Frequently Asked Questions – Consulting a Serious Injury Attorney
What is this going to cost me?
Most cases are taken on a no win/no fee basis. Therefore, you don’t owe a fee unless we win your case.
A Free Initial Consultation
Every prospective client is entitled to a free initial consultation without any kind of charge or obligation. We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t owe a fee unless we win your case.
Do I Have a Legal Claim?
Every case is different. Please contact our firm for a case evaluation to determine if you have a claim
Should I Accept the Insurance Company Settlement?
There’s no way around it -insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts to maximize company profits. No matter how helpful they may seem regarding your compensation, the adjuster’s primary goal is to pay you as little as possible. The adjuster is typically rewarded in some way for resolving claims quickly and with little expense.
What Is my Case Worth?
It is difficult to determine the value of a case without knowing specific details regarding the type of injury and harm caused; this will be your attorney’s main objective. Your attorney will thoroughly detail all possible losses that will translate into legal recovery. The law allows recovery for a wide range of situations, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. This includes, but is not limited to, pain and suffering, past medical bills, future medical and rehabilitation costs, therapy, lost past wages, and lost future income.
How do I handle insurance adjusters?
After an accident, insurance companies will commonly ask you to make a recorded statement with an insurance adjuster. However, this should never be done without first consulting your attorney.
How do I successfully pursue a wrongful death claim?
In legal terms, wrongful death refers to a fatality that occurs because of the negligence or misdeeds of another person, corporation or other entity. Personal injury torts hold a person (defendant) accountable for causing damages to another (plaintiff). If you believe the death of your loved one should be classified as “wrongful death”, you must prove these four critical components of negligence.
- the defendant had a duty to the deceased
- the defendant breached this duty
- the defendant’s breach of duty caused the death
- the survivors are entitled to damages as a result of this death
To support your wrongful death claim, a personal injury death lawyer will obtain all records, witness statements and evidence. If the case requires more advanced and specific evidence, your lawyer may also hire engineers to reconstruct the collision, civil engineers to evaluate the effect of the highway design, or mechanical engineers to evaluate any equipment malfunction. We have both the resources and experience to assist you in this process and effectively represent you in your wrongful death claim.
Who can file a wrongful death suit?
A wrongful death claim is typically initiated by or on behalf of the spouse, children or family of the decedent. However, in certain situations, another party may be entitled to recover damages if they were considered a dependent of the deceased.
What types of money damages can I recover?
You should be reimbursed for all medical expenses; including ambulance, hospital, and surgery bills. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be entitled to payment of these bills regardless of whom caused the accident. You are also entitled to a sum of money to help cover funeral expenses.
Lost Future Earning Capacity –
The deceased person’s estate is entitled to monetary compensation for the lost capacity to earn income in the future.
General Damages for Pain and Suffering –
The claimant may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased. An experienced wrongful death attorney assesses the dollar amount of the loss based on precedent wrongful death cases and their understanding of the local justice system. Your attorney will be invaluable during this process in working with the insurance company and substantiating your claim.
Additional Information on Medical Expenses
A victim of personal injury is entitled to restitution for medical expenses. The insurance company of the party at fault should pay these expenses. The wrongful death attorney will provide these sums by collecting all medical records and bills from the deceased to prove that expense was from required treatment because of the accident. Keith Blythe is trained to administer this paper process in a timely, proactive manner.
Additional Information on Lost Income
The estate of the deceased is entitled to recovered all lost income and wages caused by the death. The deceased’s complete medical records from all health care providers will be obtained by your wrongful death lawyer to confirm all doctor’s opinions regarding their medical situation.
Additional Information on Future Lost Income
The decedent’s estate may be entitled to compensation for the loss of future income or earning capacity. Any future income projection is a complicated process, especially depending on the deceased’s type of employment. However difficult, Keith Blythe is experienced in all economic reconstruction and projection.
We understand the the loss of future income can have a significant impact on the decedent’s family. Insurance adjusters have only one goal of minimizing the insurance company’s payout; before attempting to negotiate settlements with an talk with an experienced attorney.
Additional Information on General Damages for Pain and Suffering
The survivor’s right to recover any money damages for pain, suffering, disability, and disfigurement is written clearly by law. It is more difficult to estimate the amount of money required, however, to compensate a victim for their loss. The complication derives from the need to prove the calculation to an insurance company or a court. Medical expenses and lost wages can be substantiated through bills or pay stubs. The challenging questions are how the measure of pain, grief, and loss will be valued. We address this sensitive issue by estimating the money value by analyzing damage awards made in similar cases. The specific comparisons help to secure a full settlement amount with the insurance company. When the insurance company at hand refuses to pay a full settlement, Keith Blythe’s experience in presenting human loss and emotion to a jury in the most compelling ways. However, due to our perseverance put forth by our personal injury attorney, we usually obtain a favorable settlement that includes the appropriate amounts for general damages in and out of court settlements.
