Your Medical Doctor or Chiropractor has released you from treatment for your motor vehicle accident and enough time has passed so you are about to position yourself to sit down with Adjuster Henry Hard-Nose. His employer is Rock Solid Insurance, the company who insures Fred Fuddle, the person who plowed into your rear end, smashing you with a tremendous crash that was responsible for your injuries and the”Pain and Suffering” you have had to endure.
To be adequately compensated for everything you’ve gone through you have to have gathered what’s identified in the area of insurance claims because”Special Damages”. Those are your Medical invoices, your Lost Wages and each dollar paid out to help with your restoration. When building the value of a personal injury claim there are several key elements you should Know about:
LIABILITY: In the great majority of motor vehicle accidents it is clear who was at fault. Assuming that Fuddle struck you a powerful blow at the rear end (rear-enders make up well over half of those motor vehicle accidents which take place in the United States annually ) yours is a case that has to be settled. (Final Statistics show that in 83% of accident’s that took place in 2003 it is clear who was at fault)!
The very doubtful liability situation has little, if any, settlement worth. If that is the situation you should obtain the services of the local Legal Beagle who really does a fantastic job at the Attorney I.M. Greedy. However, if you do, be really careful when you register Greedy’s”Contingency Fee Agreement”. Read it closely. Don’t sign anything that will allow him charge you one penny, other than his normal fee. Do not – in any way at all – – let him chisel any money from you, due to his flat-rate costs. All Greedy ought to be compensated for (if he’s effective at breaking loose some bucks from Rock Solid) is his commission and that needs to be no longer than a locally printed accepted portion of the entire recovery.
TYPE OF INJURY: If there are severe injuries (which constitute only ten to fifteen percent of all motor vehicle accidents) you should get the help of a lawyer. But, if you’ve had minor injuries like whiplash, bumps, bruises, sprains and/or strains (and it’s apparent you’re not responsible ) you can manage and settle the claim yourself.
TYPE OF PERSON YOU ARE: Rate yourself and be brutally honest. You’re most likely a mean motor vehicle owner/driver, living a regular life. But if you’ve spent some time behind bars, have a criminal record, or even a history of personality defects that frequently get your ass in a jam with the regional cops (and this is well known ) you must take those facts into consideration when forming expectations regarding what your case is worth. NOVA Injury Law
THE Kind OF PERSON FRED FUDDLE IS: The better Fred Fuddle seems, or the better the”thing” (Fuddle’s business or company, etc.) seems, the greater for Rock Solid. However, if Fuddle is a known bookie or drug dealer, they are in deep”stuff”. On the other hand, if Fuddle is a well-loved philanthropist, that can be a plus for Rock Solid Insurance. Or when the vehicle that struck you was a van driven by Pastor Frederick Fuddle, and the named insured is The Fuddle Camp For Lost Souls, that may be a plus for Rock Solid.
But, if the”entity” that struck you was a dilapidated junk pile on brakes operated by Fred”Goof-Ball” Fuddle, and the named insured is The Fuddle Rotted Cow Manure Corporation, which will obviously not be favorable for Rock Solid.
DAMAGES: There are”Medical Special Damage” Expenses, “Non-Medical Special Damages” Expenses, or your”Property Damage” Expenses.
MEDICAL SPECIAL DAMAGE EXPENSES: These generally include Price of Ambulance, Emergency Room, Hospital and/or Clinic Charges, Chiropractor, or Dentist, Over-The-Counter Drugs and/or Prescription Medications, Laboratory Fees and Services, Diagnostic Tests: X-Rays and (CT) Scan, Prosthetic Appliances or Surgical Apparatus, (Cranes & Crutches), Physical Therapy, Registered and/or Practical Nurse Fees, Ace Bandages, Gauze and Tape, Heating Pads, Creams, Lotions, Ointments, Balms and Salves.
