Commonly Asked Questions in Personal Injury Cases
Our Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys Answer You
At Martin Jean & Jackson, Attorneys at Law, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers have collectively helped over 15,000 clients. In our many years of experience, we have learned some of the more common questions people have when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Below you will find some valuable information to help you get started.
We are also available to answer your questions directly. Just call one of our offices:
- Tulsa: (918) 623-4119
- Stillwater: (405) 384-7887
- Ponca City: (580) 290-1006
How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
This is a difficult question to answer as personal injuries can be caused in almost every way imaginable. First and foremost, you must be able to prove that you were injured as the direct result of another individual or entity's negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. Most commonly, personal injury cases arise out of
- Car accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Accidents caused defective products
- Nursing home neglect
- Wrongful death
You may also have a case due to insurance companies’ bad faith refusal to pay your claims. If you have doubts about whether you have a legitimate claim, schedule a meeting with a personal injury attorney offering free consultations. A free case evaluation does not obligate or commit you to a lawyer or a lawsuit.
What Can I Recover For a Personal Injury?
You are entitled to recover all damages directly caused by your accident. While every case is different, the law allows injury victims to be compensated for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent physical impairment
- Emotional and mental suffering
- Property damage
- Other financial loss
How Do I Know What My Personal Injury Case is Worth?
A number of factors influence the value of a personal injury claim, such as:
- How easily fault can be established
- The seriousness of the victim's injuries
- The type of medical treatment the victim receives for his or her injuries
- The amount of insurance coverage available to pay for his or her injuries
Determining the precise value of the case prior to your release from medical care is difficult if not impossible. Every case is unique, so the assistance of an attorney familiar with personal injury law is vital to properly determine the fair value of a personal injury claim.
What If I Have Been Hurt Before?
Previous injuries do not typically affect your right to recover compensation. You may still be entitled to recover damages for your re-injury or aggravation of an early injury if the aggravation is directly caused by another party.
Where Will the Money Come From?
In most situations, the party who caused your injury has insurance to pay for your damages. In addition, your insurance policy may contain coverage, which provides a source of compensation for your injuries. In any case, sources of compensation are often overlooked. For this reason, it is best to involve a highly experienced personal injury attorney to ensure proper and adequate compensation is obtained.
What If the Person At Fault In An Automobile Accident Has No Insurance?
Oklahoma law requires drivers to maintain insurance coverage on their vehicles. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore this requirement. Often, there is still insurance coverage available to provide compensation for your injuries. If the party at fault fails to maintain insurance on his or her vehicle or does not have enough insurance to pay for the damages, your insurance may provide compensation if their policy provides “uninsured motorist” coverage. This is one of the most technical and complicated areas of law, so the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney is extremely important.
Am I Entitled to Have My Car Repaired?
Yes! If you are involved in a car accident that was not your fault, the responsible party or insurance company is liable for payment of reasonable car repairs. If your automobile is a total loss, you are entitled to the reasonable market value of the vehicle.
If My Car Is Damaged In An Automobile Accident, Am I Entitled to A Rental Car?
Yes! If the accident was not your fault and your vehicle cannot be driven as a result of the accident, the responsible party or his or her vehicle insurance must pay reasonable rental car expenses while your car is being repaired.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
Absolutely! The law specifically gives injured people the right to select the treating physician. You do not need advance approval from an insurance company to begin medical treatment.
Is Chiropractic Care Covered?
Yes! The law clearly allows a party injured in an accident to receive chiropractic treatment. The law provides that you have the freedom to choose the type of medical care that you receive for injuries that result from an accident.
Do I Have to File A Lawsuit?
No, most personal injury cases are concluded through settlement without filing a lawsuit. In fact, filing a lawsuit may delay your recovery and increase your expenses under certain circumstances. Our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys feel that a lawsuit should usually be filed only as a last resort. However, filing a lawsuit is sometimes necessary in order to obtain full and fair recovery. An attorney with specific knowledge of personal injury law can advise you about the best course of action in your unique situation.
How Long Do I Have To File My Claim?
Usually, you must either settle your case or file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. If a lawsuit is not filed within this time period, you may be prevented from pursuing your claim. However, there are a number of exceptions and the normal filing period can sometimes be extended. You should seek the advice of a qualified attorney to ensure that your rights are fully protected.
Do I Need An Attorney?
The law does not require that you have an attorney represent you. However, without a personal injury lawyer, you will be required to deal directly with an experienced insurance adjuster or insurance company lawyer. It is reasonable to assume that these individuals will have the best interests of the insurance company in mind. The best way to be sure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled is to seek the help of an attorney who understands personal injury law and is committed to protecting your rights.
How Much Does An Attorney Charge?
Many personal injury attorneys charge a percentage of what they recover for their clients. Martin Jean & Jackson does not charge an attorney fee unless we cover compensation on your behalf. Applicable regulations require that the client remains responsible for necessary expenses.
How Long Will it Take To Conclude My Claim?
The length of time necessary to conclude a personal injury case depends on a number of factors. Obviously, you will not be in the position to consider settling your claim until you have received sufficient medical care and are released by your physician. Therefore, the amount of time required to heal from an injury is often among the biggest factors determining the length of time necessary to conclude a claim. In most cases, settlement negotiations can begin once you have been released from medical treatment. At that point, most claims can be brought to a prompt conclusion.
Get Answers to All Your Questions in a Consultation
The questions answered on this page are the most frequently asked questions from our clients. We understand that every situation is unique and you likely need more information before moving ahead. Our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys make themselves accessible to our clients and will be happy to answer questions specific to your claim in your free initial consultation.