WHAT MISTAKES ARE DETRIMENTAL TO A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
Many times when asked by a healthcare provider how they are responding to treatment and the reply is, “Much better, I am feeling good”. If that is in the records week after week it will look like the person was getting better quicker. It will be hard to convince the jury that they still have some problems resulting from that accident. So I encourage people when they see their doctors to be straightforward about what they are going through, but not try to paint a picture that they are feeling so much better so soon.
Other mistakes people can make are not keeping track of the financial effects of the injury. If you have to hire help whether it is for in the house or yardwork, pay them, and keep track of the costs that can be a convincible element of damages. If you miss work, keep the paystubs, keep track of vacation time you had to use or time off of work. Make sure to get a doctor to hand you a disability slip so that we can verify that it was necessary for you to miss work due to the injury. If you are self-employed that makes it a bit harder to prove economic damages or income loss, but we can do it if the client will keep track of any opportunities for work that they had to pass up as a result of the accident.
How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Typically Take to Be Resolved?
Personal injury cases can last approximately two months from the time the client is done treating. I assemble all the medical records, present a demand to the insurance company, and give them a few weeks to respond. Generally we will go back and forth with some negotiations. However, I typically recommend to my clients that we monitor their situation, their medical treatment for a number of months, sometimes up to a year or more, before we settle. Most likely they will continue to receive treatment in some form or another.
We will not know for at least a year or more whether those injuries will resolve, or whether they will have some permanent effects on the person. We do not want to settle before a doctor can tell us the injury has stabilized and they have reached a point of maximum medical improvement. If we do, then the insurance company will assume it is just a temporary injury and the case will not be worth as much. If we wait and see how they do after a year or so, then we can present a much better picture. In case of a permanent injuries or lingering effects that will likely bother that person over the years to come, we can prove that and the case will be worth even more.
What Sets You and Your Firm Apart in Handling Personal Injury Cases?
I have been specializing in this area of law for my entire career which is more than thirty years now, and I have been practicing on Maui for my entire career, so I know the court system well, the laws that apply, the judges, the makeup of the juries, and all the insurance adjustors that I deal with. I have excellent longstanding relationships with them. My experience with over one hundred trials and over one-thousand cases over the years gives me the means that I have seen it all. I have dealt with all kinds of challenges and situations that come up in representing and litigating an injured client. I am able to handle whatever may come our way and present a case in the best way possible to maximize a settlement or damages award.
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