Personal Injury Article Library

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What is the most important thing for me to do after my injury?
  2. How do I pay my medical bills?
  3. Will the doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities wait for payment if I am unable to pay my bills as they are incurred?
  4. How does my lawyer make sure that the doctors and medical facilities will get paid?
  5. Why won’t the insurance company for the person or company who caused my injuries automatically pay my medical bills as they occur?
  6. How do I keep track of all my bills?

Your lawyer

  1. How will my lawyer handle my case?
  2. How can I help my lawyer with my case?
  3. Why do I have to sign so many forms?
  4. How will my lawyer be paid and what is a contingent fee agreement?
  5. What other costs will there be in addition to the attorneys’ fees?
  6. Are the attorneys’ disbursements and costs also contingent and if not, do they have to be paid in advance?

The insurance company

  1. What will the insurance company for the person, persons or company who caused my injury do about my claim?
  2. How does the insurance company put a value on my case?
  3. Should I communicate with or contact the insurance company for the person who caused my injuries?
  4. Can I contact my own insurance company?
  5. Will the insurance company for the person who caused my injuries dispute my claim?
  6. What can I do to convince the insurance company that my claim is valid?

The defendant

  1. What happens to the person, persons or company who caused my injury?
  2. What happens to the person who caused my injury if the case does not settle?
  3. What if the tortfeasor was untruthful or not accurate about how the incident happened?
  4. Can I contact the person or persons who are responsible for my injuries?

Settlement

  1. When will my case settle?
  2. How much is my case worth?
  3. Who determines the settlement value of my case?
  4. What steps will be taken to settle my case?
  5. Will the insurance carrier pay the demand figure in my attorney’s request for settlement?
  6. How long does it take to complete settlement after the first letter of demand?
  7. Because the insurance company will undercut my attorney’s request for settlement, why not request a very large sum to begin with?
  8. After the insurance company and my attorney agree upon settlement, how long will it take to get my money?
  9. What has to be done before I get the money that is due me from the settle­ment?
  10. After attorneys’ fees, medical bills, liens, and costs, will there be anything left for me?

Litigation if the case does not settle

  1. What happens if the insurance company does not meet our settlement range and the case does not settle?
  2. What factors would cause my case to go to litigation?
  3. How does a lawsuit affect me?
  4. Is it possible that my case will settle before trial?
  5. What will I have to do if my case proceeds to a lawsuit?
  6. Does a lawsuit require a substantial amount of work from my lawyer and, if so, will I be charged extra?
  7. Will I have to answer interrogatories?
  8. What are depositions?
  9. What if I don’t want to have my deposition taken?
  10. Does the person or persons who caused my injuries have to be deposed also?
  11. How do I prepare for a deposition?
  12. Why are depositions so important?

The trial

  1. When will the trial take place?
  2. How much notice will I get before bill?
  3. What happens in a trial?
  4. What should I remember in order to be the best possible witness?

After the trial

  1. If we win, how long does it take to receive the money?
  2. What happens if we lose?
  3. If we lose, is it still possible to get a settlement?

HOW INSURERS EVALUATE CLAIMS

Common adjuster ploys and dirty tricks
How an adjuster will evaluate your case
How insurers view personal injury claims
Twenty-two lowballing techniques used by unscrupulous insurance adjusters
Games insurers play in wrongfully denying claims
Eleven ways insurers stonewall personal injury claimants
What adjusters look for in evaluating claims
Red flags that invite adjuster scrutiny
Which cases are selected for surveillance
Case factors that suggest plaintiff fraud

Insurer valuation

The “X” times specials valuation formula
Case evaluation examples based upon case severity
Valuation of minor injury cases
Evaluation of wrongful death cases
Adjuster evaluation ploys

HOW PLANTIFF ATTORNEYS EVALUATE CASES

Attorney’s checklist for evaluating cases
How attorneys spot bad clients
Eighteen factors that affect case value
How the economy affects case value
Case evaluation checklist
Evaluation of pain, with questionnaire

Initial meeting

What attorneys tell their clients at the first meeting
Checklist of items to maintain and bring to your personal injury attorney
Client medical history questionnaire
Keeping a personal injury journal
Keeping track of special damages and expenses
What a personal injury attorney does
Personal injury attorney’s damage evaluation checklist

DEALING WITH INSURANCE DOCTORS

Proven advice for your defense medical examination in a personal injury case
Your rights and responsibilities during a personal injury defense medical exam
Steps your personal injury attorney can take to prove the true nature of your pain
Protecting your rights regarding psychological testing in a personal injury lawsuit
Psychological tests commonly administered by insurance doctors in personal injury
Defenses relied upon by insurers’ doctors to undermine claims of psychiatric harm
Manipulation of malingering tests in personal injury lawsuits

Resources

Medical websites for accident and injury claims
Common abbreviations used in personal injury medical records

SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS

Insurers differ

The settlement style of large and conservative insurers
The contrasting approach of more reasonable mid-sized insurers
Thirteen tips to help your understand insurers with different settlement approaches
Why insurance carriers are becoming more unreasonable

Processing and negotiation

How claims are handled by insurance adjusters
One approach used by personal injury attorneys to set the initial demand figure
Assessing settlement value
Insurer negotiation tactics
The 9 most common personal injury case weaknesses

IF A LAWSUIT IS FILED

Mistakes that will reduce your case’s value

Investigation and discovery

How to obtain proper medical expense documentation
Timetable of the typical personal injury case
Common abbreviations and symbols in medical records
Checklist of activities affected by your injury

Your deposition

How to make a good impression in your deposition
15 mistakes plaintiffs make in their depositions
Checklist of your deposition testimony
Five abusive deposition tactics used by defense lawyers
How lawyers conduct and use depositions
Do’s and don’ts for deponents
How lawyers handle forgetful witnesses
How lawyers get you to say more than you should
How lawyers obtain the information they want
What defense counsel will ask you
Deposition instructions
Pointers for your video deposition
Testimony of plaintiff’s spouse
Testimony of parent in child’s wrongful death

Damages

Calculating damages in your case
Damages chart
Understanding what does and does not motivate jurors to award damages
Presenting a persuasive and engaging damages story

The trial

The 4 case factors that most influence juries
Jury questionnaire
Themes for opening
Tips for testifying
Your testimony. What your lawyer will ask you during trial.
How to handle difficult cross-examination questions
14 effective trial tactics used by defense lawyers
Plaintiff’s direct examination of treating doctor
Defendant’s cross-examination of treating doctor
Defendant’s direct examination of defense doctor
Plaintiff’s cross-examination of defense doctor
Plaintiff’s direct examination of physical therapist

CAR ACCIDENTS

Introduction to the law

Elements of the plaintiff’s case
Typical defenses

Initial meeting

Questions about damages
Questions about how the accident happened
Questions in pedestrian cases
Questions in passenger cases
Questions for the driver
Questions about your injuries
Interview Questionnaire
Letter or General Information
Take-Home Instructions

Initial evaluation

How injury lawyers evaluate lawsuits
Lawsuit evaluation checklist
Things for which you are entitled to recover damages
Soft tissue injury evaluation
Factors affecting neck injuries
Liability case illustration
The burden of proof

Damages

Lost wages or earnings
Unreported income
Early retirement or sale of a business

Investigation

Taking photographs of the car accident scene
Getting the police report
Dealing with an unfavorable police report
Emergency room records
Hospital admission record
Photographs of injuries and treatment

Discovery

Discovery checklist

Interrogatories:

Depositions:

General deposition questions
“Sudden Stop” question checklist
Questions about statements
Deposing the driver in an auto accident
Questioning the police officer in an auto accident
Questioning a witness of an auto accident
Questions about company control of a driver
Deposing the defendant driver

Plaintiff’s requests for admissions:

Settlement Negotiations

Initial negotiations
Pre-settlement considerations
Case illustration
Special problems

Trial

Elements of proof
Opening statement
Using a map of the scene

FALLS

Introduction to the law

Elements of the case
Building codes
Common terminology

Initial meeting

Client interview questionnaire
Physical evidence

Initial evaluation

Slip and fall case evaluation checklist
Case evaluation checklist
Checklists for evaluating stairways, ramps, and walkways
Playground safety inspection checklist
Elements of a slip and fall accident lawsuit

Investigation and discovery

Checklist on landlord/tenant responsibilities
Interrogatories and demands for production to slip and fall defendant
Interrogatories, definitions and instructions to defendant in a slip and fall accident
Interrogatories for production from defendant to plaintiff in a slip and fall lawsuit
Interrogatories to corporate landowner in a slip and fall injury lawsuit

Depositions

Deposition of the property owner in a slip and fall personal injury case
Checklist: deposition of property owner in stairway slip and fall accident lawsuit
What to expect at your deposition in a slip and fall case
Checklist of topics that may be covered during your slip and fall deposition
Deposition of the store manager in a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit

Trial

Jury questionnaire – slip and fall personal injury
Trial checklist: retail and supermarket slip and fall injury
Trial checklist: stairway fall accident

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL INJURIES

Initial evaluation

What to expect in the interview:

Factors that can provoke an aggressive attack by defense counsel
Initial evaluation: Attributes of a strong case
Main screening factors that a plaintiff’s attorney uses when evaluating mental and emotional injuries

Investigation and discovery

Anticipating and meeting defenses in:

Preparing for your deposition in a mental and emotional injury case
During your deposition in a mental and emotional injuries case
Deposing the defendant in workplace sexual harassment cases

Settlement

Type of case affects prospects for an early settlement
Preparing for settlement negotiations
8 steps for optimizing the settlement value of your mental injury case

Settling the:

Trial

Trial considerations for:

FREE case EVALUATION