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Bike Accidents

Common Mistakes Made by Personal Injury Victims

By | Bike Accidents, Car Accidents, Class Action, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

Life is full of mistakes and this article will talk about common mistakes made by personal injury victims. The first mistake people make after they have been injured is believing the insurance adjuster and their claims. The reason you can’t believe the insurance adjuster is they have a duty to their insured. That duty means that they represent the person who caused the accident. They have to do what is in their client’s best interest. Put simply, it is in the best interest of the insured to pay as little as that as possible. If they can get you to accept $200,000 then that’s what’s best for their insured but not for you. Remember, it’s not that the adjuster is a bad person but our judicial system is adversarial. We believe that two sides competing to present their best information is going to get us closest to the truth.

The Second common mistake made by personal injury victims is believing the insurance company when they say that their insured did nothing wrong. Often times people hear this and decide to no longer pursue their cause of action. Remember who the adjuster owes a duty to, it for sure isn’t you. First and foremost it should be to their insureds. Second they have a duty to the insurance company and their shareholders. You don’t make the list.

The third common mistake made by personal injury victims is asking for too little in their initial demand. Your initial demand is going to set the ceiling for your recovery. It is likely not what the insurance is going to pay. In some cases your initial demand will be your cap and often times can hurt you in the long run. Through form 95 in the FTCA your initial demand is the cap that you can receive from a jury. You need room to negotiate with the insurance company. A low demand or a demand on where you think the case will settle for will eventually handicap you.

The fourth mistake people make is not getting an expert involved early enough in the case. Now experts are expensive but the majority of time your attorney will front the cost of the expert and will settle for being reimbursed the cost when the case closes. Experts are a key component of proving any case. The earlier you get an expert involved the more information you will have and the better odds you have of meeting your burden of proving your claim. Involving experts early will also allow them to investigate the scene of the accident before anything changes and gets them a much better idea of what actually happened the day the accident occurred.

Finally, the last mistake people make is not checking for all the available insurance coverages available to their client. Often times there are several different insurances that can apply to a case and even some defendants that you may not initially think should be involved. The most common mistake in car accidents is not looking into the insurance coverages that the injured individual has access to. Insurance like UIM coverage require technical knowledge to access that insurance and not every case applies but when it does it can be a very good avenue of insurance for the injured party.

 

You Should Sue

By | Bike Accidents, Car Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

When an injury occurs, you should sue. There is a new burden thrust onto the person injured and also a burden to society. When our ancestors were trying to decide who should bear that new burden, it decided on the person who caused the injury. Wouldn’t it be an injustice for the injured party to carry that new burden? To not only have to deal with the injury but also the monetary consequences of that injury.  Most people agree that it would be unjust for an injured person to carry that burden. For that reason, tort law was created. Tort law was created to help alleviate the injured’s burden and help society move forward.

Many people believe that a person should not be punished for an honest mistake. I can understand that thinking, but that doesn’t take into the account the new burden forced on the injured party. Many times people have medical bills and extra care that are completely unexpected. If you were in an accident that caused you to need 24 hour nursing care, who should pay for that? While the cause of the accident wasn’t intentional, you certainly didn’t cause it, but you’re having to live with the consequences.

Most people don’t have sympathy for the driver who caused an accident while texting, but they often do when a doctor causes an injury. The question is why? The answer largely comes from a misunderstanding of what it takes to sue a doctor and why you should sue. A successful lawsuit against a doctor requires proving that the doctor’s actions were below the accepted standard of care. Below the standard of care is when a mistake, is not just a mistake, but a mistake that the medical community has deemed unacceptable.  It’s a mistake that the doctor should have known not to make.

But again, who should bear the burden of the injury? If the doctor’s actions causes someone to go blind, should that person bear the cost of that injury? Or should it be the person who gets to watch the sunset on their way home? The person injured’s life will never be the same.

It’s important to realize that I’m not saying the person who caused the injury is a bad person. I’m NOT saying that the tortfeasor intentionally hurt someone. If the injury was intentional, we would be talking about a criminal act and jail time. We wouldn’t be discussing how best to restore the injured party. Put simply, the defendant committed a mistake that breached a duty of care owed to others and they should be held responsible for that breach.

 

Insurance Denied Your Claim, What Can You Do?

