Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases

November 1, 2012

Auto Accidents, Dog Bites

Frequently asked questions about personal injury casesDo I need a Personal Injury Attorney and How Long Do I have to Contact One? 

If you’ve been in an accident and have only suffered damage to your personal property – meaning a vehicle needs repaired or replaced – then it is probably safe dealing with the insurance company on your own.  Insurance companies have valuing cars down to a science (See Article on How Much Is My Car Worth?), and will usually completely repair or replace your vehicle.  The wise time to contact an experienced personal injury attorney is when you suffer injury as a result of your car accident.  A personal injury attorney has plenty of exposure to insurance adjusters and is trained to obtain you fair compensation.  If you decide to retain an Ohio personal injury attorney, generally, you have 2 years from the date of your accident/injury to file a lawsuit.  That being said, the sooner you contact an attorney after your accident, the better.

What Role Does Medical Treatment Play In My Case and How Should I Document It?

Medical treatment is an essential portion of a personal injury claim.  The key is not over-visiting doctors, but simply receiving ongoing and consistent medical care until you have completely recovered from your injuries.  If the injuries are relatively minor, perhaps a few visits to your family doctor and a chiropractor are necessary.  However, if your injuries are severe, your treatment may include emergency room bills, ambulance rides, extensive physical therapy and even surgery.  Even if you require frequent care, you shouldn’t worry about obtaining records and saving copies of bills – your personal injury attorney will gather those documents during the course of your representation.  However, it is helpful if you keep names and dates of all facilities and doctors you see, so the attorney knows who to request records and bills from.

How Do I Value My Personal Injury Claim and How Much Time Will This Process Take?

Valuing your personal injury claim comes down to two categories:  Special and General Damages.  Special Damages include damaged property, lost wages and past/present/future medical bills – those tend to be concrete and easy to determine.  General Damages are a bit more complex, and include things such as handicaps, disfigurement and pain/suffering.  Different insurance companies use different formulas to determine this figure – to make sure you’re receiving what you deserve, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney.  Once you contact the personal injury attorney, you may wonder how long it will take to have your matter settled.  This timeline depends on the severity of injury, the course of treatment and the speed with which providers respond to requests.  Your attorney can have requests for all your bills and records out in a day – however, it may take significantly longer to receive them back.  Also, dealing with an insurance company takes quite a bit of time and can be difficult.  Finally, if a claim ends up in a lawsuit, the timeline will expand.

Once My Claim is Settled, How Long Does It Take to Get a Check?

This question depends on the insurance company your personal injury attorney is dealing with, and where it is located.  As a general proposition, once a settlement is reached, a check should be received by your attorney’s office within 2-3 weeks.  If the case was in litigation (filed as a lawsuit), it may take more time as the settlement has to be run through the court system.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, or suffered a dog bite anywhere in Ohio, contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free case evaluation and a free consultation from attorneys experienced with Ohio automobile accidents and dog bites.  Learn what actions you can take to recover compensation for a car accident, dog bite, personal injuries and damages.  Call 1-800-297-9191 or contact us through our website: slaterzurz.com or dogbitesohio.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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