My name is Joe Moses, and I’m a founding partner in the law firm of Kass and Moses. We’re a personal injury law firm that has helped injured people, particularly motorcycle and bicycle accident victims over the past 30 years. I talk to people every day who call to see if they have a case or not. Every lawyer makes different decisions on what is a good case or a bad case. But in reality, the things that every lawyer looks at are very similar.
First, we need to know the extent of your injury. If you’re not hurt, you simply do not have a personal injury case. What is enough of an injury is what different lawyers differ. At a minimum, we look to see if there was a visit to the hospital or a doctor within a day of the accident. Secondly, we look to see if there’s any future treatment after that initial visit. This might be a referral to a specialist. It might be physical therapy.
If the injuries meet these minimum requirements, we then move on to fault. So the second thing that we look at is who was at fault in the accident. Ultimately, what we do is get people compensated when they’re hurt due to someone else’s negligence. So we need to know exactly what happened before, during and after the accident. Determining fault in the accident is easy when you’re stopped and someone hits you from behind. It’s a lot more complicated sometimes. Things like two cars colliding in an intersection or a car being sideswiped or falling in a store are likely to be contested in one way or another. In our world contested means that the other person involved does not think your injuries were caused due to their error. On an initial phone call we will use all our knowledge and all our expertise to determine if we can bring a successful case based on the facts known at that time. But we also know investigation afterwards is going to be necessary to find out more.
The next thing we look at is insurance. Even if you’re severely injured and the fault is clearly not yours, if there’s no opportunity to recover money for you, there may not be a case at all. Again, we use all our knowledge and all our expertise to determine if there is somewhere to pursue financial recovery for you, hopefully the person who caused your injuries is insured and has a substantial amount of coverage on that policy. Other times we hope to have a business or an owner of a vehicle that has proper and sufficient insurance. We also thoroughly examine your insurance policies. They’re parts of your own auto or homeowner’s insurance that may sometimes apply if there isn’t insurance on the other side, or if they don’t have enough insurance.
The final thing we look at is location and timing. Each state has their own statute of limitations. That means if an injury occurred long enough ago, that the period to bring a lawsuit has passed, there’s nothing that can be done. It’s very rare that dates can be extended. Couple notes though. First of all, the applicable state, the state we have to look in for a statute of limitation is the state where the accident took place. Secondly, generally the time of limitations do not apply to a minor. What we call the clock, the clock doesn’t start ticking until the person’s 18th birthday. If you have been in an accident, call me or my team, we’ll let you know free of charge if we think you have a case.