PERSONAL INJURY LAW
Forman, Clark, Pockell & Kalinski, P.A. prides itself on its effective handling of personal injury cases.
The following outlines the elements necessary to establish a successful personal injury claim and some important pointers.
Click here to see a list of Commonly Asked Questions
Liability and Damages
Personal injury claims must satisfy two elements:
* First, you and your lawyer must establish the negligence/liability or legal fault or responsibility of the other party or parties. Remember – you must establish liability in order to get to the issue of damages.
* Second, you and your lawyer must establish and prepare evidence on your damages and losses and how they were caused by the fault of the other party or parties.
2. Damages and Losses recognized by the law include: medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional distress and anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and spousal loss of consortium.
3. Insurance Coverage – Identifying what insurance coverage exists and the types and amounts of coverage relating to, and covering, each responsible party is very important.
4. Types of Personal Injury Claims:
* Auto / Motorcycle / Pedestrian / Bicycle
* Premises Liability / Slip and Fall / Snow and Ice
* Product Liability
* Medical Malpractice / Professional Malpractice
* Wrongful Death
* Dog Bites
1. It is very important to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. The insurance companies know the importance of getting out to the accident scene and contacting the injured person and witnesses as soon as possible. You should get legal representation to protect your interests and to begin preserving evidence and developing your case.
2. A review of all applicable insurance coverages, including your own, is very important. For example, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage are two very inexpensive coverages that most people have in their own automobile and/or homeowner’s policies that often go unrecognized and/or unexplored. These coverages can be of great assistance and value. This means that even if the person responsible for injuring you did not have enough insurance to pay for your injuries, your own insurance may cover your claim.
3. Doctors’ written statements and office notes are very important to establish the necessary “causal relationship” between the personal injury occurrence and the damages and losses claimed. If you treat with a doctor, you should not overstate, or understate, your injuries. Rather, you should tell your doctor exactly how you are feeling at each visit and how your injury has affected your life.
4. Obtaining any police reports and the names and addresses of any and all witnesses is important to establish liability.
5. The insurance company of a potential defendant will often seek to obtain a recorded statement concerning your injury and losses, especially in automobile and slip and fall cases. Beware of providing a recorded statement to an insurer who is representing a potential defendant because it may later be used against you. Because you have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance company (if you have insurance) you can provide your insurance company with a recorded statement. However, you should make sure that you are not on any medication when you do so and that you have a firm grasp of the facts concerning the issue of liability and your injuries and losses.