Without the help of a personal injury attorney, you might feel overwhelmed by your negligence claim. A personal injury claim typically requires filing a claim with the insurance company, presenting supporting evidence, negotiation, and sometimes a lawsuit. At Farmer & Wright, PLLC, we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve — and give you peace of mind while you recover from your injuries.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
If you were injured due to someone’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. There are many types of personal injury claims, including the following:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents: Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians might have claims if they sustain injuries during a collision.
- Premises liability: Property owners are liable for injuries caused by hazardous conditions on their property (such as injuries from a slip and fall).
- Product liability: Manufacturers and retailers must compensate people who are injured by a defective or dangerous product.
- Workers’ Compensation and Jones Act claims: If you are injured at work, you are eligible for valuable benefits (including compensation for your wage loss and coverage of your medical bills).
Importantly, not all personal injury claims involve a lawsuit. Typically, you must first file a claim with the correct insurance companies. If you are involved in a car accident, this typically means you must contact both your auto insurer and the other driver’s insurance company. (Because Kentucky is a no-fault state, your personal auto insurance must cover certain losses — such as wage loss and medical treatment.)
While many insurance claims are initially approved, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They do not view you as a person — instead, you are simply an expense. If the insurance company denies your claim (or cuts off your benefits), you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company and will file a lawsuit if necessary.
Common causes of car accidents include defects, negligent drivers, dangerous roads, and more. But because the cause of each accident can be so complicated, we always conduct an independent investigation of the accident to help you prove the accident was caused by someone else.
Injuries suffered in car accidents can include minor as well as catastrophic injuries. Whiplash is one of the most common; however, it and others can show up days or weeks after an accident. Because of this, you should always seek medical attention after a car accident. Medical records will also have your claim later.
Determining fault can be especially difficult. We will gather and review the evidence necessary to try to prove that you did not cause the crash. This may require looking at police accident reports, reviewing camera footage, interviewing witnesses, and other efforts. We are prepared to help you in whatever way necessary so that you can obtain compensation to cover your losses.
Because trucks are so large and they often collide with smaller vehicles or pedestrians, it’s important to get help as soon as possible after an accident. You should not only immediately seek medical help, but also call a personal injury attorney who can walk you through the claims process.
Truck accidents may be the fault of truck drivers, trucking companies, manufacturers, or others. No matter who is at fault, they will have powerful teams of attorneys and insurance companies on their side to protect them. In fact, trucking insurance companies are often on the scene of an accident well before the police arrive. They attempt to move vehicles, dispose of the black box recorder, and generally minimize the liability of their insured.
You should work with a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the tactics of trucking companies and their insurance providers. Having a legal professional on your side will ensure that you protect your rights.
Maritime accidents can be confusing because they often involve laws that seem antiquated and difficult to apply. A personal injury attorney can help you determine which laws apply to your case and how to obtain compensation or benefits after a maritime injury.
The Jones Act often applies to river traffic workers and others who are injured on the job. While workers’ compensation generally applies state law to situations, the Jones Act is a federal law that applies in some situations. The goal is the same: to get you benefits after a workplace injury.
If you are a seaman, then the Jones Act may apply to you. Seamen include crewmembers and captains to spend a significant amount of time working on a vessel that is in navigation and their work contributes to the work of that vessel. This may apply to workers on water and at dock.
There are many maritime law requirements to determine if you can get benefits under the Jones Act. It’s best to work with a personal injury attorney who can guide you through a claim.
What Should I Do If I Suffer Injuries During an Accident?
If you are in an accident, it’s important to preserve your evidence. Once you are out of danger, you should:
- Immediately contact law enforcement and cooperate with their investigation,
- Seek necessary medical attention (and follow your doctor’s orders),
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries,
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved (such as a negligent driver or the property owner),
- Get witnesses’ names as well as contact information,
- File a claim with the correct insurance company,
- Collect information that supports your claim (such as medical bills and records and proof of your lost wages),
- Give your doctors and the insurance company accurate information about your accident, your symptoms, and your ability to do daily activities, and
- Educate yourself about both your rights and responsibilities by speaking with a personal injury attorney.
Proving a Personal Injury Claim
A successful personal injury claim has evidence showing:
- The other party was negligent,
- This negligence caused your injuries, and
- You have damages (such as wage loss, pain and suffering, and medical bills).
While your statements are very important in a personal injury claim, you must also have other evidence. The insurance company will need information from your employer, police reports, and corroborating witnesses. Moreover, medical records and opinions are incredibly valuable evidence — make sure you treat consistently with your doctors and follow their recommendations. When you work with a personal injury attorney, your lawyer will help you compile and present all of this evidence.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Sometimes, the insurance company refuses to pay your claim — even after intense negotiation. In these cases, you must file a personal injury lawsuit. Kentucky personal injury claims involve strict filing deadlines. If you do not file a lawsuit within these deadlines, you will not get compensation for your injuries. To file a lawsuit, you must file a series of forms (including a complaint) with the court and serve these documents on the other party. Once your complaint is properly served, the negligent party must respond to your lawsuit. Next, your personal injury attorney will litigate your claim. This involves compiling, exchanging, and reviewing evidence, negotiation, and a series of court hearings.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
You can’t use a simple online calculator to estimate your personal injury claim’s worth. Instead, its value is based on a complicated analysis of the severity of your injuries, your ability to recover, your financial losses, and your pain and suffering. You also must fully understand the strength of your claim and the other party’s potential defenses. Without the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you might undervalue your claim and lose valuable compensation.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have questions about your legal rights, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. At Farmer & Wright, PLLC, we pride ourselves on personalized attention and fierce legal advocacy. We look forward to meeting you — contact us for a free consultation today.
Having an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney by your side will help to relieve your anxiety and allow you to give your best testimony. At Farmer & Wright, PLLC, we help individuals who are suffering from financial, emotional and physical stress. Please remember that injury claims are subject to statutes of limitation and other important deadlines. Keep track of all case-related documents and important information. Let the insurance company know you take your rights seriously.