Why Medical Evidence is Important in a Personal Injury Claim

Friday, September 16th, 2016

The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that more than 31 million people are injured in the United States each year. Those injuries are often caused by someone else. When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it can seem unfair that you must expend the time and effort to recover compensation for losses that the responsible person caused. However, the burden of proof is initially on the injured party. In fact, the injured party must prove a whole host of things in order to recover from someone who caused them harm. As unfair as this may seem, it is how our court system operates.

Proving You Were Harmed with Medical Evidence

If you were harmed by someone else, you must prove that they are responsible by showing the following:

  • The defendant owed you some kind of duty
  • That duty was breached
  • That breach led to harm
  • The harm resulted in actual injuries for which damages can be paid

The law provides for the first element of duty. For example, laws provide that all drivers must obey traffic laws, which include a duty to other drivers to drive carefully. If someone negligently drives across the center line and causes you to have an accident, that person has breached a legal duty dictated by law. You can easily show that the injuries you received were a result of that breach of duty. However, it can be more difficult to show that you had actual damages and losses.

In order to show that you were injured, you must provide medical evidence that you required treatment. Medical documentation from a reliable source removes questions about your own subjective opinions. A medical doctor will provide verifiable tests and objective proof that you were injured as a result of the incident.

The following types of medical evidence may show that you were injured as a result of a breach of duty:

  • Emergency room records
  • Treating physician notes and/or narrative reports
  • X-rays, CAT scans, and other images
  • Physical therapy notes
  • Chiropractic records
  • Surgical notes

Proving Damages with Medical Evidence

There are two types of damages that you can receive in a personal injury claim – economic and noneconomic. Both of those types are greatly affected by medical evidence.

Economic damages are precise monetary losses, such as medical bills due to your injuries. They can easily be proven with documents. When requesting compensation for economic damages, you can specify an exact monetary amount that is backed up by medical evidence in the form of medical bills.

Noneconomic damages are less exact. They include losses such as pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Although these can result in economic damages, such as the inability to work or need for mental health treatment, noneconomic damages are more difficult to prove. Medical evidence is vital in proving that you have noneconomic damages. Doctor’s notes documenting your pain on a scale over time can show that you have suffered greatly and deserve compensation.

Continuous Medical Treatment is Important

Medical evidence from immediately after an incident that causes you harm is important to show that the harm resulted in compensable injuries; however, records from before and after the incident are also important. During an investigation, an insurance company or other responsible party will request medical records from your past, present, and future. They want to review any prior injuries, current harm, and see the progress of your treatment.

Medical notes from a treating physician from prior to the incident are important to show that you did not have any preexisting conditions that may be causing your current injuries. However, even if you had a back condition that was further injured by the negligence or recklessness of someone else, the additional harm done may be compensable. It is important to provide documentation of your condition prior to the injuries incurred most recently.

Medical treatment received as a result of the harmful incident offer objective medical documentation that you were injured and to what extent you were harmed. Insurance companies and other responsible parties will not simply take your word for the harm you’ve incurred. They will want medical documentation that you were injured and that the harm you received was caused by the incident in question.

You should also continue to seek medical treatment after your initial evaluation post-incident. You must show the progress or lack thereof in order to prove damages. You may need to try many different kinds of treatment, and the success or failure of those treatment methods should also be documented. It is important to keep going to the doctor and fully participate in any recommended treatment to show that you are trying to repair the harm that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness.

Medical evidence is important in a personal injury claim because it proves that you were harmed, the extent of your injuries, how your injuries affect your daily life, and your prognosis. Our seasoned personal injury attorney with Greene & Lloyd, PLLC is available to discuss in further details what medical evidence you need to prove your claim.


How Your Comparative Negligence Affects Your Washington Personal Injury Case

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

People who have suffered a personal injury due to the fault of others may have the basis for a lawsuit against the person or company that harmed them. In Washington, opposing parties may both seek compensation from one another even if they are both at fault for the accident that caused their injuries.

Comparative Negligence

With an exception for a few special types of cases, Washington is a comparative negligence state pursuant to RWC §4.22.005. In comparative negligence, a percentage of fault can be assigned to the person who is harmed and his award is reduced by the same percentage. For example, if the plaintiff had damages of $100,000, but the jury or judge found that the plaintiff was 25% responsible for the accident, the award is reduced by twenty-five percent. Consequently, plaintiff’s award is $75,000 instead of $100,000.

