Frequently Asked Questions
If I suffer an injury, what should I do?
Depending on the degree of injury, gather as much information as you can. If an auto accident occurs, make certain the police have been called and that you find out how to obtain a copy of the police report. Make sure you get the names of all parties involved and witnesses. If you have a cell phone, take pictures of all the vehicles involved. For any type of injury case, attempt to ascertain all the facts that you can, including where the injury occurred, all the parties involved, and any witnesses. If your injury is serious, make certain that an ambulance has been contacted. Whether or not you go by ambulance to the hospital, seek immediate medical care at a hospital, medical walk-in, or your physician if you are injured.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
Personal injury lawyers, including those at our law firm, do not charge for representing the injured victim on a personal injury case unless they are successful. The amount that is paid is a percentage of the recovery. You receive no bill for services as the case progresses and at the end of the case, the law firm is paid a percentage only. In addition, Karns & Kerrison does not ask for reimbursement of expenses unless we are successful. Expenses will then be paid out of the settlement, including the cost of obtaining medical records and bills, as well as any other expenses incidental to the case.
How long will my personal injury case take?
This answer depends greatly on the degree of your injury and damages, including how long your medical treatment continues, if working; how long you will be out of work; and how long it will take to get the doctor's opinion as to the degree and permanency of your injury. In addition, if there are complications regarding who was at fault or the relationship of your injuries to the accident, your case may be prolonged. Usually, a simple case without a lot of complications can take one to one-and-a-half years. A more complex case can take up to three years or longer.
Should I document what I am going through?
It is very important to keep a diary of what your injuries are and what pain you are suffering. It is also important to keep a list of expenses, including your mileage for going to doctors and therapists, and more. It is also important to document the time you were out of work. In general, it is important to document the interruption in your lifestyle, including the inability to do sports or other personal and social activities you miss out on. Keeping a diary or list of all of these facts is very important when proving the damages in your case.
What can I claim for compensation or damages?
There are many damages that can be collected from a personal injury case, including the following:
- Medical bills for treatment you have had;
- Medical bills you can reasonably expect in the future;
- Payment for permanent injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost earnings;
- Emotional distress and resulting mental disabilities, including anxiety and depression;
- Loss of personal, social, and athletic activities;
- If a family member is affected by your injuries;
- Property damage;
- Out-of-pocket expenses, including transportation charges and other things if you must pay to have them done around your house, such as housecleaning or maintenance.
The above is a listing of some of the damages that can be collected. Certainly, in some cases, there may be others.
Will I have to go to court?
Often times, cases can be settled without filing a lawsuit, getting into litigation and certainly without going to court. However, note that if the case will take longer than three years due to complications, it is important to put the case into a lawsuit as there are statutes of limitations that limit the length of time you can pursue your case without it being placed into a lawsuit. In addition, if there are other obvious complications, including who was at fault or the relationship of your injuries to the accident, then the case should be placed into a lawsuit so that your lawyer can use the litigation to prove who was at fault and what injuries are related to the accident.