If you're like many people, you probably don't spend much time thinking about what you would do if you were hurt in an accident. Yet in order to ensure you are adequately compensated for any injuries you suffer, it is important to consider some basic things about personal injury law. If you were involved in an accident recently, or if you would just like to learn more, read on. This article will address three common questions about personal injury law.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit isn't the first thing to cross most people's minds after an accident. In fact, by the time most people realize that they may qualify for reparations, they often assume it's simply too late. Likewise, many people erroneously assume that the window of opportunity for litigation closes once they have recovered from any injuries suffered.
Thankfully, the time frame for pursuing a personal injury case is much longer than you probably realize. More good news is that the status of your original injury plays no part in determining your eligibility. Rather, the key factor is what's known as the statute of limitations. Most states have a statute of limitations of two years; however, it is important to verify the exact time span in your state.
Do I have to pay my lawyer right away?
In most cases, the answer to this question is no. The vast majority of personal injury attorneys conduct their cases on a contingency basis. This means that you will not have to pay your lawyer unless they are able to successfully argue your case. In that case, your lawyer will receive a percentage of your winnings. The exact percentage is generally determined before the case begins.
It is important to note, however, that you may be responsible for other fees. These are often used to cover the costs of court filing fees, depositions, and expert witnesses. In the event that your case is successful, your attorney will often arrange to deduct these amounts from your winnings. Yet be aware that you will still be responsible for covering these expenses even if you do not win your case.
Shouldn't I just accept the insurance settlement?
It is common for people who are injured in accidents to be contacted soon after by an insurance adjuster. These individuals usually come fully prepared to offer you a payment to keep the case out of court. While it may be tempting to accept this money, be aware that insurance companies often offer settlements that are much less than what you could recover in court. Therefore it is a good idea to contact a lawyer for advice before accepting any settlement offers.
For more information, contact Gibbs and Parnell or a similar firm.