Frequently Asked Questions
What you need to know about your personal injury claim
Many injury victims have similar questions and concerns about the legal process. At the Pikeville, Kentucky-based personal injury law offices of the Johnson Law Firm, we offer these answers to frequently asked questions for the benefit of potential clients who can rely on us for honest case analyses and dedicated representation. Our team of personal injury lawyers has represented clients throughout the state, with a special concentration in Eastern KY.
What is a personal injury?
“Personal injury” is a broad term that encompasses any kind of accident or occurrence that results in bodily injury. It is an area of law that aims to protect those people who are harmed by the negligence, recklessness, malpractice, or inaction of others. Examples of personal injury include:
I hear a lot about negligence. What is that exactly?
In basic terms, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care. Everyone has an obligation to be careful in their actions to avoid harming themselves and those around them. When a person acts in a careless way and causes injury to another person, he or she is negligent and can have a legal claim filed against them.
Why should I contact a personal injury lawyer?
Whenever you have been hurt because of someone else’s actions, consulting with a personal injury lawyer allows you to explore every available option for compensation. Dealing with injuries can be very costly, and a party you are not even aware of may be additionally responsible. It is especially important to have legal advice if an insurance company is involved and has offered you a settlement or has its own attorney. By consulting with an expert, you risk nothing and you can make decisions from a position of strength and confidence. The Johnson Law Firm, known as the “nicest place in town,” has been helping the community since 1998 and offers a free case evaluation.
How much is my case worth?
You are entitled to be restored as far as possible to the condition you were in before the defendant caused you harm. This value varies from case to case, but generally includes compensation for medical expenses for current and future treatment of the injury, lost wages, the costs of disability (both with respect to quality of life and employability), pain, suffering, property damage, and various other costs.
I think the accident was partly my fault. Am I still entitled to recover compensation?
It depends on where the accident took place. Laws vary from state to state and are frequently changed. Kentucky follows a pure comparative negligence system. Under this system, a percentage of fault is assigned to each responsible party and the damage award is apportioned accordingly. Neighboring states West Virginia and Tennessee both follow a modified comparative negligence system with a 51 percent rule. Under this system, an injured party can only recover if it is determined that his or her fault does not reach 51 percent. If the injured party was 50 percent or less at fault, he may still recover damages. This variation among state laws is a good reason to contact an experienced attorney to help you.
Will I have to go to court?
If the defendant agrees to pay what we believe your case is worth and you wish to settle for that amount, then you don’t have to go to court. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will make sure you’re fairly compensated for your injuries and losses.
If I don’t go to court, how long will it take to settle my claim?
Personal injury lawsuits can vary in length from weeks to years. Disagreements over the nature and length of your medical care will likely be the key issue that determines how long it takes to resolve your case. The Johnson Law Firm believes that a case should settle only when fair value is offered. If it is not, we will suggest that you allow us to file suit on your behalf to get fair compensation for your injury. Although you can be sure that we are working hard for you, we welcome our clients to contact us at any time to find out exactly what is happening with their case.
My accident occurred at the end of 2013. Is it too late to bring a claim now?
It depends on the type of accident. The period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit with the court is called a “statute of limitations” and it varies from claim to claim and from state to state. In Kentucky, the general statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is one year, while the limitations period for motor vehicle accidents is two years. Defective products cases must be brought within one year of an accident, as do personal injuries caused by home construction. Questions about filing deadlines can be complicated and if you miss the cutoff date, you may lose your legal right to damages. Consequently, it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as you suffer or discover an injury.
What areas of Kentucky do you cover?
Although our offices are in Pikeville, the seat of Pike County, our personal injury attorneys are pleased to serve clients located in towns and cities all across the state of Kentucky. In fact, Billy Johnson has handled litigation in other states and has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report as well as an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer. His decision to enter into personal injury law was deeply rooted in his compassion for others. He welcomes the chance to help you. Give him a call at 606-437-4488 or use this convenient online contact form.
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