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Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Claims

  • What’s included in the term “personal injury”?
  • What is a Statute of Limitations?
  • What’s a “slip and fall” lawsuit?
  • My insurance company has offered me a settlement, but it seems too low. Can a lawyer do something about that?
  • If a dog bites you, can you obtain redress from the dog’s owner?
  • What is strict liability or absolute liability?
  • I was in a car accident. Should I consult an attorney?

What’s included in the term “personal injury”? It’s a very broad term. It refers to bodily injury caused within a certain set of circumstances, such as:

  • Auto accidents
  • Defective products
  • Slip and fall
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective medicines
  • Wrongful death
  • Animal bites

An action can be brought if someone is injured, usually physically, but sometimes emotional damage is included. The purpose is to sort out who’s responsible for the injury and to have them pay fair compensation to the injured party. The assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer will be invaluable. 

What is a Statute of Limitations? It’s a time period during which you can file a lawsuit. It starts running at the time of whatever injury you sustained, and usually is set to run for a year or two, or maybe 3 years, but sometimes more. The exact time is set by state law for that particular type of injury. If you’ve been injured, don’t wait too long before consulting an injury lawyer. You’ll want to know how long you have to file a claim.

What’s a “slip and fall” lawsuit? We all might slip and fall at times but would not necessarily be entitled to file an action against somebody. To file an action, you must be able to show that someone else was responsible for whatever made you slip and fall. For example, if a hotel cleaning staff leaves wet soap lying on your bathroom floor, and you return weary after a day’s sightseeing, head for the shower, and slip and crack your head on the bathtub, you’d probably have a valid claim. But if you dropped the soap as you got into the shower, then stepped on it as you got out again, your claim would be doubtful. So a slip and fall claim must prove that the responsible party knew, or should have known, of the risky circumstance and did nothing to remedy it. 

My insurance company has offered me a settlement, but it seems too low. Can a lawyer do something about that? Yes, probably. If no statute of limitations has expired, and if you haven’t yet accepted the insurance company’s check, or signed anything, a good injury attorney can probably help. Generally, insurance companies try to delay settlement payments, and try to pay as little as they can convince you to take. This is because insurance companies make their money by investing. So the longer they can keep their money invested, the more interest it brings them, and the happier they are. So don’t automatically accept the amount any insurance company offers you without first consulting a personal injury attorney. When the facts are all examined, it might turn out that you’re entitled to a great deal more than was first offered to you. 

If a dog bites you, can you obtain redress from the dog’s owner? Yes, often, but how straightforward it might be will depend on your location as well as the particular circumstances. Each jurisdiction has its own requirements as to what you must prove. In some areas, the dog’s owner might be able to claim that you were warned not to approach the dog, and since you ignored the warning, the owner isn’t responsible. If you can prove that the owner is responsible, you must further establish the amount of your damages. So you should keep medical bills, pharmacy receipts, any proof of lost wages, etc. You might also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. 

What is strict liability or absolute liability? Briefly, it’s the holding of a person or company liable for activities or conditions that harm other people, whether the person or company was actually negligent or not. For instance, if you buy a product that turns out to be defective and it injures you, strict liability would hold the manufacturer and/or retailer of that product to be liable, whether or not they were in fact negligent. It means that all you have to do, if the product hurts you, is prove that you bought it and it did indeed injure you. This makes the procedure much easier for a plaintiff, because it’s difficult to prove that a manufacturer was deliberately negligent. 

I was in a car accident. Should I consult an attorney? Yes, that would be wise. Do it as soon as possible, though if you’re injured, perhaps there’s some inevitable delay while you undergo medical treatment. After a car accident, there’s a lot of evidence to be collected. Keep all your receipts, take photos of vehicle damage and personal injuries, obtain a written statement as to your lost work time, get several estimates of your vehicle damage.

An experienced auto accident attorney can explain your rights to you and determine the statute of limitations, so that you know how much time you have to bring a lawsuit. top Jay Trucks & Associates, in Flint Michigan, are personal injury lawyers who have successfully represented thousands of injured people and collected millions of dollars on their behalf. We are strong advocates for the injured and tough negotiators with the insurance industry. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Ph: (800) 762-8623.