If you were involved in an accident, you likely have many questions. How will you be able to afford your medical expenses in addition to your normal bills? How long will it take for you to recover from your injuries? What will you do if you are unable to return to work? While filing a personal injury claim can answer some of these questions, it can also open the door to more concerns. Most people have never had to navigate the legal system before and, therefore, are not sure what to expect.
At Wagner Reese, we understand that the process of filing a personal injury claim can be daunting. With this in mind, we have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about personal injury claims.
You can browse our personal injury FAQs here or, for more information, visit any of our personal injury FAQ pages:
- Brain injury FAQs
- Car accident FAQs
- Truck accident FAQs
- Value of your semi-truck accident
- Wrongful death guide
If you don’t see your question here or you are wondering about specifics regarding your case, reach out to the Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese for a free consultation. We can be reached online or by phone at (888) 204-8440.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
Your attorney can speak with you about this, but even attorneys can’t necessarily pinpoint what your case is worth until it is close to a resolution. Many factors—including the circumstances of the accident, the state of the drivers involved, and the insurance companies—influence the outcome. So do your medical bills, your loss of income, and the nature of your injuries. An experienced lawyer can work with you to decide whether to pursue legal action and how to proceed.
Do I have to go to court if I want to recover monetary damages?
Maybe. Your case may settle even before your attorney files a lawsuit; on the other hand, it may go all the way to a trial and a jury verdict. The majority of lawsuits are settled before they get to trial, but what happens in your case depends on the facts, the law, and the parties involved.
What's meant by the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations refers to the need to file a lawsuit within a time limit. In Indiana, most injury cases, such as auto accidents or slip-and-fall claims, have a two-year statute of limitations—but not all. Some lawsuits, such as lawsuits against the government, require a notice within a shorter period of time. The time begins to run when a cause of action accrues. A good example is someone negligently running into your car. The statute of limitation begins on the day of the accident. This issue can become more complicated, however. Sometimes, you have no way of knowing that you have a cause of action for years, such as discovering ill effects from taking a medication or being exposed to chemicals. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney and doctor if you suspect that you are having problems but don’t know for sure if it relates to the negligence of another or an unreasonably dangerous product.
Can I talk to you about my case for free?
Absolutely; we are more than happy to talk with people about their case without charging a fee for the consultation. Even if it is a case that we are not able to take for some reason, we can often make suggestions about what the caller can do or refer them to other legal resources that may be able to provide assistance.
What am I entitled to recover after an accident?
You may be entitled to a number of different types of damages under Indiana law. Some of the more common types of damages in accident cases include reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost earnings, reduced earning capacity in the future, future medical expenses and prescriptions, pain and suffering, and permanent impairment.
How much will I have to pay for you to handle my case?
Like most personal injury law firms, our fee is taken as a percentage of the recovery that is made and paid at the time of settlement. If a lawsuit is filed on your behalf, the percentage usually increases, due to the increased amount of work required in prosecuting the lawsuit. However, if we are unable to recover money for you, you do not pay us anything. The actual fee charged in your case will depend on the circumstances of our case and can range anywhere from 20-40 percent.
What if I hired another attorney and I no longer want them to handle my case?
If you already hired another attorney to handle your personal injury or wrongful death case and you are not happy with their services, the first thing you should do is try to work through the problems with that attorney. Lack of communication, disagreement over the amount of a potential settlement, and lack of attention to your case are the reasons we most frequently hear as to why clients are unhappy with their current attorneys. It is very important to be comfortable and confident with your attorney, however. If you have tried but failed to work things out, you have the right to switch attorneys. Your prior attorney may assert a “lien” for attorney fees and expenses incurred on your case, but our firm policy is to pay that lien out of our attorney fee if you switch attorneys. In other words, you have the right to switch attorneys and it will not cost you anything to do so.