Category Archives: Uncategorized

How Long Does It Take a Personal Injury Claim to Settle?

How Long Will It Take to Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

personal injury lawyerMany people who file a personal injury case at the court wonder how long it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits can take a few months or even a couple of years depending on the case. If someone wants to settle the claim early, they can do so. However, there is a catch. They’ll have to settle for less money than they could get if they wait. 

In this article, we will examine why some personal injury claims take more time to settle and whether you should accept a quick settlement. 

Why Personal Injury Claims Take So Long? 

Some personal injury lawsuits take more time to settle. The three reasons why personal injury lawsuits may move slow include: 

  • Big money is involved in the case 
  • Factual or legal problems are dragging the case 
  • The victim hasn’t reached complete medical improvement from their injuries 

If any of the above-mentioned situations are involved in your case, it’ll take more time to settle unless you’re willing to accept less money to resolve the case quickly. Let’s look at these situations in more details. 

Large Sums of Money 

When major damages are involved in the case, a large amount of money must be paid by the liable party as compensation. The insurer of the liable party simply won’t pay the large amount of money on such a case or offer a settlement to resolve the case until they themselves have done proper investigation of the case. They’ll investigate all the aspects of liability as well as the damages associated with the case. Insurance company of the at-fault party will not settle for any reasonable amount of money until they’re convinced that victim’s claim is credible, their injuries are severe and they can’t defend the case. 

Sometimes insurers purposely delay settlements on big cases hoping that the plaintiff (victim) will get tired and give up, settling for less money. Most injured victims need money from the settlement and can’t wait for a long time to get compensated. Insurance companies are well-aware of this which is why they take their time to settle the case. 

Factual or Legal Problems 

In a personal injury lawsuit, the case’s value is determined through the considered liability i.e. who’s responsible for the injury and damages  i.e. the severity of injuries suffered by the plaintiff. 

If proving liability (negligence of the defendant) is hard, then the insurance company will likely not offer a reasonable amount of settlement until the attorney of the plaintiff has filed the case and hired experts to prove the defendant’s fault. If legal issues exist in the case, then the insurance company won’t offer any settlement. For example, the company believes that the victim doesn’t have the legal right of suing the at-fault party. This is one such instance where the insurance company would not offer any settlement amount.

Alternatively, there could be issues with damages. For example, doctors treating the plaintiff might not be sure that the negligence of the defendant caused the injury of the plaintiff. The plaintiff always carries the burden of proof in the court about the defendant’s negligence and the subsequent injuries. If the plaintiff’s doctors aren’t sure about this, then they’ll lack sufficient evidence to win the case. Therefore, the insurance company won’t offer them a settlement until their attorney can provide some evidence that shows that the defendant is directly responsible for the injuries of the plaintiff. 

Maximum or Complete Medical Improvement 

Sometimes settlement takes more time because the injuries of the plaintiff are still being treated. If you are injured and going under treatment, you should never settle for compensation. You have to do this until you reach the maximum or complete medical improvement from the injuries suffered in the accident. 

Maximum or complete medical improvement means that you have fully recovered. The reason you should wait to reach this point is because you’ll know the total value of your damages and how much compensation you are entitled to. As the lawyers of the Jewkes Firm, LLC, can explain, if you’re still being treated and haven’t fully recovered, you won’t be able to know the settlement amount you are entitled to. 

If you cannot wait, you can accept the early settlement from the insurance company and settle for less amount of money. However, we advise against that. If you need help filing a personal injury lawsuit, hire an experienced personal injury attorney today.

Covid-19 and All Those Trucks on the Highways

truck accident lawyerOrdered something online recently? Of course you have. Amazon, Walmart, Target— it was a way we shopped before the pandemic, and it’s only increased since COVID-19 hit.

In 2018, according to Pitney Bowes, 2,760 packages were shipped— per second. According to TruckInfo.net, 70% of all freight transported annually in the United States is delivered by trucks.

With that many trucks on the road, there are going to be truck crashes. The United States Department of Transportation estimates that, before the pandemic, there were more than 500,000 truck crashes every year.

So, what has Covid-19 done to trucking? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus. Federal regulations were relaxed to allow for quicker shipping of goods. It is now extended until September 14, 2020.

That means that there were more truckers on the road driving further and for longer times without taking breaks. It is important for you to know that a truck driver must still follow the rules of the road even though he is not breaking federal regulations on driving time.

It is the same for all of those Amazon delivery trucks driving around your neighborhood. They might be coming with that overnight guaranteed order to deliver face masks, but they still have to keep their eyes on the road.

Because trucks and tractor trailers are so big and move so fast, there usually isn’t much we can do to avoid a crash with a negligent truck driver. However, as the lawyers at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC can attest, there are some steps we can do to help ourselves.

      Avoid trucks if you can. Take the “cars only” or “motorist only” if it works.

      Remember that trucks have a blind spot. If you can’t see the truck driver’s mirrors, he probably can’t see you and he might cut you off by dangerously pulling into your lane.

So, what can you do if you or a loved one is injured by a truck driver who didn’t follow the rules of the road?

      Call the emergency services. Don’t let the truck driver try to talk you out of making a police report.

      If you feel immediate pain, get medical attention as soon as you can. Sometimes, you hope the pain will go away or the pain doesn’t set in until later. If that happens, do your best to get seen by a doctor within a few days. Truck crashes can lead to horrific injuries such as permanently damaging the discs in your spine. You need good medical care to help through these injuries.

        Call a lawyer. Each state has qualified personal injury attorneys who deal with truck accidents. You’ll want to meet with one to discuss your rights, and the best steps forward for your case.

 

 

How Uber and Lyft Accidents Are Different From Other Vehicle’s

Car Accident Lawyer

More and more, rideshare methods are becoming a common way to travel. Rather than take a taxi or public transportation, people are using Uber and Lyft on vacations, on business trips or even for getting around their own hometowns. These vehicles are subject to the same risks on the road as any other automobile. Accidents can occur while riding in one, whether the fault is another driver’s or the person operating the Uber or Lyft you are traveling in. There are some differences between these incidents and those in other cars.

How They Work

Unlike a taxi or bus, a rideshare driver is operating his or her personal vehicle, not one owned by the company. Uber and Lyft hire freelancers, who then pick up passengers in the area who schedule pickups using a smartphone app. Both Uber and Lyft have insurance on the vehicle while the driver is operating it for the company. On top of that, the driver must also carry personal auto insurance.

Who Covers What?

Auto accidents can be complicated, but they are often cut and dried when it comes to determining who is at fault. The same is the case for what auto insurance will pay claims. For Uber and Lyft accidents, these matters work a little differently. If another driver collides with a rideshare vehicle, and you are injured, you should file a claim with that person’s insurance. However, if the Uber or Lyft driver is to blame for the accident, one or two insurance companies may get involved. Uber, for example, carries up to $1 million in insurance per incident if there is a passenger in the car or if the driver is on the way to pick someone up. If a rideshare driver hits another vehicle, causing injuries, the policy will pay up to $50,000 for injuries and $25,000 for property damage. Though a driver’s personal insurance may cover more than this, as an injured passenger, you may have to go through Uber or Lyft first.

At Attorneys Help

If you are injured in or by a rideshare vehicle, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca, right away. Your lawyer will have the knowledge and training to work directly with the insurance companies to protect your interests.

Uber and Lyft insurance policies are designed to protect the companies. You will need someone on your side who will make sure you get the settlement you deserve.

What You Can Do After an Accident Caused By an Uninsured Driver

If you were injured in a car accident caused by the other party, you’ll typically file a claim with his or her insurance company. What should you do if the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured? The following are some steps you should take.

File a Police Report

If anyone was injured in the accident, you’ll need to call the authorities at the scene of the incident. If any injuries are life-threatening, it’s important you call 911 to seek emergency assistance. When a police officer arrives at the scene, he or she will begin to assess the situation. Statements will be taken from both parties, as well as from witnesses.

If for some reason there isn’t an officer that responds to your accident, you should go to the police department as soon as possible to file a report. This is typically only applicable in very rural or desert areas where a police presence is low.

