Tag: Personal injury case

The Importance of Releasing Medical Records in a Personal Injury Case

The Importance of Releasing Medical Records in a Personal Injury Case

The at-fault party’s insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case shortly after they are notified of the incident. One of the insurance adjuster’s responsibilities is to investigate the incident to determine the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will not simply take your word for it—instead, they will ask for a copy of your medical records. Here’s what you should know about releasing medical records in a personal injury case:

Personal Injury Victims Must Authorize the Release of Records

There are federal laws that ensure your healthcare records are kept private. This means the insurance company cannot get their hands on your information without your approval.

The insurance adjuster may ask you to sign something that authorizes the release of your records, but do not sign this until it has been reviewed by an attorney. The wording of the agreement may give the insurance company permission to review all of your medical records, not just those that are applicable to the case. This allows them to look for pre-existing conditions that could lower the value of your claim.

To avoid this problem, it’s best to let an attorney review the wording of the authorization agreement before you sign it. Another option would be to authorize the release of records to your attorney so he can review the records prior to sending them to the insurance company.

What Insurance Companies Look For When Reviewing Medical Records

First and foremost, the insurance adjuster will check your records to make sure your injuries are documented. If there is no proof of the injury, the insurance company will not compensate you for it.

The insurance adjuster will also look at treatment you received for these injuries. If the insurance adjuster believes a treatment was unnecessary, he could argue that you should not be compensated for the cost of this specific procedure.

The insurance adjuster will review the dates of doctor visits as well to make sure there were no gaps in treatment. If there were significant gaps between each treatment, this could indicate you were not following the doctor’s orders, which will lower the value of your claim.

Finally, the insurance adjuster will review the doctor’s notes to determine the extent of your injuries. These notes help the insurance adjuster figure out how your injury has affected your life, which is information that is used to calculate pain and suffering damages.

The insurance adjuster may seem as if he is on your side, but his goal is to settle the case for as little as possible. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible so we can handle the insurance company on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Costs of Taking A Personal Injury Case to Court

The Costs of Taking A Personal Injury Case to Court

Personal injury victims often wonder whether it is in their best interests to settle with the at-fault party’s insurance company or take the case to court. Before making this decision, it’s best to learn about the costs of taking a personal injury case to court. Here’s a look at some of the most common expenses associated with a personal injury trial:

Attorney Fees

Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they are only paid if they are able to recover compensation for the victim. Instead of charging an hourly rate for their services, personal injury attorneys simply take a percentage of the compensation awarded to the victim. This means regardless of where a case is resolved, victims who are awarded compensation will need to pay attorney fees.

Expert Witness Fees

Expert witnesses are often used to support the victim’s case in personal injury cases. For example, an accident reconstruction expert may be needed to recreate a car accident and show the jury why the defendant is liable for the crash. Medical experts are also used to explain how a victim sustained a certain injury or how an injury will affect the victim’s future.

Unfortunately, these experts do not come cheap. The cost of hiring an expert witness can vary, but it can often be thousands of dollars.

Court Fees

There are a number of court costs that personal injury victims should expect when taking a case to trial. Filing a complaint with the court can cost several hundred dollars, for example. Plaintiffs may also want a copy of the in-court testimony, which will set them back another few dollars per page of the transcript. These expenses may not seem significant compared to others, but they can quickly add up.

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are also miscellaneous expenses that could arise when a personal injury case goes to trial. For instance, a personal injury attorney could plan on creating an elaborate visual aid to make it easier for the jury to understand how a car accident occurred. It shouldn’t cost much to create a visual aid, but it’s another expense that personal injury victims must keep in mind when deciding whether or not to take their case to trial.

If you have been injured, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm have years of experience handling cases both inside and outside of the court room. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Long-Term Expenses Do Personal Injury Victims Incur?

What Long-Term Expenses Do Personal Injury Victims Incur?

Personal injury victims have a right to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to recover compensation for their injuries. Part of the process of negotiating for compensation involves calculating the expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries. But, many personal injury victims forget to add the long-term expenses they will incur in the future due to their injuries. Here are some of the most common long-term expenses that personal injury victims incur:

Medical Bills

Some injuries heal within a matter of weeks or months after an accident. But unfortunately, many personal injury victims sustain injuries that will continue to affect them for the rest of their lives. For example, a spinal cord injury victim could require additional medical treatments years after their claim is settled if their condition worsens. Even though the expenses have not been incurred yet, these victims deserve to be compensated now so they can easily cover their expected medical expenses in the future.

Prescription Medication

Many personal injury victims will experience a great deal of physical pain for months or years after an accident. If a doctor prescribes medication to help a victim manage his pain, the at-fault party’s insurance company should compensate him for this long-term expense. The victim will need to work with his doctor to figure out how long he should expect to take the medication so he knows how much compensation to ask for from the insurance company.

