Common Questions About Personal Injury
Get Advice from Our Washington DC Personal Injury Attorneys
To help you better understand what we do at Simeone & Miller, LLP and
how we can help you, we've compiled answers to some of the questions
we are frequently asked. Our personal injury lawyers are happy to clarify
any uncertainties you may have about our services or your case. Please
let us know if you have questions or concerns not addressed here.
contact our office
using our online case form.
FAQ About Personal Injury
Why do I need an attorney?
Three reasons: First, you are far more likely to obtain full compensation
with a lawyer than if you faced insurance companies or negligent parties
on your own. Based on our knowledge of personal injury law and our ability
to file a lawsuit on your behalf, we can obtain better settlement offers.
Second, it is much easier to have an attorney handle all the legal paperwork
and details. We can identify all of the responsible parties and their
insurance companies, set up the necessary claims, monitor the deadlines
for each claim, order and follow up on a complete set of medical bills
and records for your treatment, locate and contact witnesses, order police
reports, and negotiate on your behalf.
Third, we are better equipped to determine if the insurance company is
making a fair offer. If you have no experience with the law surrounding
the damages to which you are entitled, making decisions yourself would
be equivalent to guessing - and well-meaning advice from friends and family
can sometimes make matters worse by guiding you in the wrong direction.
What if I've already taken steps independently?
We can still assist people who have started a claim themselves. If we determine
that a compensation offer you've received is neither fair nor reasonable,
we are able to file suit and continue to pursue the recovery to which
you are entitled. Accordingly, retaining a good Washington DC personal
injury attorney ensures you have the best possible chance of obtaining
the maximum recovery.
If, however, an offer you have received is fair, we will advise you that
you do not need an attorney.
The insurance company said I don't need an attorney - is that true?
Insurance companies often tell people who are making a claim that they
don't need an attorney, that the insurance company is on their side and
will be fair to them. Don't forget whom they represent - the person who
injured you. The insurance company has only one goal: paying out as little
money as possible in every claim, and preferably nothing.
Therefore, insurance companies tell you that you don't need a lawyer because
they know it is to their advantage for you not to have one. The best thing
to do if you are in doubt as to whether or not you need an attorney is
to contact one who will consult with you for free and without any obligation.
You can then make an informed decision. Simeone & Miller, LLP offers
free consultations and, if you do not need an attorney, we will advise you of that. You have
nothing to lose and everything to gain by calling.
Do I have to pay the attorney's fee up front?
We generally operate on a contingency fee policy - meaning nothing is charged
upfront and you only pay if your case is successful. In other words, if
there is no recovery in your case, there will be no charge either. Learn
What damages am I entitled to recover?
In a personal injury case you are generally entitled to the following damages:
(i) past and future medical bills, (ii) past and future lost wages, (iii)
compensation for past and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience, (iv)
compensation for mental anguish, and (v) compensation for any other expenses
proximately caused by the accident or incident that injured you.
Every case is different, however, and you may be entitled to other damages
as well, including punitive damages, loss of consortium, and damages for
Is my case big enough for a lawyer to handle?
This is a decision that is best made in consultation with an attorney.
Regardless of whether your case involves personal injury, negligence,
product liability, or any other matter, we provide a free initial consultation
for prospective clients at Simeone & Miller, LLP. Once we discuss
the merits of your case with you, we can help you decide whether or not
you need a lawyer.
Do I still have a claim if my health insurance paid my medical bills?
Even if your health insurance paid your medical bills you can still make
a claim for the full amount of your medical bills. The responsible party
is not entitled to pay less simply because you or your employer paid for
your health insurance. Instead, the responsible party is liable for your
full damages. Your insurance company may or may not be entitled to recover
the amounts it paid on your behalf.
Can my health insurer file a lien against my case?
Very often the terms of your health insurance contract or state or federal
law allow for a health insurer to recover its payments to your medical
providers from your recovery in a personal injury case. However, this
is a complicated area of law and there are several limitations to an insurance
company's rights. Moreover, the health insurer is often required to reduce
the amount it receives to account for the attorney's fee you paid in your
case. There are some insurers who actually have "super liens." These are
liens that can be enforced at any time regardless of whether the insurer
put you on notice. Some states, including Virginia, have what are known
as "anti-subrogation" statutes that limit or prohibit health insurance
liens. However, many health insurers claim exemption from this statute
under federal laws. Again, this is a complicated area of law and is one
of the reasons why having a personal injury attorney is a good idea. You
could lose your insurance coverage or face a lawsuit if you fail to comply
with health insurance lien laws.