How much is my wrongful death claim worth?
If your loved one has passed away due to another person’s negligent behavior, you should not have to attempt estimates of your claim without professional assistance. Because we understand this, we offer a free case evaluation to determine the plausibility of the range of any recovery. Contact us to get started on your evaluation.
What should I do immediately to help preserve my wrongful death claim?
It is important to preserve evidence to support your claim. By documenting the circumstances, injuries, and bills, you are validating your claim and providing your attorney with a head start on your legal strategy.
First, preserve evidence by obtaining names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information from the party that caused the accident. Do not attempt to interview witnesses, but rather, record their contact information in reserve for possible disputes later. Keep a daily journal beginning with the date of the accident to document your loved one’s physical and mental injuries, as well as your perspective. These combined artifacts will be beneficial for your lawyer.
The next step is to preserve your negotiating position. Do not sign or agree to anything presented by an insurance adjuster until speaking to your lawyer. In most cases, the insurance adjuster is trying to minimize payouts. Use this time to preserve evidence, protect your position, and invest in a first-class personal injury lawyer.
How should I select a lawyer to represent me?
Keith Blythe has been selected as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers in 2012, 2013 & 2014.
What is the first step in pursuing a medical malpractice claim?
Medical malpractice cases involve complex questioning from the outset: what did the doctor do, should he or she have done something differently under the circumstances? If you consider yourself victim to a valid medical malpractice case, you will want to contact an experienced attorney in this field to assure your health and legal rights are protected.
How much do firms charge for a medical malpractice case?
Many lawyers and firms take on medical malpractice cases under a “contingency” basis. In doing so, the attorney will take the case and often represent the client free of charge with the understanding in which the attorney will receive a percentage of damages award paid to the client, either as a jury award or negotiated settlement.
How much money should I ask for or expect? What is included in a settlement?
Big Truck Accidents
What Are Typical Causes of Truck Accidents?
Large commercial truck accidents often involve recklessness or negligence of either the truck driver or other vehicle operator. Accidents are caused from driver fatigue, aggressive driving, speeding, overloaded trailers, improper maintenance, and tailgating. Accidents are also caused by unsafe and distracting driving habits such as talking on the phone or texting while driving.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?
What Type of Attorney Should I Hire For My Claim?
Truck accidents require services from an experienced lawyer in the specialized field. Your attorney should understand the complexity of the trucking industry and all company operations as well as the various state and federal laws that govern commercial vehicles.
How Soon After The Accident Should I Get an Attorney?
Immediately after the accident, you should get an attorney. Critical evidence and documentation can become compromised, lost, and witness testimony can become clouded in time. There are also limitations of how much time you have to file a claim. Trucking companies do no hesitate to consult legal teams, and neither should you.
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury is a physical, mental or emotional injury to a person as a result of another party’s negligence.
Can you give me some examples of personal injury?
• Vehicle accidents
• Long term care facility abuse
• Dog bites
• Product liability
• Airplane accidents
• Elevator accidents
What types of compensation do I qualify for?
There are several types of compensation you may be entitled to recover. Keith Blythe can advise you on the laws regarding compensation for the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Some forms of compensation include the following:
• Medical expenses
• Lost wages
• Pain and suffering
• Physical disability
• Emotional and mental suffering
• Mental disability
• Damage to property
How do I know if I have a legally valid personal injury claim?
If you have proof that your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, then you most likely have a valid claim. Because personal injury law can be complex, it is ideal to hire an attorney immediately after receiving your injury. Keith Blythe can help you determine whether or not someone is liable for your injury, and can assist you in evaluating your losses.
What information will be helpful to my attorney?
If you’re considering filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver, Keith Blythe will need all the information you can provide. This type of information includes traffic signal or sign locations, weather and road conditions, vehicle positions, impact location, witness information, and medical reports detailing the extent of your injuries.
What type of settlement am I entitled to?
Once the degree of negligence, the insurance company’s position, and the extent of your injuries are determined, we will formulate a dollar amount for your case. Our analysts calculate how your injuries affect your livelihood and how they will affect your future.
Is the insurance company’s offer fair?
Most insurance policyholders may be surprised to know they are entitled to more than just property damage reimbursement and immediate medical bills. An experienced personal injury attorney can easily recognize when clients are being undermined and act quickly to counter unfair intimidation tactics.
What is the first step in seeking legal counsel?
Schedule an appointment with Keith Blythe for further information. A simple consultation can give you valuable information about your rights and won’t cost you a thing since he only works on contingency.
How do I prove negligence in a premises liability claim?
Keith Blythe will organize the details of your case to best demonstrate the property owner’s negligence. Being able to provide pictures of the accident site that display its hazardous conditions will greatly assist in this process. It will be equally beneficial to have witnesses that can either testify to the details of the accident or to the conditions that caused your accident. Your attorney will also need to demonstrate how the hazard specifically caused your injuries.
How far does the property owner’s duty of care extend?
