When you're injured in an accident, not only are you hurt and worried about your recovery process, but you also likely have tons of questions about how the personal injury settlement process works. If you've found yourself in this situation, we've put this frequently asked questions blog together for you. We hope that this will help you find general answers. However, know that this blog and all other content on our website serve only as general information for a general audience. Every case and every client is different. The answers to your questions will depend on the specific facts of your case. As such, we urge you to reach out to our injury lawyers to schedule a free consultation and case review.
What Types of Costs Can I Recover in My Accident Settlement?
This question is huge. You're injured and sitting on a ton of new bills that just seem to keep coming. If you were injured as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to the accident-related expenses in your personal injury settlement. Some examples of damages or losses that may be recoverable in your case include:
Economic Damages - Financial damages sustained:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Home modification expenses (related to your injury)
- Home cleaning or maintenance costs (if you are unable to maintain your home because of your injury)
- Medication costs
Non-Economic Damages - Non-monetary damages sustained:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Severe physical pain
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
This is not a comprehensive list. Depending on your case and injuries, you may be entitled to other economic or non-economic damages. Your injury lawyer will help you calculate your losses.
Do I Even Have a Personal Injury Case?
Have you been hurt due to someone else's negligence? If the answer is “yes,” you likely have a case. The initial element to verify in an injury case is negligence. Just having an injury isn't enough to file an injury claim – the injury must have been caused by someone else's negligent or intentional misconduct. For instance, if a semi-truck driver runs a red light, causing an accident and injuries/damages to you, the driver has breached his or her duty to use reasonable care when operating his or her truck. According to the law, the truck driver would be deemed negligent (and potentially additional parties, too). If this negligence led to injuries and compensatory damages, a personal injury case exists. The three elements needed to establish a personal injury claim are:
- Negligence - The responsible party was negligent or careless
- Injuries - The responsible party caused injuries due to his or her negligence
- Damages - The injury resulted in harm (compensatory damages), such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc
How Much Time Will My Injury Case Take to Settle?
Every case is different, so it's difficult to tell how long each case will take to reach a settlement. However, your accident lawyer will be able to give you an educated estimate based on your case and his or her experience with similar cases and facts.
Should I Talk to a Lawyer?
While some people may think their accident is so minor that they don't need a lawyer, it's always a good idea to schedule a consultation with an attorney to make sure. The consultation is free, and if your case is really that minor, your lawyer will let you know. Getting a legal opinion will only help you.
In certain cases, having an attorney on your side is a must. Hiring a lawyer can help you in:
- Proving negligence
- Identifying and proving fault
- Increasing your compensation
- Protecting you from fault
- Protecting you from common insurance adjuster tactics to get you to settle for less
- Advising you on specifics with your case
- Communicating and negotiating with the insurance company and other involved parties
Further, claimants who hire lawyers often get larger settlements even after attorney fees are added in.
Where Should I Start?
There's so much to know that it's difficult to determine what you should do first once you've decided to take action to get your life back on track. After you've had initial medical care, you should consult an accident lawyer. This won't cost you anything – you won't pay our lawyers until we have secured a settlement or jury verdict for you. The initial consultation and case review are completely free. We'll review your case and let you know your best next steps based on your specific legal situation.
The information on our blog and website is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to serve as legal advice. For legal advice about your unique situation, call or text our car accident lawyers today.
We are located in Arizona and New Mexico. We serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa, and the entire state of Arizona. We also serve clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, Farmington, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and the entire state of New Mexico.