If you are someone who has been on the receiving end of another person’s inability to follow safety laws, there is a chance that you are capable of receiving compensation for the harm that they caused. In order to open a personal injury case, your experience must meet specific qualifications for legal claims. 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? If they had a legal duty to uphold but still acted negligently, then we can file a legal claim on your behalf.
If both qualities do not apply to your situation, then compensation is harder to fight for because you cannot state that your legal claim is valid. For example, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that you cannot sue the police department if they fail to protect you even under circumstances that would reasonably be called negligent failure to act.
This stems from a 2005 case where a woman obtained a protective order against her former husband.
The husband kidnapped her three children and she reported him to the police. The woman called upon the help of her local police officers but they never opened an investigation regarding the missing children.
The father ultimately murdered her three children, prompting the woman to file a suit against the police for their inaction.
The Court declared her suit invalid because, under the law, a police department is not required to protect citizens upon request. Though their behavior may be considered negligent, the police are protected by laws that allow them to use caution when their help is implored.
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 clear example of a breach of a duty is when a driver fails to stop at a red light and subsequently causes a collision with another car. 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.
Outside of basic traffic safety and cautious driving, negligence can be hard to prove. For example, in order to find a doctor negligent, a jury must determine whether or not the doctor acted in a manner that was below the expectations of a doctor in that specialty, acting under the same circumstances. Doctors are expected to act professionally, upholding what is referred to as the “standard of care.” The expectation for doctors is higher than for drivers operating motor vehicles.
The third and final question to answer asks if the negligent behavior directly caused the injuries. The injuries that the plaintiff sustained are considered harm. Harm comes in many forms, such as car repair, physical injury, monetary losses, pain, inconvenience, and deprivation of the pursuit of happiness. Damages and harm are essentially the same thing. In order to prove liability and claim compensation, evidence must be presented to the jury.
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. Remember: personal injury lawsuits can only progress if harm and negligence are both present.
Even though you cannot press charges, having someone run a red light is frustrating, and you are allowed to feel that. According to the law, the only way to claim personal injury and seek monetary reimbursement for the damage is if the person in question acted negligently while holding legal duty.
In personal injury cases, the intent behind causation is highly contested. Even though causation may seem clear to the injured party, the defense attorneys will hire their own doctors who will try to cast a shadow on the causation of the 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.
If the defense attorney can invalidate your claims, then the case is weak and your chances of receiving compensation are lessened. If you received medical attention or care of any kind, we will need to authenticate that it was on par with your injuries. Your claims may be refuted by a doctor of the defendant’s choosing, who may try to shed poor light on you and your statements.
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Most personal injury attorneys do not offer a free consultation. Wiener and Lambka, PS, will not charge you for a consultation. Contact us via our website to start your case today.
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. Many personal injury attorneys don’t fully understand each of these areas of law themselves. Your case may share similarities with other personal injury situations, but personal injury cases are never the same. Your personal injuries may stem from a very common situation where the car behind you fails to stop and runs into your bumper. Those happen all the time. The widespread nature of your incident does not mean the case should be brushed off as common or predictable.You definitely want to implore legal assistance sooner than later. Different measures will be taken, depending on the area of law that your case involves. To learn more about our approach, take a look at the types of legal situations we handle:
A statute of limitations is a date by which you must either resolve, or properly file and serve, your lawsuit against the negligent party. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Washington State is three years. If you do not adhere to the three-year statute, you may not be able to file your claim.
If other statutes of limitations affect your case, the time limit may be drastically reduced. If assault is involved, then the statute of limitations drops to two years instead of three. Even if you are not positive that you have a case, immediately get in touch with a lawyer who practices law pertaining to your situation.
The statute of limitations determines whether or not your claim is valid and timely, so pay close attention to this limitation. 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. We have had clients come to us without any knowledge of contact information for the driver who negligently caused a collision with them. Without identifying information for the person who caused your injuries, there is no way to sue. Even with the information, the insurance companies acting as defense for their client will take every opportunity they can to have a case dismissed, especially if it is not properly carried out.
Even though you are provided three years to open a case, we strongly encourage that you begin the process immediately. Contacting an attorney immediately when you have a personal injury matter is the most important thing you can do.
