Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
If you were recently hurt in an accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Your health insurance may be taking care of your treatments right now, but you know the bills will go above and beyond what is covered. On top of your medical costs, your normal expenses still need to be paid and you are out of work. All of these factors are why you need to look into obtaining compensation for your injuries.
As you consider a personal injury claim, take a look at these frequently asked questions and then contact the Ohio personal injury lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick for more information. Call us at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.
1. Can I get money because of my accident?
Answer: If you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else, then you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. For instance, if you are in a car accident because the other driver ran a red light, then you can seek compensation. If you were in an accident caused by a worker on a construction site, you can seek compensation. However, if you are in an accident you caused, such as a single-vehicle crash, then you are unlikely to be able to seek a monetary recovery.
2. What is negligence?
Answer: If you seek compensation from an individual or business based on injuries they caused you, then in most instances your argument is based on the fact that they were negligent. To be negligent means to fail to uphold a legal duty of care. For instance, all drivers have a duty to other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians to be reasonably careful. This means following the rules of the road and not behaving in a careless manner, which would put others’ safety at risk. When a driver speeds and causes an accident, they are negligent.
3. What if I think I’m at fault?
Answer: If you think you may be partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, do not state this to anyone else, especially an insurance company. Speak with a personal injury attorney immediately. Even if you are partly responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover some compensation from the other at-fault party. It will depend on the percentage of fault the insurance company or court assigns to you and the other parties. In Ohio, if you are more than 50 percent at fault, you cannot recover any compensation. However, do not make this determination yourself. Talk to an attorney about your options and the likelihood of recovering compensation.
4. The insurance company has offered to settle. Should I take it?
Answer: An insurance settlement may be exactly what you want after an accident. The problem is that accepting an insurer’s first offer without talking to an attorney is usually a bad idea. Many insurers make an initial low ball offer hoping you will accept and save them money. To protect your rights and be sure you obtain a fair settlement, call a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can review a settlement offer and tell you whether it is a fair deal or lower than you deserve. They can also help you calculate your damages and negotiate a higher amount.
5. Do I have to sue?
Answer: You always have a choice whether or not to sue. Your attorney will advise you regarding what they believe is your best course of action, but it is always your decision. You may want to file a personal injury lawsuit because you were unable to obtain an insurance settlement. Your claim may have been denied or your negotiations stalled. You may also need to file a personal injury claim to utilize the discovery period though still retain the hope of a settlement. By filing suit and using the discovery process, you can obtain a great deal of information from the other parties, which can help your case.
6. What is a statute of limitations?
Answer: A statute of limitations is the period of time you have to file a lawsuit. There are different time limits based on the type of injury. For a personal injury claim in Ohio, you have two years from the time you are injured (or discovered you were injured) to file a lawsuit. This limitation is why it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If you do not realize the clock is running, you could miss a crucial filing date.
7. How much does a personal injury case cost?
Answer: Each personal injury case is unique and the final cost of working with an attorney depends on a number of factors, particularly how the firm bills. Some attorneys bill on an hourly basis while others charge a contingency fee. The best way to determine how much your case may cost is to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney and discuss their fees.
8. How does KNR charge for cases?
Answer: Our fees are assessed on a contingency basis. We only get paid if we help you recover compensation in your case. We will provide you with a free initial consultation, complete a thorough investigation, obtain medical evidence, work with expert witnesses, and file legal paperwork without charging you. When you agree to a settlement or win a jury verdict, we will take our legal fees out of that compensation.
9. How much money will I get from my claim?
Answer: Personal injury claims range greatly in value from a few thousand to millions of dollars. What your specific claim is worth depends heavily on the type and extent of your injuries. A vehicle accident resulting in a complete spinal cord injury causing paraplegia leads to a much higher settlement or award than a crash that causes a concussion. Additionally, an injury that is visible or causes a disfigurement or disability generally results in greater compensation than a hidden injury. The amount you are likely to obtain can also depend on the at-fault party’s financial limitations. If the responsible person has little to no assets, you may only be able to obtain compensation up to their insurance policy limit.
10. Do I need a lawyer?
Yes, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your insurance claim or lawsuit. Dealing with insurance companies after an accident is stressful and difficult. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our Ohio personal injury attorneys know all of the tricks insurers use to try and deny your claim or get you to accept a settlement worth less than what you deserve. We protect you from dishonest and sometimes unlawful actions.
If you need to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit, we can guide you through this process and take care of the administrative tasks. Overall, working with a lawyer for your personal injury claim increases the chance of obtaining the maximum compensation for your injuries.
For more answers to your questions, call us at Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW.