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Common Mistakes Detrimental To A Personal Injury Claim

One of the things I have seen people do nowadays that has derailed and has harmed many people’s cases is they go online and they discuss their case on Facebook. For example, it is not just Facebook, but Twitter and any of the other social media out there. They discuss the details of their case, the details of their accident with people that they consider their friends and these folks probably are their friends, but unfortunately maybe in the moment they are very mad about what happened to them and they say stuff that is actually damaging to their case. They are angry at the person who caused the accident and they say things in that...

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Can You Negotiate Medical Bills On Behalf Of Your Client?

When you negotiate your medical bills, I call it working both sides of the equation with respect to your case. We will make sure to gather together all of your medical bills that you have incurred as a result of the accident and get them submitted to the appropriate insurance companies to get them paid pursuant to those insurance policies. Then when the case is resolved if you have medical bills outstanding we will often negotiate down those medical bills that are outstanding with the healthcare providers, because sometimes the healthcare providers will charge an individual who has exhausted their health insurance or exhausted their...

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How Soon Should Someone Seek Medical Treatment After An Accident?

It depends upon the injury, but we always suggest that you immediately seek the advice, evaluation, care and treatment of a physician immediately after an accident if you think there is any chance you may have been injured in that accident. An office consultation with the family physician is not that expensive and so if you do not get medical treatment shortly after an accident and your injury is soft tissue in nature, such that it is not going to readily show up on an x-ray or a diagnostic study, then your gap in medical treatment and not having gotten medical treatment right after the accident is going to make it extremely difficult...

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What Factors Constitute A Viable Personal Injury Claim?

The first and most important factor is probably good quality medical care that is consistent with the nature of the injury and without any gap in medical treatment. The second most important quality of a good personal injury claim is honesty by the injured victim. Tell the healthcare providers about their past, about what they have been doing since the accident and what happened in the accident. The third probably most important quality and I am not really ranking them here, so I would be a little hesitant to rank them this way, but these are probably the three most important qualities. That is the quality of the medical documentation....

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Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle Prior To Trial?

Most cases here, even in Kansas, in a very conservative case, will settle, as high as ninety percent will settle before a lawsuit even has to be filed. Then you have that ten percent that a lawsuit is filed on, and even of those, only about one percent of the overall cases end up going to trial. Even in the conservative state of Kansas where jury verdicts are not as generous as they are in other parts of the country, because we have conservative jurors and the environment here is such that the perception is that jury verdicts should be lower than other parts of the country. Most cases do settle before they get to trial. The reason...

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The Top Misconceptions About Working With A Personal Injury Attorney

People think that a personal injury attorney is in it for themselves and going to take a majority of their proceeds. That a personal injury lawyer may not really help them in the sense that they could do it on their own and get the same type of settlement, because other people have told them that, or the insurance industry or insurance adjuster has told them, “We can settle this for you. You don’t need a lawyer, and we’ll pay you the value of your claim or policy limits.” If you hire a lawyer he is just going to take that portion that we were already going to pay you. Little do they understand that when they reach a settlement, many...

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How Long Does It Typically Take For A Catastrophic Injury Claim To Resolve?

In catastrophic injury cases, it is dependent upon how soon you reach maximum medical improvement for your catastrophic injury and the nature of the catastrophic injury. If it is something that is going to need lifetime treatment, no matter what a doctor does, then the case can probably be resolved relatively quickly, within six months, even though the person is under active medical care. On the other hand, if the outcome is not going to be known for a while, then you have to wait in the hopes that your outcome from the doctor, suggests a permanent prognosis, and permanent treatment recommendations before you have to file a suit. There...

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How Can Someone Know The Worth Of Their Catastrophic Injury Claim?

The value of a catastrophic personal injury claim is usually dictated by two main factors. The first is the amount of insurance that is available to pay a settlement. This will often be a limited amount, and so a person needs to make sure that whoever is responsible is not independently wealthy, or has money beyond their policy limits. The second factor is the cap in Kansas, which has limits on how much you can recover in pain, and suffering. We are currently working on a number of cases that if they go through the litigation process, they will well exceed the cap in pain, and suffering damages. If we have to litigate these cases...

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What Kinds Of Injuries Are Considered To be Catastrophic In Nature?

Generally speaking, there are four types of catastrophic injury cases. The first type of injury case is the type of injury that affects a person’s activities of daily living. It prevents them from doing things that an healthy person would be able to do, in an ordinary day. These would be injuries like paraplegia, quadriplegia, and amputations, all of which prevent folks from walking normally. This can affect their ability to get around and care for themselves in an everyday life setting. The second type of injury is the type of injury that prevents a person from returning to the workforce or their occupation. Those would be injurie...

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What Can Someone Expect In A Personal Injury Trial?

Usually, in Sedgwick County, Kansas, a case can be tried within a year of the date of having the accident. In other jurisdictions or counties, it is anywhere from a year to two from the date that the petition is filed before the case is tried. Most personal injury cases in Kansas result in a trial of less than one week, and four to five days of trial. The whole trial experience from beginning to end lasts no more than a week to a week and a half if the jury hands down a verdict. How Does Going To Trial Affect The Overall Cost Of A Personal Injury Claim? Going to trial will result in typically two to three times the case expenditures...

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Does The Involvement Of An Attorney Impact How An Insurance Company Evaluates A Claim?

I would tend to agree that an attorney could affect how an insurance company evaluates a claim; except I would say that, it really depends who you have involved in your claim more so that whether you have an attorney or not. There are many attorneys there that are merely settlement attorneys, and that want to settle quickly. Some insurance companies know who those attorneys are, and they will treat your claim very much as if you are unrepresented because they know that lawyer is not likely to go to court than you are if you are not represented by a lawyer. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a competent lawyer that is willing...

