Personal Injury Attorney in Louisville Kentucky
Hughes and Coleman Injury Lawyers care for every client we represent. Although all attorneys are required to abide by a high standard of ethics, not all firms offer the same level of service. The unfortunate fact is that some attorneys just “go through the motions” or “cut deals” quickly so they can get paid. If they were passionate enough, they would fight hard for you to get every dollar you deserve in your case. We have taken pride in bringing that kind of passion to Louisville for many years.
What are the important things I should do if I have been injured and a personal injury claim will need to be filed?
Before you think about the legal issue, focus on ensuring your safety. Do not try to be “the tough person” and say that you are okay when you know you are not. Accidents happen. They are part of life. It doesn’t matter if it is a car accident, injury at work, slip and fall, injury occurring while using a defective product, etc., you need to do the following:
- Seek Medical Attention Right Away.
Even if it is not a serious injury, you should be checked out by a physician. Some injuries are internal, and any time that passes could cause those injuries to worsen. You should know that if you do not get medical attention after your accident, the amount you are awarded can often be reduced, and in some cases, by a significant amount.
- File a Police Report.
Some people don’t want to be “that person” who calls the police, but your health and economic well being could be negatively affected if you do not take the proper steps and call the police. The reason a police report is important is it serves as the official document of exactly what happened. The officer will talk to you, the other person involved (if applicable) and any witnesses.
- Keep a level head when speaking to others at the scene of an accident.
If you do not know what happened, keep quiet and wait for the police and/or medical personnel to arrive at the scene. Speaking of the incident following an accident can just cause confusion. Since this is a personal injury and you are not at fault, it’s not helpful for you to discuss what occurred. Let the evidence speak for itself, and let the experts make their own determination based on that evidence. The reason you get an attorney is to make sure your story is told, the facts are presented, and that you get the justice you deserve.
- Record keeping of costs and expenses related to the injury.
Keep a notebook of everything that happens following the injury including: (1)How you feel. (2)Your sleep patterns. (3)Any loss or change of appetite. (4)Anything that is disruptive to your normal schedule. (5)If you go to the doctor, record the time you leave, mileage driven, and when you get home. (6)Record every expense. (7)Also record the time and details of each phone call regarding your case. This can be invaluable to you if it ends up going to trial or to reach a good settlement. (8) Changes in work schedule or abilities.
- Do NOT sign any documents without having a professional review them.
It is one of the oldest tricks in the book, an insurance company pressuring you with “we need you to sign these basic forms.” What you are actually doing is signing away your right to take the case to court and instead go to a mediator. The reason they want you to sign documents is it is in THEIR favor, not yours.
- Don’t settle on your own. Insurance carriers will have legal representatives on the other side, so should you. Yes, there are circumstances when you can settle on your own, but those are rare. Getting professional legal advice for something you feel unsure of is a very wise move. Talk to a Louisville lawyer with experience. Our Louisville personal injury attorneys have decades of dedicated experience helping folks just like you.
What do lawyers typically charge for personal injury claims?
This does vary from state-to-state and from firm to firm. However, most personal injury attorneys will work on what is called a “contingency basis.” This means they only get paid if you win. Most attorneys will charge one-third of your settlement, while others will ask for 40%. It varies from one law firm to another so you should ask this question.
What is an injury lawyer and how are they different from other lawyers?
In terms of licensing and education, there isn’t a real difference. Lawyers are licensed to practice law when they have attended law school and then (assuming they received high enough grades) they pass a test called the Bar Exam. The real difference between Injury or accident lawyers is what area of law they choose to practice in once they are out of school and are actively practicing as an attorney.
Simply put, a personal injury lawyer represents clients who have suffered an injury, either physical or psychological, due to the negligence or wrong doing of another party. This can include work injuries, car or other accidents, defective products, medical malpractice or mistakes, and slip and fall accidents. The other party can be an individual, a corporation, a government agency, or another entity entirely.
What is required to be a personal injury attorney in Kentucky?
