Indiana Car Accident Claims: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the answers to common initial questions many clients have when they first contact Keller and Keller. We hope that the information below address many initial concerns you may have, but if you don't find the answers here, please contact us with questions specific to your case. The consultation is free and confidential.
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How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?
Every personal injury case will have a unique set of facts and circumstances. There is the possibility that a case may settle relatively quickly while another similar case will require time-consuming litigation. Until you speak with an experienced accident attorney, provide full details about your accident and health, there' simply no way to know how long your case may take.
It's never advisable to settle a case until your doctors have released you from treatment, and the reason for this is simple: signing a release means you waive your rights to recover for future damages related to the accident. If your injuries are much worse than they originally appear, a quick settlement puts you at risk of losing out on compensation that you are entitled to receive. Unfortunately, many injured individuals give in to pressure from the insurance companies to settle quickly, giving up their right to seek additional compensation when the injury worsens in the future.
Once you have finished treating, and we have received all of your medical records, our attorneys will begin to prepare a demand package on your behalf to begin negotiations with the insurance company. It's highly recommended that any discussions with an insurance company be handled by your personal injury attorney, as they will have experience with similar claims and will work to protect your interests. Remember, anything you say to an insurance adjuster may be used against you in the future.
If the insurance adjuster refuses to pay a fair settlement, or suggests that their insured is not liable for your injuries, we may determine that a lawsuit must be filed against the negligent party, however, this doesn’t mean that your case is necessarily going to trial. We are able to settle most injury cases before trial, whether by informal discussions, facilitative mediation, or further case evaluation.
In the rare instance your case DOES require a jury trial, there are several additional steps required to ensure procedure is followed, and ultimately, the case may then take years to settle.
When should I go to the Doctor?
Victims of automobile accidents, slip and fall, dog bites, etc. may be unsure as to when or if they should see a Doctor. In determining when you should see a Doctor in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe or elsewhere in New Mexico, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have a possible claim for injuries suffered, your damages will be determined in part from a medical provider's assessment. Thus, if you don't see a doctor, often times it is difficult to establish a value for your accident. It is also important to consider future health problems.
"John Smith is shopping at his local grocery store and there is unknown liquid on the floor that he overlooked until he slipped. He gets up, dusts himself off, and thinks maybe I have a couple bruises but I am otherwise ok. John files an incident report with the store and the store's insurance company contacts him. They offer him a cash value or advise the store to give him credit to cover for their negligence. Then they give him a form to sign that prevents him from suing them them in the future. Six months later, he is exercising, or playing with his dog, and he feels a sharp shooting pain. John goes to the Doctor and finds that as a result of the fall in the store he had a hair-line fracture or a torn ligament that had gotten worse with time but could have been identified had he seen a Doctor right after the accident."
The moral is, if you have been in an accident, it is in your best interest to see a medical provider either immediately or soon thereafter. You may need to report the incident, but there is no harm in following up with your primary care physician.
If you have questions and would like to discuss your claim with New Mexico personal injury attorneys, contact Keller & Keller at 1-800-2-KELLER.
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"At every juncture of the process... everyone involved, were more than thorough. I never had any questions. It was just matter of fact, straight to the point, and taken care of."by Jill S.