Personal Injury FAQs

Personal Injury and Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Car Accidents / Motorcycle Accidents

Do I need an attorney or should I try to handle my claim on my own?

An attorney can often obtain more money for your claim than you can obtain on your own. It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests. The job of your attorney is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Your attorney's sole job is to work on your behalf and fight the insurance company, in court if necessary, to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

In cases where you have a severe injury, (broken bones, surgery, scars, a head injury, or other permanent injury), and in cases which involve criminal activity (hit and run, driving under the influence, driving under suspension, reckless behavior, or violations of laws and regulations, etc.), it is critical to retain an attorney to ensure that you are receiving the full value of your claim. Under these and other exceptional circumstances, you may be entitled to an award of punitive damages in addition to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney knows when to make a claim for punitive damages on your behalf.

In addition, you may be entitled to a recovery under multiple policies of insurance provided by other insurance carriers, including your own, who my provide coverage applicable to your claim. The attorneys at this firm have years of experience handling personal injury cases. We know how to assess the value of a case and we know how to locate other sources of recovery for you. This is where the services of an attorney prove to be most valuable. It is critical that you consult with an attorney prior to signing any document presented to you by an insurance company. Without an attorney, you may be signing away your right to additional compensation for your injuries.

The insurance company wants to send someone to my house to write me a check and settle my case.  Should I accept the money?

It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly and for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests.

Insurance companies often send adjusters directly to your home with a checkbook in hand within days or hours of your accident. They know you are at your most vulnerable at this time. They want to settle your claim before you can consult an attorney or even a doctor regarding your injuries. Under Connecticut Law you have two years within which to bring your claim. Thus, there is no reason to feel pressure to accept a quick or unreasonable settlement offer. Take your time, consult your doctor and seek the advice of counsel before accepting any money or signing any documents from the insurance company. Once you sign a release, your claim is over. If you change your mind, or your injuries worsen, the insurance company will not be responsible for any additional payment on your claim.

The insurance company wants me to give them a recorded statement. Should I do that?

Recorded statements are taken for the sole purpose of utilizing your own words against you at a later date. Even a seemingly innocent comment can be misconstrued and can be used to deny payment on your claim. These statements are recorded to preserve your testimony for use at trial. Under no circumstance should you ever provide a recorded statement without first seeking the advice of an attorney. In many instances, the recording can be avoided.

The insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization. Should I do that?

Unlimited medical authorizations enable insurance companies to obtain and investigate your most personal information to include medical records, employment records, educational records, and financial records. They are used to find evidence which in many instances the insurance company will use against you to deny payment or reduce your recovery. Under no circumstance should you ever provide an unlimited authorization to an insurance company without first seeking the advice of an attorney. When you retain an attorney, the attorney will obtain only the records necessary to support your claim and will provide only those documents to the insurance company in order to protect your privacy.

What is my case worth?

Every case is different. The value of your case will turn on a variety of factors which your attorney can assess to determine a range of acceptable settlement values. The severity of your injury, the length of your medical care, the amount of damage to the vehicles involved in the collision, the amount of your medical expenses, the conduct of the defendant, and the jurisdiction in which your case would be filed, all play a critical role in determining the ultimate value of a claim.

You cannot determine the value of your case based on a simple formula nor should you evaluate your case based upon stories of settlements obtained from unreliable sources or even settlements obtained by friends and relatives under different circumstances. No two cases are alike and each should be evaluated on its individual merits by an attorney with experience in handling personal injury claims in your area.

Premises Liability / Slip and Fall Claims

I was hurt on someone else's property. Do I have a claim?

In many instances you do. Premises liability cases are some of the most difficult cases to pursue. For this reason, the specifics of your injury should be carefully evaluated by an experienced attorney. Contrary to popular belief, a person who is injured on another person's property is not necessarily entitled to compensation for his/ her injuries. In order to obtain a recovery in South Carolina, it is necessary to prove that the owner of the property was negligent and that their negligence caused your injury. This negligence can be shown in a variety of ways based on state law, but must be supported by specific facts and evidence.

 

Do I need an attorney or should I try to handle the claim on my own?

An attorney can often obtain more money for your claim than you can obtain on your own. It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests. The job of your attorney is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Your attorney's sole job is to work on your behalf and fight the insurance company, in court if necessary, to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

In cases where you have a severe injury, (broken bones, surgery, scars, a head injury, or other permanent injury), and in cases which involve criminal activity or reckless behavior, it is critical to retain an attorney to ensure that you are receiving the full value of your claim. Under these and other exceptional circumstances, you may be entitled to an award of punitive damages in addition to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney knows when to make a claim for punitive damages on your behalf.

 

The insurance company wants to send someone to my house to write me a check and settle my case. Should I accept the money?

It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly and for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests.

Insurance companies often send adjusters directly to your home with a checkbook in hand within days or hours of your accident. They know you are at your most vulnerable at this time. They want to settle your claim before you can consult an attorney or even a doctor regarding your injuries. Under the laws of your state, you may have a period of years within which to bring your claim. Thus, there is no reason to feel pressure to accept a quick or unreasonable settlement offer. Take your time, consult your doctor and seek the advice of counsel before accepting any money or signing any documents from the insurance company. Once you sign a release, your claim is over. If you change your mind, or your injuries worsen, the insurance company will not be responsible for any additional payment on your claim.