By | Bike Accidents, Car Accidents, Construction Accidents, Dog Bites, Medical Malpractice, Uncategorized | No Comments

Insurance Denied your Claim, Now What?

The main objective for insurance companies is to make money. Insurance companies are no different than any other business with shareholders. They exist to maximize profits. I don’t begrudge insurance companies for trying to make money, again, that’s their business. But, an Insurance Denied your Claim, and that’s an extreme burden. I like to know where everyone’s loyalties lie, so next time you watch a cute ad with a cool jingle, it is important to remember the insurance’s priority. It is best to remember what comes first. Don’t be tricked by a charming spokesperson with a catchy jingle. An insurance company can’t survive if it pays out more in benefits than it collects in premiums.

Can Insurance Limit my Medical Treatment

Due to the realities discussed above, an insurance company may try to limit your medical treatment. However, they are not in charge of your medical treatment. Your physician is in charge of your treatment plan. You should know that an insurance company cannot prevent you from receiving treatment. Any insurance that attempts to get between you and your treating physician is acting inappropriately.

Insurance Denied Your Claim

Remember that insurance can’t prevent treatment but they can decline to pay for it. The insurance may claim that a particular procedure is not covered by the insurance policy. This can occur with your own insurance as well as a claim submitted to an insurance of an at fault third party. The insurance may argue that the procedure was unnecessary to provide you with the best potential recovery, which often appears in the form of “experimental treatment”.

Options for Pursuing my Denied Insurance Claim

You have several options if the insurance denies your claim. The best results will likely come through the pursuit of a personal injury lawsuit. The second option is to present your case through arbitration or something similar. The least effective way would be to appeal the denial internally through the insurance company. Remember, your priority is to receive reimbursement for your medical treatment. An insurance companies priority is to make money, and they make less money the more they give to you.

If you were injured by someone else’s poor judgment, then it is probably best to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. You may be able to receive compensation from the at fault party and relief some of the burden caused by your injuries. I know many of you don’t like the idea of pursuing a lawsuit, but in reality it is the most peaceful way of resolving disputes and allocating the societal burden of your injuries to the responsible party.  Thank you for reading this article, if you’d like to read more, I suggest reading my latest post on Settlements. 

 

Settlement

By | Articles, Bike Accidents, Car Accidents, Casino Accidents, Construction Accidents, Dog Bites, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Trucking Accident, Wrongful Death | No Comments

You’ve reached a settlement. The journey that began when someone’s careless actions hurt you,  has finally come to a close. Besides feeling relief, you’re probably wondering what happens next. What is required in a settlement by both the plaintiff and defendant. There’s several steps that occur between the time a case settles and having a check in your hands. Each process is contingent on what kind of settlement is reached. The different types of settlements are primarily based on if the person hurt is an adult, minor, or if it involved the wrongful death of a person.

“A Settlement is an official agreement intended to resolve a dispute or conflict.”

Whenever a case settles, the parties need to sign a release agreement. As part of the settlement, your attorney will send you a Release Agreement to sign. Your attorney will also send another document called a stipulation to dismiss. It’s imperative to put in a timetable for payment in the release. The Release Agreement is a document that specifies the terms between the parties. For example, in exchange for $250,000, you agree to release Mr. Jones from the car accident. Upon receipt of the settlement check, it is deposited in a trust account. Once the settlement funds become available, a check to you for your portion should be delivered.

When a claim involves injuries sustained by someone under the age of 18, the settlement requires court approval. A petition is submitted to the court specifying the terms of the settlement. The petition sets forth the amount agreed to, case expenses and legal fees. It also specifies why the agreement is in the best interests of the child. A Judge will then schedule a hearing where your petition will be presented to the court. This hearing is largely a formality but it is still important to take it seriously. Once the Judge affirms the petition, you will be requested to consent to a Release Arrangement as described above.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are usually claims for pain and suffering and wrongful death. Pain and suffering refers to the conscious pain and suffering of the decedent prior to death. Wrongful death refers to the monetary losses sustained by the beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate, such as loss of income, loss of maternal guidance, advice, and burial expenses. The portion of the settlement allocated to wrongful death is divided according to the loss sustained by each beneficiary.

What’s important to remember is that every case is complicated. A settlement is one of the last steps involved in litigation, but it’s definitely not the finish line.