Of course, a written bar exam must be passed and often a written ethics examination as well. Most states require a four-year degree and a law degree from an accredited school. There is also the Multi-state Bar Examination (MBE), and the Multi-state Essay (MSE).
What are some of the qualities I should look for in a personal injury attorney?
- Can You Relate to Them? While you are sitting in their office discussing the case, pay attention to how quickly they understand your issue. Are they focused or distracted? Do they ask you to repeat yourself as if their mind was preoccupied? Do you feel a connection with them? Do they use words you don’t understand or come across as arrogant? If so, then they will probably come across that way to the insurance adjuster or jury, which could negatively affect your case.
- Do they make communication a priority? How often will you be contacted? In what manner? If you are a person that needs updates to keep your stress level down ask about their policy and processes. If they offer a casual answer, and don’t have a ready answer for you, it could mean that they haven’t given much though to the issue of communication, and that they handle it casually.
- Ask Tough Questions:- How long have you been practicing as a personal injury attorney?
– Do you handle other areas of law or just personal injury cases?
– (If other areas) What percentage of your caseload is personal injury?
– Have you ever had your law license suspended or revoked?
– How many trials have you done in the last 12 months? 5 years?
– What is your success rate?
– Will I be dealing directly with you or with an associate?
– How do your peers view you? Judges?
– Do you fully account for all settlement funds so I am paid correctly?
– Does the contingency fee cover everything or do I have to pay any expenses?
– Will you ensure that the settlement will take into account the medical bills so I will not be stuck with payments following your contingency fee?
Which personal injury lawyer should I select in Louisville?
Hughes and Coleman has a proven track record fighting for Louisville accident victims. Knowing individuals, local laws, and specific people in the case such as the insurance adjuster, or the judge over the case allows us to prepare the RIGHT way to give you the best chance of winning.
Do your homework and read the reviews online. Call your insurance agent, neighbors, friends, etc. for referrals and then call and ask questions. If a law firm has been around the community for many years, there is good reason. Bad law firms get a bad reputation that catches up with them eventually. But the good ones are a part of the community. They contribute to their local community, and have stood the test of time. Talk to our Louisville attorneys by calling our law offices and see what sets us apart.
Who receives the settlement check when I win my case?
Typically since your attorney is working on a contingency basis, your law firm receives the check. Often, the attorney will have a trust account set up where the check is deposited and from that account your medical bills and expenses are paid from, your lawyer takes their fee and you are given the remaining amount.
Your attorney will go over all expenses, their fees, and what was paid out when you arrive at the office to receive your check. If there are charges which you dispute, the disputed charges remain in the trust, you will receive a check for the non-disputed amount.
What does a personal injury lawyer typically cost? Is there a cost difference in Louisville compared to the national average?
Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency model. Most people do not have the funds in order to pay for an attorney upfront. So the law firm representing you in your injury case takes a risk and represents you “contingent” on winning. In plain English, this means that you and your lawyer are agreeing that winning your case, and getting a settlement is required in order for them to get paid. They are agreeing that if there isn’t a settlement, then they will pay the costs out of their own pocket.
When should you call a personal injury lawyer?
Immediately! If at all possible, it is best to consult with an attorney within the first 72 hours when you are able to make sound judgments and decisions. Getting the best possible attorney on your case can help give you peace of mind and reduce your stress. Let your attorney handle everything so that you can start recovery right away.
Do I really need a personal injury lawyer in Louisville for my case?
It is well known in the Louisville area that a individual in an injury case who is not represented by an attorney can easily find themselves bullied by insurance carriers. Claims adjusters routinely make low-ball offers with “take it or leave it” tactics attempting to settle for thousands less than what you are entitled to. Hughes and Coleman has the power and experience to fight for you and overcome the obstacles that insurance companies create.
Do you handle cases involving medical malpractice?