Person With A Greater Degree Of Fault May Still Recover Damages

Moreover, a person who may have a greater degree of fault can still receive an award under the pure comparative negligence rules. Suppose Joe crosses the centerline of the road when he is driving and collides with a car driven by Beth. Beth is on her side of the road, but she is texting. Beth does not see Joe cross the centerline and fails to take action to avoid hitting Joe, so Beth has some degree of fault.   Fortunately, Beth suffered relatively minor injuries incurring medical bills that totaled $10,000. Joe, however, suffered serious injuries and was in the hospital for a week. His medical bills totaled $150,000.

The case goes to trial and the jury finds that both Beth and Joe were at fault in the accident. Joe is found to be 75% at fault. The jury further determines Beth was texting and not paying proper attention when she was driving. The jury finds that if Beth had paid proper attention, she could have avoided the accident completely.   The jury assigns 25% of the fault to Beth. Both Beth and Joe may seek to recover their losses from each other, although their take home award is reduced by their degree of fault.

Your Fault Reduces Your Award

Although Joe was judged 75% at fault, he can still collect for his injuries. However, his award is reduced by the degree of fault that is assigned to him. In this instance, Joe’s damages were $150,000. Since Joe was found to be 75% at fault for the accident due to his negligence, he can only collect 25% of his total damages. The arithmetic for Joe’s damages is as follows: $150,000 x .25 (25%) = $37,500. Beth, who was found to be 25% at fault for the accident, is entitled to 75% of her total damages of $10,000. However, since Beth’s damages are so much less than Joe’s, she will receive less than Joe in this case. To calculate the amount Beth will receive, multiply her damages of $10,000 x .75 (75%) =$7,500.

The arithmetic example provided above is simple.  A jury has a more complex decision making process, as can be seen in the jury verdict form.

Joe and Beth’s scenario is unusual, but it can happen. The important lesson is that a person with a high degree of fault can successfully bring an action and recover damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the complexities of a comparative negligence case.

Moreover, the scenario with Joe and Beth was based on a lawsuit being filed and then a counterclaim being filed. Frequently, only one party has damages. Suppose, a person enters a grocery store, trips and falls because some produce has fallen on the floor. In this case, the store would be liable if the store personnel were negligent when they failed to keep the floor clean. Similarly, the person’s conduct that fell would be examined to see if she was negligent. In awarding damages, the court would reduce the award given to the customer by any percentage of fault she had in causing the accident.

When Comparative Negligence Does Not Apply In Washington Personal Injury Cases

Not all personal injury cases are subjected to the comparative negligence rule. Washington’s legislature has deemed specific cases to fall under strict liability irrespective of the other party’s fault. One example is if you were injured when a dog bites you (as opposed to scratching you). The traditional rule in dog bite cases is the dog gets one free bite. That means the dog owner must have had knowledge his dog was vicious before the owner can be held liable for his dog attacking someone. The logic is an owner is not on notice that his dog is vicious until his dog bites someone. Consequently, the dog gets one free bite. Pursuant to RCW 16.08.040, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bites. Strict liability means a person is held accountable, no excuses allowed. Thus, it would not matter that you had accidentally stepped on the dog’s tail, which caused the dog to bite you. The owner will still be held 100% liable for your injuries and your award would not be decreased by your percentage of negligence. That being said, the statute specifies a dog owner is strictly liable if the dog bites someone who is in a public place or bites a person who is legally at a private residence.  However, if you intentionally provoke the dog to bite you, then the dog owner is not liable to you for any damages.

Keyword: Washington personal injury case

Title: How Your Comparative Negligence Affects Your Washington Personal Injury Case

Description: Grasp an understanding of comparative negligence in personal injury cases and how your shared fault can affect your potential compensation.


What Compensation Can I Expect For My Personal Injury Case?

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

If you were injured in an accident then you are entitled to compensation, or damages, from the at-fault party(s). “Damages” is monetary compensation you may recover through someone else’s negligence or unlawful act or omission. Knowledgeable Tacoma personal injury attorneys detail several types of damages. Know your rights and understand what compensation you can expect for your personal injury case.

Economic Damages

Economic damages, also called compensatory or special damages, attempt to compensate the injured accident victim for your monetary losses. This type of damages is easily or readily calculable and objectively verifiable by looking at your bills or speaking to your treating physicians. It encompasses both past and future expenses.

Past Expenses:

Past expenses are the expenses associated with your injuries and losses you incurred since the date of the accident up to and until trial or case resolution.

