If you are injured in a car or other accident, you may be entitled to compensation. There are three primary requirements to determine if you are entitled to compensation.

Compensation Requirements

  • The first requirement is that you suffer injury or loss.

    A person does not have to have serious injuries such as a broken bone or bleeding to be entitled to a settlement. If your injury is serious enough to require medical care and attention, it would satisfy the first requirement for compensation.

  • The second requirement is that you are not the at-fault party.

    If you were primarily responsible for the accident that caused your injury, you probably would not be entitled to compensation. However, if you were a passenger in a car regardless of who is at fault, you would be entitled to file a claim.

  • The third requirement for a personal injury claim is that there be insurance.

    Primary responsibility for payment of your settlement lies with the insurance company for the at-fault party. However, if the at-fault party does not have insurance, you may still be able to receive compensation if you or someone else in your household has uninsured motorists coverage.

To summarize, the three requirements for a personal injury settlement are:

  • 1. Injury
  • 2. Fault
  • 3. Insurance

If your case includes two or more of these requirements, you should consult with an attorney to determine if you should file a claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first thing you should do if you think you have a personal injury claim?

Get medical care and attention for your injuries. When evaluating your
personal injury claim, the insurance company will review medical records and bills to determine the value of your claim. If your injuries do not require ambulance or immediate emergency room service, you should nevertheless immediately seek urgent care or other medical attention.

When should you talk to an attorney?

As soon as possible. It is important that you understand your rights before you speak with the insurance company. The insurance company representative (adjuster) may try to have you to say something that would have a negative impact on your claim. Your attorney can provide you with information about property damage to your car. In
addition, if needed, your attorney can assist you getting the medical care and attention that you deserve.

How does the attorney get paid?

Personal injury attorneys get paid on a contingency fee basis. If there is no settlement, there is no charge for attorney services. Attorney compensation is typically one third of the settlement. Standard contingency fee rates are 33.3% for settlement out of court and a little more if suit is filed. In some instances, a personal injury attorney will reduce his contingency fee to make sure the client is fairly compensated.

What happens next?

What happens next is that you follow the advice of your medical care providers and recover from your injuries. In some cases, this could be a matter of weeks. In other more serious situations, recovery from your injuries could take months. The important thing is to make sure you are fully recovered before your attorney enters into settlement negotiations.

How long will it take to get a settlement?

In most cases, you will get your settlement two to four months after you fully recover from your injuries. However, if the insurance company is not being fair or if suit is filed, it could take a year or longer.

How much is my case worth?

In a motor vehicle case, the following items can impact how much your case is worth. The insurance company would consider a number of factors in assessing the value of your claim.

  • How soon did you get medical care after the car accident
  • Did you drive to emergency room/urgent care yourself or did you require an
  • The severity and extent of your injuries
  • Is there follow up required such as physical therapy or an operation
  • How long does it take for you to recover from your injuries
  • Are your injuries permanent

Will an attorney help me get my car repaired

A good personal injury attorney will assist their client resolve ALL problems relating to a motor vehicle collision.

If you are involved in an accident, you should follow these tips:

Do not leave the scene of the accident. Keep calm and do not argue with the other driver. Do not accept blame or make any admission to anyone. If your vehicle is not operable, you should remain near your car until help arrives.

Call for medical assistance. If anyone is injured, you should immediately call 9-1 -1. If urgency dictates, you should provide first aid. DO NOT attempt to move any injured person.

Call the police. When police arrive, ask for the officer’s name, badge number, police station address and telephone number. Ask when the accident report will be available and how to obtain a copy.

Turn vehicle engine off. Do not risk sparking a fire. You should use your vehicle’s flashers to warn other drivers.

DO NOT ACCEPT OFFERS TO SETTLE. Never accept an offer from another driver to settle the damages at the scene.

Read your policy. Determine whether your policy covers the costs for towing or a rental car. For a nominal fee, most automobile insurance policies will include these benefits.