When an injury occurs that is caused by the fault of another party, you could be left with long-term, serious, and costly repercussions. These injuries can change your life, affecting your ability to do your favorite activities, return to work, or even care for yourself. You may also be coping with stress and anxiety of injuries too, especially as you try to figure out how you will pay for your medical bills or continue to support yourself and your family if you are unable to work. Filing a claim and dealing with insurance companies or any other parties who may be involved can be extremely taxing.
When you are coping with an injury that is the result of someone else’s negligence, the experienced Louisville personal injury attorneys at the Harville Law Office, PLLC, can help you get through the claims process, and hopefully emerge with your full damages amount in hand.
Our Personal Injury Practice Areas
We focus on all negligence-based cases, which means that our personal injury practice areas include:
- Car accidents;
- Slip and falls;
- Truck accidents;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Workplace accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- ATV accidents;
- Sports injuries;
- Nursing home abuse and/or neglect; and
- Defective product cases.
We are prepared to fight for you if have suffered any type of spinal injury or traumatic brain injury as well. We understand how devastating these types of injuries can be, and our law firm will not back down when it comes to recovering the amount of damages that you deserve to pay for the full value of your economic and noneconomic losses.
Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
Negligence is the common thread in most personal injury claims.
The basic premise of negligence is that each person owes another person a duty of care. That duty of care changes based on the situation. For example, the owner of a property has the duty of care to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition; and the manufacturer of a product has a duty of care to ensure that the product is reasonably safe for consumer use.
When a person neglects the duty of care they owe to another party–i.e. fails to repair a dangerous condition on a property, or manufactures a dangerous product–they have breached the duty of care, and can be found negligent. When a plaintiff proves that a duty of care existed between themselves and a defendant, that the defendant breached the duty of care, and the breach was the proximate cause of the injury, and that the plaintiff has suffered actual damages, the defendant can be held liable for those damages.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
It is very difficult to say how much a case may be worth without a thorough investigation into the case and a review of the evidence first. However, you do deserve to be compensated for the full amount of economic and noneconomic damages you have suffered. Economic damages include things like your medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and future costs directly associated with your injury.
Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate, as these damages are for things like pain, suffering, and emotional distress. How much you will receive in noneconomic damages is typically affected by the extent of your physical injuries.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
Before you initiate a personal injury case, you may have many questions about what to expect during the process and how long it will be before you receive a settlement offer that you feel good about accepting. It can be impossible to predict exactly how long a personal injury claim may take to settle, as each claim is very unique. In general, the timeline of a personal injury case looks something like the following:
- Step one – Getting medical treatment. This step should be initiated immediately, but could take days, weeks, or months to complete depending upon the extent of your injuries. You should not file a claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement.
- Step two – Hiring an attorney. The next step should be to hire an attorney. You should schedule a free consultation with an attorney to understand if you have a case and what might go into it.
- Step three – Gathering evidence. Once you hire an attorney, they should go to work immediately collecting evidence for your case. This step could take awhile.
- Step four – Settlement negotiations and filing a suit. Your attorney will contact the insurance company and demand a settlement on your behalf. This is where settlement negotiations begin. To strengthen your case, your attorney will present any evidence gathered in step three and may call upon experts for testimony. Settlement negotiations can take weeks or months to resolve, especially when claims are highly valued. This is one of the longest parts of the personal injury claims process. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, the next step will be filing a personal injury lawsuit. If your case goes to trial, you may spend many more months, or even more than a year, preparing for court.
Each step above can take a different amount of time. In most cases, the claims process is settled and complete in less than one year, but this is not always the case.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
In order to have a valid claim in the state of Kentucky, you must make sure that you file your case within the state’s personal injury statute of limitations. This time limit is put in place to ensure that defendants are protected from having unfair and unreasonable lawsuits brought against them years after the fact. The statute of limitations also encourages plaintiffs to act quickly, which may also aid in the preservation of evidence.
In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is a mere one year from the date of injury for most injuries. There are is some variation depending on the type of injury, so make sure to act quickly and speak to a lawyer who can help you understand the statute of limitations in your situation. For auto accidents, that timeline is two years from the date of the accident or the date of the last no-fault payment. If the victim dies from the accident, the statute of limitations begins on the date of the person’s death rather than the original date of the injury. This law, found in Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 413.140, means that if you wait more than one year’s time from the date of your injury to file your claim, you will be barred from recovering damages.
The Cost of a Personal Injury Case
Another frequent question that clients ask our Louisville personal injury law firm is how much their case–and our legal services–will cost. This is a wise question, as pursuing a personal injury lawsuit on your own, especially if you need to hire experts and pay court fees, can be very expensive.
However, when you work with the Harville Law Office, PLLC, our talented personal injury lawyers manage all upfront costs of your personal injury case on your behalf. Our fee is based on a percentage of your final settlement, and is contingent on you actually getting a settlement. This means that if you don’t recover a settlement, our lawyers don’t get paid. This system helps to keep the costs of pursuing a personal injury claim affordable for everyone.
The Best Personal Injury Attorneys Have Experience
The claims process can be tricky to navigate, and if you have been injured, you may not even know if your injuries warrant filing a personal injury claim or whether you have a strong case. Understanding your rights during the personal injury claim process, the value of your claim, and how to maximize a settlement amount are all essentials; working with a personal injury attorney who has experience is equally as important. Insurance and personal injury laws can change and evolve over time, which is why you want to work with an attorney who not only has years of experience under their belt, but is also aware of the ever-changing legal landscape and how to stay abreast of developments. You also want to work with someone who takes your case and your injuries seriously – this is your life, and your future is on the line.
Contact Our Law Offices Today for Your Free Consultation
At the Harville Law Office, PLLC, our talented and compassionate Louisville personal injury attorneys want to help you. We care about the outcome of your case, and are confident in our ability to competently guide you through the claims process and aggressively represent you when dealing with insurance adjusters.
We know that you probably have a lot of questions. For a free consultation where you can learn more and receive answers to all of the legal questions you have, please contact our law firm today. You can reach us online, or by calling us directly.