Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Click on the Question to see the answer or scroll down the page.
What is considered a personal injury claim?
What is a workers’ compensation claim?
How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
Why do I need a lawyer if I have been injured?
Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement after I am injured?
When is the best time to hire an attorney?
How do I choose the accident lawyer that is right for me?
How can I afford to pay for an attorney?
How long do I have to make an injury or workers’ compensation claim?
How long will it take to get a fair settlement offer?
Will I have to go to court?
“Personal Injury” is any physical or mental injury to a person as a result of someone’s negligence or harmful act. Common injury claims include: auto or vehicle accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, slipping and falling, product cases, or any injury that results from the negligence of another. Personal injury claims can be for both minor and major injuries, and you are not required to be completely incapacitated in order to file a claim.
In Missouri, if an individual is “hurt at work” they may be entitled to compensation. “Hurt at work” means to be hurt in the “course and scope of your employment”. A thorough analysis of the facts may be necessary to determine if you are indeed “hurt at work.” The claim process can be confusing, and is best completed with the help of a qualified attorney.
You must be able to show that you have been injured and that your injury was caused by another individual’s negligence. Remember, ‘negligence’ may not be the same thing as ‘fault.’ Determining legal negligence is not easy and requires an attorney to explore all possible avenues of recovery.
The job of the insurance company in every injury or workers’ compensation case is to do everything they can, as soon as they can, to minimize the liability of their insured, or to dispute their insured’s liability. Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible. At Lanzotti & Rau we fight to get our clients the compensation they deserve in each and every case.
Not so fast! The insurance company will tell you they just want to ask a couple of questions. These questions are cleverly designed as the first step in a process insurance companies go through in order to minimize or eliminate their payments to injured persons. At Lanzotti & Rau we can help you with recorded statements, as well as be present while you are giving your statement.
Right away. Cases are won and lost based on the evidence. Soon after an accident or work place injury happens, evidence begins to be lost. Witnesses move on, people forget, weather washes away skid marks, etc. Rest assured the insurance company is working quickly to gather evidence that helps their case. A quick response can help to preserve important evidence in a case. Preserving this important evidence may mean the difference between winning and losing your case.
First and foremost, look for a law firm that has the knowledge and expertise to handle your case. Injury and workers’ compensation cases require a working knowledge of medicine, for example. Your case and your story will be told through the medical records regarding the injuries sustained. Hiring an attorney that doesn’t understand medicine means you have put yourself at a disadvantage. At Lanzotti & Rau the attorneys know and understand the medicine of a personal injury case. Not every lawyer will have the same understanding and/or experience base, so it is important to make sure whomever you hire is in the best possible position to help you with your case.
At Lanzotti & Rau we handle injury and workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney fee and expenses are deducted from the settlement or award. No attorney fee is paid unless you receive a settlement on your case. It is a completely win-win situation!
Every state, including Missouri, has certain time limits called “statutes of limitations” that control the amount of time you have to file an injury or workers compensation case. Injury and compensation claims are governed by separate and different statutes of limitations. How your injury occurred may even change the amount of time you have to file a case. In every case, time is of the essence. Contact Lanzotti & Rau as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Failing to act quickly enough may mean you could be forever barred from making a claim.
Injury and workers’ compensation lawsuits can vary in length from weeks to years. Every case is different, so it is impossible to say with certainty. What is certain is that every case requires a thorough workup to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for you and your family. Also, it is very import to make sure your medical condition has stabilized. If you get worse after your case has settled, you have no way of gaining further compensation. You want to make sure you do not settle your case too quickly and limit your access to the benefits and compensation you need and deserve.
If the insurance company agrees to pay what we believe your case is worth, and you wish to settle for that amount, then you don’t have to go to court. The majority of cases are settled outside of court. However, if you do not feel that the insurance company is offering enough, you may wish to press forward with a court case. The attorneys at Lanzotti and Rau can advise you as to how successful your particular case is likely to be in a courtroom, as well as help you determine if the settlement offer is enough. In the end though, it is always the client’s choice on how to proceed.