Frequently Asked Questions for personal injury
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is any injury or death caused by the negligence of another person or by a defective product. Ron Meyers & Associates: Olympia Injury Lawyers can help with the following personal injury claims:
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What is wrongful death?
When a family member’s death is caused by another person’s negligent conduct, or because of a defective product, money can help ease the tremendous harm and even help a family survive. Money cannot bring a loved one back, but it provides a means for a family to continue to live a decent life, obtain a child’s college education, pay for medical care, replace lost income and provide other necessities of life. Wrongful death law also provides damages for the pre-death suffering of the deceased loved one, other damages for the economic loss confronting the surviving family members, and damages for grief, loss of love, affection, and consortium.
What is a serious or catastrophic physical injury?
When a person suffers serious or catastrophic injuries as a result of another person’s negligence, or from a defective product, the impact can be devastating. How are you going to pay medical bills and how will you support your family while you are recovering, retraining or if you are unable to return to work? Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, herniated spinal discs, fractured bones, loss of sight, amputations and other serious injuries challenge even the strongest among us. Our goal is to help you overcome the financial, physical and emotional harm that comes with serious physical injury by obtaining fair, just and reasonable compensation for you.
What damages can I recover from my personal injury?
Injury victims are entitled to recover money for all losses and expenses they incur as a result of an accident. Many factors are involved in determining money damages:
- severity of the injury
- past and future medical bills
- past and future wage loss
- past and future mental and physical pain
- physical impairment and disability
- disfigurement and scars
- mental impairment and disability
- loss of enjoyment of life
- out-of-pocket expenses (mileage to doctors, co-pays, and miscellaneous related expenses)
- property damage
How can I tell if I have a personal injury claim?
To have a personal injury claim, you or a family member must have been injured, or a family member killed, due to the negligent conduct of another person or from a defective product. What we are looking for is generally another person or a defective product that is responsible for causing the injury or death. If you are unsure about whether you have a case, contact our office immediately for a free consultation.
How do I know if I need an attorney?
If you needed expert medical attention, or if insurance company investigators or claims adjustors are involved, you likely need expert legal representation. If you have been seriously injured, are unsure how serious your injuries may be, or are worried that your injuries may cause disability in the future you should always talk with an experienced attorney BEFORE you give any statements or sign any papers of any kind with any insurance company … including your own insurance company. You should get contact our office as soon after your injury as possible. We offer a free consultation, with no obligation. You have nothing to lose by consulting with us.
What if the accident was partly my fault … but someone else also caused the accident?
Even if an accident or injury was partly your own fault you may still have a meritorious personal injury claim. Lawyers and judges use the terms “contributory negligence” or “comparative fault” or “contributory fault” to describe this situation. In Washington, in most instances, when you are partially at fault, you can obtain a recovery but the amount of your recovery is reduced by the percentage of your own fault.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Washington state, like other states, has specific time limits for different types of claims. These “statutes of limitation” require that you to file a lawsuit within a specific period of time, depending upon the circumstances of your case. If your claim is not settled or a lawsuit is not filed and served within the required time you will be prohibited from obtaining any compensation for your injuries. It is always better to act quickly so that you understand your legal rights and so that you do not lose your right to make a claim for your damages. It is important to remember that the state law in the state where you were injured generally control. Claims brought under Federal law may also have their own separate limitations period.
What is a contingent fee?
A contingent fee is a fee that represents a percentage of any recovery you obtain. Contingent fees are common because most people cannot afford to pay a lawyer on an hourly basis. A “contingent fee” means that you do not pay ANY fee unless we successfully recover damages for you. Only at the conclusion of a successful case, as a deduction from the client’s settlement, award, or verdict do we collect our attorney fee. The Washington State Bar Association rules also require that you be advised that you may be responsible for out of pocket costs expended in bringing your claims. Costs are separate from fees. In many instances, your costs are advanced by our office on your behalf.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Every case is different. There is no certain answer. When a case will be resolved depends on the circumstances and complexity of the case, the nature and severity of the personal injuries and the willingness of the insurance company for the opposing party to act reasonably or your own insurance company to act in good faith. Many automobile cases settle within several months of the date of the personal injury or wrongful death. Wrongful death and serious injury cases can take much longer to resolve because they are generally more complex.
If I have a personal injury claim do I have to go to court?
Most personal injury and wrongful death cases are settled out of court by the insurance companies, their adjusters or their attorneys. Cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, mediations, arbitrations and by trial. If a case does go to trial, you will have an opportunity to have “your day in court” where you can testify about your injuries and damages, or about what it means to lose a loved one.
Why do I need a personal injury trial lawyer?
The only legal cases our office handles are personal injury and wrongful death cases. Ron Meyers has more than twenty-five years of experience resolving personal injury and wrongful death claims by settlement, mediation, arbitration or litigation. Our firm presents a credible litigation threat to the responsible party’s billion dollar insurance company and its adjusters and attorneys. Insurers know that if we do not receive a reasonable settlement offer for your injury claim, we will litigate your case and work very hard to win. Insurance companies have adjusters, investigators, and lawyers representing their interests, shouldn’t you have someone in your corner?
What does it cost to talk with a personal injury trial lawyer?
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Contact the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Ron Meyers & Associates: Olympia Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can help you.