If you have sustained injuries caused by other people failing to uphold the law, you might be a candidate for monetary compensation for the offense. Not all situations where one person’s actions or inactions result in a legal claim. The answers you provide to three questions will decipher whether or not are able to make a personal injury claim. First, did the person who caused the injury breach a legal duty to you? In order to file a legal claim, we must prove that the person who caused your injuries acted negligently and ignored their civic obligation to uphold the law.
Only those who have a legal duty are able to be sought after in response to injuries they caused you. Even police officers might not be held liable for compensation for your injuries, in accordance with a Supreme Court decision to disallow suits to be filed against police officers for negligent behavior.
The ruling resulted from a case in 2005 in which a woman filed for a restraining order against her ex-husband.
The husband kidnapped her three children and she reported him to the police. Even though she reached out to the police department, they were unresponsive and no progress was made in the search for her children.
The woman never saw her children again because their father killed them, and in her fight for justice, she sued the police for not taking action or opening a case on the matter.
According to federal law, the police can decline to intervene in situations where citizens call upon their services, negating the suit she filed against the department. Police are legally allowed to use discretion in their decision-making along these lines.
The second question is whether or not the person who held a legal duty intentionally acted in an unreasonable manner. This is a very prominent question for cases pertaining to personal injuries. A common example of legal duties being breached is a car crash that is caused by an oncoming car running a red light. There are statutes governing how we are required to act when driving and they include coming to full stops at red lights.
Negligence is defined as unruly behavior that results from the failure to adhere to regulations, causing damage in the process.
In many situations, there is a fine line between negligence and dutiful behavior, which makes it difficult to prove negligence transpired. If you wanted to declare a doctor as negligent, for example, you would need to look at his or her behavior and determine if it is below the standards set forth for his or her profession. This is described as “standard of care.” This is a much more subjective standard, subjected to far more debate than someone who fails to drive their car in consistency with traffic laws.
The last question to address is whether or not the injuries were a direct result of negligent behavior. Everyone has an idea of what the word harm means. Harm comes in many forms, such as car repair, physical injury, monetary losses, pain, inconvenience, and deprivation of the pursuit of happiness. Harm is inclusive of all damages caused by the accident. Evidence that ties the negligent behavior to the harm the victim endured is a necessity for personal injury cases.
Imagine yourself driving on the road when all of a sudden a car traveling in the opposite direction runs a red light, forcing you to stop immediately to prevent a collision. Running a red light is blatant negligence, but if their vehicle did not crash into yours, you cannot sue them for their actions. Even though the other driver was clearly negligent, there was no harm involved.
You were inconvenienced, certainly, and likely scared. However, their actions did not amount to damages that the court would recognize as meaningful enough to warrant compensation on your end.
In personal injury cases, the intent behind causation is highly contested. The defense attorneys will challenge your claim that their client acted negligently and subsequently caused your injuries. They will attribute the damages to prior incidents, blame psychological factors, or belittle the severity of the injuries, suggesting that the injuries are not nearly as bad as the hurt person claims.
They act in this way because they want to discredit your claims for compensation. The law requires that the party bringing suit, referred to as the plaintiff, proves that the care they received was “reasonable and necessary” as a direct result of the incident. Defense attorneys might call upon doctors to testify against your claims that the care you received was necessary.
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Personal injury lawyers tend to send an invoice for their consultation with you. The initial consultation is free when you meet with us.Send us a message and we’ll get back to you regarding your inquiry.
We do not expect that you know the ins and outs of personal injury when you meet with us. Many factors, like insurance aid and medical attention, come into play with personal injury cases. Multiple areas of the law come into play during personal injury cases but not all lawyers are equipped to handle that. Your personal injury case is unique to you and it should be treated as such.Suppose you were stopped at a traffic light and the car behind you did not break properly, thereby rolling into your vehicle and smashing your back end.Occurrences like this are widespread.While this aspect of your case may sound really simple and common, your case is still unique to you and the facts need to be analyzed and handled properly. The sooner you reach out to a personal injury lawyer, the sooner the details of your case can be reviewed and a case can be built. Once we know more about the details of your situation, we will handle your case in the manner we deem most fitting. You can read our advice about a variety of different legal situations here:
A statute of limitations is the legal term for the timeframe you are allotted for filing a claim for compensation. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Washington State is three years. Failure to comply with the statute will result in the loss of your legal rights to compensation.