How do you determine the value of my claim?
We determine the value of your claim after you have consulted with a medical
professional for your injuries. At that point, a physician can forecast
your need for future care, the cost and nature of that future care, and
the nature and extent of any permanent injury.
At this stage we also have a complete picture of your past medical treatment;
lost wages; and the pain, suffering, and inconvenience you suffered and
may continue to suffer. All of these factors are used in the valuation
of your case. We can review the strengths and weaknesses of your case,
consider the effect of the case on you and your life, your comfort with
pursuing litigation, verdicts and settlements in similar cases, and our
experiences in the jurisdiction in which your case is located.
Our pre-litigation team can also bring their input on these matters as
we develop our strategy. Based on all of this information, we will arrive
at a determination as to the fair value of your case and then consult
with you on the ideal course of action toward a good recovery.
I don't want to go to court. Can you still help me?
Definitely. The vast majority of our clients settle their cases without
having to go to court. So, even if you do not wish to go to court, you
can still pursue a claim. Plus, many cases that are filed in court settle
outside of court without our clients ever having to step foot in the courtroom.
Who brings a claim on behalf of children who are hurt?
Generally the claims of a child are brought by a legal guardian of the
child - usually the mother, father, grandparent or aunt or uncle. In these
cases, the guardian usually signs a retainer on their own behalf as well
because they are likely responsible for the medical bills of the child.
Because a child is not of legal age to contract with medical providers
for the provision of services, the parent or next of kin is generally
liable for these bills.
Is it possible to sue the government?
Yes. While governments may have sovereign immunity from suit, this immunity
is waived - at least partially - in many instances. Different rules often
apply to claims against a government. For example, a claim against a government
may require that the government be placed on notice of the claim within
a certain period of time after the accident or incident. The rationale
behind this is that it allows the government's employee's time to properly
investigate the matter. The failure to provide notice of a claim may result
in you being barred from recovering for the injuries you suffered.
So, if you believe you may have a claim against a government - federal,
state, or local - it is imperative that you consult with an attorney as
soon as possible.
Is it possible to sue a county or city?
Yes. Much like states and the federal government, however, counties and
cities can also be immune from certain types of lawsuits. In some circumstances
these immunities have been waived to allow for personal injury claims.
However, just as with other governments, you generally must place the
county or city on notice of your claim within a specified deadline in
order to bring an action.
My loved one was killed due to negligence. What can you do to help?
There are many roadblocks to overcome in a wrongful death situation and
only someone who has been through it before can anticipate the issues
that may arise. Different rules and deadlines may apply and the evidence
required may also be different. An experienced advocate will obtain a
recovery that not only compensates the victim's estate, but which also
serves the interests of justice. Learn more about how we can help you
receive compensation for a
My baby was born with a serious injury. Do I have a case?
You may. In these highly complex cases, you can achieve an equitable outcome
by retaining an advocate who fully understands this field and who has
the experiences and resources necessary to pursue a case to a successful
resolution. Our birth injury attorneys develop strong cases on the basis
of medical facts and realistic economic factors. Learn more about what
steps you can take to pursue a case involving a
I was hurt by taking a prescription drug, what should I do?
Pharmaceutical companies often have a vested interest in maintaining a
positive perception of their brand. Sadly, there are companies who care
more about sales than public safety. With pharmaceutical companies, you
need a tough attorney who is willing to go against these deep-pocketed
An experienced advocate from our team can help you obtain a recovery that
not only compensates you, the victim, but also encourages manufacturers
to avoid injuring other people - making future drugs safer for all of
us. See how we can help with your product liability case.
I injured my spine when I fell down slippery steps, can you help?
If you've been injured as a result of slipping and falling - and you believe
that negligence, carelessness or other circumstances were contributing
factors - you may have a case. If so, then there are several things you
can do immediately, not only to protect your rights, but also to lay evidentiary
groundwork in order to help us review and evaluate your case.
Click here to learn more about how we can help you receive compensation for injuries
resulting from a slip and fall.
I was injured through someone else's carelessness, what should I do?
The first and most important step is to contact us. Simeone & Miller,
LLP has an aggressive team of advocates who are prepared to fight for
your rights and see to it that you get justice. Just because your case
may be unusual, doesn't mean you should not call us for a free consultation.
We can thoroughly review the circumstances of your injury in order to determine
if you have any potential claims. If we find that you do have a case,
we are prepared to put the resources of the entire firm behind you.