Personal Injury Lawyer Des Moines, IA
If you’ve been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, it’s time to seek out a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA from Johnston Martineau, LLP. We’re dedicated attorneys with years of experience fighting for the rights of victims, and now, it’s time we fight for you. For more information or to talk with an attorney on our time, call us today.
Expenses You Can Claim in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you were injured by the actions of another person, you probably desire some compensation for your injuries. This is natural, and the law guarantees that you are owed compensation. Personal injury lawsuits are filed every day allowing people to be compensated for their injuries. However, if you are like most people, you probably have a lot of questions about how this works. Remember, you can always speak with a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA to learn more, but this guide will go over the basics of what expenses you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Damages
In the legal system, the types of compensation are called damages. All damages fall into one of three categories:
- Special compensatory damages
- General compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
The judge will decide which kinds of damages are valid for your case, but you can claim special and general compensatory damages when you file. The judge will decide if these claims are valid and whether punitive damages are appropriate as well. It is extremely common for personal injury cases to involve the first two types, but punitive damages are more rarely applied, as an experienced personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA can attest.
Special Compensatory Damages
This type of damage refers to financial losses. If you had any kind of expense as a result of your injury, it will fall into this category. The most common damage in this category is medical bills, but it can also include things like lost wages, loss of earning ability, medicine, and miscellaneous purchases. If something has a specific dollar value, such as a medical bill that is exactly $5,000, then it is a special compensatory damage.
General Compensatory Damages
This type of damage refers to non-financial losses. It is commonly thought of as “pain and suffering,” but that is actually just a specific kind of general compensatory damages, as a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA can explain. If you experienced a loss, but it does not have a specific dollar value associated with it, then it is a general compensatory damage. The judge will decide how much this type of loss is worth.
Punitive damages are assigned strictly to punish the responsible party. They are not meant to compensate the plaintiff at all. They are usually only assigned in cases where the defendant was acting maliciously or especially irresponsibly. For example, if someone was driving while drunk and caused your injury, punitive damages are very likely.
Before you can take your case to trial, you should hire a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA from Johnston Martineau, LLP. The sooner you hire a legal professional, the better your chances of winning your case are. Call now.
How to Handle the Insurance Company
When you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will immediately begin to review all of the details related to what happened. It is their job to resolve your claim as soon as possible and for the very least amount. Insurance adjusters are known for their zealous approach to cases, which tends to include many tactics that can be overwhelming and intimidating. In general, you should let a Des Moines, IA personal injury lawyer review your case and help you to understand your options.
Understanding the Insurance Adjuster
Before you decide to pursue a claim on your own, you should know the following:
The Insurance Adjuster Is Not On Your Side
Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. Their job is to make a profit for the company; thus protecting the at-fault party. When they call you, expect a friendly tone of voice. You might even be given sympathy for what happened. They will likely tell you that they will take care of anything and that you don’t need a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA. This is not true. Anything that is valued over a few thousand dollars or is not straightforward should be overseen by a qualified personal injury lawyer Des Moines, Iowa residents trust.
You May Be Asked to Provide a Recorded Statement
At some point, the adjuster may call and ask you to provide them with a recorded statement. They might even insist that this is necessary before any claim can proceed. In the event that you agree, and are not ready for what may ensue, there is a high chance of you making a mistake. This could result in your provided information being used against you. As a Des Moines, Iowa personal injury lawyer might tell you, it is inadvisable to offer any type of statement to the adjuster without having a legal advocate at your side.
Your Claim May Be Denied
No matter how much merit your case has, it is certainly possible that it will be denied. When this happens, a number of people will choose not to pursue anything any further. This is exactly what the adjuster wants you to do and another reason why they might say things like:
- We think you are at fault for the accident.
- There is no solid evidence that proves what happened.
- A previous injury is the cause of your current injuries.
- You failed to report the injury or accident
- The alleged negligent party did not do anything wrong
These are the statements that may be told to you and should not feel discouraging. As a personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA might explain to you, an adjuster can say practically anything to get you to agree to their terms. Or, in a best-case scenario get you to drop the case.
Your First Offer May Be Very Low
In the event of your claim not being denied, you may be offered a settlement that is very low. In fact, this amount might not even cover one of your medical bills! You might be told:
- This is a fair deal.
- It’s the best amount that can be offered to you.
- If you don’t accept this, you risk losing everything.
- They have no authority to offer anything higher.
If you accept their offer there will be no going back. Thus, you should remain calm, reject their offer, and call a personal injury lawyer in Des Moine, IA as soon as possible. Call Johnston Martineau, LLP.
Get Help From Our Personal Injury Lawyer in Des Moines, IA!
When you have been in a personal injury accident, our personal injury lawyer Des Moines, IA residents trust knows that you have many questions. You are likely still recovering from the injuries you suffered from and getting answers to your questions would shed light on the aspects of personal injury claims you are unsure about. We know that this entire process can complicate your life but we want to make it as simple as possible. Don’t hesitate to call our office when someone else has injured you out of negligence. We want to ensure you get compensated for the ways you have suffered. To see what our Des Moines personal injury lawyer can do for you, give us a call now.
Is a personal injury only physical?
Physical personal injuries are extremely common. However, it is also possible to suffer from a mental injury after an accident.
What should I do after the accident occurred?
While any personal injury accident is going to be unique, there are a few things that you can do following the accident that will not only get you on the road to recovery but also help your case. First things first: get better. After you have been in an accident you should seek medical help immediately, regardless of your injuries. We know it may not look like you have bad injuries, but a doctor’s assessment will find any underlying problems. You should also be wary of who you discuss the accident with. When an insurance agent calls to get your side of the story, they may simply be looking for information to twist in their favor. Wait to speak with your personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa before you talk with an insurance agent.
Do insurance agents often call after personal injury accidents?
This is very common and we encourage you to learn the reason behind this. After someone else’s negligence has caused your injuries, an insurance agent may call to “check-in” and even say you are owed a certain amount of money. This might sound great to you when you have medical bills piling up. Especially when this is the case, speak with your attorney because the insurance agent is likely giving you a much lower settlement than you deserve. Never sign anything from an insurance company until your Des Moines, IA personal injury lawyer has had a chance to look at it.
If you would like the help of a Des Moines, IA personal injury lawyer from our firm, call Johnston Martineau, LLP now!
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