Other statutes can apply to cases that might also be considered personal injury suits. For example, cases involving assault are only allotted a two year statute of limitations. Reach out to a trusted lawyer as soon as you believe you have a case.
Because the statute of limitations is a deadline that can cut off your legal rights, it is important to take action prior to the deadline. It is especially important to begin the steps of a lawsuit earlier on because the duration of lawsuits can stretch for years.
Figuring out who the liable party is and obtaining contact information to pursue a lawsuit can sometimes be difficult. It is imperative that you collect information about the person you intend to sue. If you do not know who injured you, your attorney cannot file a lawsuit on your behalf. Lawyers want to ensure that protocol is followed in order to avoid creating loopholes for the defense attorneys.
While the statute of limitations allows three years to take action, we advise that you begin the process much earlier. Contacting an attorney immediately when you have a personal injury matter is the most important thing you can do.
It is important that you find an attorney that you trust. Your case will either end in mutual agreeance or in a trial overseen by court officials. Either way, you will depend heavily on your attorney for advice. We provide guidance to our clients but their preferences determine our actions.
We do not personally make the big decision for our clients. The client ultimately decides whether we will sue, settle, or take a case to trial. The client gets to decide how much money they are willing to settle for as well.
It is not unheard of for most personal injury attorneys to provide an initial meeting for free. We do the same, and in all honesty, there is no advantage in charging people to discuss their situation with us because most people would not benefit from legal guidance. Each case is unique and presents issues that must be individually analyzed and then re-analyzed as each part relates to the whole of the case. The more important your case is to you, the more important it is that your promptly find legal advice on how to best handle it.
You should take your time in selecting a law firm because you want to find the one that works best for you. You cannot trust everything you read online, but looking at former and current client reviews is a reasonable place to begin your selection process. We take a lot of pride in the fact that most, if not all, of our clients endorse us and our services. You can explore reviews our clients have written about us here.
As stated earlier, it is absolutely essential that you can trust your lawyer. The most telling attributes of a lawyer is the way her or she interacts with people, how much experience he or she has acquired, and whether or not they uphold their client in court. The attorney-client relationship is one wherein the attorney has a fiduciary duty to his client, meaning that the attorney must put the client’s interest above their own.
Having an attorney who is as passionate about your situation as you are is key. At the end of your case there will only be one settlement or award. Once a case is closed, it can very rarely be reopened. You won’t ever get a chance to come back later for another bite at the apple. If your attorney isn’t clearly doing a good job by being responsive to your questions and concerns, you should consider seeking out counsel that will value your lawsuit.
In 2015, the CDC determined that 37,757 deaths that year were caused by vehicle accidents. After heart disease, cancer, and respiratory illnesses, car accidents were the fourth main incidents that resulted in death. You can read more about the CDC’s findings on their website.
Many personal injury cases do not require a trial, seeing as they end in a civil agreement. This means that seldom does either side get exactly what they want when settling their case. Settlements, on both sides, are a product of risk reduction. The injured party aims to obtain sufficient compensation such that their bills are paid.
Agreements are made in more timely manners if the defending party does not predict additional payments will accrue in the future. If, on the other hand, injuries are ongoing, then it is much more difficult because money must be paid that represents this person’s now uncertain medical future. Insurance providers do not appreciate the uneasiness of ongoing expenses. There is too much certainty circulating when ongoing care is involved. It is fought against even more fervently when they also believe that they injuries should have already healed, or that the plaintiff somehow prevented the healing process.
The longer we wait to accept a settlement, the more money you can receive. If you accept lower rates of compensation, they’ll be glad to not have to reimburse you in full. Once they pass the phase of offering low rates of reimbursement, they will offer larger amounts because they want to pay upfront rather than stretch the money that is due over a lengthy period of time.
It is difficult to attach a dollar amount to your situation because harm is not constrained to expenses. In the end, both sides must try to accurately determine the amount that they would be willing to accept or pay. Settlements are final, so before you agree to an offer of compensation, make sure it is what you want and that you are comfortable with the amount being offered.
