Lindsay Lien Rinholen, an attorney at out law firm, was asked by the Minnesota State Bar Association to discuss personal injury law in a series of videos. “I am honored to have been chosen by the Minnesota State Bar Association to help teach the public about personal injury claims. I hope these videos help answer some questions people have about this area of the law,” said Lindsay.
I’ve Been Injured; What Should I Do?
People who are injured often wonder if they have a case. To have a personal injury case, you need two things:
- Someone else has to be legally responsible for what happened to you and
- You had to have suffered some form of harm.
What are Common Personal Injury Case Types?
What are the Costs and How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
A lot of people think personal injury lawyers are too expensive and don’t reach out for help after an accident, but we work on a contingent fee, not an hourly fee. The amount you pay is based on the total amount of the settlement or jury verdict. The expenses and lawyers fees are taken out of that amount. You pay nothing up front, and nothing if you lose. You can get a free consultation to see if you have a case and to find out how much of a percentage the law firm will take.
What is the Process and Do I Have to Go to Court?
How your case turns out depends on what happened and who is responsible. Your case may be able to be resolved with a settlement agreement before a lawsuit is filed. If a lawsuit is filed, you may be asked to give a deposition, which is recorded questions under oath. This is usually done in a lawyer’s office, and it can be used as evidence. Your lawyer will most likely also depose people on the other side, for example, the other driver or company executives and management.
Settlements can happen after a lawsuit is filed. In Minnesota, the courts require alternative dispute resolution, usually a mediation, where a third-party neutral helps facilitate settlement discussions between you and the other side. If there is a trial, you will need to appear in court.
What Does “Statute of Limitations” Mean?
Statutes of limitations are time limits that control how long you have to file a lawsuit. These vary greatly by the kind of case and the state you live in or where the accident happened. Once the time expires, you will not be able to bring a case. This is another reason to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
I’ve Got a Lot of Medical Bills; What Should I Do?
A lot of clients who call us are burdened by a lot of medical bills. A lawyer can not ethically front you the money when a claim is pending under the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct. However, if you do hire a lawyer, they may be able to work with your health and car insurance companies and medical providers to put off payment until the case is settled or you win money at trial. To figure out if this is possible, you should talk to your lawyer.
What is My Case Worth?
A lot of people want to know: “What is my case worth?” Because every case is different, we can’t provide you an accurate estimate. However, “money damages” are something that the law provides for as compensation for what happened to you if your injured. The first kind of damages that you can recover are economic damages. This is money for past and future medical expenses and wage loss. The next kind are non-economic, which includes amounts for the pain and suffering that you went through as a result of being hurt. Finally, in cases there may be punitive damages, which are meant to punish a defendant and deter other people from doing the same thing. These are only awarded when someone shows deliberate disregard for the safety of others. To find out what type of money you may be able to collect, call a lawyer today.
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