Understanding Personal Injury
If you have been injured in an accident due to the wrongful acts of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. However, without experienced legal counsel, the at-fault parties or their insurers may try to avoid their legal obligations. At Peetz Koerwitz & Lafleur, we are your champion, and we will work tirelessly to get you the best settlement possible for your injuries and losses. While our attorneys have handled a variety of personal injury matters, we are particularly experienced in motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death cases.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In a motor vehicle accident claim, a driver’s negligence causes an accident that results in injuries to one or more persons. In these cases, the injured party is entitled to compensation and damages from the negligent party. Typically, the negligent party will have an insurance policy that provides coverage for these damages; thus, you are often really dealing with an insurance company. If the negligent party has no assets and limited or no insurance, you may be forced to bring a claim against your own insurance policy for under-insured motorist coverage. Of course, insurance companies are typically only concerned with one thing: their bottom line. As a result, you can expect significant pushback when bringing a claim for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. Our attorneys have successfully represented clients in a variety of motor vehicle accident claims, including accidents involving bicycles, automobiles, and tractor-trailers.
What to Expect
When we represent you in a motor vehicle accident, you can expect that we will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine who was at fault and how we can help maximize your recovery. Since each personal injury case has its own unique details and circumstances, there will be an initial meeting to review your claim and to discuss how we can help you. Essential records to bring to the initial meeting include medical records related to the accident, accident reports, photographs of the accident or injuries, and your insurance policies. Our team will conduct a full investigation into your case, after which the initial settlement demands will be made to the responsible party and their insurance company. In some cases and with some insurers, we have learned that making an initial demand just delays your recovery. In those situations, we will immediately proceed with filing a lawsuit on your behalf. While many cases settle prior to trial, some do not and that is ok. Every step we take is made with the idea that your case will be presented to a judge or jury for determination. Thus, we are always preparing for trial. When an insurer knows that your attorney is prepared to take your claims to trial, you are more likely to be offered a fair settlement.
Wrongful Death Cases
In wrongful death cases, the client is usually the personal representative of the deceased party’s estate. While a wrongful death case often arises from a motor vehicle accident, these cases can come with additional layers of complexity and require a thorough understanding of wrongful death laws as well as state probate procedures. Although the claim is generally brought by the personal representative, the damages recoverable belong to the persons that have suffered economic losses as a result of the death of their loved one. These damages include lost financial support and loss of society, comfort, and companionship. While it is not easy to put a dollar value on the loss of a loved one, you have a right to be made whole to the maximum extent allowed by law.
Losing a loved one is a painful and challenging process that can be vastly more overwhelming if the death resulted from an accident. Utilizing the services of experienced legal counsel can help ensure responsible parties are held accountable and that the decedent’s family receives as much support as possible both during and after the case.
How do I know if I have a viable case?
Knowing whether you have enough information and evidence to file a personal injury claim can be a difficult call. If you’ve been involved in an accident that resulted in your injury and there were other parties involved who may be responsible, then you should consult with a personal injury attorney right away to go over the facts related to your case. Do not dismiss the possibility that you are eligible to make a personal injury claim without speaking to an experienced legal professional first.
I was injured in a car accident, and the responsible party’s insurance company reached out to me right away and offered me a settlement. Should I just take the initial offer?
Taking an initial settlement offer can be tempting following a motor vehicle accident, particularly if it is a substantial compensation. However, you should generally avoid speaking to an insurance company or its insurer until first visiting with your own counsel. While an insurer’s attempt to speak with you about the accident or your injuries may seem genuine, people that have been injured in an accident initially tend to downplay their injuries. Insurers and defense attorneys know this, which is, in part, why calls from these people are often recorded. If someone reaches out to you regarding the case, ask for their contact information and then have your personal injury attorney contact them on your behalf.
What damages can I recover?
Generally, damages recoverable in personal injury actions include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include lost wages, lost earning capacity, and medical expenses. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, include physical pain and mental suffering. In some cases, a spouse or a parent may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium.
If you’ve recently been injured in an accident or have lost a family member due to another person’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Peetz Koerwitz & Lafleur, we offer free, no-hassle consultations for our prospective clients that have been injured or lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence. We also understand that you cannot always come to us. If that is the case, we will schedule meetings over Zoom or even come to you. Reach out today to schedule an initial meeting with us.