In the stressful and emotional time following an accident, it is important to know how to protect your legal rights and options. In this section, the personal injury attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher provide answers to frequently asked questions about being involved in an accident and pursuing a personal injury claim.
- What should I do if I’ve been in an accident?
- How much is my case worth?
- Can I recover compensation for pain, suffering and emotional distress?
- How long will it take to resolve my case?
- What if I have an accident claim, but I don’t want to go to trial?
- Who pays if I win my personal injury claim?
What Should I Do if I’ve Been in an Accident?
First, call 911 for medical care if anyone has sustained an injury and also request assistance from the police. Begin recording as many details as you can at the scene of the accident. If possible, take pictures of the accident and write down the names and contact information of any witnesses. In the days and months following the accident, document everything you do or experience that is related to the accident, including the dates of any medical treatment, who provided your treatment and any time taken off work. Also document any instances of pain, anxiety, sleep loss or other ailments you experience. Once you contact your insurance company, keep phone messages and emails, and make sure every correspondence with the insurance company or adjuster is in writing.
How Much is My Case Worth?
While there is no quick answer for how much a personal injury case is worth, it is often possible to determine a reasonable settlement range for a claim after a client’s medical condition has stabilized. At Bohn & Fletcher we look at factors such as:
- The severity of the injuries
- The chances that the other party will be found liable
- The availability of insurance or assets from the negligent party
- The amount of medical bills and the cost of future treatment needs
- Wage or income losses due to absences from work
- What settlements or verdicts other people have received for similar injuries
These factors help us determine how much compensation you are likely to be awarded for your injuries.
Can I Recover Compensation for Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress?
Often people focus only on their out-of-pocket losses after an accident, and only seek to recover these economic losses. However, being seriously injured impacts a person’s life in more ways than just incurring medical bills and missing work. When someone is injured, lives are typically changed whether for a few months or forever. Injuries can also affect relationships with others. Friendships or family bonds can become strained because of a person’s new physical limitations and the additional demands on loved ones that often result. In many cases, the harm to the person and their life is much greater than the harm to their pocketbook. The attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher understand this, and can help you recover compensation for the pain, suffering and emotional distress resulting from an accident.
How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Case?
Every personal injury case is different, and the length of time it takes to resolve a case depends on many factors, such as:
- The nature and extent of the injury
- The length of treatment and number of doctors involved
- Whether the case is settled informally, litigated or goes to trial
- The extent and availability of insurance coverage
Like you, we prefer cases to resolve as quickly as possible, so long as full and fair compensation is obtained. Unfortunately, insurance companies and defense attorneys often delay if they cannot outright deny a claim. Our attorneys work to resolve cases in our clients’ best interests, considering both time and available compensation, with the primary objective of achieving the best result possible for you.
What if I Have an Accident Claim, but I prefer Not to Go to Trial?
Most cases do not require a trial in order to resolve as they are usually settled with the negligent party’s insurance carrier. However, if trial is necessary, we prepare you for the process and make sure your rights are protected the entire time. With decades of trial experience we can guide you through the legal process step by step, and are more than willing to take cases to trial. However, we listen to our clients, and if after hearing our advice you choose not to go to trial, we will honor your decision.
Who Pays if I Win My Personal Injury Claim?
Some accident victims are concerned about pursuing a personal injury claim against someone who does not have a lot of money or resources. At Bohn & Fletcher we are not out to financially harm people or businesses. To the contrary, we work tirelessly to better peoples’ lives and society as a whole. In nearly every case we file, and virtually all of those that proceed to trial, the defendant has insurance. When a defendant has insurance, the insurance company hires a lawyer for the defense and pays for any judgment or settlement. In other words, the money you recover comes from an insurance company, not from the individual. In these situations the defendant has insurance specifically for the purpose of paying damages caused by negligence. As a result, you generally do not have to worry that the other party’s personal assets will be at risk.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, do not hesitate to contact Bohn & Fletcher to find out how we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. We proudly serve clients throughout the Bay Area and California, including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, San Francisco, Palo Alto and other nearby communities.