Home Modifications

Some personal injury victims will need to make modifications to their home in the future because of an injury. This is especially common among people who have sustained spinal cord or back injuries. For instance, a spinal cord injury could get worse over the years and make it difficult for the victim to control his lower body movement. Because of this, the victim may be forced to use a wheelchair to get around the house. But, most homes are not wheelchair-friendly. In this case, the victim should be compensated for the cost of wheelchair-friendly modifications in the home.

At-Home Help

Another long-term expense often incurred by personal injury victims is at-home help. Certain injuries can make it impossible for a victim to live independently. When this happens, the victim will usually need to hire caretakers to help them at home. This can be a significant long-term expense that no victim should have to pay for on his own.

If you have sustained an injury, the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm are here to help. Let our personal injury attorneys aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Should a Demand Letter Be Sent in a Personal Injury Case?

When Should a Demand Letter Be Sent in a Personal Injury Case?

A demand letter is sent by the personal injury victim to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This letter outlines the details of the accident, the injuries sustained by the victim, and evidence proving the other party is liable. Most importantly, it should also include a demand for compensation for your injuries. When should a demand letter be sent? Here’s what you need to know:

Wait For Injuries to Improve

Most personal injury victims are eager to send the demand letter so they can recover compensation for their injuries. However, it’s strongly recommended that you wait until reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). A victim has reached MMI when his doctors believe that his condition will not improve any further in the future. For example, a doctor will say a patient with a broken arm has reached MMI when his arm has completely healed.

It’s in your best interests to wait until reaching MMI to send a demand letter. Why? If you have not reached this point yet, there’s no way to predict how your condition will improve or worsen in the future. For instance, a brain injury victim will have no way of knowing whether or not he will experience symptoms for the rest of his life until his doctor has declared that he has reached MMI. If you don’t know how your injuries will affect your future, it’s difficult to calculate how much compensation to ask for to cover your future expenses and losses. People who send demand letters before reaching MMI often underestimate the value of their claims so they don’t recover all of the compensation they deserve.

Keep the Statute of Limitations in Mind

There is a two year statute of limitations on most personal injury cases with the exception of car accident cases, which have a three year statute of limitations. Once this time has passed, it will be nearly impossible to take legal action against the party responsible for your injuries. Therefore, it’s important to send the demand letter and initiate the claims process before two or three years have passed.

Send Evidence Before the Demand Letter

Be sure to send all of the evidence the insurance company needs to evaluate your claim prior to sending the demand letter or at the same time the letter is sent. The insurance adjuster should be able to review your medical records, bills, and proof of other losses so he understands the reasoning behind the demand for compensation.

If you have been injured, let the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm help. Our personal injury attorneys will aggressively pursue the maximum amount of compensation available for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney With Trial Experience?

Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney With Trial Experience?

People often assume that personal injury lawyers spend most of their time arguing in court, but that’s not necessarily true. About 95% of personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom, which means personal injury attorneys only need to go to court for about 5% of their cases. Even though most cases will be resolved without ever going to trial, it’s still in your best interest to find a personal injury attorney with trial experience. Here’s why:

Send A Message to the Insurance Company

Insurance companies are familiar with local personal injury attorneys, so they know which ones have trial experience and which ones don’t. If you hire an attorney with trial experience, this tells the insurance company that you are willing to take the case to court if they don’t make a fair offer.

Why does this matter? Insurance companies know how expensive personal injury trials can be, so they will usually go to great lengths to resolve cases outside of court. If the insurance company knows that you are willing to take the case to court, the adjuster may make a sizable offer to convince you to settle. Without an attorney with trial experience, it would be difficult to recover a fair amount of compensation from the insurance company.

Be Prepared For Every Scenario

It’s not likely that your case will go to trial, but it’s possible. Hiring a personal injury attorney with trial experience is a good way to prepare for this unlikely, but possible scenario. If your case ends up in court, there’s no need to worry about how your attorney will perform since you chose someone with plenty of trial experience.

Building A Case

An attorney must be able to put together a strong and convincing case in order to win a verdict in court. The best personal injury attorneys begin planning for a trial as soon as they accept the case. These attorneys think about what evidence will be needed to persuade a jury of the defendant’s liability and the most impactful way to present this evidence. Attorneys with trial experience also immediately begin to identify possible defenses that could be used against the plaintiff so they can figure out ways to defeat these strategies. All of these tasks require unique skills that are only found in personal injury attorneys with trial experience. If you hire an attorney without trial experience, he may not know how to build a convincing case around the evidence, which could affect your ability to recover compensation.

