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Uncloaking The Process: Personal Injury Consultations
A personal injury event can be a life-altering event. Even relatively minor personal injuries have consequences. If you suspect that your life is going to be disrupted by coping with the limitations resulting from injury, treatment and recuperation, it just makes sense to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. If your injury results from a motor vehicle accident, it makes sense to consult with someone who has handled hundreds of such cases – in the same way, you would consult an orthopedist for your shoulder surgery, rather than your longtime family doctor. Join us today as Attorney Eric T. Kirk explains, uncloaking the process: personal injury consultations.
The process of courts begins with an inquiry from the injured person- verbal or written. Typically, the responding attorney will take in the pertinent details, analyze what is important, and formulate a plan going forward to get the inquirer the appropriate remedy. This necessarily involves an analysis of rights that flow from a personal injury event.
The injured person is of course entitled to have their medical bills paid for. They are of course entitled to compensation for their last wages. If the injured person is without a car, they might be entitled to compensation for rental expenses, or for alternate transportation. They are also entitled to an award for non-economic damage. Such payment is designed to compensate the victim for those intangible losses not subject to ready calculation. Examples here would be things such as physical or emotional pain or turmoil. Distress or embarrassment. Physical scarring. Humiliation. All of these components, unique to each injury, must be cataloged and analyzed.
The inquirer likely has some expectation that they will be given a summary of their legal rights, at least to the extent that such legal rights are apparent at the time of the call. What the injured person may not know, and indeed may find surprising, is that they also have legal obligations in this scenario. Those injured at the hands of another through no fault of their own may indeed question why there is a need for them to do anything. At all.
Communicating With Insurance
Anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident must advise the insurance company of the event. The other driver might make claims that are based on a different perception of the event. Your insurance company has a right to investigate the accident. The injured person likely has the right to first-party/medical payments/personal injury protection benefits under their own policy, and such claims typically have to be quickly filed and pursued. Without timely notice, your insurance company may take the position that you have prevented them from properly investigating the claim, and deny you import benefits and protections.
Perhaps the classic unfolding scenario is one in which a driver, sure that the other person was at-fault, does not report the incident, perhaps because they believe “their rates will go up”. In this unfortunate example, assume the other driver has a much different version and wins in court. The driver who failed to report the claim will be denied insurance coverage, i.e., payment, for the judgment that has been entered against them.