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A personal injury case involves any situation where you are injured due to the fault of another. If you are covered under workers’ compensation, you normally do not have a separate personal injury claim against your employer or co-workers for injuries suffered on the job. However, personal injury cases may include injuries occurring on the job if caused by someone not connected with your employer. In some cases, even if you are partially to blame for the accident, you may be able to recover a portion of your damages. This is Comparative Fault or Negligence.
Many states require standard automobile insurance coverage to include uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage insures you for damages when the wrongful driver does not have insurance. This insurance is available to you if you or the owner of the vehicle you were riding in, previously purchased this coverage.
Most insurance companies also offer “underinsured” coverage. Underinsured coverage is important if the amount of insurance coverage that the person causing the accident carries is not enough to compensate you for your damages. If this is the case, then it is possible to receive additional compensation through the underinsured policy. It will be necessary to have your attorney review your insurance contract with you to determine if you have this coverage. We suggest that if you do not have underinsured coverage you discuss it with your insurance agent as the relative cost may be insignificant compared to the protections it provides you.
If your injuries are quite serious or if your case has complicated legal questions, it sometimes becomes necessary to file a lawsuit and proceed with preparation for trial. However, the court system is overloaded and it may take twelve to twenty-four months after filing suit to have your day in court. We know this is a frustrating time, so please feel free to call when you have questions. We are here to advise you and to assist you in obtaining the best recovery possible.
States such as Washington require arbitration in certain situations. Arbitration is a somewhat more expedient and less formal process than a jury trial. Through arbitration, it is sometimes possible to receive compensation for your injuries in a quicker fashion than through the normal judicial process. It will be necessary to speak with your local attorney to determine if your case falls into a classification subject to arbitration. In the state of Idaho and Utah, arbitration and mediation may be available in certain circumstances. Arbitration is usually required in “uninsured” or “underinsured” cases.