Personal Injury Litigation FAQ
At Goldblatt Singer, we recognize that you will have many questions about filing a personal injury claim. Most people have never dealt with anything like this and don’t have the necessary experience to truly understand what they are getting into. So we have compiled the following list to help answer some of the most commonly asked personal injury law questions. Take a look below, and if you have any additional questions about your situation, call us today.
Is There A Time Limit On How Long I Have To File A Claim?
Yes there is. It’s called the "statute of limitations" and it varies by state. In the state of Missouri, for example, there is a five-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims involving negligence. For wrongful death, there is a three-year limitation, and for medical malpractice it is two years. So what does this mean? It means that there is a very limited window of opportunity in which you have to act, and it is critical that you do not wait to hire a lawyer and file your claim.
What Constitutes Negligence?
Generally speaking, negligence is acting in a careless, irresponsible or unreasonable manner. When someone does not behave in the way of an "ordinary reasonable person" and does not meet what is considered to be acceptable behavior by society, they can be deemed to be negligent. It will likely be the responsibility of the jury during a trial to determine what this behavior is and whether the actions of the defendant meet these standards.
Do I Need An Attorney?
It is crucial that you seek legal representation and assistance from an attorney with a proven record of recovering high value settlements for serious injuries. A skilled and knowledgeable injury attorney can protect your right to compensation, as insurance companies often use tactics to reduce or deny valid claims. Our legal team at Goldblatt Singer has been serving the St. Louis community since 1949, and we have recovered more than $400 million on behalf of our clients.
What If I Am Offered A Settlement?
If you receive a settlement offer soon after an accident by the insurance company directly, you can assume that it will be far lower than you could recover with the help of an experienced Goldblatt Singer personal injury lawyer. We advise that you do not accept any settlement without having your case evaluated first.
Should I Allow Access To My Medical Records?
You should never allow an insurance company to directly access your medical records, or engage in interviews with them until you have legal representation. These actions can result in a lower settlement.
Will My Case Go To Trial?
It depends. Not all personal injury attorneys will take a case to trial. By doing so, a case will likely take longer to resolve. Your lawyer should make the decision to settle or go to trial based on the answer to this question: "Is my client getting what they deserve?" At Goldblatt Singer, we can pursue a claim to court if we believe that our client is not being offered the settlement they deserve. While we will do everything possible to secure the maximum settlement for you outside of court, we can pursue this option if necessary.
What Actions Constitute Bad Faith Insurance Practices?
Your insurance company has a duty to you as their policyholder and you have a duty to uphold to your insurer. You must pay your premiums and report accidents in a timely fashion. Your insurance company, in turn, must respond to your claim promptly and issue you an accurate settlement after a comprehensive evaluation of your case. Sometimes, insurance companies will offer a settlement much lower than you deserve or outright deny your claim without giving an adequate reason. If your insurance company can’t explain their reason for the outcome of your claim, or if they are not responding to your attempts to contact them, this can indicate insurance bad faith.
What Happens If I'm Not Happy With My Attorney?
If you are not satisfied with your current lawyer, you absolutely have the right to change legal representation. If you are interested in securing representation from a Goldblatt Singer personal injury attorney at our firm, we encourage you to call us for a free consultation as soon as possible.
How Long Does A Claim Take To Resolve?
Some claims are clear-cut with regard to liability, yet still may take several months to conclude with a settlement. Others are more complex, with the liable party making every effort to avoid paying a claim. They often engage the services of high-powered law firms to try to defend against a large claim, especially in cases of medical malpractice or product liability claims.
It is important that you partner with an attorney familiar with these cases and with a proven record in litigating serious injury claims. Goldblatt Singer is recognized with an AV® Preeminent™ rating for ethical standards and case results and our attorneys are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We have represented more than 25,000 injured clients in serious injury cases since 1949, and our years of experience are an important factor with regard to final settlements. A litigated case could involve a long wait for resolution, but our case preparation and aggressive approach can expedite the process—we always move our cases forward as quickly as possible.
If you’re suffering the effects of a serious injury, contact the experienced attorneys at Goldblatt Singer today.