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Personal Injury Network

What Exactly is Personal Injury?

Transcript

Erica

Welcome to P.I.N. the Personal Injury Network brought to you by The Reeves Law Group, I’m Erica Shaffer. We’re here today with Derek Pakiz of The Reeves Law Group, who’s not only handled thousands of personal injuries cases, but is also one of only about a hundred attorneys nationwide who’s an Accredited Diplomat of the national organization of Plaintiffs’ lawyers. Derek, welcome to P.I.N.

Derek

Thank you Erica, it’s nice to be here.

Erica

Derek, we often hear people talk about “Personal Injury.” From a legal perspective, just what is “Personal Injury?”

Derek

Erica, When we say “Personal Injury”, we mean any way that a person is injured by the wrongful acts of someone else. Personal injury can include all sorts of injury accidents. Everything from car collisions to plane crashes. It includes injuries on other people’s property, such as falls, electrocution, being struck by falling objects. It includes dog bites, and of course, intentional acts, where someone harms you on purpose. The list truly goes on and on.

Erica

When someone’s injured in an accident, what’s the first thing they should do?

Derek

No lawyer, and no lawsuit, can ever lessen your pain or heal your injuries. That is why you need to get the medical attention that you require. If you have any doubt at all about the seriousness of your injury, go to the hospital right away. If you’re sure you can wait, then your family doctor, who you’ve trusted with your and your family’s health, is probably a good place to start.

Erica

What should you do if you don’t feel you’re getting all the medical care you need?

Derek

Great question Erica. Sometimes, especially if you have very serious or unusual injuries, you may require a referral to an ultra-specialist. An experienced attorney should be able to help you with this. Likewise, if you feel you’re not getting care and treatment quickly enough from your own doctors, or if you don’t have your own doctors, an experienced attorney should be able to help you with these problems as well.

Erica

Okay so you’ve established that a personal injury attorney is required,
but will any personal injury lawyer do will?

Derek

Well remember the person that harms you usually has a multi-billion dollar insurance company on their side. That insurance company already has a team assembled of adjusters, investigators and lawyers. You want a lawyer who can go toe to toe with that kind of opponent and still win the day. Generally speaking,
you want to look for a lawyer that has many attorneys, has been in existence for many years and has a proven track record of many successes in your kind of case.

Erica

Besides getting medical care right away, what else is important for an injured person to do?

Derek

After you protect your health and well-being, you need to make sure that you protected your legal rights.

Erica

Why should an accident victim have to be concerned about protecting their rights?

Derek

When you’ve been injured by someone else’s careless or wrongful acts, the law says that you have a right to receive full and fair compensation for all of your harms and losses. Oftentimes, the wrongdoer or their insurance company will try to take advantage of you when you are at your most vulnerable, and try lessen, or eliminate, your right to compensation.

Erica

Derek, how can someone guard against this?

Derek

Injured people are generally good, trusting individuals and they think if they’re helpful to the insurance company, that insurance company will be helpful to them.

Erica

Are you saying that when the other guy’s insurance company calls, they’re not trying to be helpful?

Derek

We need to set the record straight. Multibillion-dollar insurance companies have one interest, and one interest only – to keep as much of their money as they possibly can and to pay to you as little as possible. In fact, the only reason that they’re talking to you is to try and get information that can weaken or ruin your case.

Erica

Derek, so what do we do when they call?

Derek

If you already have an attorney, give them your attorney’s name and telephone number, and hang up, period. If you haven’t found an attorney yet, ask the insurance company to put their questions to you in writing. That way, when find the right attorney, you can turn those questions over to them and they can deal with it from there.

Erica

To protect their rights, is it important for an injured person to get an attorney right away?

Derek

Absolutely. And that attorney should be experienced and specialize in personal injury. He or she can then take care of other worries or concerns and allow you to focus on getting well.

Erica

What are some of the ways that attorney can help me right away?

Derek

Your attorney can prevent the insurance company from harassing you, so you’ll be free of their letters and phone calls. Also as I mentioned earlier, that attorney can make sure you get all of the medical care and attention that you require. And an experienced attorney will want to start right away, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building your case.

Erica

Derek, once I have a personal injury attorney, how long will it take me to win my case?

Derek

Erica, that’s another great question – and one that requires me to gaze a little bit into a crystal ball. You see, a wrongdoer and their insurance company are never obligated to pay you until a trial jury tells them they have to do so.

Erica

What’s the likelihood of having to go to trial?

Derek

In the hands of an good personal injury attorney, the chances are excellent that your case can be won before trial. Depending upon various factors, how the accident happened, the extent of injury, who the wrongdoer is, your case can often be won soon after your medical care and treatment has finished and your condition has stabilized. Other times, especially if your injuries are severe or catastrophic, there is a good chance your case will have to go into the court system. In these instances as well, an experienced attorney can maximize the chances that your case can settle for full and fair compensation.

Erica

What if the other side refuses to settle and you have to bring your case to trial?

Derek

As long as your attorney is an experienced trial attorney with a proven track record of success, your chances are good that the jury will find in your favor and tell the insurance company and the wrongdoer that they have to pay you, your full and fair compensation.

Erica

On behalf of the Personal Injury Network and The Reeves Law Group, I’m Erica Schafer. Thank you for joining us here today.