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Steps in Handling a Personal Injury Case

Traffic accident cases

The first step is an in-depth interview with the attorney. The client comes to our office because they want monetary compensation for the damages that he or she incurred. The attorney has to assess three important issues. first item is liability. Determination of liability means deciding whose is at fault. Some accident facts are easier to determine and some require investigation before liability can be determined. For example, if you are at the stop in a red light  and someone rear-ends you, chances are that they are at fault. Some accident facts are much more complicated and require an experienced attorney to prove that the other driver was at fault. For example, if the other driver ran a red light and hit you, the attorney has to know how to locate and speak to witnesses, how to evaluate the light sequence at the intersection to show that indeed you had the green light. The set of facts can be even more complicated if more than two cars are involved.

The second item is to assess the damages. This means assessing the injuries that you received. For example, the impact caused you to hit your knee on the dashboard and your knee was injured. An experienced attorney will make sure you see medical providers who not only help you get better but also know how best to described your injuries and suffering to get the best value for your case. Also, sometimes, assessing the damages is more complicated. For example, if you had a pre-existing injury to your knee, in order to get compensation for the knee injury, we need to show what was caused by the accident versus what was there from before. An experienced attorney knows how to approach this issue with the assistance of medical specialists.  The third issue the attorney has to assess is whether there is insurance coverage to cover the party that caused the accident.  An experienced attorney knows how to uncover policies and how to stack various policies to get you the most money.

It is very important that you tell your attorney your medical history and any claims that you have made in the past.  The insurance company have access to databases which show prior claims that you have made.

We will not begin settlement negotiations until you are discharged from treatment.  Sometimes the doctor will release you but also indicate that you will need additional treatment in the future.  This can be built into the value of the case.  In other words, we can settle the claim now for an amount that will include compensation for future treatment.

Another important item in evaluating your case is wage loss and loss of earning capacity.  We will make sure that your inability to work is well medically documented. If your injury is causing you not to be able to return to the same type of employment you had before the accident, we know how to evaluate the loss of earning capacity.  If you are self employed, the loss of earning may be based on your reported income prior to the accident. However, sometimes we are not limited to that, for example, in cases where we can show that your business was expanding due to your labor and management skills.

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