Personal Injury FAQs, answered by Ann Sheeley
October 24, 2011
An attorney with her own practice based in Newport Rhode Island, Ann Sheeley has amassed 22 years of experience as an attorney, focusing on personal injury cases. Here, she answers some common concerns for those considering taking legal action in a case of personal injury.
Q: How do I know if I have a case?
A: Though it requires a degree of legal expertise to discern whether or not you have a viable case, there are some major considerations that may help before you decide to go any further. Though it may seem obvious, have you or has your property been injured, and was it someone else’s fault? It need not be physical injury; for instance, in some cases damaging someone’s reputation or fostering the expectation of harm are sufficient for a personal injury case.
Q: What is my case worth?
A: This is not so straightforward. Indeed, there are a number of factors to consider, including medical bills, lost wages, future earning capacity, and your personal suffering. Once this and other important information has been gathered, your attorney can help make a more educated estimate of potential settlement options or trial outcomes.
Q: If my case is successful, what kind of compensation can I expect?
A: Again, this depends on an array of factors. In ruling on a personal injury case, the jury takes into account medical bills, future earnings, and non-financial damages including mental distress and anguish.
Q: How long do I have after an incident to file a case?
A: To put it simply: Start the process soon as possible. You should pursue legal representation as swiftly as you can, even if only for a consultation. States have a finite time period in which you can file a claim, referred to in legalese as the statute of limitations.