Where you start is by calling an experienced personal injury attorney. We can assess over the phone whether it’s a type of claim we can handle, without charge. If it turns out we can’t help you, we’ll direct you to someone who can. My initial consultations are without expense to potential clients and that’s the way the claims usually are initiated.
Fault is a determination made, after looking at all the facts, about who has legal responsibility for what has happened to an injured party. It’s one of the significant components we have to prove, in order to have a successful claim. The second component is to evaluate who caused that injury, how it was caused, and who is responsible for it. Sometimes, it will be the driver of a company truck and in that instance, the company would also be at fault. Employers have responsibility for the tortious conduct of their employees.
One corollary principle is comparative fault. You could be involved in a situation where both parties are responsible. In that instance, each party may have comparative fault, which is simply an evaluation of the facts to determine what percentage of the fault we think a jury might assess against one or more parties involved in the injury. Any recovery in personal injury case will be reduced by the amount of the party’s own fault.
You want to seek medical attention as soon as you have symptoms that you believe are related to that accident. It’s not uncommon that we refer people to physicians in order to analyze their physical complaints and seek appropriate treatment for their problem. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to establish that this injury was caused by the accident or event that you were involved in. Prompt medical attention is best. It is an absolute requirement for any case.
When a person has waited a long period of time before getting medical attention, even though they’ve been having nagging pain, there are time limits that come into play. If it is a claim against a governmental entity, you have to bring the initial claim within six months. Should you fail to do that, you might not have opportunity later to bring a claim. The time limits on these types of things is an important consideration and it varies depending on the type of case. A case against a governmental entity also requires initiation of a proof of claim, which is a formatted document that alerts the governmental entity that we have filed a claim against them.
Standard personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. Commonly, it is two years, but if it’s against specific types of healthcare providers, you have only one year. In a medical malpractice scenario, as soon as you suspect that the healthcare provider has done something wrong, even if you don’t have proof of it, that clock starts ticking.
From the time of settlement to the time we’re able to disburse the monies to the client is usually within 30 days. It can take longer if, for instance, it’s against a governmental entity.