There are many reasons why hiring a personal injury attorney with trial experience is in your best interests. If you have been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys with at Reisch Law Firm today. Our attorneys are known for winning sizable verdicts on behalf of our personal injury clients. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Myths About Spinal Cord Injuries

Common Myths About Spinal Cord Injuries

It’s important for spinal cord injury victims and their families to learn about these devastating injuries so they can make educated decisions about their healthcare and their future. However, there are a lot of misinformation about spinal cord injuries out there on the internet that can be misleading. Learn the truth behind these common myths about spinal cord injuries:

Myth: People With Spinal Cord Injuries Cannot Work

Spinal cord injury victims typically have to take time off of work to recover. However, many spinal cord injury victims are able to return to work within a year or two. Some of these victims return to the same job they held prior to sustaining the injury, while others find one that is less strenuous. It’s true that some spinal cord injury victims can never return to work, but this is not true of all victims.

Myth: Victims Do Not Lose Sensation or Motor Function Unless the Spinal Cord is Severed

Many people believe that victims only experience loss of sensation or motor function when the spinal cord has been completely severed. But, this is not the case. Any time the spinal cord is damaged, even if it is not completely severed, the victim may experience a change in their ability to feel or control the movement of certain parts of their body.

Myth: Most Spinal Cord Injury Victims Are Seniors

Falls are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. Because seniors are known for being unsteady on their feet, people often assume that most spinal cord injury victims are elderly. However, the World Health Organization reports that males are most at risk of sustaining a spinal cord injury between the ages of 20 and 29. Females, on the other hand, are most at risk during their teenage years.

Myth: Doctors Can Predict How Spinal Cord Injuries Will Progress

Spinal cord injuries are unpredictable. Because of this, it can be difficult for doctors to predict what the victim’s life will be like in the future. Many victims will see a vast improvement in their condition after finishing rehabilitation. However, some spinal cord injury victims will never see a significant improvement. Spinal cord injury victims must take it one day at a time since it is impossible to predict how their injuries will progress.

Spinal cord injuries cause a great deal of pain and suffering. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury due to another person’s negligence, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm at once. Focus on your recovery while our attorneys fight for the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Should You Ask For Pain and Suffering Damages?

Should You Ask For Pain and Suffering Damages?

There are two main categories of damages that may be awarded to a personal injury victim: economic and non-economic. The former compensates the victim for expenses he has incurred or losses he has suffered as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are awarded to victims who have experienced pain and suffering due to their injuries. Any personal injury victim who has medical expenses or lost wages should ask for economic damages. But, when is it appropriate to ask for pain and suffering damages?

The Emotional and Physical Effects of the Injury

To determine if you deserve pain and suffering damages, think about how the injury has affected your emotional and physical state. Many people who are seriously injured experience depression, anxiety, or drastic mood swings after an accident. These are all examples of how victims suffer emotionally as a result of their injuries, and they deserve to be compensated for this indescribable pain.

Of course, injuries can also cause a great deal of physical pain. Victims who had to live in pain due to their injuries should be compensated for their discomfort.

Sometimes, the victim experiences temporary or permanent physical limitations due to the injury. For example, a victim with an amputated limb may find it difficult to participate in many of the activities he loved prior to the accident. Since this physical limitation is affecting the quality of the victim’s life, he should be compensated for his suffering.

If you are experiencing this type of emotional or physical pain, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney about recovering non-economic damages.

Documentation to Prove Injuries

Insurance companies will need to see proof of your injuries before they can even think about offering compensation for your pain and suffering. The documentation that you provide to the insurance company should not only show that the injuries exist, but also that they are severe enough to cause you pain or suffering.

Examples of documentation that can be provided to support this claim include medical records and written statements from doctors. It’s also recommended that personal injury victims keep injury journals so they have a place to record the symptoms they experience on a daily basis.

Personal injury victims who are experiencing physical and emotional pain and have the documentation to prove it will most likely be able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering.

If you have been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let our personal injury attorneys review your case to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Recovering Compensation For Nerve Damage in a Personal Injury Case

Recovering Compensation For Nerve Damage in a Personal Injury Case

Nerves carry messages back and forth from the brain to the rest of the body. Since nerves play such an important role in the body, the effects of nerve damage can be devastating. This condition can be incredibly painful and could greatly affect the victim’s daily life. Fortunately, if this injury was sustained in an accident caused by another person, the victim can seek damages by filing a personal injury claim. Here’s how to recover compensation for nerve damage in a personal injury case:

Provide Proof of Nerve Damage

Since nerve damage is not visible, the victim must be able to provide proof that the injury exists in order to recover compensation. A doctor can diagnose this condition by performing a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test. This test can be used to determine whether there is nerve damage, and if so, the severity of it.

Showing the insurance adjuster the results of this test can make it easier to recover compensation. Since it is difficult for an insurance adjuster to question the accuracy of such a complex test, he should no longer be able to argue that the injury doesn’t exist after seeing these results.

