Personal Injury Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How do I know if I have a valid personal injury claim?

A: If you have been harmed through someone else's fault, and you act quickly enough to protect your rights, the chances are very good that you have a valid personal injury claim. In order to succeed in a personal injury case, the injured party usually must prove the injury was at least partly the fault of someone else who is financially viable. This, however, does not require proof that anyone meant to cause harm. On the contrary, most valid cases do not involve anything more than innocent mistakes or momentary lapses in attention.

Sometimes, a personal injury claim may be filed even if you were partly at fault in causing your own injury because many states allow partially at fault injured people to still recover at least some damages. However, the more fault that is attributable to the injured party, the lower the recovery, and if the injured party's fault is significant enough, that party may lose their right to compensation.

I have just been injured, what should I do?

A: There are many things to consider, such as getting proper medical care, preserving evidence, reporting to the police, deciding whether to hire a personal injury lawyer and, if so, finding qualified legal counsel. A qualified personal injury lawyer will be a skilled negotiator and should possess the skills and resources needed to aggressively pursue the maximum result for each client's unique circumstance.

Should you speak to the adverse insurer? What do you say if you do?

A: Many personal injury cases have been harmed by unprepared people saying the wrong things to insurance companies. Insurers have highly skilled professionals representing their interests. Many people think about avoiding litigation by promptly settling their legal claims. This is where qualified personal injury attorneys with substantial settlement and trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases can make a big difference. And typically a personal injury lawyer's fee will be based on a percentage of what is recovered in a lawsuit, so the attorney and the client have aligned financial interests.

If an insurance claims professional contacts you, you may wish to politely inform him or her that your family is represented or intends to hire an attorney and your attorney will be in touch with them. It is likely the claims professional will understand and respect this answer, and will generally not be surprised by your desire to seek legal representation.

What kinds of damages can be recovered in a personal injury case?

A: Personal injury laws vary state by state, but most provide compensation for economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages, and also noneconomic losses like pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement and emotional distress. However, some states place limits on what can be recovered for noneconomic losses, and there are many variables that come into play in figuring out what damages are and are not legally compensable. Nevertheless, in personal injury cases, money is often available to compensate for:

  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
  • Disfigurement and permanent scarring
  • Physical disability
  • Mental or emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

What does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?

A: In a personal injury case, clients usually do not pay any money upfront to the attorney, and there is no hourly fee. Instead, the attorney is paid a percentage of the amount recovered at the time the case is concluded. This is referred to as a contingent fee arrangement. The percentage can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, although a one-third contingent fee is probably the most common. Additionally, the personal injury law firm you are working with will usually pay all necessary out-of-pocket expenses subject to a right of reimbursement without interest at the conclusion of the case, sometimes before, and sometimes after the contingent fee is calculated. In a contingent fee arrangement, if there is no financial recovery in a lawsuit there is no fee paid to the attorney.

If I recover damages for my personal injuries, is that money taxable?

A: Amounts recovered for personal injuries caused by the wrongful or negligent conduct of another are generally not taxable.

If I bring a personal injury lawsuit, will I have to go to court?

A: You might, and it is essential that you be prepared to do so. However, many personal injury cases are settled out of court. Qualified personal injury attorneys must possess and apply the skills required not only to fully and properly litigate your claim through trial and appeal if necessary, but also to negotiate for a settlement for the compensation you deserve without a trial. Because any case might proceed to trial, it is essential that you choose an attorney qualified to represent your interests and protect your right to recovery in front of a judge and jury. Moreover, trial qualified attorneys with a track record of success are usually more feared by the insurers and able to obtain better out-of-court settlements for their clients than attorneys who lack these qualifications.

What should I look for in choosing a personal injury attorney to represent me?

A: There are a lot of personal injury attorneys out there, and it's important to know what separates the attorneys qualified to handle your claim from those who are not. Some of the main factors include:

  • RESOURCES REQUIRED TO LITIGATE YOUR CLAIM: Pursuing a personal injury claim can be costly. From the gathering of evidence to obtaining experts needed to assure that you prevail on your case, the expenses mount quickly. A qualified personal injury attorney must have the resources necessary to cover those costs. A personal injury attorney who has both experience as well as a record of recovering outstanding results on behalf of the client is more likely to have the resources to ensure superior preparation and litigation of your claim.
  • EXPERIENCE: To ensure a higher chance of prevailing on your case, it's vital to select an attorney with advanced experience in litigating the complex area of personal injury.
  • DEDICATION AND DILIGENCE: It is in your best interest to select an attorney who dedicates the bulk of his or her practice to personal injury cases. Also, be sure to choose an attorney who can offer you the individual attention you need. In doing so, you can ensure your claim is being handled by an attorney with the proper, qualified knowledge required to successfully litigate your case, and also that your claim will be thoroughly prepared and represented — not ignored because of an attorney's high caseload.
  • RESULTS: Finally, you should seek out an attorney who has a reputation for achieving the maximum recovery for his or her clients. Oftentimes, the defendant in a personal injury case will be a corporation or insurance company. Those types of defendants have highly skilled defense attorneys who work hard at preventing their clients from having to pay. A personal injury attorney with a history of securing exceptional results for clients is the type of attorney you want handling your personal injury case.

Why is Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., the right law firm to handle a personal injury case?

  • Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., attorneys have an outstanding record of success representing clients with personal injury cases, including claims arising from aviation negligence, medical malpractice, product liability, semitruck and motor vehicle negligence, workplace injuries and construction accidents.
  • Our personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators; however they are also highly experienced litigators who are not afraid to take a case to trial.
  • Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., has an established and constantly expanding network of expert resources to aggressively pursue the best outcome for our clients under their unique circumstances.
  • Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., exclusively represents individuals who have suffered severe injuries and families who have lost loved ones as the result of the negligence of others.
  • Our personal injury lawyers and legal support staff take great pride in delivering personalized legal service while never losing focus of what matters — our client.

Will I have to pay a fee to have an attorney at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., review my case?

A. No. If you feel that you or a loved one may have a personal injury lawsuit, rest assured that there is never a fee to have the circumstances reviewed by one of our experienced attorneys.

What is the best way to contact a lawyer at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C.?

A. You may email a personal injury lawyer at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., directly. If you prefer to telephone a lawyer, our toll-free number is 877-216-4213. Or, you can begin by simply pressing the " contact us" button in the upper right-hand corner of this web page.