The insurance company wants me to give them a recorded statement. Should I do that?

Recorded statements are taken for the sole purpose of utilizing your own words against you at a later date. Even a seemingly innocent comment can be misconstrued and can be used to deny payment on your claim. These statements are recorded to preserve your testimony for use at trial. Under no circumstance should you ever provide a recorded statement without first seeking the advice of an attorney. In most instances, the recording can be avoided.

The insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization. Should I do that?

Unlimited medical authorizations enable insurance companies to obtain and investigate your most personal information to include medical records, employment records, educational records, and financial records. They are used to find evidence which in many instances the insurance company will use against you to deny payment or reduce your recovery. Under no circumstance should you ever provide an unlimited authorization to an insurance company without first seeking the advice of an attorney. When you retain an attorney, the attorney will obtain only the records necessary to support your claim and will provide only those documents to the insurance company in order to protect your privacy.

 

What is my case worth?

Every case is different. The value of your case will turn on a variety of factors which your attorney can assess to determine a range of acceptable settlement values. The facts surrounding your specific injury, the severity of your injury, the length of your medical care, the amount of your medical expenses, the conduct of the defendant, and the jurisdiction in which your case would be filed, all play a critical role in determining the ultimate value of a claim.

You cannot determine the value of your case based on a simple formula nor should you evaluate your case based upon stories of settlements obtained from unreliable sources or even settlements obtained by friends and relatives under different circumstances. No two cases are alike and each should be evaluated on its individual merits by an attorney with experience in handling personal injury claims in your area.




Wrongful Death Claims

Do I need an attorney or should I try to handle the claim on my own?

Wrongful death claims can arise from a variety of sources; car accidents, tractor trailer collisions, slip and falls, nursing home neglect, day care neglect, etc. Regardless of the type of negligence which brought about the death of your loved one, these are serious claims which should be handled by an experienced attorney. Wrongful death claims and survival actions typically involve instituting legal actions in both the Probate Court and the Superior Court. Therefore, knowledge of how to handle claims in both courts is particularly important. Additionally, all settlements involving the death of an individual must be approved by the Court at a special hearing. The insurance company paying your loved one's claim will hire an attorney to represent the insurance company's interests in court at this legal proceeding. They will not retain an attorney on your behalf to ensure that your loved one's interests are protected. Thus, it is critical to retain counsel as soon as possible after the loss of your loved in order to fully protect the rights of their Estate and their beneficiaries.

In addition to the reasons listed above, an attorney can often obtain more money for your loved one's claim than you can obtain on your own. It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests. The job of your attorney is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Your attorney's sole job is to work on your behalf and fight the insurance company, in court if necessary, to obtain the best possible outcome for you. Your loved one's Estate and its beneficiaries may also be entitled to an award of punitive damages in addition to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and ultimately, the loss of life. An attorney knows when to make a claim for punitive damages on your loved one's behalf.

In addition, your loved one's beneficiaries and Estate may be entitled to a recovery under multiple policies of insurance provided by other insurance carriers, who my provide coverage applicable to the claim. The attorneys at this firm have years of experience handling wrongful death and personal injury cases. We know how to assess the value of a case and we know how to locate other sources of recovery for you. This is where the services of an attorney prove to be most valuable. It is critical that you consult with an attorney prior to signing any document presented to you by an insurance company. Without an attorney, you may be signing away your right to additional compensation for the loss of your loved one.

*Survival actions are claims for the conscious pain and suffering of your loved one from the time of the accident until the time of death.

The insurance company wants to send someone to my house to write me a check and settle my case. Should I accept the money?

It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests.

Insurance companies often send adjusters directly to your home with a checkbook in hand within days or hours of an accident. They know you are at your most vulnerable at this time. They want to settle your claim before you can consult an attorney. Under the laws of your state, you may have a period of years within which to bring your claim. Thus, there is no reason to feel pressure to accept a quick or unreasonable settlement offer. Take your time and seek the advice of counsel before accepting any money or signing any documents from the insurance company. Once you sign a release, the claim is over. If you change your mind, the insurance company will not be responsible for any additional payment on your claim. Additionally, you may subject yourself to claims by other beneficiaries for failure to properly pursue the claim on behalf of the Estate.

The insurance company wants me to give them a recorded statement. Should I do that?

Recorded statements are taken for the sole purpose of utilizing your own words against you at a later date. Even a seemingly innocent comment can be misconstrued and can be used to deny payment on a claim. These statements are recorded to preserve your testimony for use at trial. Under no circumstance should you ever provide a recorded statement without first seeking the advice of an attorney. In most instances, the recording can be avoided.

The insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization. Should I do that?

