Frequently Asked Questions
You certainly need to get an MRI. Generally, if you go to the emergency room, they will only take an x-ray to make sure nothing is broken. However, if you are still experiencing pain there could be many things going on in your back, a ligament that has been strained, a disk that has been herniated, or your spine that may have lost its alignment that cannot be seen in an x-ray. It is extremely important to get an MRI within the first 6 to 8 weeks. This is because the MRI would allow your doctor to opinionate whether any injury that exists was caused by the crash or injury producing event, versus it being “degenerative,” which means as a result of normal wear and tear of our bodies associated with aging.
If the other side is denying that you injured a particular body part as a result of the crash then yes. You also would need one if there is not a whole lot of visible property damage to your vehicle but you have been injured as a result. This is because the defense will argue that the forces were not sufficient to cause your injuries.
An injury biomechanic expert is someone who explains how the forces from the crash were transferred to the body. He/she is able to explain whether or not based on the forces of the crash, the injuries that you have sustained are consistent with the forces imposed upon your body. They usually work closely with the accident reconstruction expert.
If the other side is denying that they were at fault, yes. If not, you still may need one, but it would need to be decided on a case by case basis.
An accident reconstruction expert is someone who recreates the collision. They generally use information such as speed, distance, time, photographs of the cars involved, the traffic collision report, and measurement from the scene to determine how the collision most likely happened and determine who was at fault for the collision.
6. I’m frustrated with the entire litigation process why is it so difficult. The other driver crashed into me, I don’t understand this?
Cannot agree with you more. The unnecessary stress that is being placed on your is because the greedy insurance companies and their money decision makers don’t care about you or your injuries. They are designed to pay as little as possible on your claim and, will hire the best defense firms in town, hire their biased doctors and do everything else in their power to pay the least amount of money as possible. The road to justice is tumultuous, but justice is sweet.
You are not required. Under the law you are allowed to receive treatment from any provider you wish. We work with many local provider’s that are willing to treat you without requiring payment upfront. They will collect their fee once a settlement has been reached or a verdict is obtained. This way you can focus on your health. However, the decision of whether you should treat with one of these doctors should be taken on a case by case basis and, is something that certainly needs to be discussed between your injury attorney and you.
8. The person who crashed into me only has $15,000 in policy but my injuries are severe, what can I do?
We can help you potentially recover more. We do this by helping our clients in all aspects of their injury claim, but allow them to handle the matter all on their own initially. The insurance companies have a responsibility to settle claims within their insureds (the person who caused the crashes’) policy limits. If they fail to do so, then the policy is “open”, and they can be on the hook for more than the $15,000 policy. Our firm also has access to resources to obtain the at fault parties policy limits prior to filing a lawsuit. Generally, insurance companies do not provide us with that information, before filing a lawsuit. If this is a situation that you are in make sure you speak to an attorney who can help you potentially recover more.
If you are still having pain and feel that the insurance company is not treating you fairly, it would be worth it to get a second opinion with an attorney who has gone to trial and can give you a better assessment of the value of your claim. Unfortunately, I see time and time again that attorneys despite having a responsibility to put their clients interests ahead of their own, since they so many cases, they just want to settle cases and move on to the next case. This is especially so when the insurance company is seemingly offering a lot of money. More and more attorneys are acting as “plaintiffs adjusters” rather than actually looking at the best interests of their clients. If that is how you feel, make sure you have an attorney with trial experience review your entire file before settling your claim. That is your right.
10. I feel like the wreck was not my fault, but the police officer put me at fault, do I still have a case?
We see this often. First, if you feel that way, after you receive the copy of the police report you want to review it to make sure everything you told the officer is accurately reflected in the report. If not, you need to immediately supplement the police report. This can be done by contacting the agency and requesting that your police report be supplemented. Some agencies have an online form where you can do it online. Police officers are human also and make mistakes. They also were not there at the time and are making a decision based on the information that is provided to them by the parties involved and any witnesses. You could still have a case, however, these cases will be heavily litigated by the insurance company because they now have something that is in their favor. Don’t lose hope however, it would be worth at least discussing your case with an injury attorney to get their insight.
No value can be placed on our health. The most precious thing that we have in life is our health and the relationships we have with friends, family, and loved ones. Nonetheless, our civil system of justice is based on money damages. The value of your injury claim would depend on many factors. Those factors include: 1) the severity of the injury; 2) How the injury limited your life; 3) What you’ve lost as a result of your injuries; 4) Did the injury have an impact on your relationships with friends, family or loved ones. The value of your injury claim also depends on whether a jury is deciding your case or an insurance company adjuster. There are of course many things to take into consideration in making the decision on whether to go to trial and, that is why it would be important to speak to a lawyer who is willing to go to trial on your behalf. In my experience, generally speaking the value of your injury claim is larger when the members of your community make the decision for you versus an insurance company adjuster that only cares about making his company richer. Of course, no one case is the same and, I cannot guarantee, warrant or predict an outcome.