1. CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER RIGHT AWAY
Right after a car crash or motorcycle accident, you are not feeling great. Your vehicle is damaged, maybe inoperable, maybe even be a total loss. There is a lot to do right after an accident. Your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Don’t speak with the insurance adjuster as they are routinely trying to obtain statements from you which can later be used to reduce your recovery. Instead you should call the Law Offices of Kevin McConnell right away.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you get your car repaired or replaced and obtain the best value for you. Your attorney will help you get a rental car while your car is being repaired or replaced. Most good lawyers offer this service without any charge as part of their work on your injury case. Injury cases are handled on a contingent fee basis–you pay nothing to the lawyer until or unless he or she wins the case.
2. GET TREATED FOR YOUR INJURIES
The value of any particular injury claim varies depending upon the nature and severity of the injuries and symptoms, the resulting disability, recovery time, and permanent residual injury or disability, among other factors. One thing is clear–you should follow through with all recommended treatment prescribed by your healthcare providers. If you skip treatments or stop treating early, the insurance company will argue that this shows you were not injured and deserve less money in settlement of your case.
If you do not have a regular doctor or you don’t have health insurance to cover your treatment, don’t worry–at the Law Offices of Kevin McConnell we can refer you to a physician or chiropractor or therapist that can provide treatment as needed and wait for payment out of the settlement money. You can get the treatment needed to relieve your pain and suffering without paying out of pocket in advance.
3. PREPARING THE CASE FOR SETTLEMENT
Your personal injury lawyer will monitor your recovery and keep track of the various healthcare providers you have seen. As you complete care with each provider, we will request complete bills and records. It is not necessary for you to attempt to get documents but you should send a copy of everything you receive to our office.
At some point, every personal injury case is ready for possible settlement. We hope that every client gets better and reaches 100% of their pre-accident condition. However, not everyone is so fortunate. Whether you make a full recovery or reach some level of maximum medical improvement, you and your lawyer will make a judgment about when it is most advantageous to try to settle your case. We try to be cautious in approaching settlement. We would not want to settle a case too early only to learn that the injuries are much worse than anticipated or some invasive and dangerous surgery is needed but was not accounted for in the settlement. While we never get to know the future, an experienced personal injury lawyer has a good sense for when is the right time to talk about settlement.
4. WHEN DO I GET MY PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT MONEY?
When it is time to talk settlement, we will finish compiling your complete injury file to include: all medical bills, all medical records and reports, and report dealing with possible future treatment, documentation for past wage or earning loss attributable to the accident, an assessment of future loss of earnings, and evidence of the pain, suffering, anxiety, and distress the accident and resulting injuries has brought into your life.
This information is provided to the insurance company responsible for you damages. Usually, we will put this into a complete narrative describing your damages and the interruption of your life. We always invite you to contribute to this to help us, and the insurance company, understand what you have been through. This narrative will include a settlement demand (approved by you in advance) as a starting place for negotiations.
Our narrative settlement demand is a substantial project that requires a great deal of attention to detail and usually includes summarization of a large volume of medical information. Preparation of this narrative is usually completed with about 30 to 60 days after we conclude that your case is settlement demand ready.
Once we present this settlement demand package, it is typically about 30 days before we have an offer from the insurance company. This process takes time. We know you are anxious to get the case settled (we don’t get paid until it does!) but getting the top dollar for each case requires some patience while we go through the process.
5. HOW MUCH IS THE PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT GOING TO BE?
Every case must be evaluated on its own merits. Every case, and every person, is different, no two injuries are alike. At the Law Offices of Kevin McConnell, we have a combined experience of 50 plus years and thousands of personal injury cases. Our goal is to negotiate for as much as each case will bear, every case, every time. We will not predict value until the case is matured and ready a for a settlement demand. At that time we can have a frank discussion with you about maximum, minimum, and expected settlement value.
The categories that make up the damages we are seeking are easy to list but harder to define in real life. The basic categories that make up a claim for personal injuries include:
— past medical bills
— future medical bills
— past wage or earning loss
— future wage or earning loss
— past pain, suffering, anxiety, upset, and distress
— future pain, suffering, anxiety, upset, and distress
— loss of society and companionship awarded to the uninjured spouse
6. WILL IT BE NECESSARY TO FILE A FORMAL LAWSUIT?
We thoroughly prepare every injury claim for presentation to the responsible insurance company. The great majority of cases settled as the result of negotiations before filing suit. There are always a few cases that require pursuing a formal lawsuit and proceeding to or through trial. At the Law Offices of Kevin McConnell, we are prepared to pursue your case as far as is necessary to produce the optimal result and the most money in your pocket.
Remember, you never pay us until and unless we win your case. Call or click today for a free, no obligation, confidential consultation about your personal injury case with an experienced Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney.
The lawyer you choose truly makes a difference!