DO I HAVE A CASE?
Personal injury claims come in all varieties, but there are two basic features that they all have in common:
- Liability – The legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions; and
- Damages – The amount of money that a plaintiff may be awarded in a lawsuit.
If you can show that a 3rd party is liable for the damages you sustained, which is typically due to some form of negligence, you can be awarded compensation for your loss.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE?
Black’s Law Dictionary defines negligence as, ” The omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do. or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do.”
In other words, negligence occurs when a person causes emotional or physical harm to another through their actions or inaction that are considered unreasonable by a typical and reasonable person.
The 4 elements that must be shown to prove negligence in a personal injury claim:
- The defendant owed a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- That breach resulted in harm to the plaintiff
- The harm was a foreseeable consequence of the breach (proximate cause)
HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
Determining the value of a case can be a very complex task. There are many factors that are weighed when trying to determine the value of a case. That is why it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to get a better understanding of your case.
Types of Damages and Compensation:
- Medical Costs
- Pain & Suffering
- Punitive Damages
- Loss of Consortium
- Lost Wages & Earning Capacity
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM?
Most personal injury cases have a Statute of Limitations of 2 years. That means that suit must be filed within two years from the date of the date of injury or your case will be forever barred. 12 O.S. § 93 (OSCN 2018).
It is important to note that a Statute of Limitations of 1 year likely applies if your case is against a political subdivision. 51 O.S. § 156 (OSCN 2018).
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
Austin S. Pieratt Esq. charges on a contingency basis. A contingency fee is an agreement between you and your lawyer in which the lawyer agrees to only get paid if you win your case. Therefore there are no fees unless you win!
HOW DO SETTLEMENTS FOR CAR ACCIDENTS/ PERSONAL INJURY CASES WORK?
Settlements are paid out of the insurance company’s checkbook and usually come in a lump sum. Insurers don’t designate different amounts for different things, like a jury may do. Insurers pay one sum.
Out of that amount will come a car accident attorney’s fee and payments for medical bills. The rest goes to the client for things such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
WHY HAS THE HOSPITAL FILED A LIEN AGAINST ME?
Medical liens, including hospital and physician liens, allow the doctors who treat you to take a part of your insurance settlement. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on how to protect yourself from these liens.
CAN YOU TAKE ON AN INSURANCE COMPANY WITHOUT A LAWYER?
You could, but it’s not a good idea.
Insurance companies are businesses trying to make money. You may think the insurance company is doing the right thing, but the insurance company wants to do everything possible to limit their liability and give you the smallest payout possible.
Furthermore, if suit must be filed the court will expect you to know the rules and procedures, and the other side will take advantage of you.
An individual with no formal legal training will likely get steamrolled. You need an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you.
If you have further questions call Austin S. Pieratt Esq. at 405-551-5109 to schedule an appointment today.