The best way to find out if you have a case is to contact an attorney and set up a free consultation. The attorney will go over your situation in detail, determine if you have a case and tell you about the process. They can also talk to you about what you can expect to recover based on the facts of the accident and the laws in your state.
Almost all personal injury attorneys accept cases at no initial charge. Instead, they collect their fee as a percentage of any settlement or judgment that they obtain for you. Known as a contingency fee arrangement, if you get nothing for your case, they get nothing. The percentage that an attorney takes from a settlement varies, but it may be higher if you go to trial.
The answer to this depends upon the nature of your injuries and the facts of our accident. It cannot be determined until your case has been thoroughly investigated. Attorneys will likely be able to give you a rough estimate based on similar cases in your area that they have handled. It’s important to know that attorneys are strictly prohibited from predicting the outcome of a case or guaranteeing a certain amount you will recover. If your attorney does give you an estimate it will be based on factors such as:
Unfortunately, the time it takes to reach a settlement is hard to predict and can vary dramatically. It depends greatly on the specifics of your case. Personal injury claims can be drawn-out if the potential compensation involves a large sum or money or if there are factual and legal issues. If you’re still recovering from injuries that can also prolong the legal process. Your lawyer may want to wait until you are recovered to understand the complete and final value of your injuries. If you choose to avoid a lengthy legal battle you risk settling for significantly less amount of money.
It is possible to avoid a lengthy legal battle, but you will likely need to be willing to settle for a significantly less amount of money.
The Statute of Limitations limits the time you have to file a lawsuit from the date of the incident. In New York, there are three-year statutes, but there are also sometimes shorter time periods that apply, which means it’s important to consult with a lawyer soon after being injured.
You should not speak with an insurance adjuster. Although they may reach out appearing friendly and sympathetic, they are hoping to get a statement out of you that would limit the responsibility (liability) of their insured. Tell the insurance adjuster to contact your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you can tell them to reach out to your insurance company directly. If an attorney for someone else contacts you, the same rules apply.
If you were not at fault for the accident you can still recover damages from the at-fault party. They may be reduced to account for your pre-existing condition, but you can hold them responsible for aggravating your condition.
Insurance companies are not concerned with giving you the compensation you deserve. If the facts of the accident are complex, your injuries are significant, the at-fault party is contesting their responsibility or if a lot of money is at stake you likely need an attorney. Filing a claim without an attorney or accepting the first offer will put your chances at receiving a fair settlement at risk.
The legal process is extremely complicated and can be overwhelming to those who don’t deal with it on a regular basis. Some accident claims are small enough to be handled on their own, but the majority of personal injury cases should involve an experienced attorney.
Most firms offer a free initial consultation, so there’s no risk in speaking to an attorney to find out if you have a case.
The majority of personal injury cases are settled before going to trial however sometimes settling out of court is not an option. A few reasons why your case could go to trail are:
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