Personal Injury FAQ
Most personal injury attorneys, including those at The Lobb Law Firm, offer a free initial consultation, which gives you a chance to ask questions and determine if an attorney is a good fit. An attorney with your best interests in mind will ask lots of questions to develop a comprehensive understanding of your case. They will give you a realistic expectation of how much you may get from a claim. Be wary of attorneys who promise a big settlement without hearing anything about your case. These are the types of attorneys who take as many cases as possible, settle quickly, collect their fee, and keep churning out new cases. What should you look for in a personal injury attorney? You want an attorney with experience who seems genuinely invested in your wellbeing and asks the questions necessary to help you.
This is a question that’s impossible to answer without a personal consultation. Your accident might be worth nothing. Or maybe you’re looking at a lifetime of medical and rehabilitation bills and your case is worth millions. It’s probable that your case falls somewhere in the middle. The only way to find out how much your case is worth is to meet a trusted, experienced personal injury attorney and discuss your claim. Call 844-LOBB-LAW to speak to an attorney today.
Past medical bills? Your settlement should cover all medical bills and expenses that you’ve incurred because of the accident.
Future medical costs? If the injuries you sustained during the accident will require ongoing treatment, your settlement should be enough to pay for future expenses.
Rehabilitation costs? Those with moderate to severe injuries often need physical or occupational rehabilitation to regain mobility and gain independence after an accident. Any settlement worth considering will cover these expenses.
Pain and suffering? Yes, but with a caveat: pain and suffering is difficult to assess, so the amount you may get for pain and suffering depends largely on your attorney’s experience and the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate.
Mental health therapy? If you have PTSD, anxiety disorders, or other mental health issues caused by the accident, your settlement should account for these needs and the expenses they incur.
Lost wages? Your settlement should pay for the income you’ve lost due to the accident. This includes lost hours on the day of the accident and income you have lost while getting medical care or recuperating.
Future income? If your accident has impacted your ability to work long-term or forever, the settlement amount should account for this massive loss.
First, you should know that few personal injury cases go to trial. Going to trial poses a risk for both the plaintiff and the defendant, so the insurance company has excellent motivation to settle before a case is filed. If our top injury lawyers in Southfield are unable to reach a fair settlement and going to court is necessary, it could be months before your case actually reaches the courtroom. A lot depends on the current court docket.
The answer to this questions depends on whether your claim settles out of court or goes through the legal process. If, like most personal injury cases, your claim is settled out of court, your case could be over in a matter of weeks. This includes signing the necessary documents and getting the settlement deposited into your account. If your case goes to court, however, plan on spending months or even a year or more waiting for your claim to be resolved.
Yes! It absolutely matters how long you take to hire a personal injury lawyer or Detroit automobile accident lawyer. The longer you wait, the more evidence you lose and the less time your attorney has to build a case. The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Michigan is three years from the date of the injury. However, if you wait that long to get started, you will have virtually no chance of recovering the evidence needed to get a fair settlement or jury award.
First, make sure everyone is okay. Next, call emergency services to report the accident and inform them of any injuries you or your passengers have sustained. After that, seek medical attention yourself to get documentation of your injuries and find out if you need additional treatment. As soon as possible, reach out to an attorney and begin the process of filing a personal injury claim.
You should contact a personal injury attorney before signing anything related to your accident. Your attorney can ensure that the lien is valid and that the amount the doctor is billing is correct. Additionally, your attorney may be able to negotiate the amount of the lien. The more expensive it is, the less money you have left for other expenses after the amount is taken out of your settlement.
Contact an attorney after you’ve taken care of your immediate medical needs and, from there, they can help you communicate with your insurance company. Your insurance company must protect your best interests, but until the facts of the case are ironed out, you want to avoid saying anything that would weaken your case.
Do not say anything to the other driver’s insurance company! They will likely contact you right after the accident to get your statement and offer an absurdly low settlement. They will sound empathetic and worried about your health, but their end goal is to coax information from you that limits their client’s liability and justifies a lower settlement offer. Make sure you have an attorney before you have any communication with the other party’s insurance provider.
