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 THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO
YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE
Things You Should Know and Questions You Should Ask
 
The Introduction

When you have been injured in an accident, your life changes immediately. Instead of spending time with your family or going to school or work, you are forced to deal with police, doctors and insurance companies. The negligent party’s insurance company may try to contact you to ask a few questions. Are you being recorded? Are you asked to sign a few forms? You are not in good hands with the adjuster and the insurance company is not on your side. What next?

Chapter 1: At the Scene of the Accident

  • Make sure you are safe and secure.
  • When to move your vehicle.
  • Who to make statements or talk to.
  • What information should I have before leaving the scene?

Chapter 2: First Steps After an Accident

  • Get prompt medical care.
  • Dealing with insurance companies
  • Damage to your car
  • Documenting treatment and wage loss
  • What is the most important thing for me to do after my injury?

Chapter 3: A Mini-Course in Insurance Law

  • If I am not require to have car insurance, why should I buy it?
  • First Party Coverage and Third Party Coverage.
  • The Types of Coverage
  • Suppose the other driver has NO insurance?
  • Suppose the other driver does not have ENOUGH insurance?
  • Suppose I am driving someone else’s car?
  • Suppose I am a passenger in someone else’s car?
  • How much insurance coverage do I need?
  • What will the insurance company for the person(s) or company who caused my injury do about my claim?
  • How does the insurance company put a value on my case?
  • Should I communicate with or contact the insurance company for the person who caused my injuries?
  • Can I contact my own insurance company?
  • Will the insurance company for the person who caused my injuries dispute my claim?
  • What can I do to convince the insurance company that my claim is valid?

Chapter 4: The Person, Persons, or Company Who Caused Your Injuries

  • What happens to the person, persons, or company who caused your injuries?
  • Things to understand before talking to the other guy’s insurance adjuster
  • Property Damage
  • Bodily Injury
  • Coordination of benefits among all the potential insurance policies is an area requiring specialized legal knowledge. It is very easy to overlook possible revenues of recovery if you are not intimately familiar with this area of law.

Chapter 5: How do I pay my medical bills?

  • Will the doctors, hospitals another medical facilities wait for payment if I am unable to pay my bills as they are incurred?
  • How does my lawyer make sure that the doctors and medical facilities get paid?
  • Why won’t the insurance company for the person or company who caused my injuries automatically pay my medical bills as they occur?
  • How do I keep track of my bills?

Chapter 6: If You Hire a Lawyer

  • How will your lawyer handle your case?
  • How can I help my lawyer with my case?
  • Why do I have to sign so many forms?
  • How will my lawyer be paid and what is a contingent fee agreement?
  • What other costs will there be in addition to the attorney’s fees?
  • Are the attorney’s disbursements and costs also contingent and if not, do they have to be paid in advance?

Chapter 7: The Insurance Companies

  • What happens to the person who caused my injury if the case does not settle?
  • What if the tortfeasor is untruthful or inaccurate about how the incident happened?
  • Can I contact the person or persons who are responsible for my injuries?

Chapter 8: Settlement

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

Chapter 9: Litigation

  • What happens if the insurance company does not meet your settlement range of the case does not settle?
  • What factors would cause my case to go to litigation?
  • How does a lawsuit affect me?
  • Is it possible that my case will settle before trial?
  • What will I have to do if my case proceeds to a lawsuit?
  • Does a lawsuit require a substantial amount of work?
  • Will I have to answer interrogatories?
  • What are depositions?
  • What if I don’t want to have my deposition taken?
  • Does the person or persons who caused my injuries have to be deposed also?
  • How do I prepare for a deposition?
  • Why are depositions so important?

Chapter 10: The Trial

  • When will the trial take place?
  • How much notice will I get before trial?
  • What happens in a trial?
  • What should I remember in order to be the best possible witness?

Chapter 11: After the Trial

  • If I win, how long does it take to receive the money?
  • What happens if I lose?
  • If I lose, is it still possible to get a settlement?

 The Conclusion

Lawyers know your personal injury case is very important to you. It is important to have a positive attitude and requires that you make an active effort to recover from your injuries.