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  • Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions (FAQs) and Answers

    Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions (FAQs) and Answers

    March 10, 2024 | Car Accidents, Compensation, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents, Workers Compensation

    Personal injury terms, FAQs, and definitions

    The legal system is constantly changing and full of rules, terms, and stipulations most people are never forced to know or understand.

    To make matters even more complicated, laws and regulations vary state-to-state, so just because you heard something was legal or illegal in one state doesn’t necessarily mean it is illegal in another.

    If you think you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, you probably have an infinite amount of questions you would like answered.

    As a personal injury lawyer, I have spent years consulting with clients and answering their questions. Because of this, I have created a list of questions I am frequently asked, followed by simplified answers or opinions to these questions.

    What types of cases does a personal injury lawyer handle?

    A simplified definition of a personal injury lawyer is an attorney who helps individuals receive compensation for injuries or illnesses sustained due to an accident or negligence.

    Some of the most frequent personal injury lawsuits involved:

    What does “you don’t pay unless we win your case” mean?

    Unlike most legal industries (and industries in general), the services of many personal injury lawyers are offered on a “You don’t pay unless we win your case” basis.

    This means they don’t charge you hourly for consulting or researching and the only compensation your personal injury lawyer will receive is a percentage of your settlement or verdict should they win your case.

    What percentage of my personal injury settlement does my attorney get?

    Since most personal injury lawyers offer “contingency fees” (often referred to as You Don’t Pay Unless We Win Your Case), they will get a percentage of the settlement amount.

    The percentage the personal injury lawyer will get varies on things like the type of case, the size of the firm, or how long it takes the case to settle or go to trial. In most cases, you can expect your personal injury attorney to charge between 20% and 40%, depending on type of claim or injury you have.

    Can I hire a personal injury lawyer whose office is not in my state?

    If you live in St. Louis, Missouri, and you are injured while on vacation in Florida, your first thought would probably be to hire a personal injury attorney in Missouri. While this seems like the easiest way to proceed, it is a bit more complicated than that.

    In most cases, you will be required to file a lawsuit in the state where the accident occurred. Attorneys are required to be admitted to a state’s bar before they can handle a case in that state. This is the case for not only personal injury lawyers but all types of lawyers in the United States.

    However, that does not mean there is no way for your preferred local injury attorney to represent you in your case.

    Attorneys are allowed to apply for a Limited Law License in any state which, if granted, would give them the ability to represent you in the state where the accident took place.

    How should I find the best personal injury lawyer for my case?

    This answer to this question is more of an opinionated one and will vary depending on who you ask. Some of the basic steps you can take to finding an attorney include:

    • Asking people you trust for recommendations
    • Search online for local personal injury attorneys to find reviews and verdicts
    • Schedule free consultations to meet with attorneys

    For more information, read our guide on The 5 Steps to Finding the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

    What are the statute of limitations on a personal injury case?

    Like the statute of limitations for every lawsuit or charge, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits vary from state to state.

    In the United States, statute of limitations range from one year to six years depending on the state where the injury took place. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident is 5 years in Missouri (or any other injury-related lawsuit) and two years for medical malpractice claims and workplace injuries.

    Louisiana and Tennessee have the shortest amount of time you can file an injury lawsuit at one year while Maine, Minnesota, and North Dakota have the longest at six years.

    Do personal injury attorneys handle workers’ compensation cases?

    As stated above, personal injury lawyers may “specialize” in one or several practice areas but many handle any sort of injury case. Most personal injury lawyers also handle workers’ compensation cases.

    Workers’ compensation is one of the practice areas in which personal injury attorneys specialize. Having said that, chances are, “workers’ compensation attorneys” will also represent individuals for other injury cases as well.

    Can I sue after a car accident?

    Yes, if you have been involved in a car accident, you have the option to file a personal injury claim to seek additional compensation. This can happen if the at-fault driver’s insurance provider is refusing to pay you the amount you deserve or if they are only required to pay, say $25,000 but your property damage and/or other expenses like medical bills exceed that amount.

    What type (or how much) compensation can I expect after a car accident?

    Another common concern is, “What compensation can I expect from a car accident lawsuit?” The amount of compensation you may receive in a car accident lawsuit varies based on several factors, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term disabilities or disfigurement. Your attorney will assess all the damages and seek the appropriate compensation on your behalf.

    For more information, you can see our article about the average car accident settlement in Missouri.