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FAQ

  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • What are 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 process.

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