You cannot ask for more money after a settlement. That is the trade-off you make when you accept a settlement. In exchange for immediate money, you sign away your right to file a lawsuit for the same accident or negotiate further down the road. This is one reason that it is crucial to carefully consider your options early in the negotiation process, since you do not get a second chance at a fair settlement. Since your attorney can assess how much your injury is potentially worth and fight for a fair settlement, it’s critical to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
You do not have to accept the settlement offered by the insurance company. In fact, we generally recommend not accepting the first offer you receive, since it is likely far too low to cover your actual losses. Insurance companies are in the business of maximizing profits and minimizing losses, so they will offer you the lowest amount they think they can get away with. If it’s too low—and it probably is—you should work with an attorney capable of evaluating your case and figuring out how much money you should ask for. This is key to negotiating a fair amount.
After a slip and fall accident, you can work with a personal injury attorney to bring a claim against the property owner. As is the case with other types of personal injury cases, these issues are often settled out of court, so you may not ever need to actually file a lawsuit. After a fall, you should:
- Check yourself for injuries
- Notify the on-site manager or property owner
- Take pictures of the scene
- Seek medical care
- Contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in slip and fall cases
Do not worry about causing problems for the other driver by hiring a personal injury lawyer and pursuing compensation. This is exactly why people have car insurance. It ensures that they are not financially ruined if they cause a car accident. Since Michigan is a “no-fault” auto state, in the vast majority of cases, liable drivers do not pay anything out-of-pocket. Their car insurance company will negotiate a settlement, pay it, and adjust their insurance rates. The biggest problem that the other driver may experience is a bump in monthly premiums, which is far less than the financial troubles you would go through if you had to pay for your own time away from work, medical bills, and property damage.
It is highly unlikely that you will have to go to court. Since court is expensive for both parties and pose risks for everyone, most personal injury cases are settled long before they reach court. The insurance company responsible for paying your medical bills risk a massive court award that costs them millions. The victim risks the court awarding them nothing. Settling generally benefits everyone involved.
There is no cut-and-dry answer to this question. The chances of a favorable court decision depend largely on the strength and details of your case as well as the strength of the other side’s case against you. Most personal injury cases do not go to court, but if yours does, we will discuss your legal options well in advance and help you understand the possible outcomes of your case.
The damages you may be able to recover depend largely on the extent and nature of your injuries and losses. Generally speaking, a settlement offers compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost income
- Lost future wages if your ability to work is limited by the accident
- Pain and suffering
Traumatic brain injuries are a serious issue in personal injury cases, since their side effects and longevity are often unknown and unpredictable. The brain is the most complex organ, and what appears to be a minor concussion can actually impact a person for the rest of their life, while what appears to be a serious TBI may “spontaneously” heal. The brain is known for its plasticity, or its ability to recover from damage by creating new neuronal connections. However, there is no guarantee that someone who suffers a TBI will ever recover, and your settlement should reflect that fact.
The more severe the traumatic brain injury, the greater your compensation may be. A minor TBI may leave you with persistent headaches, irritability, and a limited ability to concentrate. This could impact your ability to work, resulting in a higher settlement. A more severe TBI could leave you in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, relying on a caregiver to manage your life and needs which would significantly increase your potential compensation.
TBIs are typically categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. This distinction may be helpful in determining the value of your personal injury case.
First, immediately call emergency services. You need medical care and the police can attempt to catch the hit-and-run driver. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and the other driver must be held accountable. At your earliest convenience, jot down everything you remember about the other driver, including the make of the car, the model of their car, where the accident occurred, and any digits in the license plate.
Second, get a full medical examination and retain all copies with your medical records. Even if you don’t know the identity of the other driver, you want to be prepared for a potential personal injury case.
Finally, retain a personal injury lawyer. If the other driver is apprehended or identified, you must be ready to file a lawsuit against them for the damages you suffered due to their actions.
