Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury FAQs
At patientinjury.com, we want to keep our clients and the public informed. By providing answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury and medical malpractice, we hope our clients will be better equipped to face their own legal battles.Below are general questions and answers relating to important legal matters such as filing a lawsuit and estimating the value of a case. Q: Do I need a lawyer? A: The laws indicate that you have the right to legal counsel to secure and protect your rights when someone has caused you harm or damaged your property. Having an injury lawyer on your side tells the insurance company that you are serious about this claim. Additionally, you will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your personal rights will be protected. Never believe an insurance company if they say that you do not need a lawyer. The person giving you that advice is most likely not a lawyer and may even be breaking the law by attempting to practice law without a license. It is unfortunate, but we have seen many instances in which an adjuster for the at-fault insurance company convinces a claimant that they do not need a lawyer. Much later, after the claimant discovers that their claim cannot be resolved, they contact us for legal help. Usually, it is too late to help that claimant. We can best help you when you come to see us immediately after the accident. Q: Will my lawyer file a lawsuit? A: Most cases settle before there is a need to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, however, a lawsuit is the only option when the at-fault insurance company will not negotiate in good faith. If your case cannot be settled, we will discuss with you the alternative of taking your case to court. Q: How soon will my case be settled? A: Every claim is handled on a case-by-case basis. No two people recover from injuries in the same time frame or under the same conditions. Generally, your length of treatment and time of rehabilitation determines the length of time it takes to finalize your claim. We are anxious to negotiate your claim with the responsible insurance company(s) and will proceed as soon as you and your doctor(s) allow us to begin. Q: What do I do if I have to take time off work? A: You may be entitled to present a claim for your lost wages. When your assigned doctor gives you a ï¿½no-workï¿½ order you may, based on the facts in the case, be entitled to recoup lost wages. Never take time off work unless your doctor states in writing that you should not work. Otherwise, it may hurt your case. A personal injury attorney can provide you with a worksheet to help you identify your lost earnings. Be sure to keep track of your lost wages, as your employer may not. Q: How much is my case worth? A: No one can accurately predict the value of your case until all facts have been collected and reviewed. During the scope of your case, unknown factors sometimes appear or problems arise that change the financial value of your case. Regardless of the circumstances, an attorney should consult with the doctors treating you in addition to other experts to arrive at an estimated amount of compensation that is fair and reasonable.