Contact Your Own Insurance Provider

If you’re properly insured, you should have coverage called “uninsured or underinsured motorist.” Many insurance companies cap the amount at the same amount you carry in liability. For example, if your liability coverage is $100,000, you’ll also have $100,000 or less in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Not every insurance company functions this way, so be sure you speak with your insurer to find out how much coverage you have.

Seek Financial Assistance

More than likely, you’ll need to seek financial assistance to help you pay medical bills after your accident with an uninsured driver. Though you might seek compensation through a lawsuit, there are some other ways to get those bills paid in the meantime. For example, you could seek Medicaid or Medicare coverage if you fall within a certain income bracket. You could speak with your medical providers about discounts or a payment plan. You could also turn to PIP if you are properly insured yourself.

Contact a Lawyer to File a Lawsuit

If the driver who caused your accident is uninsured, you could end up paying for more than your fair share in the case of injuries and property damage. A car accident lawyer may be able to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Keep in mind, many people who are uninsured also don’t have the assets required to pull a settlement from. Your lawyer can help you decide whether it’s worth your time and money to pursue a case. Contact a car accident lawyer, like from Barry P. Goldberg, today.

What to Do Following a Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day on the road in the U.S., but many people aren’t prepared for them when they happen. Even if you’re a safe driver, unfortunately, you may one day need to know how to handle the situation. Learning the proper procedures in advance can help you make the right decisions in the heat of the moment that lead to better outcomes down the road. Here are the top things to do following a car accident.

Assess the Immediate Situation

First and foremost, check to make sure no one is injured or needs to go to the hospital. If someone is hurt, get them medical attention immediately. If you are injured but think it is not bad, don’t wait to see a doctor. A doctor’s report is very valuable in proving that your injuries were caused by the accident when you go to file a personal injury claim, so don’t create extra hassle for yourself by not going soon.

Call the Police

Always contact the police after your accident, and don’t let the other driver leave before they arrive. A police report is required to file any car accident claim in a large number of states, and you don’t want to be barred from this because you were talked out of not calling them. The police can also help determine who was responsible for causing the accident when the insurance companies start investigating.

Gather Essential Information 

Exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact info and their insurance companies and policies. If they were at fault for the crash, you’ll need to call their insurance company to file a claim. In addition, you should take pictures of the accident and collect any witness statements (if available) to use to help prove who is at-fault. Many insurance companies will fight over this if it is unclear because they do not want to pay the claims, so don’t give them any reason to doubt your claim.

Contact Your Insurance 

It’s important to inform your own insurance company of the accident shortly after it has happened. They can help guide you through next steps and how to file a claim.

If you’re having trouble with any of the insurance companies involved, it may benefit you to consult with a personal injury lawyer, like from Darrell Castle & Associates, about your case. They can clarify how state laws impact your case and guide you when it comes to dealing with insurance claims adjusters and other matters.

Property Division During Divorce

A couple who chooses to divorce must face quite a few life-altering decisions. One of the most decisive issues during a divorce is the division of money, assets, debts and other property. Couples do not always agree on who should get what, and as such, the court may ultimately have to decide. While negotiating through your divorce, you may find it beneficial to understand how states handle this task. Discover the two ways in which a court may delineate who gets what during a divorce absent an agreement between the spouses.

Community Property States

A community property state handles the division of financial matters in a black and white manner. In this way, the judge will look at all the money acquired while the couple is married as part of the marital bank or pot. Likewise, the judge will also consider debts incurred while the couple is married in the same way. Once these numbers are calculated, usually with the help of each spouse’s financial disclosure, the court will split them evenly. One spouse may request that the judge award more, but absent a compromise between the couple, the court will probably deny the request. If one spouse is unemployed or underemployed, the judge may award a narrow window to find gainful employment.

Equitable Division State

Most states subscribe to an equitable principle when dividing money-related property during divorce. If the couple doesn’t compromise, a judge will look at the financial picture, as in community property states. However, the court also may consider other factors such as:

  • Each person’s emotional contribution to the marriage
  • Whether one spouse stayed home to raise children
  • How much premarital property each spouse will retain
  • Earnings of one spouse over the other
  • Evidence of a spouse’s detrimental behavior

Once the court examines this information, a decision is made on the fairest way to divvy up the money and debt. Thus, one spouse may get a more significant percentage of the assets, while the other gets more debt.

