When we wake up in the morning to encounter the world, we make ourselves obliviously susceptible to events that have the potential to change our lives drastically at no fault of our own. Whether a negligent product resulted in harm to you, an automobile accident caused injury or disfigurement, a lack of care led to a severe fall, or perhaps you have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one- you deserve to have someone dedicated on your side ready to take on those at fault for your misfortune. Serious injuries can take a tremendous toll on a victim. This burden is only further exacerbated by overwhelming medical bills and lack of answers from insurance companies or at-fault parties. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, you may be entitled to significant compensation that can be utilized to cover the medical expenses incurred during the tribulation. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here, ready to stand in your corner and fight to deliver the justice you so rightfully deserve in hopes of restoring some form of normalcy back into your life.
Though we may not be able to turn back time and undo the hurt that has been done, we can undoubtedly grapple for you to receive the answers and compensation due to you.
Choosing the Right Representation
When you’ve been hurt and are put off by strong-armed insurance companies belittling your situation, you need someone on your team rallying for you.
When searching for personal injury lawyers, the ideal candidate should be a staunch, diligent and solicitous advocate who seeks the most advantageous outcome for you and will not stop until every possible avenue has been exhausted. Your attorney should be upfront and vocal with you regarding every step of the legal process. They should explain what each decision entails, the potential outcomes and the different choices you may have when moving forward. Every case is different. The courses of action taken in a personal injury case vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the accident or injury incurred.
Typically, once an attorney is retained, an investigation is conducted to review the client’s claim. During the investigation, all available evidence is collected and preserved, witnesses, experts, and third-party investigators are consulted, and all other resources are exhausted in order to establish the facts of the case. Once the investigation has concluded, the settlement proceedings commence. The settlement process entails negotiating potential resolutions between the disputing parties. More times than not, personal injury cases are resolved in settlement and a lawsuit is never filed. In instances where a resolution cannot be made, it is best to have equipped yourself with a proficient and tenacious attorney who will not waiver under pressure.
Trekking Onward Towards Trial
Personal injury matters that result in litigation should be hard fought and well versed. The process begins by filing a documented Complaint citing the details of your injury, how it occurred and to what extent it has impacted the victim’s life. The defending party then must file an Answer to the Complaint where they may acknowledge or dispute your claim. Afterward, the representatives of all parties involved exchange the information and discoveries obtained during their investigations to establish the case facts for both sides. Following the exchange of evidence in the pretrial motions, some instances arise where a court-approved mediator is called to attempt a subsequent settlement. Mediations like this can occur when opposing evidence is discovered during the pretrial proceedings swaying previous decisions not to settle. Mediation is non-binding, and any settlement attempts made by one side can be refused by the other. If at this point an agreement is not reached, the case is then heard by a judge or jury at trial.
While in some cases taking a matter to trial may be in the best interest for some, it is not always the right course of action for others. Taking a personal injury matter to trial can be a long and taxing process. It is imperative you seek an honest and forthcoming attorney who will explain all your options and the process each recourse entails to confirm that any action taken is being done on your behalf for the right reasons.
How We Do Better Law
With invaluable experience spanning approximately a quarter of a century, our team has handled numerous personal injury matters ranging from foreign objects in a fast food restaurant causing consumers cracked teeth, as well as other damages, to multiple wrongful death cases caused by neglect, vehicular accidents, and treatment studies done by a major international hospital. We’ve had success in numerous cases. One exceptional triumph resulted in a defendant settling well above the statutory damages in a medical malpractice suit in hopes of avoiding any further negative publicity. Another success resulted in a disproportionate share of a somewhat limited insurance policy to be awarded to our client after a severe accident involving multiple vehicles resulted in multifarious deaths along with other victims incurring several severe and permanent injuries.
While not all personal injury cases entail such extreme outcomes, no victim should be considered to have been any less adversely impacted by a tragedy. Our quintessential goal is providing every client with the personal, undivided attention they deserve while simultaneously striving to achieve the best possible outcome for them regardless the degree of their circumstances. We will do whatever is in the best interest of our client whether that means settling in mediation to minimize further exacerbating their woes or taking those responsible for harming them to trial and fighting for the justice our client so rightfully deserves.
We know how the insurance companies attempt to bully their way out of settling with victims. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and often scour their policies for marginal loopholes to avoid paying any proper compensation. Those who seek a settlement without legal representation generally receive significantly lower monetary offers than those who utilize legal counsel. That is why we contend with these bullies to ensure you are receiving a respectable and honest offer. Our primary concern is helping our clients recover physically, emotionally as well as mentally from the entire ordeal as painlessly and quickly as possible.
