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Tuesday, 13 April 2010 00:00

Personal Injury Checklist

Dempsey Law attorneys have significant experience in successfully pursuing personal injury actions for clients.  If you have been injured in an accident, we would be happy to see you in our offices or elsewhere at your convenience to discuss the details.  You may have a possible claim and may be able to recover damages for your injury and any economic loss.

Before an attorney from our office meets with you, there is some basic information that will need to be collected and available for the first interview.  Depending on the circumstances and the nature of your case, some of the information required may be different.  Also, the attorney conducting the interview may request additional information from you.  The following is intended to be a helpful checklist.

General Information

  • Your name and address and the names and addresses of others involved in the accident
  • A copy of your accident report (if one exists or is available)
  • A copy of any written statement that you might have made or others might have made about the accident 

Information about the Accident

  • The date and time of the accident that caused the injury
  • The details of the accident, e.g., make and model of autos involved, road conditions, other known facts
  • The names and addresses of any witnesses and a description of what they observed
  • The name and address of the ambulance company if you were transported to a hospital
  • The name of the hospital/emergency room that you were transported to
  • The names and addresses of any medical providers that treated you for your injury at the time it occurred and those who are treating you now, if different
  • The dates and times that medical services were provided to you
  • Any traffic tickets related to the accident
  • Any photographs that you have of any personal injuries or property damage caused by the accident or regarding the scene of the accident

Information about Your Employer

  • Your employer’s name and address and contact information
  • Dates you were unable to work due to your injury
  • Documentation regarding any lost wages or benefits
  • A copy of any explanation of your disability benefits or insurance benefits, if provided by your employer

Information about Your Insurance

  • Name and contact information regarding your insurance company, insurance agent, or any other insurance person you have spoken with
  • The actual insurance policy, e.g., auto policy, homeowners, or renters, as applicable
  • Copies of any letters or other documents from or to insurance companies
  • Health insurance documents from your employer, if applicable, including any co-pays, deductibles or coverage limits
  • Any disability insurance coverage, if applicable
  • Any Veterans insurance policy, if applicable
  • Information about Your Medical and other Expenses

    • Copies of all medical bills
    • Receipts for any expenses you have incurred because of your injury
    • Any other documentation regarding your injury or treatment for your injury
    • Records of any psychiatric or psychological care or treatment that you required because of the accident and injury

    Other Considerations

    The information collected at the initial conference may or may not establish that you have a case.  A definitive decision may not be possible until additional facts are obtained.

    If additional information is required, our personal injury attorneys will outline what additional steps are necessary. If you do have a cause of action, our attorneys will advise you promptly.

    Time Limitations

    Personal injury lawsuits are governed by what is known as a “statute of limitations.”  This means that if you are injured in an accident, you will only have a certain amount of time from the date of your injury (or the date that you first became aware of your injury) to file a lawsuit.  In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury cases is three years.  Hence, time may be of the essence.  If your case is not filed within the time period, it may be barred forever.

    Fees for Personal Injury Lawsuits

    Dempsey Law frequently uses what is known as a “contingency fee” in personal injury lawsuits. If you do not win your case, the Firm will not receive a fee. The Firm’s fee is based on a percentage of the amount recovered. Generally, the Firm’s clients in personal injury actions are responsible for all costs that the Firm may incur on the client’s behalf.  These costs include filing fees, postage, photocopies, fax and telephone charges, service of process, depositions, appraisals, witness fees and fees for expert witnesses.  Of course, if your personal injury case is successfully settled or tried, these costs will be deducted from the amount recovered.  A fee agreement will be executed with you at the time of the initial interview.

    Conclusion

    Accidents and injuries may involve complicated facts and many documents and records, particularly if there is insurance or medical providers involved.  It is important to keep good records at all times.  The initial interview is when most of the information and documents are collected.  The more complete the information presented, the more quickly our experienced personal injury attorneys can review and assess the merits of your case.  You can assist in the process by providing the necessary information.

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