When someone dies as the result of someone else’s actions, surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the liable party. Generally, the case is filed by a family member agreed upon by the surviving relatives. This individual can work with a Sterling Michigan wrongful death lawyer on the deceased’s behalf to recover damages for their losses, their family member’s losses, and other damages.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that their fees are only paid if you receive a court award or settlement. Their fees are deducted from your settlement before it reaches you. However, there are other costs involved in a court case, including filing fees, costs to hire expert witnesses, and more. Some attorneys do require that these fees be paid back if the case is unsuccessful. It is important to discuss this with your personal injury attorney before hiring them. At The Lobb Law firm, we do not require repayment of court-related costs.
You can appeal a decision if you disagree with it, but know exactly what you are getting when you choose this route. An appeal is not a chance to redo your personal injury case. You cannot simply file an appeal because you are unhappy with the decision or you want more money. You must believe that the court made an error that would have changed the outcome of the case. For example, if the court disallowed important evidence, did not let an expert witness testify, or gave incorrect instructions to the jury, you may be able to appeal. If you do lose your case, your attorney will brief you on your options going forward.
If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, the very first thing you should do is seek medical care. Animal bites can become infected and cause serious health issues, and prompt care is critical. Additionally, the medical records and documentation you receive will be necessary pieces of evidence for your personal injury case.
Once you have secured medical care, you should write down everything you remember from the bite incident. If you know the dog that bit you, jot down its name, breed, age, and size. If you are unfamiliar with the dog, write down everything you remember about its appearance and owner. If you were with anyone else at the time of the bite, get their contact information and call them to see what they remember. From there, you should reach out to your local animal control division. Contact us at 844-LOBB-LAW to discuss your claim.
Whoever is responsible for the dog at the time of the attack is likely liable for the injuries you’ve sustained. In most cases, that is the owner of the dog. However, depending on the circumstances, the liable party may also be a dog walker, a boarding facility, a shelter, or an acquaintance of the dog’s owner.
If the dog is owned by a renter, the landlord might be liable for your injuries. Your case must meet very specific requirements for this to be an option. For the landlord to be liable, they must have known about the dog, they must have been aware that the dog was dangerous, and the attack must have happened on or near the property.
It is also worth noting that if the person who suffered the bite provoked or antagonized the dog prior to the bite, they may be liable for their own injuries.
The dog owner is liable for your injuries – if the accident occurred on your property or while you were lawfully on their property. The same is true if the dog bite occurred in public or elsewhere.
If you are bitten by a neighbor’s dog, you may already know the dog’s name, size, general demeanor, and general history. You are also aware of the owner’s name and address. This puts you in a much better position than someone who is bitten by a stranger’s dog. However, you are in an uncomfortable position because taking legal action can make neighborly relations tense. Despite this, it is crucial to take necessary legal action and protect yourself, since dog bites can be extremely expensive.
Under Michigan law, dog owners must have their dogs leashed in public. Dogs must be under their owner’s physical control at all times while in public. Beyond that, each municipality has its own restrictions and requirements. Some communities have even stricter requirements for dog owners, which may make it easier to prove that the owner was in violation of local laws when you were attacked.
What happens to the dog after you’re bitten depends largely on the dog’s history and demeanor, as well as your local laws. Under state law, the owner is liable for damages caused by their dog’s bite; there is no law requiring that a dog be euthanized after a bite. However, the dog will likely be declared a dangerous animal by the local animal control division. This means that they are a known danger, which may require the owner to have additional insurance or take extra steps to keep their animal contained. If an animal that’s known to be dangerous bites a human again, they will likely be euthanized.
Before you do anything else, make sure you get the medical care you need. Meanwhile, take note of everything you remember from the incident. Whether you write it down or leave yourself a voice memo, try to record every detail. Remember where and when the incident occurred, who was with the dog, were there other witnesses present, what happened before the bite, and every possible detail of the dog’s appearance and demeanor.
Report the bite to your local animal control agency and then get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. (844-LOBB-LAW) We will do everything we can to track down the owner and get the compensation you deserve.
