Personal Injury FAQ

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Kansas or Missouri personal injury claims involve a Kansas or Missouri accident where another person or company is at fault. If your accident happened in Kansas or Missouri, usually Kansas or Missouri laws will apply. The legal theory usually involves negligence but there are other laws that are used depending on the facts of your personal injury case. We have experienced lawyers with the law needed to help you achieve the results you want in your personal injury case.

Can I handle a claim without a lawyer?

Many people attempt to start a claim thinking they can handle it without a lawyer. Usually they believe they will save themselves money if they don’t get a lawyer. It might be true from time to time that handling a case without a lawyer could save you money. However, there are plenty of situations where knowing if you need a lawyer can be quite difficult. For this reason we offer you a free initial appointment to help you decide if you need a lawyer. You can call a lawyer in our firm and we will happily answer your questions. We can then set up an appointment for you to come into the lawyer’s office if you need additional help. Our lawyers can often answer your initial questions over the phone and help you see if in the long run you will be better off with a lawyer on your side.

Is it worth hiring a personal injury lawyer?

That all depends upon the facts of the case and the lawyer you’re going to hire. There are some cases where you’re going to get the same amount from the insurance company regardless of what you do or whether or not you share the settlement amount with your lawyer. It’s still usually worth your time and effort to go ahead and call a lawyer. Most firms offer free consultations and will give an initial case evaluation call for free.

What do you need to know before you hire a personal injury lawyer?

Every personal injury case has three things in common: liability, injuries, and insurance. If one of those things isn’t present, there will be slim possibility of a recovery. Liability means that the other person involved in the accident was at fault; they’re the one who caused the accident. The second thing required for a personal injury case is real injuries. These injuries will need to be verifiable through medical records and the diagnosis of a medical professional. The third thing required is insurance. If there’s no insurance policy available to pay a settlement, it can be difficult to recover damages. There are times when recovery can come from a defendant’s personal assets or from uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own car insurance policy, but recovering damages in this way can be a complicated process. You will definitely need to speak with an attorney to help you navigate those processes.  If one ore more of those three things are missing: liability, injuries, or insurance, then the there is little chance of a financial recovery.

What questions should you ask a personal injury lawyer before you actually hire him?

Ask him about his experience. Ask him whether he’s familiar with these types of cases. Ask him whether he’s handled these types of cases before. Ask him for his opinion of your case and its likely outcomes. Talk a little bit about how that particular firm’s process for working through cases, and what you can expect from that attorney and their staff. Those are just a few of the things that you should talk about.

How should you prepare for a lawyer’s consultation?

Bring us all the relevant documents. It’s very important that we have all the information you’ve collected to that point. You may not have to gather additional information. The lawyer may do that for you. If you have the accident report, bring that in. If you have photographs from the accident, bring that in. You need to be straightforward and honest with the lawyer because he needs all the information before he can give you an accurate opinion on your case. If you have additional question for your attorney, don’t hesitate to call him, and don’t leave the conference until you’re sure you understand his opinion and your position as it relates to that claim. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/#!/

What’s your particular case worth in a typical personal injury case?

If you have good liability and you go to court, the judge and the jury is going to be reviewing the amount of the medical bills, the amount of the out of pocket expenses, what the future disability holds, how it impacts you and limits your ability to make a living for yourself and your family, and any other ways your injury has impacted your family. They will also evaluated whether or not you have pain and suffering, how long you suffered, and what the future medical bills are going to be. Before a case makes it to court the value of your case is based upon estimates of how much a judge and jury would award to you based on all of those same factors. This usually works out in a negotiation process between you, the insurance company, and your respective attorneys. That’s the initial value of your case. It may be discounted some if the liability is poor, and it may be changed if there are other reasons to settle the case.

Should you settle your case or go to trial?

A lot of that depends upon the nature of your case and the amount of the damages, but basically your lawyer is going to evaluate whether or not you’re going to win the case. Of course, if you’re not going to win at trial, you really don’t want to go to trial. On the other hand, even if you think you may win the case, you may also want to settle because once you file the lawsuit, that trial is not going to be right away. It may be a year, maybe two years down the road. There’s a lot of things that has to happen after the case actually gets filed. The decision as to whether or not you settle depends on whether or not the offer is reasonable, whether it fully compensate you. There may be a small discount to the insurance company in settling because you’re getting the funds now as opposed to later, but going to court can be costly and time intensive.  So keep all those things in consideration.

Why should I work with Patton & Patton?

The lawyers of our firm have years of experience. Don’t go up against an experienced insurance agent without your own lawyer. There are too many situations where you can be confused and actually hurt legally without a lawyer. The lawyers in our firm are friendly and understand that you need quick answers. Our lawyers work hard to make sure you understand complex issues so you can make a good decision. We have lawyers in our firm who have extensive personal injury litigation experience in helping individuals just like you. Give us a call for free case evaluation. Call (785) 273-4330 or in the Kansas City area (913) 228-1440.

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