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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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Laredo, TX

I Am Still in Pain, but I Do Not Have Serious Injuries . Do I Have a Case?

I cannot tell you how many times a client was in a minor impact accident and “felt a little sore” only to find out they have significant injuries that would require surgery for them to fully recover. So when you are in a car accident and there might be minimal property damage and you feel pain, it’s best to seek medical attention so they can take a look and determine if you have injuries that need attention. 

Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

I’m Injured- Do I Have A Claim?

he best way to answer that question is that it depends on the specific facts and circumstance of the incident that led to the injury. While every injury and claim is different, there is certain information that can always be helpful when deciding what to do when you are injured, beginning with being familiar with different types of common injury claims.

Corpus Christi, TX

Should You Talk to Insurance Companies After Your Car Accident?

After being in a car accident, you may experience an unfortunate “15 minutes of fame” as all sorts of different people and parties want to talk to you. The other driver needs your information, paramedics will need to make certain you are okay, and the police might even show up to get a rundown on what led up to the collision. But there is one more group that will want to know about your car accident, and they are the one you might have to be the most careful about: insurance companies.

Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim and What to Expect

It is quite common for people who file personal injury claims to become restless and eager to see their case progress. However what a lot of people do not understand is that it is not as easy as 1-2-3. In fact there are many steps involved and it can take months before your case actually takes off and many more before anything can be settled. Learn more here about what to expect in your Texas personal injury claim.

Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX

Step-by-Step Process of How to File an Underinsured Motorist Claim

Typically, when handling a bodily injury claim for personal injuries sustained in an automobile collision or premises liability claim, there is more than one avenue for recovery. Liability insurance is the insurance coverage afforded by the other driver; the driver that caused the collision (i.e. “third party”). Underinsured/Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage afforded byyour insurance (i.e. “first party”). In a collision where injuries are sustained, the liability insurance is initially responsible for injuries sustained in the collision.

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

Here's one rule you need to be aware of before you settle your claim

There are lots of elements of a car accident claim that come into play when you try to file one. Some of them are obvious, and others are just big surprises. Attorney Bill Coats in Bellingham, Washington created this video to talk about one rule that could completely negate your claim if you exercise your right to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim. Be clear on your rights and responsibilities before you sign anything, and watch this video to learn more.

Everett-Bellingham WA

5 Tips for the first conversation with the insurance adjuster after a car accident

Many accident victims are nervous about their first contact with the insurance company’s adjuster, and justifiably so. Assuming anyone who was recently in a car wreck is dealing with injuries and emotional stress that come from a traumatizing event, it’s hard to think clearly through a claim negotiation. Here are some tips for that first contact with the insurance adjuster to help you advocate for yourself or a loved one and set the stage for financial recovery instead of further anxiety and financial stress.  

Everett-Bellingham WA

Pedestrian vs. Driver - who's at fault?

It’s unavoidable that motor vehicles and those on foot have to share the same roads sometimes. Almost every time that a collision occurs between them, the pedestrian receives far more damage – and sometimes dies – while the driver is unhurt. However, does this mean that it’s the driver who is also usually at fault? Sometimes it’s very clear who is at fault, such as in cases that involve drunk or distracted driving, or other illegal behaviors. Other times, it’s not so cut and dried. So how is fault determined in car accidents with pedestrians? Several factors come into play.