amount that may seem like a good deal of money. But it is important that you understand the nature of insurance companies before you accept any type of settlement.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they are very careful in the way they do business. Any initial settlement amount they offer you is the lowest amount of money they think they can get away with. If you hire a lawyer, the settlement offers are likely to increase in value. If you hire a lawyer, he or she can tell you if the settlement amount is reasonable, or if you should demand more.
Unlike the insurance company, your attorney is on your side. You can depend on your attorney to seek out the maximum amount of compensation possible, money which can help you pay for your medical bills, lost work and recovery. It is in your best interests to speak to your lawyer before accepting any settlement from the insurance company.
ANSWER: If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a city, county or other government entity, you can file a lawsuit. There have been many successful lawsuits against government entities. However, it is important to understand that the process of this kind of lawsuit is different than the standard lawsuit. In many cases you will need to file the lawsuit sooner than you would with a normal lawsuit, as the statute of limitations is usually shorter. If you are considering suing a government entity, you should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
ANSWER: Although it is possible that your case will go to trial, it is not inevitable. Many times when you hire a personal injury attorney, which demonstrates that you are serious about getting compensated for your injuries, the party you are seeking damages from will attempt to settle with you out of court. A settlement is less expensive in the long run than going to trial, making it a desirable option if both sides can agree to the amount. Of course, the other side many not attempt to settle. Or if it does, it may offer an amount that is not sufficient. If no other agreement can be reached, we will gladly take your case to trial and fight passionately on your behalf.
ANSWER: One of the great benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney is that you get to focus on recovering from your injuries, while the attorney does all of the legwork and heavy lifting. There is a lot that goes into pursuing a lawsuit, which means your attorney will have his or her hands full in exploring all available options, gathering evidence and preparing your case. Your attorney will keep you informed throughout the process, and will let you know when your assistance is needed. He or she will also consult with you whenever any important decisions need to be made about your case. Ultimately you are in control of your case – like if you choose to accept a settlement offer or not – but by hiring the lawyer, you hand over all the details to a professional. Your attorney will make sure everything that needs to be done is done, and done right.
ANSWER: It is best to avoid talking to insurance companies about your injury until you have first spoken to your lawyer. Insurance companies are interested in gathering any information they can to limit your ability to collect damages. They may request that you give a recorded statement about what happened during your accident, or they may request that you sign documents related to your injury. It is best to avoid doing any of these things without first speaking to your attorney.