Basic aspects of a personal injury claim

What are some basic aspects of a personal injury lawsuit?

When someone has been seriously injured or killed in a vehicle accident, a lawsuit is often filed to protect the rights of the injured party. Since the law can be difficult to understand, and since a personal injury lawsuit can be complicated, here is information to provide a basic understanding of the process and terminology.

What is a personal injury case?

A personal injury case is a legal dispute that begins when one person suffers harm due to the actions of someone else. Sometimes the dispute is settled prior to the launch of a formal lawsuit. Other times, a suit is filed if the parties involved cannot agree to an insurance settlement.

What is an insurance settlement?

An insurance settlement is the payment from an insurance company to the insured to settle an insurance claim within the guidelines determined within the insurance policy.

How does an insurance policy affect a personal injury claim?

When someone is injured in an accident, the insurance policy of the at-fault driver is required to pay for the person's injuries, including the cost of medical treatment and surgery, rehabilitation, lost work and wages, damaged property, and other costs. An insurance policy will only pay to the limit of its value, known as the policy limit. Even if the injured person's medical bills total $50,000 but the insurance policy limit is $25,000, then only $25,000 is available in insurance coverage. The injured person's own insurance policy also can pay towards that person's recovery. Go to this link for more comprehensive information on insurance policies.

What are damages?

In a personal injury case, money damages are paid to the injured person by the person or their insurance company, who is determined to be at fault for the accident or injury. A damage award is agreed upon during a negotiated settlement, or during a court trial.

What are statutes of limitations?

Statutes of limitations are written laws that restrict the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings can be initiated. Once this period of time has passed, a claim can no longer be filed.

It is important to know the statute of limitations in the state that an accident or injury occurred, and that the resulting legal claim be filed within the timeframe allowed, to ensure that an injured victim's rights are maintained.

Go to this link to see the statute of limitations in each state.

How will an injury attorney help with an insurance claim?

An experienced personal injury attorney helps by overseeing all aspects of the insurance claim process so that the injured person can focus on healing and getting life back on track. A lawyer handles all stages of the claim from gathering information and handling correspondence with all involved parties, to negotiating a full settlement. Since it typically costs nothing initially to consult with an attorney, the decision to bring a lawyer onboard is an easy one to make.

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Lexington, KY

Sue for Emotional Distress: Everything You Need to Know

The term emotional distress in Kentucky personal injury law refers to someone’s mental suffering due to another party’s negligent or intentional acts. It can lead to psychological and emotional trauma, and you will need strong evidence to convince a court of the severity and duration of your emotional harm. Learn more here...

Lexington, KY


Bodily injury liability insurance should pay when the policyholder causes a wreck and is responsible for another party’s injuries. However, insurance companies will try to settle a claim for the lowest amount possible. Learn more here...

Everett-Bellingham WA

Does size matter? In car v. semi crashes like this one, yes it does

A recent catastrophic accident involving two semi tractor trailers and six cars or pickup trucks showed how clearly large trucks have the advantage in an accident. However, does this mean cars are always going to lose in accidents with bigger vehicles? Increasingly, materials and engineering have leveled the field. Read more from Bill Coats Law in Bellingham, WA about top safety ratings for cars

Everett-Bellingham WA

Things not to say if you're pulled over for distracted driving

In the State of Washington, you can be pulled over if an officer thinks you're driving while distracted - even if you are doing everything else right. This is because this behavior is so incredibly dangerous - as much if not more so as driving drunk. For recent research on how risky distracted driving is and what not to say if you're busted for it, click here.

Everett-Bellingham WA

An often-overlooked key to winning settlements in personal injury cases

Negotiation, strategy, experience and skill - all of these qualities make a personal injury claim reach a successful verdict or settlement. But here is one key aspect that can easily be overlooked by personal injury attorneys working with injured people. Bill Coats Law, of Bellingham, Washington, is the top car accident law firm in the fourth corner and writes on this basic human quality that wins cases.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Do you protect this most precious asset while on the water? Probably not

Life jackets on a boat are a must for safety, but unlike riding a bike, no boater would think to don a helmet on the water. So often all that separates our brains from serious injury with a hard object is our skull. If you've been hit in the head and are experiencing symptoms of TBI, seek a doctor's help immediately. To recognize the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury, click here.

Everett-Bellingham WA

Every auto insurance policy should have this kind of protection

It's called uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, and all policies in Washington state are by law supposed to include it unless the policy holder specifically opts out. If your injuries and losses are more expensive than the at-fault driver's policy can cover, it's a critical part of your financial recovery after a car accident. Click to learn more.