Personal Injury FAQs

Being a victim of an injury can be a stressful, confusing and difficult time. Karns Law Group is here to help provide clarity for some of the unknown. Below we answer common question that injury victims often have after an accident.

If I suffer an injury what should I do?

Depending on the degree of injury, gather as much information as you can. If an auto accident occurs, make certain the police have been called and that you find out how to obtain a copy of the police report. Make sure you get the names of all parties involved and witnesses. If you have a cell phone, take pictures of all the vehicles involved. For any type of injury case, attempt to ascertain all the facts that you can, including where the injury occurred, listing of all parties involved, and witnesses. If your injury is serious, make certain that an ambulance has been contacted. Whether or not you go by ambulance to the hospital, seek immediate medical care at a hospital, medical walk-in, or your physician if you are injured.

How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?

If you have been injured as a result of someone making a mistake, what the law calls negligence, then chances are you have a personal injury case. This can include someone operating a motor vehicle negligently and striking you or your car, a dog on the loose that bites you, falling on defects or substances that should not be left where they are, a physician making a mistake, or any type of negligence that causes your injury.

When should I contact a lawyer and what type of lawyer should I contact?

If you suffer an injury that is the result of someone's fault, you should contact a lawyer immediately in order to ascertain your rights and, most importantly, nail down all of the facts and gather all of the evidence. If an auto accident occurs, it is very important to get pictures of the motor vehicles involved and the scene. If a slip-and-fall accident, it is extremely important to attempt to get pictures of the scene and pictures of what caused you to fall. It is extremely important to contact a lawyer who is experienced in personal injury law.

What do I have to pay the lawyer?

Personal injury lawyers, including our law firm, do not charge for representing the injured victim on a personal injury case unless successful. The amount that is paid is a percentage of the recovery. You receive no bill for services as the case progresses and at the end of the case, the law firm is paid a percentage only. In addition, our law firm does not ask for reimbursement of expenses unless we are successful and then expenses are paid out of the settlement, including the cost of obtaining medical records and bills, and any other expenses incidental to the case.

Should I speak with the insurance company directly?

This is not a good idea, and you should never speak to any insurance company directly and should always go through your lawyer. Speaking to the insurance company directly can never benefit your case and it can only benefit the insurance company.

How long will my personal injury case take?

This answer depends greatly on the degree of your injury and damages, including how long your medical treatment continues, if working, how long you will be out of work, and how long it will take to get the doctors opinion as to the degree and permanency of your injury. In addition, if there are complications regarding who was at fault or the relationship of all of your injuries to the accident, this can prolong the case as well. Usually, a simple case without a lot of complications, can take one to 1/ ½ years. A more complex case can take up to three years or longer.

Should I document what I am going through?

It is very important to keep a diary of what your injuries are and what pain you are suffering. It is also important to keep a listing of expenses, including mileage going to the doctors and therapy, etc. It is also important to document the time you were out of work. In general, it is important to document the interruption in your lifestyle, including inability to do sports or other personal and social activities you miss out on. Keeping a diary or listing of all of these facts is very important when proving the damages in your case.

Will I have to file a lawsuit and go to court?

Often times, cases can be settled without filing a lawsuit, getting into litigation and certainly without going to court. However, note that if the case will take longer than three years due to complications, it is important to put the case into a lawsuit as there are statutes of limitations that limit the length of time you can pursue your case without it being placed into a lawsuit. In addition, if there are other obvious complications, including who was at fault or the relationship of your injuries to the accident, then the case should be placed into a lawsuit so that your lawyer can use the litigation to prove who was at fault and what injuries are related to the accident.

What can I claim for compensation or damages?

There are many damages that can be collected from a personal injury case, including the following:

  • Medical bills for treatment you have had;
  • Medical bills you can reasonably expect in the future;
  • Payment for permanent injuries;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Lost earnings;
  • Emotional distress and resulting mental disabilities, including anxiety and depression;
  • Loss of personal, social and athletic activities;
  • If a family member is affected by your injuries then they can recover as well;
  • Property damage;
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, including transportation charges and other things if you must pay to have them done around your house such as housecleaning or maintenance.

The above is a listing of some of the damages that can be collected. Certainly, in some cases, there are others.

Learn more about how Karns Law Group handles personal injury cases>