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Auto Accident Blog

How Much is My Auto Accident Case Worth?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

One of the most often asked questions from my clients is, “how much is my case worth?” The answer is, “it depends.” There are many different factors to consider to determine the value of a personal injury case.

First, it depends on your treatment. If you, for example, attend a few physical therapy sessions and feel better, your case will obviously be worth less than a case where someone underwent surgery.

Second, it depends on your injuries. If you suffered a fracture, your case is probably worth more than a case where the claimant suffered soft tissue injuries. The total cost of your medical treatment will also play a role in the value of your case. Without knowing the cost of your medicals, it is difficult to ascertain what your case is worth. Permanent injuries are also an important factor when examining the value of a case.

Third, did you lose time from work? If yes, your lost time from work should be included in your damages. Further, if you are no longer able to perform your job, or even work at all, a claim for future loss of earnings should be made.

These are only a few aspects of a personal injury claim that determine what a case is worth.

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact Jaclyne Kartley for a free consultation today at 301-740-3313.

 

How to Unsettle an Unfair Settlement

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The insurance companies and adjustors are not your friends. After an accident, they call and ask how you are doing, and they sound like they care, but they don’t. Well, they do, just not about you. They care about settling your case for a little money as possible, even if it is not fair to you.

The practice of insurance companies settling cases with unrepresented parties, right after an accident and even when in the hospital is so bad, that the State Legislature had to pass a law to protect Marylanders injured in car accidents.

Under Maryland Law, if you are not represented by an attorney and you settle your case within the first 30 days of becoming injured, you have 60 days to return the money and rescind the settlement in writing. If you are hospitalized, the insurance companies can’t even negotiate with you for the first 15 days after your injury.

This law is necessary because the insurance companies routinely try and settle claims immediately after car accidents in order to minimize their payments. Don’t talk to the insurance company until you call me.

Mind The Gap

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A few years ago, I had a client who fell down some steps at his apartment complex and injured his back. The cleaning company had just mopped the floor, but had not gotten around to putting up the wet floor signs yet. He began treating for his back, but then found himself in jail. The client received medical care for his back while in jail, and was released after approximately 2 months. I don't do criminal work, and I don't recall the details of his incarceration, except that it was for something minor. The client completed his care after his release and I was posed with a difficult question. When sending my demand to the cleaning company's insurance company, should I submit the medical records from the jail, or should I allow them to believe there was a gap in treatment?

Insurance adjustors aren't original, we know what defenses they will raise and what they are going to say. If you're injured in a car accident, the insurance adjustor will tell you that you treated too long, that your medical bills are too high, that the injuries you did not have 5 minutes before your car crash are somehow not related to the crash, and if there is a gap in treatment, you clearly were 100% better. In the world of insurance adjusting, there is nothing worse for a plaintiff than a gap in treatment.

So the question is, what constitutes a gap? Generally, it is span of time during active physical therapy or chiropractic care, where you miss appointments or don't seek treatment. It doesn't matter to the insurance company if you had to go out of town for work, if you had a death in the family, if there was snow, or if the provider was booked. If you miss appointments, they will tell you that the only possible conclusion is that you didn't need any more care, and that you are all better. Some benevolent adjustors will consider the circumstances of a gap if it is documented in the medical records, but they are few and far between.

For my client that fell down the wet stairs, it was better that the adjustor heard that my client was in jail than for her to think there was a gap. I was able to negotiate a fair settlement for the client.

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