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 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 Steps Should I Take Immediately After an Accident?

Immediately after an accident, ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Call emergency services, seek medical attention, and gather contact information from witnesses. Document the scene with photos or videos if possible.

How Do I Document Evidence for My Personal Injury Claim?

Documenting evidence is crucial for your personal injury claim. Take photos of injuries, property damage, and the accident scene. Keep medical records, police reports, and any correspondence with insurance companies.

What Should I Do If I’m Offered a Settlement by the Insurance Company?

If offered a settlement by the insurance company, consult with an attorney before accepting. Insurance companies may offer low settlements initially to minimize payouts. An attorney can help determine if the offer is fair and negotiate on your behalf.

Can I Still File a Personal Injury Claim If I Wasn’t Initially Aware of My Injuries?

You can still file a personal injury claim even if you weren’t immediately aware of your injuries. Some injuries may have delayed symptoms or worsen over time. Seek medical attention promptly and consult with an attorney to understand your legal options.

What If the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?

If the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, you may still be able to pursue compensation through other means. This could include uninsured motorist coverage, personal assets of the at-fault party, or other liable parties involved in the accident.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Whether your personal injury case goes to trial depends on various factors, including the willingness of the insurance company to offer a fair settlement. Many cases are resolved through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods without the need for trial.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Compensation for My Injuries?

The time it takes to receive compensation for your injuries can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the extent of your injuries. In some cases, settlements may be reached within months, while others may take longer, especially if litigation is involved.

What Happens If I’m Injured While Working?

If you’re injured while working, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to workers’ comp, you may also have a personal injury claim if someone else’s negligence contributed to the accident.

Can I Pursue Compensation If My Loved One Died in an Accident?

If your loved one died in an accident, you may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. This can include damages for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

Each state has a statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a personal injury claim. It’s essential to act promptly and consult with an attorney to ensure you don’t miss the deadline for your case.

What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim arises when someone suffers harm due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party. This harm can include physical injuries, emotional distress, property damage, or financial losses.

What Sets Your Firm Apart from Others?

Our firm stands out for our dedication to our clients, extensive experience in personal injury law, and track record of successful case outcomes. We prioritize communication, transparency, and personalized attention to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.

What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation with Your Firm?

To make the most of your initial consultation, bring any documentation related to your case, such as medical records, accident reports, correspondence with insurance companies, and photographs of the accident scene or your injuries. Be prepared to discuss the details of your case openly with our attorneys.

Can I Handle My Personal Injury Claim Without an Attorney?

While you have the right to handle your personal injury claim independently, it’s highly advisable to seek legal representation. Personal injury cases can be complex, and insurance companies often employ tactics to minimize payouts. An experienced attorney can protect your rights and maximize your compensation.

What Should I Do If I’m Unsure If I Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim?

If you’re unsure about the validity of your personal injury claim, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney. Our firm offers free consultations to evaluate your case and provide legal guidance based on the specific circumstances.

What does it cost to talk with a personal injury trial lawyer?

Free Initial Consultation – Olympia, Tacoma & Western Washington

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.

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