Frequently Asked Questions
As the victim of an accident, unsafe product, or another person’s negligent actions, you are likely experiencing a wide array of troubles, from physical pain and emotional trauma to financial burdens. Sadly, in addition to these numerous difficulties, many victims in these situations feel uncertain about their rights under the law and their options for pursuing justice. At Pohl & Berk, LLP, we believe that no one in Tennessee should miss out on the financial compensation and justice they need simply due to a lack of information. As such, we have provided the following list of frequently asked questions regarding accidents and personal injury claims, along with their answers.
You can reach us at (615) 277-2765 if you would prefer to speak with a member of our skilled team directly or if you need an answer to a question that is currently not listed here.
Should I just pay for the costs myself if I can?
Though the personal costs of being involved in an accident or sustain an injury/illness can be vast, some people wonder if they should just pay for these costs themselves, if they are financially able. They operate, generally, under a mindset that doing so will save them the trouble of filing a lawsuit. It’s completely up to you, of course, what to do, but personal injury law exists so that if someone else causes you injury or harm, that person is held accountable for his or her actions. Thus, it is always best to speak with an attorney from Pohl & Berk, LLP, about filing a claim and what it could mean for you.
What questions should I ask a lawyer I’m thinking of hiring?
When you’re thinking about hiring an attorney, there are several questions you might consider asking to see if he or she is a good fit for you and your case. Consider the following:
- Have you won cases like mine before? How many?
- What do you charge? Do you charge the same win or lose?
- How will I reach you during the case? Are you hard to get a hold of?
- What can you do about enforcing a court-ordered compensation?
These questions can give you a sense of how an attorney operates and what it will be like to work with them throughout the duration of your claim.
Can I sue for more compensation if I don’t get the amount I want?
No. You will not be able to sue the same person for more compensation, even if the compensation amount is not what you wanted it to be. It is because of this fact that you should carefully strategize with your attorney initially about the amount of compensation you should seek in your claim. By making sure you are seeking the amount that you will need initially, you can give yourself a better chance of actually getting that compensation should your claim be successful.
How much compensation will I receive from my personal injury claim?
There is no way to guarantee that you will win your personal injury case, nor is it possible to accurately predict how much compensation you will receive if you do win your case. Typically, it is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer regarding your situation so that he or she can help you determine what losses and damages you should seek. Depending on how you were injured and the consequences it has had on your life, the amount of compensation will vary.
How do I know how much compensation to seek in my personal injury lawsuit?
Knowing how much compensation to seek when filing a personal injury claim can be difficult for most people, especially as they don’t know what kinds of compensation they are eligible for. The compensation that a person seeks in such a claim will depend on their particular situation and is something that should be discussed with a knowledgeable attorney. Typically, a compensation award will include costs such as medical bills, lost wages, future expenses, emotional trauma, and more.
Why should I hire a lawyer?
Though it is certainly possible to represent yourself when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, this can be extremely time-consuming and difficult, and often results in the awarding of less compensation, or none at all. A lawyer will be knowledgeable about all the legal guidelines you need to follow, the nuances of filing a personal injury lawsuit, how to handle taking a case to court, and more. Without a lawyer’s help, you could make serious mistakes that put the financial compensation you need in jeopardy.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
This depends on when you were injured. Under Tennessee law, the statute of limitations, which is the time limit people have to file personal injury claims, states that victims have one year from the date on which they were injured in which to file a claim. However, there is a provision that a person has one year from the date the injury, illness, or wrongful act was discovered or should have been discovered to take legal action. Because the time period is so short, it is advisable to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
How long will my case take?
It is impossible to say for certain how long your case will take. The length depends on a number of factors, such as whether the defendant chooses to settle, the case gets taken to court, a decision is appealed, and more. The best way to get an idea of how long your case could take is to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney, who can better assess your situation.
What if I can’t pay my medical costs after an accident?
The medical costs that result from an accident are often high and sometimes even unmanageable. However, in certain cases others can be held responsible for those costs. If your accident was caused by another person or company, such as in a car accident, medical malpractice case, or through a defective product, then that other party may be held accountable for your medical costs. The best way to understand the possibility of pursuing financial compensation is to talk with an attorney about your legal options following an accident.
What is premises liability?
Premises liability refers to the responsibility a property owner has to make sure that a property is safe for others. This applies to both public and private properties. If a person is injured on someone else’s property and the property is found to be unsafe or the property owner was found to be negligent, then the property owner may be financially responsible for any costs that the injured person incurred as a result of the accident.
My child was injured at school. Do I have a claim?
Depending on the circumstances of your child’s school-related injury, you might have a claim for a personal injury case. If another person is responsible for the injury, whether directly or indirectly, then you would likely be able to file. For instance, if there was a failure in supervision and your child was injured as a result, then the negligent person could be held accountable. A normal bump or bruise from falling on the playground, however, probably wouldn’t yield you a legitimate legal claim. If you have any questions regarding your specific situation, it would be best to contact a personal injury attorney who can guide you through your legal options.
Do I need physical evidence to win my case?
Not necessarily, though physical evidence can be useful. For instance, if you have documentation of damages sustained to your property or your person, then this can serve as proof of those damages. Additionally, you might acquire and keep receipts for medical bills or repair costs that you face after an injury. These expenses can help a court determine the amount that you ultimately receive.
Should I blame a trucker or a trucking company for my accident?
It depends. Sometimes individual drivers commit errors that lead to a car accident, while at other times the problem is within the management of a trucking company. Trucking companies can be found negligent, when they fail to hire qualified people, fail to train employees properly and maintain vehicles, or require their drivers to exceed the hours of service regulations. But your attorney can best help you determine who is to blame for your accident.
What if I don’t have time to file a lawsuit?
Everyone is busy, and with today’s emphasis on quick service and even quicker results, you might think that you don’t have time to file a lawsuit after sustaining an injury. Many people have this attitude because they have misconceptions about their expected level of involvement. While it’s impossible to accurately say exactly how long your case will take, the bulk of the work is done by your attorney and legal team. So your case may not require that much time or work on your part.
When will I receive my compensation?
It is very difficult to know exactly when a person will receive financial compensation after winning a personal injury case, unless the case explicitly names a date. However, you can estimate the compensation collection date with the help of your attorney. Knowing more about when to expect your money can give you some peace of mind in the wake of an injury.
What if I had to replace a vehicle after an accident, do I have to pay for this?
Possibly. Car accidents quite frequently result in extensive property damage. If another driver was in fact the cause of the accident, then the other driver might owe you compensation for any repair or replacement expenses. However, sometimes personal injury cases do not result in the exact amount of compensation that you want. Because of this, it’s important to discuss the amount that you believe you should receive with your legal representative.
Does someone’s road rage entitle me to file a lawsuit?
If another driver causes you injury or expense in an accident, then you could be entitled to file a lawsuit. Drivers should operate their vehicles with everyone’s safety in mind. If someone fails to do this, by driving aggressively, then they could be held responsible for any damages that you sustain to your person or property.