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Personal Injury FAQs

Personal Injury FAQs

Criminal law may punish someone such as a drunk driver if his or her conduct injures someone. But it takes separate legal action under civil law for injured parties to obtain financial restitution for their losses in most cases. Suffering a personal injury because of a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, medical error, or some other accident can be costly and cause significant pain and suffering.

For more than 15 years, the personal injury lawyers of the Frank Jenkins Law Office in Lexington, KY, have helped Kentucky residents and their families after serious accidents. We investigate accidents to help those with serious injuries obtain the compensation they are due after they have been hurt by others’ negligence and recklessness.

Below, we provide answers to several frequently asked questions about personal injury cases. If we can provide additional assistance to you, please contact us online or phone us at 888-659-4240 today.

  1. What kinds of personal injury accidents can lead to a legal claim for compensation?
  2. What kind of compensation could I obtain in a personal injury lawsuit?
  3. I have insurance. Why do I need a lawyer to pursue an accident claim?
  4. Can I sue the store where I slipped and fell and was injured?
  5. Will I have to testify in court if I pursue a personal injury claim?
  6. How long do I have after an accident to file a personal injury claim?
What kinds of personal injury accidents can lead to a legal claim for compensation?
A person in Kentucky who has been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault may seek compensation from the at-fault parties through a personal injury lawsuit. Many types of accidents caused by negligence may lead to a personal injury claim.

Common accidents that may lead to a personal injury claim include:

In general, an accident victim who pursues a personal injury claim must show that the defendant acted with negligence or recklessness, that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness was the most closely related cause of the victim’s injuries, and that the injuries are compensable.

In some cases, a company or organization, including a local government, may be the defendant in a personal injury claim. Product liability claims for accidents caused by defective consumer products, like dangerous drugs, or defective cars or car parts, seek to hold a manufacturing company or distributor responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.

A person injured in a slip-and-fall accident at a grocery store or an office building may file a premises liability lawsuit, seeking compensation from the property owner, which may be a corporation or local government.

A medical malpractice case may include the hospital or medical clinic among defendants if negligent policies or procedures contributed to a medical error.

What kind of compensation could I obtain in a personal injury lawsuit?
Compensation sought in a personal injury lawsuit is, for the most part, meant to make the injured party whole financially. It includes compensation for monetary losses and noneconomic damages for losses that cannot be directly quantified.

Depending on the case, a personal injury claim in Kentucky usually seeks compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of living with a disability
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment.

In some cases, if the defendant acted with malice or engaged in fraud or oppression against the plaintiff, additional punitive damages may be sought.

It is not possible or ethical to promise an injury victim a specific amount of compensation they will obtain in a personal injury lawsuit, or whether they will obtain compensation at all.  But the Frank Jenkins Law Office promises to conduct a thorough assessment of your case, and to review all available options to build a legal strategy with your best interests in mind. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you will not pay a legal fee until we obtain compensation for you.

I have insurance.Why do I need a lawyer to pursue an accident claim?
It is true that most compensation for injuries after an accident comes from insurance, such as car insurance, medical insurance or homeowners’ insurance. But if another party is at fault, compensation to you should come from their insurance company, which may not have your best interests at heart.

Insurance companies are for-profit corporations in most cases. An insurance adjustor has a financial duty to his or her employer to protect the company’s bottom line when considering claim payments. There are many ways an insurer, even your insurance company, can deny a valid claim or persuade a deserving injury victim to accept a settlement that is less than what they should receive.

In many cases, legal representation is necessary to make sure an insurance company meets its obligation to you. One of the services provided by the Frank Jenkins Law Office is to help Kentuckians deal with insurance companies. We know the tactics insurance companies use to delay or avoid paying claims and how to overcome them.

We also investigate personal injury accidents so that we have solid evidence to support our clients’ claims in negotiations with insurance companies. Because we have a 15-year track record of success in Kentucky, insurance companies know we’ll be ready to take them to court if they do not agree to a proper settlement.

If you have already received a settlement offer from an insurance company, a personal injury lawyer from the Frank Jenkins Law Office can review it for you at no charge and advise you as to whether we think you deserve more. Contact us today in Lexington to set up an appointment.

Can I sue the store where I slipped and fell and was injured?
Under “premises liability” law, property owners who have been negligent in ensuring the safety of visitors to their premises may be held liable for a visitor’s injuries. We would have to investigate your case to be sure, but we have helped many Kentucky residents injured in slip-and-fall accidents.

Any property owner, whether at a grocery store, office building, hotel, apartment complex or a private home, has a legal duty to ensure the safety of those who visit their property. Generally, this includes recognizing and eliminating hazards in a timely manner or posting a warning that would enable a reasonable person to avoid a hazard that cannot be corrected immediately.

Slip-and-fall lawsuits are the most common form of premises liability claim. To be successful, the claim would have to establish that:

  • The injured person had a right to be on the property.
  • A hazard on the premises – such as spilled liquid, a pothole in a parking lot, a loose handrail on a stairway, or a burned out light in a dark hallway – caused a fall that resulted in the plaintiff’s injury, and
  • The property owner knew or should have known about the hazard but failed to correct it or adequately warn visitors about it.

We would be happy to review the facts of your accident with you in a free initial consultation. Read more about how the Frank Jenkins Law Office slip-and-fall lawyers can help you.

Will I have to testify in court if I pursue a personal injury claim?
Probably not. Most personal injury cases are settled outside of court. We work hard to obtain the best possible settlement for our clients without a trial.

Compensation for personal injury claims come from the defendant’s insurance policy in almost all cases. This may be from an automotive liability insurance, business liability insurance or homeowners’ insurance policy held by the defendant in the case. By issuing the policy, the insurance company has agreed to pay legitimate claims, but many companies try to avoid making proper payouts.

As personal injury lawyers, we work to assemble evidence that will persuade the insurance company that the plaintiff is likely to prevail if a lawsuit goes to court. Insurers know that going to court carries the risk of a large jury award as well as the added expense of a trial.

If we can obtain a proper settlement offer, we will advise you about it. Accepting a settlement is your decision. But once you accept a settlement offer, that ends the case, ensures you are promptly paid and allows you to get on with your life.

If we cannot obtain an acceptable settlement, we will be prepared to fight for you in court. We will make sure you are fully prepared for court as well. But even in court, there may not be a need for you to testify.

How long do I have after an accident to file a personal injury claim?
Kentucky’s deadlines for filing personal injury claims vary according to the type of claim. But regardless of the statute of limitations on filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is best to begin work as soon as possible.

In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit varies according to whether minors are involved and the type of action. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident lawsuit is two years – either from the date of the accident or the last no-fault (personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance) payment. Many personal injury claims must be filed within 12 months of when the injury occurs

It is best to get started on a claim quickly. Developing a case requires examining medical records with the help of medical experts to determine the full costs of your injuries and losses, and any police reports or other records of the accident itself. Our legal team must also interview witnesses, conduct our own investigation to uncover evidence of the defendant’s negligence, and draft and file the actual complaint.

Depending on the complexity of the case, we may have outside experts – like doctors, forensic engineers or life care planners whom we regularly consult – analyze records, reports and other evidence to obtain their opinions and advice. Their reports can help sway an insurance company during negotiations, or their testimony as expert witnesses may be what persuades a jury.

This all takes time, and there are several ways an insurance company reluctant to pay a claim may delay the process.

In short, there is much work to be done before we know how to structure your claim and what compensation we should demand on your behalf. Your right to justice should not be compromised because of time limitations.

We suggest you start work on your personal injury claim by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney right away for a free, no obligation legal consultation.