Frequently Ask Question
These FAQs are designed for personal injury victims of auto accidents, truck accidents, and victims of medical malpractice. Because truck accidents and medical malpractice litigation have issues that are unique to those types of personal injury cases, our lawyers have also designed frequently asked questions that are specific to truck crashes and malpractice.
Why choose our law firm?
We are in an age of specialization. As times have changed, no attorney can possibly keep up with all areas and complexities of the law, and that is why our team is comprised of the top legal minds, each with their own area of practice. Our firm is also unique in that while we all specialize in various aspects of the law, the size of our legal team allows us to offer counsel on nearly any facet of the law
Will the insurance company offer a fair settlement if I don't have an attorney?
Insurance companies usually do not admit responsibility or part with money easily. Most successful recoveries are the product of many hours of hard work resulting in a well-documented claim. If you are uncertain about the value of your claim or want a second opinion, it will cost you absolutely nothing to meet with one of our experienced injury attorneys to discuss your case. Most attorneys who represent injured persons offer free consultations. We will do our best to answer your questions and share our knowledge regarding settlements and verdicts in cases that are similar or comparable to your case. Insurance companies are not required to pay every person who has been injured in accident. There is no “formula” regulating the amount of compensation due an injured person. Many insurance companies use scare tactics to discourage personal injury claimants from hiring a lawyer. Often, insurance claim adjusters tell claimants (1) that the settlement of their claim will be delayed (if an attorney is involved); or (2) that the majority of the settlement proceeds will wind up in the lawyer’s pocket. The reason that many insurance companies discourage personal injury claimants from hiring an attorney is simple. The insurance industry knows that injury victims who have highly qualified lawyers recover significantly larger awards than people who are not represented.
What will legal service cost
Our Promise to you – You pay us nothing unless we win your case
How do I pay my medical bills?
When will my case settle?
It is impossible, in the early stages of a personal injury case, to predict when your case will settle. We cannot initiate settlement negotiations until your medical treatment is complete. After your medical treatment is complete, we will need to gather your medical records and other data to begin to negotiate seriously. We will try to keep you informed as we go and resolve your case as quickly as possible.
Involved in an auto accident? What should you do?
Being involved in an automobile accident can be a very traumatic experience. From the moment of initial impact, your whole world can be turned upside down. If you are involved in an automobile accident either as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, or know someone who has been involved, here are a few tips on what you can should do immediately following:
- Report the accident immediately:If you are able to, call 911 and report that you have been involved in an automobile accident. Once law enforcement arrives, cooperate with them and explain how the accident happened in detail. If you know of witnesses who saw the crash, politely ask the officer to speak with them as well. Upon completion of the report, ask the officer for a copy of the information, or at a minimum the name of the law enforcement agency, officer’s name, and crash report number.
- Seek immediate medical attention:Injuries sustained in auto-accidents can vary from minor to severe to life-threatening. If you are experiencing any pain, including mild pain or discomfort, immediately seek medical attention. If medical assistance is offered at the accident scene, consider having the paramedics examine you. If you have insurance, your Personal Injury Protection will automatically cover the majority of the ambulance ride to the Emergency Room and the ER visit. If you don’t have insurance, the ambulance and hospital will treat you just the same.
- Get the names and contact information for all witnesses:It will always help to have this information. Our office will immediately contact all witnesses and have them interviewed by a professional investigator. If you do not know the witnesses personally, they are considered to be “independent observers”, and their statement could help in any arguments about how the accident occurred.
- Take photographs at the scene:If at all possible, find a way to take photographs of all vehicles involved and any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident (construction barriers, potholes, debris, etc). Anything will do! These can even be taken from a cell phone or disposable camera.
- Call 407-299-8589 My experienced and friendly staff will always be ready to offer free advice to you concerning an accident that you or someone you know has been involved in. There are many factors that can be addressed shortly after the accident, and we will always be ready to help you through this ordeal. If it all possible, call us before speaking to any insurance company.
How long should I wait before consulting an attorney?