We do, however you need to understand from the start that medical malpractice cases can be quite complex. There are still hundreds of thousands of people who die each year due to medical malpractice, and a far larger number are injured, some permanently. A medical malpractice case requires that we show that a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider, provided health care that falls below the standard that has been set forth as reasonably safe or which lead directly to the harm of the patient.
A few examples of medical malpractice would be:
- Surgery performed on the wrong limb or wrong location.
- Misreading a radiology chart (X-Ray, CT Scan, MRI), which resulted in the incorrect procedure being recommended, or a delay in getting the proper treatment started.
My case involves a brain injury – can you help me?
We can, and we have helped many clients through these types of cases. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are often injuries that are overlooked in many accidents because the symptoms do not usually appear until much later, often after the case has been settled. Brain injuries are defined as either mild or severe. Oddly, there is no middle ground. The definition of a mild brain injury is one in which you lost consciousness for less than 30 minutes.
Mild TBI can include: coordination problems, depression, excessive sleep, mood changes, violent outbursts, short-term memory loss, loss of smell, sensitivity to light, and nausea.
I heard that truck accidents are more complicated than car accidents. Is that true?
On average, there are more than 30,000 large truck accidents per year and for the majority of these accidents, driver negligence is to blame. Did you know that semis can weight as much as 20,000 pounds? That’s ten tons. Once it is moving at 70mph or faster, disaster can happen if the driver is not paying attention. Accidents involving semis are five times more likely to cause death than an accident between two cars.
I have a workers compensation case that I’ve been told is complex. Can you help?
Personal injury is actually more complex because you have to prove fault. In a workers compensation case, you do not have to prove fault. If you are hurt on the job you are entitled to benefits. The biggest difference is that you cannot file for “pain and suffering” compensation under workers’ comp.
I was injured on someone’s property and I understand this is called premises liability. Do you take those types of cases?
Know that just because you were injured on someone’s property does not automatically make them negligent in the case. Even if the property had unsafe conditions, a claimant will still have the burden of proof that the property owner knew of the unsafe condition, and did nothing, or very little, to remedy the situation.
We do handle premises liability cases and most fall under the categories of slip and fall, ice accidents, failure to properly maintain the premises, defective conditions, elevator/escalator accidents, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, hot tub/spa accidents, amusement park accidents, etc.
What is the best way to handle an insurance settlement dispute?
It is bad enough to suffer through an accident, but worse is when the insurance settlement is denied or a dispute arises. Contacting a personal injury attorney to review your policy regarding a denial or dispute is highly advised. Hughes and Coleman has a great deal of experience handling insurance disputes.
What laws are there to protect me if I have a prescription drug injury?
Prescription drugs have helped us lead longer and healthier lives, however, there are circumstances when profit is put forth over the health and safety of the general public. Many law suits are filed against pharmaceutical companies for many reasons pertaining to their liability and responsibility to provide adequate information to patients and doctors. Even though prescription drugs must go through FDA approval, some prescription drugs have proven to be extremely dangerous for certain patients. If you have suffered serious side effects taking a prescription drug under your doctor’s supervision, contact us and we can determine if you have a case.
What about defective medical devices? What are my legal rights in a dispute?
The medical field has made great strides in terms of keeping us healthy and giving us a higher quality of life. However, due to short cuts and inadequate time during trials, medical devices can bring more harm than good. For example, heart stints, pacemakers, cardiac defibrillators, silicon breast implants, hip replacements, knee replacements, are some of the medical devices which have caused serious harm to tens of thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of patients.
My parent was a victim of nursing home abuse, I don’t know what to do.
One of the most difficult decisions you can make is to place a loved one into a nursing home to get the care they need. That decision is difficult enough without being compounded by finding that your family member was victimized by the home you entrusted their care to. Most nursing homes provide excellent care, but there are also poorly run facilities, which look on the outside like a well-run facility. No one deserves to be abused. The elderly can be more susceptible to abuse due to their frail and vulnerable condition. Contact us for help and we will determine what the proper steps to protect your parent and ensure the people responsible are brought to justice.
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