Keep in mind, if you have a valid prenuptial agreement, marital finances will be divided as set out in that document. Each state has different laws, and so consulting with a divorce attorney, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, can help you know how a judge will rule where you live. The best way to get through this aspect of divorce may be working with your spouse to enter into an agreement on which you both agree instead of having the decision taken away completely.

3 Ways to Get Through a Construction Zone Safely

Car Accident Lawyer

Improvements in roads lead to safer driving conditions. However, the process for those improvements may involve changes in the flow of traffic and the overall condition of the road for a while. Road construction can be a hassle for commuters because of the delays it may cause by forcing drivers to divert to alternative routes or sit in endless lines of traffic. Aside from creating diversions, these areas of a road can also be the most dangerous for drivers. Construction zones may create hazards for drivers and workers alike. Reflect on these three tips to help you navigate through a construction zone safely.

  1. Stay Alert

When crews go out to work on a road, they may do so around the clock. To improve a road, crews typically have to tear it up, so they often close lanes. Those working on roads utilize barricades, flashing warning signs and traffic cones to help alert drivers to a change ahead. However, drivers must be paying attention to see these warning signs effectively. Therefore, keeping your eyes and mind on the road ahead is critical. Distractions inside the car, like cell phones and GPS instructions, may create a distraction, and you may miss the clues that there is construction ahead. Failure to pay attention in or near a road construction zone causes accidents involving other vehicles, construction equipment, and even the workers themselves.

  1. Slow Down

Construction zones appearing on highways may be inconvenient for many reasons, but especially for the change in speed limit. Often, the speed limit approaching and in a construction zone is substantially lower than usual. On a highway, this may mean going from 70 to 35 quickly. If you are not paying attention, you may plow into the vehicle ahead. The failure to slow down in a construction zone can also prove devastating. Cars that speed through these areas when people are out working may strike a worker and kill them.

  1. Find an Alternate Route

The safest way to deal with construction zones is by avoiding them if possible. It may seem inconvenient to route yourself around construction, but it may be safer than trying to make your way through it. While you may be cautious around roadwork, others may not be. Thus, you may find yourself a victim of an accident in these areas.

A car accident lawyer can help you should you find yourself in an accident. Since your injuries may require medical care, you may want to consult with someone, like a car accident lawyer from Johnston Martineau, PLLP, in your area sooner rather than later.

What Are My Rights If I’m Hit By a Cab Driver?

Car Accident Lawyer

Taxi cabs transport thousands, even millions, of people every day in large settings and small towns all over the country. As a result, crashes involving cabs are common. If you are a passenger in a taxi cab accident, or if a taxi driver hits your car, you should be aware of your rights and how to protect them.

How Are Taxi Accident Claims Different?

When you are involved in a taxi cab accident, you still have the right to file a claim for damages, just like you would in any other car crash. However, because taxi drivers are mostly self-employed or working as contractors, they may fight harder against your claim. Paying out damages may affect a driver’s ability to earn a living.

What Happens If a Taxi Hits My Car?

If your car is hit by a taxi, the accident is treated like any other incident involving two vehicles. The person filing the claim for damages must prove that the other party is at-fault and substantiate the amount of money demanded. If you can demonstrate that the cab driver caused the accident and show why you are asking for the amount of your claim, you may be able to win the argument.

What Happens If I Am Injured While Riding as a Passenger in a Taxi?

If you are injured while riding in a cab, the accident is like any other with an injured passenger. Either the taxi driver or the driver of another vehicle has the liability, so you don’t have to prove that point. You would file your claim against whichever driver is deemed negligent. Sometimes you will file against both drivers, and they sort out liability between themselves.

What Should I Do to Preserve My Rights?

If you can do so safely at the scene, get names and contact information for everyone who was part of the accident as well as anyone who witnessed it. Take pictures of the surrounding area, the cars, and anything else that might be relevant. Be sure to take photos from different angles so that you capture various details. Call the police and get an accident report. In most states, law enforcement must be called if the accident causes injuries or property damages.