About Personal Injury Settlement
There are many types of personal injuries and multiple claims. Most fall under the general category of tort negligence. The most common example of this is a car accident. Second most common are premises liability cases like a wet floor in a supermarket. There can be intentional injury cases like civil assault and battery, and these often overlap with criminal charges and/or protective orders. In some cases, there are no fault personal injury cases. The most common example of a no-fault injury case is Workmen’s Compensation. The majority of injury cases do not end up in a court. The disputes are often resolved in a pre-litigation stage where parties negotiate and settle their disputes. The settlement may be reached either before you commence a lawsuit or while the suit is pending. It is in many cases a preferred method of resolving a dispute as it saves your time, energy, uncertainty and stress, and money. Nevertheless, to fully utilize the benefits of this out-of-court way of dispute resolution, there are things that you should be aware of before you initiate the process.
Personal Injury Litigation
Among different kinds of personal injury actions, claims based on the wrongdoer’s negligence is the most common type. The wrongdoer may have carelessly driven a vehicle and caused your injuries or he/she may have carelessly set a campfire which went out of control to burn your entire house. Whatever the scenario is, litigation starts with your filing a complaint (a lawsuit) in a Court. Your complaint will usually contain a statement of relevant facts and your legal theories, as well as a prayer for relief (usually money). A properly filed complaint will require a wrongdoer to respond to the complaint within the time set by law. After the Court sets the schedule as to how the case will proceed, Discovery usually takes place. This typically involves requesting and obtaining a substantial amount of records from the other party as well as disclosing your records to them. There may be interrogatories, depositions of witnesses, and/or request for admissions. If you have limited experience as to procedures in judicial proceedings, the complications of the procedures and the litigation expenses involved with the proceeding may be enough to drain you mentally and financially. These are contributing reasons why a majority of legal claims arising from personal injury do not reach a trial.
Fortunately, without having to go to a trial, there are often alternative dispute resolutions available to the parties. One way is to arbitrate. Arbitration is where the parties present their evidence in front of a neutral arbitrator selected by the Court or by the parties, and the arbitrator will render a decision. In the event both parties agree to the decision, it will be binding upon them. Another way is mediate. Mediation is similar to arbitration but is less formal. A neutral mediator will make a recommendation regarding the settlement amount, which either party is free to accept or reject. Both methods are there to encourage settlement between the parties. Both methods are voluntary unless a Judge orders alternative dispute resolution.
While these avenues are available for the parties pending their trial, it may be wiser for them to reach a settlement before initiating a lawsuit or after filing but pre-trial. This may avoid spending a large amount of money on fees often incurred throughout the litigation process. A settlement is often an effective method of resolution as long as the final settlement value properly reflects the amount of damages you suffered and makes the injured party whole.
Some Tips for Settlement
The time it takes to settle a personal injury case depends on the facts and circumstances of every case. It may also depend on the amount of money you expect to get from the settlement. For instance, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to come up with an offer that is shockingly low. Should you decide to accept such offer, the entire process of the settlement should not take a very long time. While it is true that settling a case out-of-court can save a good amount of time and energy, you do not want to walk away with the amount that is substantially lower than the worth of your case. In other words: haste makes waste.
In order to obtain a proper amount of compensation, you need a preliminary investigation to assess the merits of your case. This often includes obtaining your medical records and bills, lost wages, and other economic losses or expenses the arise from the incident. Thus it is usually in your best interest to wait until your medical treatment is completed before considering any settlement offer. The investigation may also involve obtaining statements by the witnesses to your case or any physical evidence that might support your claims. Different scenarios require different documents. For example, if liability is in dispute, the plaintiff may be focusing on the parallel courses of establishing liability of the opposing party, while also getting medical treatment. Therefore, solid preparation of the records supporting your case and negotiation skills utilizing the documents are pivotal in leading the insurance companies to re-evaluate the worth of your case and increase their offer.
Getting medical treatment proximate to the accident is very important and consistently following medical advice for care and treatment is essential. This can often be inconvenient but if the defense feels you prioritized other things aside from getting well, they will almost certainly use that against you.
If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and/or Medpay coverage, use it. These are typically no-fault coverages and do not increase your rates. These funds can be used to pay for medical treatment and reimburse you for a percentage of your lost wages.
Get your vehicle repaired quickly, even if that means using your own insurance policy. A host of problems can occur if there are delays ranging from a problem of proving what caused the damage to a mechanic’s lien from the shop for unpaid repair bills and storage. Hopefully, your policy also provides for rental car coverage. Oftentimes, insurance companies resolve these issues amongst each other without your knowledge or you may have to seek these damages in the litigation process.
Call us now. We don’t get paid unless you do. It is the clear consensus that insurance companies do not treat adverse unrepresented persons fairly. Tolicus Law is the equalizer in this dance.