Delay can cause problems. The defendant normally contacts his or her insurance company immediately after the accident. The insurance company dispatches claims adjusters to interview witnesses and gather evidence. If you wait several weeks or several months after the accident to contact a lawyer, it may compromise your attorney’s ability to gather the evidence necessary to prove your case. Each state has a different rule regarding the time an injured party is allowed to file a lawsuit. The time allowed to file a lawsuit is called the “statute of limitations.” Failure to file a lawsuit within the time period allowed by law will result in your case being dismissed from the court system. Because of these time requirements, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to insure that your case can be properly investigated and a lawsuit can be filed on time.
What are some common causes of slip and fall accidents?
Falls are unquestionably the most common form injury-producing accidents in this country today. Literally millions of people suffer an injury from falling every year. But why are there so many slip and fall injuries? To understand why people are injured when they slip and fall, an explanation the basic scientific principle of gravity would be helpful. Gravity is a magnetic attraction that pulls everything to the earth’s surface. If you hold a ball out in your hand and drop it, the earth pulls the ball to the surface. The same thing happens to the human body when you fall, the force of gravity pulls your body to the ground, causing the body to hit a hard surface such as the floor. Most fall accidents occur when a person is moving, walking or running. Such motion many times aggravates the injury by adding the speed of the body’s motion to the force of the fall. In addition, our own natural “defense mechanisms” of trying to break the fall by twisting and/or turning can pull muscles or tendons, causing even greater injuries than the direct impact of the fall.
There are four (4) primary types of accidents that may result in an injury from a fall: 1) Trip-and-fall accidents, in which someone encounters a foreign object in their walking path; 2) Stump-and-fall accidents, in which a moving foot encounters an hazard in the walking surface, whether it is a sticky point on the surface or a hazard that impedes the foot; 3) Step-and-fall accidents, in which the foot finds an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface; and 4) Slip-and-fall accidents, in which the contact of the shoe with the floor fails to support the walker’s center of gravity over the area stepped upon.
By far, a slip and fall is the most common accident. Foot contact is broken, and the individual attempts to maintain balance. Recovery of equilibrium is reflexive and not under conscious control in most cases. If the person strikes a rigid surface with a fleshy part of the body, the injuries are likely to be minimal. But if the victim strikes a bony body part, the injuries may be more severe.
There are many obvious causes for a person to slip or trip, such as surfaces that are slippery because of water or other liquids certainly result in many fall related injuries. Foreign objects such as plastic or cardboard contribute to the number of fall related accidents. Improper wax on a floor can cause an unreasonably slick surface creating potentially slippery surfaces. Clothing stores may have hangers and/or clothing items that have fallen to the floor causing unexpected hazards that could cause a fall. Stock clerks could leave inventory in aisles causing unsuspecting customers to trip over boxes. Outside, uneven, broken or missing pavements on sidewalks, or in parking lots, have caused accidents on a regular basis. Holes in the ground and foreign objects in grass adjacent to sidewalks also create dangerous conditions. Poor lighting and other distractions add to the dangers above.
While the environment that we walk in results in the majority reasons we slip and fall, not all accidents can be totally attributed to another’s conduct. Physical and mental limitations, such as poor vision or the inability to cognitively recognize an obvious danger have been known to cause accidents on a regular basis. Wearing poor, or no, footwear can inhibit your ability to maintain balance, increasing your chances to fall and injure yourself.
Liability for injuries suffered as the result of falling on another’s property is sometimes not as clear as you would think. If you have the misfortune to fall on another’s property you may have a claim for your injuries. You need the help of a qualified personal injury attorney to be sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to, and that your rights are fully protected. The Law Office of Anthony Smith Law are exactly those types of attorneys. Our firm has helped over 10,000 injured people with personal injury claims, and would be honored to assist you. Call us today at (407) 299-8589. The call is free, but the advice could be priceless.
Involved in an motorcycle accident? What should you do?
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be a very traumatic experience. From the moment of initial impact, your whole world can be turned upside down. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident either as a rider or passenger, here are a few tips on what you should do immediately following:
- Report the accident immediately:
If you have the means, call 911 and report that you have been involved in an accident. Once law enforcement arrives, cooperate with them and explain how the accident happened in detail. If you know of witnesses who saw the crash, politely ask the officer to speak with them as well. Upon completion of the report, ask the officer for a copy of the information, or at a minimum, the name of the law enforcement agency, officer’s name, and crash report number.
