When an accident occurs, it can leave you confused and frazzled. Filing a personal injury claim will help you hold the responsible party accountable and recover damages. However, these cases can be challenging to understand. The guide below will answer your questions and make the process simpler.
What Should I Know About Personal Injury Cases?
How do I know if I have a case?
Generally, if you were injured because of someone else’s actions, you likely have grounds to file a personal injury claim. After an injury occurs, see a doctor, write down as much as you remember about the incident, and seek an attorney's opinion. They’ll be able to use the information to determine if you have a case and what parties should be held responsible.
It may take days or even weeks for you to fully grasp the severity of your injuries. That’s why, according to Title 35, Ch. 516, Sec. 516.120 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, you have up to five years to file a claim.
What damages am I entitled to?
Personal injury cases take into account your lost wages and the cost of your treatment (including home assistance and physical therapy), property damage, and medical help you might need in the future.
You may also have permanent physical damage or depression and anxiety following the traumatic event. Missouri will take your pain and suffering into consideration, which will compensate you for the loss in your quality of life.
Should I settle for the insurance company’s offer?
Most cases are settled outside of court. The defendant’s insurance company will likely reach out to you with an offer. Often, they’ll do this before you’re fully recovered, or the extent of your injuries is fully understood. Insurance companies do this to reduce the amount of money you can collect.
If an insurance company makes an offer, speak with your attorney before making a decision.
What if the accident was partially my fault?
If you were partially at fault for the incident, you could still recover monetary damages. Missouri uses a pure comparative fault rule, meaning that your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault you have in your case.
For example, it’s determined that your damages are $50,000. However, you’re 20% responsible for the accident. 20% will be taken from your $50,000, allowing you to collect $40,000.
Even if you were 99% responsible for the incident, you would still be entitled to 1% of your damages.
If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of another, your focus should be on healing. The professional attorneys at The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh, LLC will focus on your case. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law, they have helped their clients recover the damages that they deserve. For more information on their practice areas, visit their website. If you’re in the Ava, MO, area, schedule an appointment at (417) 683-2987.