It’s absurd that most insurance companies will pay less in bodily injury compensation for “low impact” vehicle collisions – those with property damage under one thousand dollars. Insurance companies reason that if the impact was “minor” than juries will buy the argument that the injuries suffered were also “minor.” Insurance defense attorneys will make a big dog and pony show of this in court – blowing up pictures of the vehicle, paying some expert to testify that the blow from the at-fault vehicle was “ relatively” light.
Insurance companies are wrong on two counts here. First, the average weight of an automobile is approximately two tons. That’s two tons of mass multiplied by how fast the vehicle was moving coursing through your body at the time of impact. Such force is never insignificant or minimal! Even at five miles per hour, the force is enough to cause serious bodily injury.
Secondly, many people have pre-existing conditions – especially orthopedic conditions which are especially susceptible to these forces. These persons are called “eggshell plaintiffs” by the law. There is certainly no such thing as a “minor impact” on these individuals, especially if the person is older.
Don’t let insurance companies devalue your claim by arguing that your auto accident was “a minor impact.”
Obtaining timely and proper medical treatment is the cornerstone of a well-managed personal injury case and one of the most important reason clients seek my counsel. Without medical attention, clients not only jeopardize their physical well-being but the value of their case as well. (more…)
A common challenge that I face when representing injured clients occurs when the client fails to make her doctors’ appointments. Any medical provider, doctor or therapist worth her salt will schedule several appointments or follow-up sessions or examinations and so forth until the client has reached maximum medical improvement. (more…)
One of the legal requirements or “elements” of a workers’ compensation case is “notice”. That is, Your employer has a right to be notified of your accident. New clients tell me all the time: “Well, I didn’t actually tell my supervisor about the accident, but he knows.” After a bit more inquiry, it turns out that the client really does not know for sure if the employer has really been notified.
The conservative approach to notice in workers’ compensation cases,, and by far the best practice, is for the employee to specifically tell his or her employer about the accident, including who was present, i.e., eyewitnesses, other witnesses, what happened, where it happened, when it happened, and if the employee knows, why it happened.
Clients often ask me if I think their case will go to trial. Some clients are spoiling for a fight, while others are seriously afraid of the prospect. The fact is that ninety percent of my cases settle before trial or hearing. This percentage has remained steady during my entire twenty-year tenure as a personal injury attorney and is common to the industry. Why is this so? Because trials are very risky to all concerned. Experienced attorneys on both sides will usually put up good cases, but the decision often boils down to whom the jury likes better, really a popularity contest, without their applying the law to the facts, or analyzing witness’ credibilities. Moreover, the judiciary system would collapse if all cases went to trial — even if a just twenty to thirty percent went to trial. There simply are not enough resources – people, money, space. Still, at The Attorney Offices of Thomas Gagne, we prepare each case as if it’s going to trial, and develop the leverage needed to obtain just compensation. If the other side pushes us, you can count on us being ready.
Written by Thomas M. Gagne, Esq. for The National Business Institute
I want to turn your attention now to litigation and hearing strategies. If you are preparing for hearing you should already have a solid legal and factual theory of your case. You should also have your sub theories solidified, i.e.: your theories of liability, proximate causation, damages and future damages, etc. Upon receipt of the hearing notice, make sure you have all the pertinent medical records of which you are aware. As I stated before, you will not necessarily have all the records if the opposing counsel discloses in his pretrial brief other records you and your client are unaware of that she’s planning to introduce. Remember, as the claimant, your brief is due 15 days before the hearing well the defendant’s is due 10 days before the hearing. (more…)