Where Can I Get Help With a Taxi Accident Claim?

The best way to preserve your rights and make sure you get the compensation you are due is to hire a competent and experienced car accident lawyer, such as from John K. Zaid & Associates. Laws vary from state to state, so it is essential to choose a professional who understands your local rules and procedures.

Factors Behind Your Car Accident Settlement Timeline

Auto Accident Lawyer

After suffering injuries due to a car accident, you have the right to file an accident claim. Before you file the claim, it’s natural to wonder how long it’s going to take. After all, when you suffer damages, you’ll want compensation as soon as possible. It’s difficult to narrow down exactly how long it will take for you to receive your settlement, however. It can take as little as a few months to several years.

What Contributes to Your Timeline?

There are many factors involved when it comes to your car accident claim timeline. Some factors include:

  • How complicated your case is
  • How serious your injuries are
  • How much fault you have
  • How quickly the insurance company responds
  • How much money you are asking for

When it comes to filing a claim for damages after a car accident, there are a lot of considerations involved. This is why it is almost impossible to predict how long every person’s claim will take to settle. When you discuss your case with an attorney, he or she may be able to give you an estimated timeline.

How Long Will it Take to Reach a Settlement?

When you file a claim, odds are you are looking forward to the settlement. After all, the goal is to recoup your losses after an accident. Once your fault has been determined and your lawyer has come up with a dollar amount to ask for, you may still have some waiting left to do.

Generally, the insurance company will make an offer once they accept your claim. Your lawyer will have an idea of what you deserve and can advise you on whether you should accept the offer or deny it. If you reject it, then you can negotiate for a higher settlement. If this results in a back and forth negotiation with no resolution, then you can file a lawsuit against the company for compensation.

If you accept a claim right away you will receive the settlement sooner. Of course, you also don’t want to accept less than you deserve based on the timeline. Once a lawsuit goes to court, however, it can take much longer.

If you have a straightforward settlement, you may receive compensation sooner. This is because it requires less work. The best way to receive your settlement as soon as possible is to file the claim shortly after an accident. Contact an auto accident lawyer, such as from Barry P. Goldberg, as soon as possible to discuss your options.

How Do You Pay for Medical Bills Before The Insurance Company Settles?

Personal Injury Lawyer

After a car accident, you may wait on the other driver’s insurance to pay your medical bills. Meanwhile, the bills pile up. The doctors, hospital, and therapists want their money. What are your options? It would be nice if you could just explain to the healthcare providers that you’re waiting on the insurance, but that is not usually how it works. Here are some things that you can do.

Use Your Personal Health Insurance  

Since you are responsible for your medical bills after a car accident you can, and should, use your own health insurance to pay the bills. Even if the medical provider tells you that another insurance is primary, you should still have them file your personal health insurance. Make sure to save any bills you receive and track your co-pays. You will want to be able to verify your expenses later. Your health insurance company may expect to be paid back if you do receive a settlement from the other driver. Since nothing is guaranteed, this is the best option to make sure your bills are paid.

Check with Your Auto Insurance Coverage 

If you have PIP and live in a no-fault state, you may have coverage for your medical bills through your own auto insurance policy. It might also be called “Med Pay.” Check with your own auto insurance policy to know whether you should file with them to pay your medical bills. It might seem like a long-shot, but you may have coverage that you aren’t aware of.

Negotiate with Your Healthcare Providers 

If you don’t have insurance, your next option is probably to try and negotiate with the hospital or doctors. Most hospitals will send your account to collections if you aren’t dealing with it. You may be able make payments until the settlement comes in. As a last resort, you may want to sign an agreement with the healthcare provider that you agree to pay when you receive a settlement. This can keep your account out of collections and from hurting your credit.

Don’t Pay Anything 

Although this is an option, it isn’t your best one. You may be stressed out from dealing with the accident and its aftermath, but you should try to find a way to deal with your medical bills. Your lawyer may be able to help you negotiate with the providers and find options that fit your needs. Talk to a  lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, about your case to figure out what the next step you should take is.