Will I be responsible for any costs or fees if Attorney S B Kaufman takes my case?
If Attorney S B Kaufman takes your case, you will not be responsible
for any court costs or fees of any kind associated with the development and prosecution
of your case unless we are successful in recovering on your behalf. Under those
circumstances, those costs and fees are deducted from the gross proceeds of the
settlement or jury verdict, and returned to the firm.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
It is very difficult to set a dollar amount on the injuries you
may have suffered in an accident. There are so many things to consider like doctor’s bills, time lost from work,
medical costs for ongoing injuries, pain and suffering, and so on. Insurance companies take all of them into
account when deciding how much to offer, and ultimately pay out for a personal injury claim.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
First, you must have suffered an injury to your person or
property. Second, you should consider whether your injury was the result of someone else’s fault. It is not always
necessary to have a physical injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims are often based on a
variety of non-physical losses and harms. In the case of an assault, for example, you do not need to show that a
person’s action caused you actual physical harm, but only that you expected some harm to come to you. You
also may have a case if someone has attacked your reputation, invaded your privacy, or inflicted emotional
distress upon you.
Do all Personal Injury claims go to trial?
No. In fact, most Personal Injury claims are settled with the
insurance company of the party the “at-fault”.
Who can I sue to recover my damages?
In some cases, an accident victim may be able to sue parties other
than the at-fault driver. For example, if the at-fault driver did not own the car, the car’s owner may also be liable
for your damages. If the at-fault driver was impaired from consuming too much alcohol, you may be able to bring
a “dram shop” complaint against a business that served alcohol to the driver even though he was visibly
impaired. In some cases, you may be able to bring an action against another party, such as an automobile
manufacturer or construction company, if a defect in the vehicle or the roadway caused the accident. If the
accident involved a tractor-trailer, the driver’s violation of rules and regulations may be the basis for a lawsuit
Will I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many motor vehicle accident cases are concluded without even
filing a lawsuit. Most lawsuits are settled without an actual trial. A settlement avoids the costs and delays of a trial
and may result in a greater net recovery. However, if the case cannot be settled on satisfactory terms, it may be
necessary to try it in court.
Where will the money come from to compensate me?
The at-fault party’s insurance typically pays for your
damages in many states. If you are in a no-fault state, your own insurance may pay for some of your damages. If
the at-fault party is not adequately insured, your own insurance policy may contain coverage that will
compensate you for your injuries.
How much time
do I have after an accident to commence a lawsuit?
The law regarding statutes of limitations are complex and can depend upon not only
who the defendant is but the circumstances under which the personal injury was sustained.
The length of the statute of limitations can also depend upon whether or not the
injured person was a minor. As a general proposition, intentional torts, such as
assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or libel and slander have a
one-year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for dental, medical,
or podiatric malpractice is two-and-a-half years, although there are exceptions
to this rule, which could extend the period of time. Negligence actions that arise
out of automobile accidents or injuries that occur on a premises, have a statute
of limitations of three years. Where the defendant is a municipality or a subdivision
of a municipality, a notice of claim must be filed, usually within ninety days,
before a lawsuit can be commenced.
the chances that my case will settle?
Statistically, ninety to ninety-five percent of all personal injury cases settle.
At Attorney S B Kaufman, if we take your case, we develop and prepare the case
as if it is going to be tried so that if it does not or cannot settle, then we are
fully prepared to go to court on your behalf.
What should I bring
with me when I meet my lawyer?
In preparing for your initial consultation with your attorney, you should attempt
to put together as many records that you have pertaining to your accident. For example,
in the case of an automobile accident, you should bring with you a copy of the police
report, photographs of your car (if you have them), the names and contact information
of any witnesses that you have become aware of and copies of any medical records
you may have resulting from your treatment. Any information that you may have pertaining
to the other driver’s insurance is also quite useful. In the event that you don’t
have any of these documents, your attorney will see to it that they are obtained.
What can I expect during my initial consultation?
During an initial consultation, your attorney will take a history from you to determine
that circumstances under which you have been injured and the nature of the medical
care that you have received as a result of your accident. As part of the history
taking process, your attorney will determine whether you have had any previous or
subsequent accidents or injuries that could effect the extent to which your current
injuries may have been aggravated by your recent accident. Because medical records
are privileged, you will be asked to sign medical authorizations permitting your
attorney to gather the medical records, which document your course of treatment,
and may also ask you to sign an employment authorization so that your work records
can be obtained where appropriate. During the initial consultation, there will be
no discussion concerning what your case may be worth because such a discussion at
the earliest point in a client’s matter is premature.
How soon after an accident should I contact a lawyer?
One of the most important jobs of your attorney is to conduct a prompt investigation.
Your attorney’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances
giving rise to an injury can be greatly hampered if a client chooses to not seek
an attorney promptly. For example, when cars are badly damaged, and an insurance
company "totals" them, they are taken to a salvage yard, and in a fairly
short period of time, they are sold, which prevents an attorney from documenting
the physical condition of the vehicles. If a client falls as a result of a defective
staircase or defective sidewalk, it is important to document the physical condition;that
caused the fall before repairs are made. It is in the client’s interest that the
advice of any attorney be obtained as soon as reasonably practicable after an accident
so that important evidence is preserved for future use later on during the litigation