In regards to listing your Medical Special Damage”expenses” do not overlook a single dollar because, when it comes time to settle your own claim, that dollar can increase the value of your payment for”Pain and Suffering” with a multiplier of four or five! (Yes, that means a $20.00 bill can be worth $80.00 to $100.00 more, on your pocket, from Rock Solid Insurance, at settlement period ). pei personal injury lawyer
NON-MEDICAL SPECIAL DAMAGES: These generally include Lost Wages and Earnings, Lost Vacation time and/or Sick Leave, Travel Expenses (car rentals, public transportation, expenses incurred getting to and from your Chiropractor and/or hospital or physical treatment”treatment” of some kind ) Household Help during disability and/or Child Care. Make sure you get written evidence of such”Non-Medical Special Damages.
LOST WAGES: The income you lost, because you’re not able to work, is a place where adjusters take terrible advantage of the typical claimant because they understand so little about it.
Commissions and overtime can make a huge difference in your lost earnings. Make sure you acquire a letter from the employer, on their official letterhead, explaining that in detail. Or, if you’re self-employed, get this information stated on your accountant’s letterhead.
The time you miss from work (thus the money you might have lost) is calculated and this element constitutes what is known as”Lost Wages” or”Lost Time Verification”. In most situations, you’re entitled to compensation for lost time and earnings, even if you have no actual loss of money! Such as, for instance, as soon as your salary is paid by your company insurance coverage, or by taking sick leave, or any similar arrangement.
Even when you’re midsize you need to obtain a”Lost Revenue”, or”Time Lost Verification”, in composing on your employer’s letterhead.
IF YOU’RE SELF-EMPLOYED: To prove your lost earnings you will most likely have to build some inside information for Hard-Nose. If you do not like the notion of submitting personal files, in the privacy of your office or home, just consider how you’d feel about producing them in the non-private environment of a court. If a case goes to trial, and if you would like to prove your damages so as to collect sufficient compensation, that’s your only choice.
TWO CRITICAL AREAS REGARDING LOST WAGES: Did the harm necessitate a change of employment or job at a lesser rate? Or, how did the injury allow your moving to work but only on a part-time foundation? If the answer to either question is”Yes”, it would be wise to request your employer to document these details on their letterhead.
IT’S CRUCIAL FOR YOU TO KNOW: Even if you’ve been paid while from work, you can still calculate your own time lost from work as”Lost Wages”.
PROPERTY DAMAGE EXPENSES: These generally include Motor Vehicle Repair, Damaged Clothing, Broken Glasses, cost of Substitute Car Rentals, Towing and Storage. Make copies of bills relating to any of your property damage expenses. Keep the originals. Be sure to have those in your possession when you and Hard-Nose plunk yourselves down to”Talk Turkey”. Photocopies are sufficient to give him.
YOUR AGE: Due to the obvious innocence, insurance claim crash victims up to the age of 12, normally have outstanding settlement effects. Those in their teens, and into their late 50’s, fall into a fairly normal category because they’re generally considered to be at the height of their physical stamina. Those in their late 60’s, and over, usually fare exceptionally well; primarily due to the sympathy that’s often invoked, from a judge or jury, because of general attitudes regarding frailty and the elderly.
MOST IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: The information Hard-Nose puts into your file plays a significant role in the ultimate value of your claim. Never underestimate the importance of his impressions and decisions! Should, 1 afternoon, your case winds up in front of a judge, or jury, what Hard-Nose feels, observes then reports to your file at Rock Solid about you, his guaranteed Fred Fuddle, or potential witnesses, etc., (along with the information that you’ve recorded for him) may have massive influence on the value of your claim – – especially if Fuddle is a loser and he is absolutely in the incorrect. At that point, the only thing stalling a settlement is the amount of money it’s going cost to get rid of you.
And, should your file end up in the hands of the local defense attorney for Rock Solid Insurance, all the positive factors about you, your liability and injury, will induce him to gasp, “Hey, what is going on here? My legal fees will be higher than the few hundred more bucks this one can be dumped for.”
The bottom line: Your out-of-pocket expenses properly recorded and presented, your injury information properly documented and your lost salary clearly established will dramatically raise the dollar value of your personal injury claim.