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How Are Future Medical Expenses Calculated In A Personal Injury Settlement?

With respect to future medical care, it is handled by medical expert advice, usually in the form of a letter stating the nature of your injuries, and what type of medical care you are going to need in the future because of your injuries. The medical doctor will look at your life expectancy and do costs projections whenever they can and put it in the narrative letter to your attorney. Future medical care may then have to be analyzed by another expert to determine the value of that future medical care because most doctors do not have a grasp on the specifics of the value of future medical care. Sometimes, you will have to have someone...

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What Can Someone Do To Help Their Personal Injury Claim?

The most important things you can do in a personal injury claim is first making sure that the police are called to the scene of any accident and issue a police report. Secondly, you need to seek prompt medical attention for any injuries no matter how slight, or severe, and make sure that all injuries no matter how slight, or severe are accurately, and completely reported to all healthcare providers. Most of the time, it is the emergency room providers that you are reporting your medical concerns to. The third most important thing is following up on any medical care after the initial attention has been provided to you. If you do not...

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How Is My Personal Injury Attorney Paid In A Settlement?

Most personal injury lawyers are paid on a contingency fee basis, which basically means that if they are able to make a recovery on your behalf, either through settlement or litigation, then they will be paid a percentage of that recovery after advanced expenses are reimbursed to the law firm. Advanced Expenses are those sums of money that are paid by the law firm before settlement or litigation in order to put your case through the process of settlement or litigation. Advanced expenses are for things like getting medical records together and getting narrative reports from the doctor. The lawyer’s fee is calculated on a percentage...

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How Are Settlement Amounts Calculated In Personal Injury Cases?

A settlement amount is calculated based upon estimates made by the parties in terms of what a jury in the associated jurisdiction is likely to award for the particular case. There is no mathematical formula for calculating personal injury damages, aside from adding the medical bills, lost wages, and an estimation of what a jury might award for pain and suffering. There are other types of damages, but you need to talk to your lawyer to see which you may be eligible for. How Do You Calculate Damages For Pain And Suffering? Pain and suffering damages are not determined by a mathematical formula. Instead, they are dependent upon the quality...

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What Is Maximum Medical Improvement In A Personal Injury Case?

Maximum medical improvement is a term that’s used by doctors to identify the time when you have plateaued in your medical treatment. In other words, it is meant to say that you are not likely to get better or worse absent medical care. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to need any medical care at all, because many people need long-term pain management and other forms of treatment to deal with disabilities. It simply means that you have stabilized and are not likely to get better or worse. When you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, your attorney will start to gather the documentation necessary to support your case...

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Why Should I Settle My Personal injury Claim?

If an insurance company is unwilling to pay the true value of the claim, then it might not be in the client’s best interest to settle. In those cases, it is sometimes best to go to trial rather than accept a very low offer or other conditions of settlement, such as the unwillingness of lien holders to reduce their lien. For example, sometimes you get an offer that’s a reasonable sum of money, but there are liens attached to the case that need to be paid back. Those liens could reduce or completely eliminate the total settlement amount. Sometimes you have to litigate the claim to have the court decide the value of those liens, even...

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Detailed Injury Descriptions

Most of the time when I review my clients’ medical records I notice that the doctors will often be extremely short in their description of the patients’ injuries. Most doctors do this to save time and money, but ultimately this may destroy your case. The history and descriptions you give your doctor about your medical condition must be detailed, truthful and complete. I actually have an eight-question worksheet that I have most of my clients use to assist them in telling the doctor what the doctor needs to know about their history and description of their injuries. If you would like to see that worksheet, click here for a print-friendly...

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Settling Experiences

The vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved through settlement rather than trial. The first chance for settlement usually occurs shortly after medical treatment is completed. After medical bills and reports have been gathered, the plaintiff’s lawyer evaluates the case and informs the insurance company of their client’s settlement demand. If that does not wrap up the case, a second opportunity for settlement arises once the lawsuit has been filed. The insurance company realizes after a lawsuit has been filed that the plaintiff is serious and that it will have to start paying its attorneys if it wants to continue the case....

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A Winning Attitude

Many personal injury cases are handled by attorneys on a contingent fee basis, which means the lawyer receives a percentage of any money recovered on the client’s behalf. Put simply – the attorney wins if the client wins. Thus, attorneys have every incentive to win their client’s cases. Generally, if no money is recovered, the client is not responsible for any attorney fees. Contingent fee arrangements are most beneficial to injured parties who could not otherwise afford an attorney to protect their legal interests. No one who is injured as a result of another person’s negligence, therefore, need feel that he or she is not able to...

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Responsibility For Others Actions

According to the legal theory of imputed negligence, one may be held responsible for someone else’s negligence. For example, if an employee were to cause injury due to negligent driving, his or her employer may be held responsible if the employee was working on the employer’s clock at the time of the accident. Similarly, in a few limited circumstances, the owner of an automobile may be held responsible for the negligence of a driver who received the car owner’s permission, implied or expressed, to drive his or her car. Thus, those injured due to someone else’s negligence should not dismiss out of hand the possibility of bringing suit...

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In Harms Way

When a person is physically harmed as the result of the negligence of another, the law requires that the plaintiff be restored to his/her pre-injury condition. Both economic (out-of-pocket) and non-economic (loss of physical and mental well-being) losses are restored through monetary compensation. “General damages” refers to such non-economic losses as: pain and suffering”. The valuation of such loss is left largely to the jury’s discretion. “Special damages” are those awarded for such compensable harms as medical expenses and lost wages. These can easily be quantified with the help of bills, pay stubs, and the like. The important...

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