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Grand Rapids, Michigan Personal Injury FAQs

Michigan Attorney Answers Common Questions About the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process in Kent County

Most people do not expect to fall victim to an accident, and when it does happen, you may be left with many questions as to what comes next. At John D. Tallman, PLC, we are available to address any of your concerns regarding the personal injury process. Here are a few answers to common questions:

What should I do after an accident?

Whatever the cause of your accident, you should seek medical help for your injuries as soon as possible. If you are able, you should also try to take pictures of your injuries and any contributing factors at the scene of the accident, which can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim.

How do I know if someone else is liable for my injuries?

In most Michigan personal injury cases, liability is determined based on another party's negligence. A person is considered negligent when they have a duty of care to someone else, and in breaching that duty they cause an accident resulting in injury or death. A liable party can be an individual, like another driver in a car accident, or a business, like the manufacturer of a defective product.

How do I file a personal injury lawsuit?

If your injuries are serious or you are unsure who is at fault, you should hire an attorney who can help you identify liable parties from whom you can pursue compensation. Once you have an idea of who is responsible, your attorney can help you notify the liable parties and their insurance companies of your intent to pursue a claim. You must file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which varies depending on the cause of your accident.

How much does a personal injury attorney cost?

At John D. Tallman, PLC, your initial consultation is free. Our compensation is based on a portion of your settlement or verdict, so you will only need to pay for our services if we achieve a successful outcome for you.

What damages can I recover?

In most personal injury cases, you can pursue compensation for economic damages related to your injury including medical bills, property damage, and lost income from time during which you are unable to work. In the case of a serious injury with long-lasting or permanent effects, you may also be able to pursue non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment.

Will my case go to trial?

Many personal injury cases are able to be settled out of court through negotiations between your attorney and the insurance and legal representatives for the liable parties. However, if it becomes clear that a fair resolution will not be possible through a settlement, it may be necessary to go to trial and make a case for full compensation in front of a judge and jury.

What happens during the discovery period?

A personal injury lawsuit can be a long process, and much of that time is spent in the discovery period before the court hearing. During discovery, the opposing parties have the opportunity to ask each other questions and request medical examinations and documents that can be used as evidence. Discovery also includes the deposition of witnesses who can speak to the circumstances surrounding the accident.

What evidence do I need for my case to succeed?

In general, you will need to convince the jury that the other party owed you a duty of care and failed to uphold it and that this failure was the cause of your injuries. You will also likely need to persuade the jury of the amount of compensation you are owed. Evidence that can bolster your claim includes pictures and video footage of the accident and the surrounding area, pictures of your injuries immediately after the accident and during recovery, documentation of your medical expenses, police reports, phone records, business records, and more.

How long will it take before I receive compensation?

The length of a personal injury lawsuit can vary significantly depending on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood of a settlement. Cases with minor injuries and lower damages can be settled fairly quickly, but for more serious injuries you may need to be patient so that you can fully understand the extent of the compensation you should pursue. Cases that go to trial may take significantly longer to resolve, sometimes years after the initial accident.

How can I pay for my expenses before receiving compensation?

In many car accident cases, you can pursue compensation for your economic damages through a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim through your own car insurance provider, since this coverage is required by law in Michigan. For other injury cases, some of your medical expenses can be covered by your health insurance provider. If your insurance coverage is insufficient, your attorney may be able to help you pursue other options.

Contact a Grand Rapids Personal Injury Attorney

Every personal injury case is different, and we know you likely have questions that pertain to your case specifically. Contact us today at 616-361-8850 to set up a free consultation and learn more from our experienced attorney. We serve clients in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Holland, and throughout Kent County, Ottawa County, and Muskegon County.

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