You need to be able to trust your lawyer. There are two possible outcomes of your personal injury case: either you go to court or you settle the matter without the court system intervening. No matter what results from the case, you will need to place your trust in the hands of your attorney. All of our clients are intentionally informed of our risk analysis tips so that they can make well-informed decisions on difficult matters.
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 resolves the discussion of how much to accept as compensation, too.
Many personal injury law firms offer one-on-one consultation meetings with lawyers at not cost to you. The reasoning behind holding a no-cost consult is that most people do not need the help of legal professionals in order to claim compensation. All details of a case are equally as important and we take time to review them. 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. At Wiener & Lambka, PS, we are very proud that almost all former clients endorse us and many have taken the time to do so online. Read our reviews here.
The most important thing to consider when hiring an attorney is that you trust them. Look for experience, interpersonal communications skills, a commitment to professionalism, and advocacy for their clients. 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.
If you have an attorney who doesn’t promptly respond to your communications or acts with indifference to your case, you should probably find someone with whom you can work better. A keen eye to detail is important because second chances are very few and far between when it comes to lawsuits. 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. Your lawyer is your advocate in a lawsuit and if you do not have faith in their abilities then you should definitely seek guidance from someone else.
The Centers for Disease Control made public their data from 2015, demonstrating that motor vehicle accidents were responsible for a total of 37,757 deaths that year. Vehicular accidents were said to be the fourth main cause of death. You can read more about the CDC’s findings on their website.
Most settlements end in a compromise between the parties. This means that seldom does either side get exactly what they want when settling their case. It is more important to lessen the risk of harmful losses than it is to receive all that you want from the settlement. The person who sustained injuries usually just wants to be reimbursed for the financial burden the injuries created.
If injuries have healed and are a thing of the past, then it is easier for the injured party to reach a settlement. There is less stability in situations where medical care is still being received. Insurance companies don’t like to provide money for the hypothetical future. Unfinished medical treatment means more payments will be made along the way and that is a stress inducer. The defending party might try to claim that you intentionally impeded your recovery.
The longer we wait to accept a settlement, the more money you can receive. They want to see if the injured party will accept the smaller amount before forcing them to offer larger sums of compensation. Once this stage passes, insurance companies will often make offers where they part with money now in order to eliminate the possibility of paying more later.
Value is often very hard to determine because each case is unique. In the end, both sides must try to accurately determine the amount that they would be willing to accept or pay. If an offer is made by the defendant, and accepted by the plaintiff, then the discussion is over.
All cases are unique. Details, such as the type of injury that was caused, differ from case to case, such as the difference between broken ribs and whiplash. Broken ribs require time to heal. On the other hand, whiplash is a very costly injury to heal from, due to the medical treatment it requires. This is not to say that one injury is more painful or debilitating than the other. They both may have the same value in terms of the patient’s pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life as well. However, a broken rib might require an ER visit and one or two X-rays to be taken. Compensation is based more so on bills that resulted from injuries than it does any other factor. A situation where someone suffered whiplash tends to receive higher rates of compensation than someone with a broken rib.
Damages in personal injury cases range in severity and form, including:
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.
Accordingly, we wait to pursue negotiations in cases until our clients are in a position to know the most about the future. 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. Moreover, the records have to be reviewed in order to ascertain whether or not they are complete. These things take time and expertise, often resulting in the discovery of a need for additional records. Having to wait longer for content we initially requested adds time to the already lengthy waiting period.
After we have ascertained that all necessary information is present, we can proceed with the analysis portion, which takes a few weeks as well. 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. Not all insurance providers have the time to get back to us immediately, so additional time can be spent waiting for their reply to arrive. 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.
At Wiener & Lambka, PS, we provide a free consultation to potential clients. 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 want nothing but success for you as the injured party, and if we feel that we cannot help you achieve that, we will refer you to someone who is better suited.
If we feel that we are suited to help you and that your case requires legal aid, we will travel to a location near you to discuss the details of your situation. That way, you are fully informed about your case and what representation entails. We can surely meet with you at our office, but with respect to our practice and the nature of personal injury clients, we are more than happy to come to you in order to avoid exacerbating injuries on your end. We are willing to meet you wherever is most convenient for you, so just let us know what you would prefer, and we will comply!
“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“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“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“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas“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"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“Everything was great. It was the best legal experience I have ever had!” - T. Hoskins“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“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 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“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“Wiener & Lambka took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson“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“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
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