Document Pain and Suffering

It’s easy to show the insurance adjuster medical bills to prove that you should be compensated for injury-related expenses. But, it’s far more difficult to prove that you should be compensated for pain and suffering.

It’s recommended that victims with nerve damage begin documenting their symptoms immediately after the accident in an injury journal. Write down the symptoms that you experience everyday and how the injury has affected your life. A copy of these notes can be given to the insurance adjuster to help him understand what you have experienced as a result of the nerve damage.

To strengthen your case, it’s best to also ask your healthcare providers to submit written statements to the insurance adjuster. For example, the doctor that has treated the nerve damage can write a statement explaining the severity of the injury and how it will continue to affect your life in the future. If you have been seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, be sure to include a statement from him that explains how the injury has affected your mental health as well.

Victims should not be denied compensation simply because their injuries are not visible. If you have suffered nerve damage in an accident, contact Reisch Law Firm. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Collect A Personal Injury Settlement or Judgment

How to Collect A Personal Injury Settlement or Judgment

Many personal injury cases end with either a settlement or a judgment in favor of the victim. But, even if the at-fault party agrees to or is ordered to pay the victim, this doesn’t mean they will simply write a check right then and there. Here’s how to collect the money awarded in a personal injury settlement or judgment:

Collecting A Personal Injury Settlement

Read the settlement agreement to determine how long the insurance company has to pay you. The timing can vary, but many insurance companies give themselves 20 to 30 days to send a check to the victim. The agreement should also outline consequences for missing this deadline. For example, the insurance company may have to pay interest on missed payments or the plaintiff may have the right to move forward with a lawsuit if the payment is not made on time.

Insurance companies will typically send compensation on time in order to avoid these consequences. But if they fail to do so, meet with your attorney to determine your options. Sometimes, it’s best to have your attorney send the insurance company a letter that demands payment and reminds them of the consequences. In other cases, an attorney may think it is in your best interest to opt out of the settlement and go to trial to teach the insurance company a lesson.

Collecting A Personal Injury Judgment

It can take much longer to collect compensation awarded to you in court. This is because the defendant may choose to appeal the decision, which means the case will go to the appellate court where it will be heard by a different judge. The defendant will not pay the judgment until he has exhausted all of his appeals, which means you could end up waiting for years to collect the money.

If the defendant does not pay after the appeals are over, work with an attorney to enforce the judgment. If the defendant was an individual, the court may enforce the judgment using wage garnishment. This means a portion of each of the defendant’s paychecks will be automatically withheld and sent to you until the defendant has paid the total judgment. Insurance companies typically pay on time, but if they don’t, the court can either order them to pay the judgment in full with interest or begin garnishing the company’s bank accounts.

Have you been injured by the negligent acts of another person? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will ensure that the defendant compensates you as soon as possible after a settlement or verdict is reached. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Possible Outcomes of A Personal Injury Case

The Possible Outcomes of A Personal Injury Case

Many clients are eager to understand how their personal injury case will end. There’s no way to predict the future or guarantee that a case will end favorably for the plaintiff, but there are only a handful of ways that a personal injury claim can be resolved. Here are the possible outcomes of a personal injury case:

The Case is Dropped

The injured party has the right to change his mind and drop the case at any time. Personal injury victims drop cases for many reasons. For example, the victim may realize that the case is not worth pursuing after learning he won’t be able to recover much compensation. If the case is dropped, the victim will not be awarded compensation.

The Case is Settled

About 95% of personal injury cases will end with a settlement that is negotiated out of the courtroom. By accepting a settlement, the victim agrees to no longer take legal action against the defendant for his injuries. In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, the defendant will compensate the victim for his medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The Plaintiff Wins At Trial

A personal injury claim will only go to trial if both parties cannot reach a settlement agreement outside of court. During the trial, both sides will have an opportunity to present their case to the judge and jury. The jury will get to decide whether or not the plaintiff deserves to be compensated after hearing both sides of the story. If the plaintiff wins, he will be compensated by the defendant for his injuries.

The Defendant Wins At Trial

Plaintiffs do not always win during personal injury trials. In some cases, the jury will decide that the defendant should not have to compensate the plaintiff. This may occur if the jury believes the defendant was not negligent or the plaintiff was to blame for the accident.

If the defendant wins, he will not have to compensate the plaintiff. He can also ask the plaintiff to cover his legal expenses, including his attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and court filing fees.

It’s important to note that a trial verdict can be appealed. This means the defendant can appeal the court’s decision if the plaintiff wins and the plaintiff can appeal the court’s decision if the defendant wins. If this happens, the personal injury case would end with a verdict in appellate court.

If you have been injured, seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.