- Seek immediate medical attention:
Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can vary from minor to severe to life-threatening. If you are experiencing any pain, including mild pain or discomfort, immediately seek medical attention. If medical assistance is offered at the accident scene, consider having the paramedics examine you. If you have insurance, your Personal Injury Protection will automatically cover the majority of the ambulance ride to the Emergency Room and the ER visit. If you don’t have insurance, the ambulance and hospital will treat you just the same.
- Get the names and contact information for all witnesses:
Our office will immediately contact all witnesses and have them interviewed by a professional investigator. Witness statements can be very helpful in arguing how the accident occurred.
- Take photographs at the scene:
If at all possible, find a way to take photographs of the motorcycle and all vehicles involved in the accident. Also, take picture of any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident (construction barriers, potholes, debris, etc). These pictures can even be taken from a cell phone or disposable camera.
- Call the law office of Anthony Smith Law at (407) 407-299-8589
Our experienced and friendly staff members are always ready to offer free legal advice to you concerning an accident that you or someone you know has been involved in. There are many factors that can be addressed shortly after the accident, and we will always be ready to help you through this ordeal.
What is negligence and how is it proved?
Because medical malpractice claims involve the breach of a civil duty (as opposed to a contractual duty) that is owed to someone else, medical malpractice is considered a tort crime. Necessary for the success of any tort action is a strong showing of negligence, or the breach of the standard of care owed to another person. Negligence, in terms of a medical malpractice claim, means that because of the trusting, confidential relationship between a health care provider and a patient, and because of a doctor’s special skills and training, doctors owe their patients a special duty of care not normally owed to any given person from another. By establishing the applicable standard of care required in a given patient’s case, while also showing where a given medical professional deviated from the applicable standard of care, a patient can prove where negligence did occur. In essence, without a definitive answer concerning the appropriate standard of care in a given case, a patient’s claim of negligence is without merit, save for rare circumstances.
While state law generally determines how negligence is defined, the “standard of care” is generally defined by the medical community. It’s not the measure of what is optimum care or even the measure of what an expert thinks should have been done in hindsight. The issue is whether any reasonable physician could have done what the doctor in question did, based on the available information. Help defining “acceptable practice” can come from a medical expert’s experience, medical texts, literature and publications from groups such as the American Medical Association. However, in most cases the standard of care the doctor deviated from must be established at trial by expert testimony. In some states, this expert testimony must be established before a victim can even initiate a lawsuit. In essence, the only definitive method to determine the applicable standard of care, where and when a breach of standard of care (or negligence) occurred, as well as ascertaining whether a given instance of negligence caused damages can only be done by a medical expert witness. Through legal counsel, a patient will provide details and case-specific information to a third-party medical expert, who will testify concerning the elements of a given case, based on his or her professional opinion. In addition to expert testimony, negligence can be illustrated via the following means, among others:
- Letters received from your hospital or health care provider
- Medical receipts
- Test results
- Information related to your diagnosis
- Doctor’s notes
- Pictures of your injuries
- Any personal log entries recorded regarding your medical history
Certain cases, albeit only a fraction of medical negligence claims, will not require any proof of the applicable standard of care. In short, the damages sustained by a given patient are obvious enough, per the view of a reasonable, third party, non-professional, to constitute negligence. Cases such as wrong site surgeries, gross professional misconduct, and even wrong patient surgeries, are common examples. Typically, even in these cases, providing expert testimony is a good idea, but may not necessarily be required to prevail in court, per applicable state statutes governing medical negligence.
If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of a surgery, medication, or other medical treatment, and believe your injury may have been the product of medical malpractice, you need an attorney that has experience in dealing with medical malpractice claims by your side to make sure you receive all the benefits and compensation you are entitled to as a result of your injury. You need experienced and aggressive attorneys like Anthony Smith Law to help you get everything to which you may be entitled. Call us at (407) 299-8589 for a free consultation and to have all your questions answered regarding your injury.
What if the other driver has no insurance?
Just because the other driver did not have insurance coverage does not mean that you cannot collect for your injuries. Your own auto insurance policy or someone else’s policy may provide “uninsured motorist” coverage. We will ascertain whether there are any policies of insurance that may be a source of uninsured motorist coverage.