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Personal Injury Law: Questions and Answers

1.       How do I know if I have a personal injury claim, and what must be proven to win a personal injury lawsuit?

A:       Personal injury is an area of civil law that seeks to compensate a person with money damages for physical and/or emotional harm suffered as a result of a someone else's negligent or wrongful conduct. In order to prevail on a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove the following: (1) that you were injured; (2) that it was someone's conduct, whether intentional, negligent or a violation of a statutory duty, that caused your injuries; and (3) that your injuries resulted in damages. Additionally, in order to recover in some instances, you must be able to prove that any fault attributed to you for your injuries is not greater than the fault of the defendant.

2.       I have just been injured. What should I do if I am considering filing a claim for personal injuries?

A:       Without question, the most important thing you should do after being injured is immediately seek medical attention and document your injuries. Even if you think your injury is minor, it is essential to both your health and the preservation of your claim that you seek a medical evaluation. Injuries that seem minor at the outset can manifest themselves as major in the future, especially internal injuries that only a medical professional can detect. Additionally, official medical documentation of your injuries will be required as a part of litigating your claim.

           After obtaining medical treatment, the next important step is locating and consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney qualified to handle your claim. Litigating a personal injury case is costly and complex. The personal injury attorney you choose to represent you must have both the resources and experience required to prevail on your claim.

3.       What kinds of compensation can be recovered in a personal injury case?

A:       Depending on the extent of your injuries and the law that governs, you may be entitled to recover for many of the losses and expenses you faced as a result of your injuries, including:

  • 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
  • additional, out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of your injuries

4.       How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?

A:       In a personal injury case, clients do not pay any money up front to the attorney, and there is no hourly fee. Instead, the attorney's fee and expenses involved in litigating the claim are compensated by a calculated percentage (usually one-third, depending on the circumstances) of the total recovered for your claim.

5.       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.

6.       If I bring a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, 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 resolved and settled before the trial confrontation. Trials can be long and costly. Experienced personal injury attorneys possess the skills required to fully and properly litigate your claim while at the same time working to recover the compensation you deserve in a reasonable amount of time. If your case does 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.

7.       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 that dedicates the bulk of his or her practice to personal injury cases. Also, be sure to choose a personal injury attorney that 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 case load.

          •     RESULTS:  Finally, you should seek out an attorney that has a reputation for achieving the maximum recovery for his or her clients. Often times 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.

          After you have suffered serious personal injuries, there is no time to waste with attorneys who are not qualified to handle your case or recover for you the compensation you deserve. The personal injury lawyers at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., are dedicated to handling your personal injury case with the expertise, skill and individual attention you deserve. We realize that as a client who has been severely injured, you need to focus on your health and recovery - not whether your lawyers are protecting and litigating your claims to the absolute fullest. The exceptional experience and outstanding reputation possessed by the attorneys at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., speak for themselves, providing you the peace of mind that your interests are in the most qualified, best possible hands.

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