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions for residents, guests, employees, and visitors. Depending on the circumstances, a trespasser on the property may still have a claim to damages upon injury.
Who can be held responsible for construction site injuries?
If you were injured as an employee or contract worker on a construction site, we may target the construction company who hired you, the manufacturers of the faulty equipment, or other workers whose negligence contributed to your accident. Ultimately, we are seeking damages from insurance providers.
What if I’m not sure if my child’s playground injury was caused by my child’s carelessness or defective equipment?
Playground equipment should be designed for error! Children fall all of the time, and playgrounds of today are designed with soft ground covering and other materials to reduce the risk of injury. You may have a claim, even if your child was at fault. Our attorney will thoroughly investigate the property to assess any potential dangers.
Who should pay for the costs of my defective seat belt related accident?
The person responsible for the seatbelt defect could be held financially liable for a significant part of your injury related costs. If the seat belt was created with design flaws or your car was improperly manufactured, it could be the responsibility of either the designer or manufacturer.
Regardless of who is responsible, you should consult with an experienced belt defects attorney when you have suffered repercussions due to a defective seat belt.
What constitutes a seat belt defect?
A seat belt defect is considered a fundamental error or malfunction in a seat belt that keeps it from functioning properly. Examples of seat belt defects that may cause serious injury include improperly fitted seat belts, retractor failure, poor latching capabilities, and inadequate materials.
These types of seat belt defects may have caused you debilitating physical injuries, traumatic emotional damage, costly repairs, medical bills, and more.
When I have been injured by a defective seat belt, what can I be compensated for?
If a defective seat belt was the cause of your accident or other injuries following an accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from the party responsible. In these cases, you may be compensated for any medical bills, including surgery and rehabilitation, vehicle repair, emotional trauma, and loss of wages, among other things.
How common are rollovers? How serious are they?
Rollovers are relatively rare crashes. However, when rollovers do occur, they are much more likely to result in serious injury or death than many other types of crashes. Though, in recent years, approximately one in every forty vehicles involved in a police reported crash has rolled over, one of every three passenger vehicle occupant deaths occur in rollovers, illustrating the relative seriousness of rollover crashes.
When are rollovers most likely to occur?
According to NHTSA, the overwhelming majority of rollovers take place during ordinary driving situations. Many rollovers occur when a driver swerves suddenly to avoid an obstacle or when a driver accidentally starts to veer off the road. Excessive speed and alcohol are typically contributing factors in fatal rollovers. Nearly three of every four fatal rollovers occur on a rural road with a posted speed limit of 55 mph or higher. Excessive speeding is cited as a contributory factor in about 40% of fatal rollovers. Almost half of all fatal rollovers involve alcohol in some capacity (i.e., drivers with BAC > 0.00, though not necessarily in excess of the legal limit for DWI). Over 80% of all rollovers don’t involve other vehicles except for the one that rolls over.
Do rollovers occur with all vehicles?
Yes. Although basic physics and real world crash statistics suggest that some vehicles are more susceptible to rolling over than others, any vehicle can roll over. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half of rollovers occurring between 1995 and 2001 involved passenger cars, and half involved light trucks (i.e., SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) or vans. However, the passenger vehicle fleet comprised roughly 65% passenger cars and 35% light trucks and vans during the period of the study, showing a higher proportion of all light trucks and vans on the road are involved in rollovers.
This increased susceptibility to rolling over is largely due to the relatively high height of the center of gravity of these vehicles, as well as the propensity of some of these vehicles to over steer (i.e., the rear of the vehicle sliding “outward” when turning, swerving, or negotiating a curve). For a given track width, a vehicle with a higher center of gravity will tip more easily; however, even very low-to-the-ground sports cars can roll over.
I’ve heard that 15 passenger vans roll over easily. Is this true?
When lightly loaded, 15-passenger vans are similar to other light trucks in terms of their handling characteristics. However, 15-passenger vans can hold many more people than SUVs, pickup trucks, or minivans can hold. As more passengers climb in, the vehicle’s center of gravity moves higher and further rearward, which increases the vehicle’s inclination to over steer and decreases its lateral stability. Consequently, the rollover risk of a heavily loaded 15-passenger van is increased, especially during emergency maneuvering or high speed driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Consumer Advisory on 15-passenger vans issues several recommendations for reducing rollover risk, and this technical report describes the physical basis for the risk of rollover in these vehicles. Some of the key recommendations from NHTSA are:
• Operators of 15-passenger vans should be highly experienced in driving these vans (especially when transporting several passengers).
• When not all seating positions are occupied, seats forward of the rear axle should be occupied first (i.e., don’t have everybody sit in back).
• Drive extra carefully: reduce speed in bad weather, avoid distractions, and do not drive when tired.
• Do not transport cargo on the roof, this further raises the center of gravity and increases risk of rolling over.
• Everybody buckle up! When rollovers occur, the people most often seriously injured or killed are the ones who aren’t wearing their seat belts.