Fargo Personal Injury Attorney
When you are injured through no fault of your own, you can sue the negligent person or company that caused your injury for damages. However, this can be a long and difficult process filled with complex legal jargon and procedures – not to mention that you are likely nursing painful injuries on top of dealing with insurance claims and legal paperwork. It’s a lot for anyone to handle.
You may ask yourself, “Is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney?” If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury due to an accident or another person’s negligent behavior, the answer may be yes. Get honest, accurate legal advice from a Fargo personal injury lawyer at a firm that has been serving people like you for more than 50 years. Call Solberg Stewart Miller now at 701-864-3700.
What Are Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury is a legal term that refers to harm done to the body, as opposed to property. A person can file a personal injury claim if they have been injured because of the negligent actions of another party or have lost a loved one through such actions. Personal injury claims often involve car accidents, dog bites, and slipping and falling on someone’s property due to unsafe conditions.
The key to any personal injury claim is proving negligence. It’s not enough to claim that someone crashed into your car – you must show that the person hit you because they weren’t paying attention or were speeding, for instance.
Some important legal terms commonly associated with personal injury cases include:
- Plaintiff: The accident victim bringing the personal injury claim
- Defendant: The person or company who is at fault for the accident and being sued
- Statute of limitations: The amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim; in North Dakota, you can file for up to six years after the date of an injury
- Tort: A wrongful act that is not a crime and usually happens unintentionally; a personal injury claim is a type of tort
- Negligence: A tort that arises from a lack of care; recklessly driving over the speed limit, for example, is a type of negligence
- Burden of proof: The plaintiff’s obligation to prove that the defendant caused an injury through negligence
- Damages: Whatever a plaintiff is seeking to recover from their personal injury lawsuit; common damages include reimbursement for medical expenses, missed work and other accident-related expenses
The Personal Injury Claims Process
When you file a personal injury claim, you are initiating a legal process in which a plaintiff (you) is seeking compensation from a defendant (the entity that is liable for your accident). Most personal injury claims settle after a period of negotiations, but some cases go all the way to court.
The claims process looks different for everyone because the way a case proceeds is based on factors such as what type of accident occurred, how serious the plaintiff’s injuries are, how much evidence is available, and how cooperative the defendant is. However, there are some basic steps that are present in every case.
The process usually starts with a demand letter, in which the plaintiff outlines what happened and asks the defendant’s insurance company for money. If the insurance company won’t pay enough to cover damages – or at all – then the defendant can file a “complaint,” officially initiating the lawsuit.
Next comes the discovery phase. During this time, both parties and their lawyers will investigate the facts of the case by looking at evidence and talking to witnesses and experts. Both sides will also be questioned during a meeting known as a “deposition.”
Finally, the case will conclude during formal negotiations during which both parties agree on an adequate settlement amount. In the rare cases that parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, the case will go to court.
Personal Injury Cases That We Handle
We handle all types of serious personal injury cases, including those related to injuries caused by:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, boat, ATV, snowmobile and motorcycle accidents as well as airplane crashes
- Defective and dangerous drugs, dangerous and defective medical devices, and medical negligence (often called malpractice)
- Professional negligence
- Defective and unsafe tools and equipment as well as dangerous products
- Farm accidents
- Animal attacks
- Exposure to chemicals
- Slips, trips and falls; dangerous premises; and construction injuries
- Dram shop actions (claims against a bar for continuing to serve an intoxicated person)
Our personal injury attorneys at Solberg Stewart Miller are trial-tested legal advocates who are unafraid of going against uncooperative defendants and large corporations, even if it means going to court. No matter what they come up against, they will stand by you throughout your personal injury case.
Answers To Questions Regarding Personal Injury
If you have a personal injury case, then you likely have many questions. At Solberg Stewart Miller, we receive questions from clients every day. Find answers to some common questions below.
How much time do you have to file a personal injury claim in North Dakota?
North Dakota law gives you six years to file a personal injury claim in most cases. You should file your claim as soon as possible, however, so that our team can get started on gathering evidence that could be lost over time.
Why is having a personal injury lawyer important?
You deserve full compensation for all your damages. An insurance company may make you a lowball offer to settle right away in hopes that you will accept the offer without learning the true value of your case. When you hire an attorney, not only will you have professional guidance regarding your claim, but the insurance companies will know that you mean to fight for the compensation you deserve as well.
What are the elements of a slip-and-fall case?
In any type of premises liability case, you must prove that:
- You were on the property legally.
- The property owner knew or should have known about the slippery condition.
- The slippery condition caused you to fall.
- Your fall resulted in your injuries.
The key is to connect the danger on the property to the damages you suffered.
What is liability in a personal injury case?
When someone is liable for a claim, they are on the hook for the damages. A person can be held liable in any case in which their negligent or deliberate actions caused an injury to another person or their property. In North Dakota, we have comparative negligence, which means that if a jury finds that you are partially at fault for the accident that caused your injury, it will reduce your compensation for damages by that amount.
What is a dangerous product?
Dangerous products can include drugs, medical devices, home goods or toxic chemicals that can harm the users or other people exposed to the product. If these products do not include important warnings and directions for use, the manufacturer may be liable for the damages caused by the product.