Motor Vehicle Accidents
Lawyers at Zwillinger Wulkan have a long history of handling highly complex personal injury cases, and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients to compensate them for their injuries and losses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Personal injury lawsuits serve a crucial role. When you suffer an injury that someone else caused, you could be left with massive medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that shouldn’t be your responsibility.
The change to your life could range from an inconvenience to something you’re not sure you could crawl out from. Either way, that’s why personal injury lawsuits exist: You, the plaintiff, can hold the negligent person or business accountable and get the compensation you deserve and need.
Contact Zwillinger Wulkan if you've been injured and would like discuss your legal options with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
Your lawyer, and the lawyer’s legal team, are at the front lines of your fight to get the compensation you deserve in a personal injury lawsuit.
After assessing your case to determine how to best advocate on your behalf, your Zwillinger Wulkan personal injury lawyer will:
- Gauge the depth and breadth of your injuries and the negligent circumstances involved
- Investigate the scene of the accident
- Question witnesses
- Request documentation
- Work with medical experts
- Review documents, photos, and videos
- Work with experts who can reconstruct the scene of the accident
The value of your case depends on the circumstances of your accident, the severity of your injuries, the limits on insurance coverage, as well as various other factors.
The primary driver behind case value is how much the plaintiff could get in the damages, including:
- Past Medical Bills
- Future Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain & Suffering
Some of those considerations might not have a clearly articulated value at first. However, based on our attorneys’ past experience, they could offer an estimated case value after assessing your medical records, police records, statements, and other evidence, such as the progression or regression of your physical and mental state after an accident.
Plaintiffs can get compensation for certain types of damages related to their injuries. Essentially, personal injury lawsuits are filed to seek compensation, also known as “damages,” for the harms plaintiffs have suffered. The idea is that an injury victim is compensated so that he or she doesn’t have to bear the financial burden of the consequences of another’s actions.
There are several different types of damages you could get in a personal injury lawsuit, some of which are “economic” and tied to specific costs incurred in the aftermath of an injury, and “noneconomic,” which are more subjective.
Those involved in a personal injury accident might need to get medical care. This can include tests, treatment, hospital stays, and outpatient care to address immediate injuries, but it doesn’t always end there — medical care could also be required on an ongoing basis, especially if there are serious or permanent injuries.
Overall, this can be expensive, as the injured can face medical bills that are thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Damages assessed against the defendant in a settlement or trial should, ideally, cover all of this.
You were injured and you had to miss work. Maybe it was just a matter of using some sick time to go to doctor’s appointments or perhaps you were in the hospital and had to take a lot of time off, or you were injured so severely that you can no longer work. Whether it’s the loss of a few days or the inability to work going forward, you could be entitled to compensation for those lost wages.
Pain & Suffering
This category of compensation is calculated and awarded based on the depth and breadth of the pain and suffering you’ve endured — your type of injury and what medical treatment was required. To get this kind of compensation, which can exceed a million dollars in a jury trial, the plaintiff will need to have as much evidence as possible to prove the impact of an injury caused by the negligence of another.
Medical records, which can show diagnoses, prescriptions, clinical visits and hospital stays, are a major way of showing both the extent and duration of recovery from an injury. This only works, though, if you are proactive about your treatment and communicate with your physician in a comprehensive manner. It can also be helpful to take photos and videos of your injuries and keep written records of your symptoms.
In gathering sufficient evidence that accurately represents your condition, you are providing information the court (or even an insurance adjuster) could use to estimate how much money you should get for pain and suffering. In court there generally isn’t a single, standard calculation used to assess a dollar amount on pain and suffering, although you will sometimes read or hear about a “multiplier” calculation. Essentially, a jury could award compensation for pain and suffering based on fairly subjective factors, such as the credibility of the plaintiff’s testimony and whether they even like the plaintiff. Having records and related evidence can help bolster your case for pain and suffering compensation in the face of these subjective factors.
This type of compensation is related to an injured person’s mental and emotional state following an accident. After all, severe injury isn’t exclusive to a person’s exterior. Depending on the nature of the accident, a personal injury victim could suffer anything from anxiety and depression to severe mental trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Acquiring damages from emotional distress typically requires you to have comprehensive and accurate records from your therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, as well as a diagnosis of a specific psychiatric condition.
Wrongful death claims are civil actions filed by survivors of an individual or individuals killed in an accident due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual or party. Survivors are left without the love, support, and income of the deceased family member, and courts can award compensation accordingly.
The compensation provided by an award of damages for wrongful death can help ease the financial burdens associated with the loss of a loved one. Compensation awarded is designed to cover the lost income, leftover bills, and funeral expenses survivors face because of the death of their family member. It is also designed to help compensate for less specifically quantifiable aspects of a wrongful death, such as the sudden and unnecessary loss of someone’s spouse or parent. For example, laws will generally refer to this as something like “lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance” for children who survive their parents.
Loss of Consortium
If you or a loved one are in an accident and injured to such an extent that you can’t truly carry on a complete relationship with your spouse or partner (or them you) — or one of you were killed in an accident — you could be eligible for compensation for loss of consortium (also known as “loss of companionship”).
Plaintiffs in certain states could be eligible for punitive damages, a type of award that punishes defendants whose injurious actions were particularly egregious. This differentiates this type of compensation from other damages, which are primarily designed to make the injured plaintiff whole again.
Not only does a punitive damages award punish the defendant, but it also can serve as a deterrent that dissuades other parties and companies from engaging in similar activity. For the court to award such compensation to a plaintiff, the actions must have been either intentional or the result of wanton and willful misconduct. An example of such a defendant is an insurance company that acts in bad faith or a medical professional that commits malpractice. As noted above, not every state allows punitive damages awards and, in some that do, there are caps on how much a jury can award a plaintiff.