It’s frightening to watch your dog bite someone, and even scarier to know that you may lose them because of it. However, do your best to remain calm. Dogs are rarely euthanized after a first bite. Before doing anything else, leash and secure your dog, put them in your home, or otherwise restrain them. Check on the victim and make sure they are okay. If they require medical attention, call for help. Call the animal control agency to report the incident. Report the incident to your insurance company and consider retaining an attorney. Long-term, you may want to get your dog into comprehensive training classes to reduce the risk of future bites.
Premises Liability / Slip and Fall Accidents
What is premises liability?
Negligence is the idea that a property owner has an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment. When they fail to meet that obligation, they are considered negligent. Under Michigan law, you have to prove that the owner was negligent in their duty. There are several elements required to prove negligence:
- The property owner had a legal duty to you
- The property owner breached their duty
- That breach caused your injuries
- You suffered damages because of the injuries
When you work with The Lobb Law Firm team of Michigan personal injury attorneys, we will analyze each aspect of your case and determine whether or not you have a valid claim. We want to ensure that your case has a good chance of being successful, since the court will need substantial proof that each element is satisfied before awarding damages.
Many people worry about the deposition and what it means for their case. However, your Michigan slip and fall attorney will help you prepare and will ensure that you feel confident heading into the deposition. Questions primarily focus on how the accident occurred and your role in it. These queries will also try to determine the defendant’s role in the accident. Examples include:
- What type of shoes were you wearing?
- Were you looking at your phone while you were walking?
- Were you looking down? If not, why not?
- Which foot slipped?
- On which part of your body did you land when you fell?
- Why did you not see the obstacle/danger before you reached it?
Other questions will focus on your injuries, your medical history, and the damages you have sustained.
Depositions are extremely thorough. You will likely repeat every element of the accident multiple times before the deposition has concluded, and you may notice that you are asked the same question in multiple ways. This is normal and to be expected.
This is an area of premises liability law where it is especially important to have an attorney advising you. Lawsuits against government entities typically have a shorter statute of limitations, and laws often protect government entities from certain types of lawsuits.
In Michigan, you are able to sue the government under certain specific circumstances. Outside these circumstances, you typically cannot sue the government for damages.
In the case of public buildings, you can file a claim if the government failed to maintain or repair a building and that failure led to an injury and damages. Requirements for this type of claim include:
- The involvement of a government agency
- Proof that the building was open to the public at the time of the incident
- A danger or defect in the building
- The government’s knowledge of the defect
- A failure to remedy the defect
The timeframe in which you must report an injury is very short in these cases. You only have 120 days to notify the government. If you are hurt on government property, it’s essential that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
This is a difficult question to answer without going into the specifics of a case. A lot depends on the nature of the crime, the hotel’s knowledge of criminal activity in the area, and any steps the hotel took to protect hotel guests from crime. For example, if a hotel is located in an area with an extraordinarily high rate of theft, it might be considered negligent to not install security cameras, flood lighting, and other tools that could protect guests. Call 844-LOBB-LAW to discuss these issues with an attorney.
In general, the property owner is responsible for injuries that occur when you attend an event where you are a guest. This generally puts you in the category of licensee, and in these situations, property owners are obligated to take reasonable measures to keep visitors safe. If you are on rented property when the injury occurs, the tenant or landlord may be liable. In Michigan, landlords are liable for providing a safe dwelling and maintaining the property. The tenant is responsible for keeping their rented space safe and clean, notifying the landlord of concerns, and do general maintenance of their rented area. Since multiple parties may be liable in a premises liability case, you should discuss your injuries with your Michigan premises liability lawyer at The Lobb Law Firm as soon as possible after an incident.
If you were completely or partially liable for your injuries, your case may be substantially more complicated than a cut-and-dry premises liability case. Property owners may not be liable if a danger was open and obvious, since the victim should have noticed the danger and avoided it. For example, if you ran into a rock and broke a toe because you were looking at your phone while walking, you may not be able to seek damages from the property owner. If there is obvious snow and ice accumulation and you do not account for the ice in your walking speed and habits, you may be liable for your injuries.
Have you been hurt in a slip and fall accident? The Lobb Law Firm is here to help. Our top injury lawyers in Southfield are here to gather evidence, build a case, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our team today to get started.