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Bates Law Office Kentucky

In regard to personal injury cases, our firm typically handles slip and falls, premises liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home neglect, and products liability. It’s more important, compared to any other area of law, that you pick and choose your personal injury cases because these are typically done on a contingency basis. That means that the attorney pays for the entire preparation of the case on the belief that he will get a percentage of the recovery once the case is finalized. Therefore, you have to be relatively selective in determining what cases you’re going to take. We handle all of the cases mentioned above, but we assess the facts and circumstances of each case first before deciding if it is viable to proceed.

What Are The Steps In The Personal Injury Recovery Process Or Filing A Claim In Kentucky?

If somebody walks through my door, the first thing we’re going to determine is the statute of limitations. That is especially important because you need to know how much time you actually have in order to file a lawsuit. It becomes a problem when people wait or shop their case around a couple of times before they walk through your door. So, it is essential to know whether the case needs to be filed by next year, or by next week. The amount of time left in the statute can have a great influence on whether or not you’re going to take a case.

After you figure out the statute of limitations, you then do a realistic assessment of the case. You have to really assess the case. One of the disappointing things about the court system is that it simply is not going to be able to make every person whole. There are times when people have come into my office who went through something that was not right, but based on the law, they were not going to be able to recover, and that hurts. That’s not why you become a lawyer. You want to be in the fight for people who have been done wrong. But sometimes it is impossible to do that. So, you have to do a realistic assessment of the case, and discuss it with the client so that they understand. I think that’s one of the things that lawyers understand pretty clearly, but clients don’t always understand. All the client knows is that he/she was hurt, that someone needs to help them, and that the at-fault party needs to pay. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple.

Once the case is assessed, and you get an idea of what the client wants and you consider it realistic, you write a demand letter. The demand letter basically recounts what happened on that certain day and what we want. That’s the way you get discussions started. Then you can start negotiating with the other side, which can be the at-fault person, company, their representative, or attorney. You try to see if an agreement can be reached. Negotiating is a big part of it. The vast majority of cases end up settling out of court. If that doesn’t happen, then that’s when you file the lawsuit. But, you have to be mindful of those statute of limitations. If I don’t have time to negotiate, then I would have to go ahead and file suit and then try to negotiate after I filed suit. Sometimes attorneys have to file suit almost immediately once they’ve taken a case with deadlines coming up on the statute of limitations. Other times, however, you may have months to negotiate a case before filing suit.

When you move on to negotiations, mediation becomes a part of the process. If the case doesn’t settle, then you go to trial. There’s also a discovery process where the evidence will be turned over. Each side is asked to answer some questions about the event and the situation surrounding the event. There may be depositions in which testimonies are recorded outside of court when people are interviewed. There could be an investigation depending on the type of case. For instance, if it’s a medical malpractice case, you’re going to want to investigate the medical records because that’s going to tell most of the story. A lot of the discovery is going to be available ahead of time, but there’s also a process in place where both sides exchange records and discovery. Those records and documents help with negotiations as well. If you have a good case, showing them the evidence you have allows them to realize that you have a good case.

If I Was Partially At-Fault, Do I Still Have Any Chance For Recovery?

In Kentucky, if you’re partially at-fault, you’re going to have your recovery reduced. There are a few states that maintain that if you’re 1% at-fault, you can’t win. Kentucky is not one of those states. You can still win. For instance, if the other side is 90% at-fault, and you’re 10% at-fault, you are still going to be able to recover. Now, if the other party is 100% at-fault, you’re going to get more money than if you’re 45% at-fault. Thus, there’s going to be a reduction as to what your actual recovery is, but that’s how they would handle partial at-fault cases in Kentucky courts.

For more information on Personal Injury Cases, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (270) 936-7770 today.

Eric Bates, Esq.

Call Us Now To Get Started
(270) 936-7770