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Q
WHAT TYPES OF COMPENSATION CAN BE AWARDED IN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT?
ACompensation for past medical bills, future medical bills, past lost wages, future lost wages. In addition to these amounts you can also recover damages for pain and suffering, inconvenience, stress, loss of consortium, and in some cases punitive damages. Pain and suffering are considered general damages which also include recovery for the mental anguish, physical pain and emotional distress.

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Q
HOW LONG DOES A PERSONAL INJURY CASE TAKE?
AIt depends on the severity of the injuries and the complexity of the case. Some cases can settle within a few months others can take several years. Generally speaking the bigger the case the longer it takes to resolve but this depends upon whether fault is disputed, whether the injuries are disputed or where everything is clear cut and undisputed. Some large cases can settle quickly if there is no reasonable dispute as to who is at fault and what injuries are suffered by the plaintiff.

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Q
WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
ADepending on the case and depending on the injuries, if the case can be resolved without litigation it is a matter of gathering all the physical evidence, the medical records and bills, lost wage documents and sitting down with you, the client to discuss valuation and authority to make a demand for settlement.

If the case does not resolve during the prelitigation process I then file a complaint for damages. Next, I have a summons issued and have the process server serve the defendant with a summons and complaint. Once the case has been served and the defendant has answered, I gather all more information about the case to prepare for trial.

The information gathering phase of the case is called discovery, and it involves sending written demands for information to the defendant, take the depositions of witnesses and subpoena records. Once discovery is completed, and the expert witnesses have been retained and deposed the court usually tries to encourage the parties to settle because at this point we know the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case.

If the case does not settle I take the case to trial. Most litigated cases last between 1 and 2 years.

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Q
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
AI charge a contingency fee which means you do not pay any money unless I win your case by trial or settlement. I advance the costs of litigation including filing the complaint and hiring of expert witnesses. My fees and costs are paid out of your settlement or verdict.

If I don’t win your case, you don’t pay me anything. As far as the percentage that I charge it also depends on the case, generally most personal injury lawyers charge one third before trial.

Again, I am always open to discussing the percentage of the contingency fee with my client and want to make sure that you are comfortable with my fee and that it is a fair fee for the work performed.

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Q
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT?
AYou should call Peter Goldstein before speaking to anyone else to ensure your case is handled by an experienced attorney who can obtain the best result possible. Do not make statements to any insurance company representatives or investigators because generally everything you say will be attempted to be used against you. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.

Do not apologize or admit you did anything wrong. Do not sign anything.

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Q
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR MY CASE?
AA statute of limitations determines the amount of time you have to file a personal injury complaint in court. Statutes of limitations for different types of cases differ from state to state and depend on the area of law, for example, medical malpractice cases have a one year statute of limitations both in California and Nevada whereas most personal injury cases are two years but there are exceptions. If you were injured, it is important to call me as soon as possible to make sure the limitation period does not expire.

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Q
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVE TO WIN MY PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT?
AThe plaintiff has the burden of proof in all cases. That means you must show it is more likely than not that your injuries were the result of the defendant’s negligence. Even if the defendant tries to argue that you were at fault, this is called contributory negligence, you still have the right to bring a lawsuit, and the jury or judge may ultimately decide what percentage of fault each party is responsible for in causing the accident.

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Q
HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
A

 

 

That varies from case to case, but in general compensation for personal injuries depends on:

  • The past and future medical bills
  • The seriousness of your injuries
  • Whether you are able to continue to work after being injured.

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Q
CAN I PURSUE MY CASE ON MY OWN?
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Yes, but you are a great deal more likely to get a good result if you let me handle the case so you get the benefit of:

  • 30 years experience as an attorney
  • Knowledge of legal procedures and substantive law
  • Experience negotiating with insurance defense lawyers
  • Knowledge of judges and mediators and jury venues in the courthouse your case will be filed and tried
  • A multijurisdictional lawyer with full time, experienced staff ready to get you the best result possible

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