Unlimited medical authorizations enable insurance companies to obtain and investigate the most personal information of your loved one, to include medical records, employment records, educational records, and financial records. They are used to find evidence which in many instances the insurance company will use against you to deny payment or reduce the recovery on the claim. Under no circumstance should you ever provide an unlimited authorization to an insurance company without first seeking the advice of an attorney. When you retain an attorney, the attorney will obtain only the records necessary to support the claim and will provide only those documents to the insurance company in order to protect the privacy of your loved one.

What is my case worth?

Every case is different. The value of your case will turn on a variety of factors which your attorney can assess to determine a range of acceptable settlement values. In cases resulting in death, an attorney will make both a Survival Action* claim and a Wrongful Death claim. The value of each claim depends on many things, including the length of the medical care proceeding the death, the amount of any medical expenses, the conduct of the defendant, the age of your loved one at the time of death, the earning capacity of your loved one, educational and employment background, and the jurisdiction in which your case would be filed, and many other factors.

You cannot determine the value of your case based on a simple formula nor should you evaluate your case based upon stories of settlements obtained from unreliable sources or even settlements obtained by friends and relatives under different circumstances. No two cases are alike and each should be evaluated on its individual merits by an attorney with experience in handling personal injury claims in your area.

 

Dog Bite / Animal Attack Claims

Do I need an attorney or should I try to handle the claim on my own?

One of the most significant hurdles in a resolving dog bite claim is locating insurance. Unlike automobile insurance, there is no public data source like the DMV from which to search for homeowner's insurance coverage. Many dog owners are unwilling to provide their insurance information to a person who was injured by their dog. If the dog owner is uncooperative in providing insurance information, or if they have no insurance at all, the injured person's only chance of recovery is through the filing of a lawsuit against the owner of the animal.

If insurance is located, an attorney can often obtain more money for your claim than you can obtain on your own. It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests. The job of your attorney is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Your attorney's sole job is to work on your behalf and fight the insurance company, in court if necessary, to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

In cases where you have a severe injury, (broken bones, surgery, scars, a head injury, or other permanent injury), it is critical to retain an attorney to ensure that you are receiving the full value of your claim. Under other exceptional circumstances, you may be entitled to an award of punitive damages in addition to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering and scarring. An attorney knows when to make a claim for punitive damages on your behalf.

The attorneys at this firm have years of experience handling dog bite claims and other personal injury cases. We know how to assess the value of a case and we know how to locate sources of recovery for you. This is where the services of an attorney prove to be most valuable. It is critical that you consult with an attorney prior to signing any document presented to you by an insurance company. Without an attorney, you may be signing away your right to additional compensation for your injuries.

Is it true that Connecticut has a "one bite rule"?

No. In some states, before you can collect for injuries sustained from a dog bite, you must show that the dog had dangerous propensities and had bitten someone before he bit you. There is no such rule in Connecticut. In fact, Connecticut law requires most dog owners to pay for any injuries resulting from injuries caused by their pets.

The insurance company wants to send someone to my house to write me a check and settle my case. Should I accept the money?

It is the goal of every insurance adjuster to minimize claims payouts to increase the profits of the company. Adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. Therefore, the goal and purpose of an insurance company is in direct conflict with your best interests.

Insurance companies often send adjusters directly to your home with a checkbook in hand within days or hours of your accident. They know you are at your most vulnerable at this time. They want to settle your claim before you can consult an attorney or even a doctor regarding your injuries. Under the laws of your state, you may have a period of years within which to bring your claim. Thus, there is no reason to feel pressure to accept a quick or unreasonable settlement offer. Take your time, consult your doctor and seek the advice of counsel before accepting any money or signing any documents from the insurance company. Once you sign a release, your claim is over. If you change your mind, or your injuries worsen, the insurance company will not be responsible for any additional payment on your claim.

The insurance company wants me to give them a recorded statement. Should I do that?

Recorded statements are taken for the sole purpose of utilizing your own words against you at a later date. Even a seemingly innocent comment can be misconstrued and can be used to deny payment on your claim. These statements are recorded to preserve your testimony for use at trial. Under no circumstance should you ever provide a recorded statement without first seeking the advice of an attorney. In most instances, the recording can be avoided.

The insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization. Should I do that?

Unlimited medical authorizations enable insurance companies to obtain and investigate your most personal information to include medical records, employment records, educational records, and financial records. They are used to find evidence which in many instances the insurance company will use against you to deny payment or reduce your recovery. Under no circumstance should you ever provide an unlimited authorization to an insurance company without first seeking the advice of an attorney. When you retain an attorney, the attorney will obtain only the records necessary to support your claim and will provide only those documents to the insurance company in order to protect your privacy.

What is my case worth?

Every case is different. The value of your case will turn on a variety of factors which your attorney can assess to determine a range of acceptable settlement values. The severity of your injury, the length of your medical care, the amount of your medical expenses, the conduct of the defendant, the history of aggression by the animal, and the jurisdiction in which your case would be filed, all play a critical role in determining the ultimate value of a claim.

You cannot determine the value of your case based on a simple formula nor should you evaluate your case based upon stories of settlements obtained from unreliable sources or even settlements obtained by friends and relatives under different circumstances. No two cases are alike and each should be evaluated on its individual merits by an attorney with experience in handling personal injury claims in your area.