All personal injury cases are different to some extent. Someone who breaks a rib will likely have lower medical bills than someone who has suffered a whiplash injury. The treatment for broken ribs is essentially no active treatment at all. Whiplash, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $10,000 in medical bills and rehabilitation efforts. Regardless of the treatment extremes, whiplash and broken ribs are both hard to live with and heal. Perspective is everything, meaning that one injury that sounds more severe may not be worse than the other. A broken rib calls for less medical attention and follow-ups than whiplash. Compensation is based more so on bills that resulted from injuries than it does any other factor. Whiplash injuries require far more visits and types of care.
Other potential forms of damages in a personal injury case include:
As we mentioned before, all personal injury cases are unique in their own ways, but they tend to follow similar patterns in terms of their duration.
We prefer not to open a case until the injured party is healed. When injuries are fresh and painful, it can be difficult for our client to think clearly during settlement. Ongoing injuries also pose a risk when we go against insurance companies because they will be less inclined to settle if you require future care. Once a settlement is reached, the decisions are permanent, so we want to make sure we accomplish what we set out to achieve the first time around, because there are no second chances.
We put a pause on drafting the negotiations until the client no longer requires future medical attention. After the healing process has transpired, we collect the medical records of our client and base our settlement package upon the injuries and the care they received. Obtaining medical records usually takes about 8 weeks. We understand that medical providers are busy professionals and as a result we expect to wait a while before obtaining your records and bills. Receiving them is not the end of the process, however, because we then need to analyze them and make sure the files are complete. Often, we find that not all records or bills are included in the official paperwork, so we have to submit another request for the missing documents. Having to wait longer for content we initially requested adds time to the already lengthy waiting period.
Once all records are obtained, it typically takes a few weeks for a case to be thoroughly reviewed and for a demand package to be consolidated. This package then needs to be sent to the insurance company and then time is needed for it to also review the matter. Once all of this is done, some negotiations can be completed within a week. It is important to remember that they can take upwards of weeks or even months. The only reason we would have to file a lawsuit is if we are unable to mutually agree to some sort of settlement on our own.
Your initial meeting with Wiener & Lambka, PS, is free of charge. We can conduct the initial meeting over the phone or through emails. No matter what, we would love to talk to you about the specificities of your situation and inform you about your options. We are honest in our approach and we will truthfully tell you if we do not think we can help you to the greatest extent.
Once we determine that we have the means to help you file a suit, we will reach out and offer to meet you somewhere local to your residence. That way, you are fully informed about your case and what representation entails. While you are more than welcome to travel to our offices, we believe that injured persons have enough to worry about without also finding their way to their attorney. We usually seek to meet at a coffee shop close to your residence or place of employment – whatever works for our clients also works for us!
“Everything was great. It was the best legal experience I have ever had!” - T. Hoskins“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas"It was a stress free experience. I particularly enjoyed when, on my initial call, they sent someone out to my house to speak with me in person. I would certainly use or recommend Wiener & Lambka in the future." - M. Randall“I was satisfied by the timely manner with which my case was handled. I would definitely recommend Wiener & Lambka to a friend in the future.” - D. Yusuf“Calls were returned in a timely manner, and the office staff is friendly. I’d recommend Wiener and Lambka to a friend in the future.” - T. Their“The service and the staff were great. I was happy with everything, and would refer Wiener and Lambka to someone else in the future.” - I. Aleman“Everyone was great. The staff at Wiener and Lambka make a good thing out of a bad situation, and for that, I am very thankful.” - D. Grami“Wiener & Lambka get the job done. I appreciated their concern and interest in my case, and would definitely recommend them to a friend.” - Y. Martin“In my moment of Crisis Wiener & Lambka lent me a helping hand. Their dedication to my case was outstanding. They stuck by my side and fought for my rights. Thank you!” - K. Tuazon“Wiener & Lambka took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson"Wiener & Lambka always kept me up to date with my case. I'd certainly suggest them to a friend." - J. Trujillo“The Staff at Wiener and Lambka are friendly and understand customer needs. They reduced their fee on my case and didn’t even take any on my son’s.” - M. Ngo“Wiener and Lambka did a good job of keeping me up to date on my case, and I’d definitely suggest their services to someone looking for an attorney.” - L. Lafond“A job well done! The staff at Wiener and Lambka made a point of explaining everything to me and if necessary I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.” - O. Yusuf“Wiener & Lambka helped me through the process, always discussing all of the available options. In particular, I was happy about the ease with which I was able to access my attorneys.”- B. Froton
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