  • Medical care and treatment – you can be compensated for treatment for your injuries, including ambulance, emergency hospital care, hospital in-patient or out-patient care, doctor visits, x-rays, CT and/or MRI scans, other radiological testing, blood work, EKG, psychological or psychiatric treatment, chiropractor, physical therapy, surgeries, and pain management. Cost of treatment for your injuries is evidence by your medical bills.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses – you can be compensated for any medications needed to treat your injuries. Retain receipts for your prescription and non-prescription drugs along with any payments for medical equipment.
  • Lost income – If your injuries prevents you from working or limits your ability to work, you can be reimbursed for any lost income associated with your injuries. This includes any paid sick or vacation time used for doctor appointments or if you were simply unable to work. Your employment records, doctor notes, tax returns, pay stubs, and applications for short-term disability will evidence any lost income.
  • Property damages – This include any property that is destroyed or could be repaired. For property that has been destroyed and devalues with age, the fair market value will be used to assess the value of the property. The cost of repair is based upon receipts or estimates of repair.
  • Childcare or home maintenance – if your injury prevents you from caring for your child or maintaining your home, then you may need to hire a nanny, lawn services, cleaning service, or even send your children to child care. You may be compensated for these expenses if you did not incur these expenses prior to the accident. Additionally, you must show that you provided these services prior to the accident. Thus, if you never mowed the lawn or took care of your yard, then most likely you will not be compensated for any services associated with your lawn or yard.

Future Expenses:

Future expenses are expenses associated with your injuries and losses you expect or anticipate incurring post-trial or case resolution.

  • Medical care and treatment – Future medical expenses include continued treatment with your current medical providers, recommended surgery and rehabilitation, and recommended therapy (chiropractor or physical therapy, etc.). For future surgery, your surgeon can provide an estimate of the cost for the surgery.
  • Medications – Your treating physicians can provide estimates of how long you will be on your current medications and costs associated with them.
  • Long-term care – if your injury is so severe that you are disabled, you may require an at-home nurse or special equipment.
  • Additional childcare or home maintenance
  • Loss of future earning capacity – if you are permanently or temporarily disabled, then you will have a limited capability to earn income, affecting your ability to work and earn raises or promotions. Thus, you can be compensated for your loss of future earning capacity. Generally, an economic expert is needed to provide reasonable estimates of your future earning capacity based upon your education, skill and experience.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are non-pecuniary or intangible harms that cannot be readily calculable. Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering – refers to your physical pain and discomforts, along with your emotional stress from your injury. This includes your aches, potential shortening of life, fears, and depression associated with the accident and injury.
  • Mental anguish – refers to fears, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, grief, and trauma associated with the accident, your injury and treatment.
  • Disability or disfigurement – you may also be compensated for your limitations on your daily activity, focusing on what you were able to do with ease prior to the accident and what you can no longer do or find it difficult to do.   You may also be compensated for any scarring, lost limbs, or other disfigurement.
  • Emotional distress – you may be compensated for the psychological impact your injury has on your daily life. This may include loss of sleep, anxiety, fear, and in some cases, depression, crying fits, humiliation and fright.
  • Loss of society and companionship – your parents, spouse and children may make a claim for the loss of your companionship, advice, or support.
  • Loss of consortium – Your spouse may make a claim for the loss or decrease of intimacy in your relationship, especially on a physical or sexual nature.

Since non-economic damages are subjective in nature, circumstantial evidence is needed to prove the extent of your intangible harms. This includes consistent statements you made to your treating physician regarding your pain level and other symptoms. Your employment records may also provide insight on your mental state, especially if you complain about pain and there is a significant drop in the quality of your work post-accident. Witness statements regarding your limitations and losses are also persuasive.

Punitive Damages

Uncommonly, courts may permit claims for punitive damages. Punitive damages, sometimes called exemplary damages, are not monetary compensation for your injuries or harm done to you; rather, it is a pecuniary penalty meant to punish the wrongdoer. The purpose is to deter others from engaging in the same wrongful conduct. Punitive damages may be awarded in special cases when the defendant commits an act that is particularly wanton, egregious, malicious, violent, fraudulent, or evil.

Federal courts and different states may limit or cap the award for punitive damages. The cap could be based upon the wrongdoer’s income or a multiple of your actual (economic and non-economic) damages. These limits exist because although punitive damages are a form of punishment, it must be used fairly.   In Washington, punitive damages are generally not allowed; however, there are statutory exceptions permitting punitive damages.

Tacoma Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

If you were injured in an accident, consult our seasoned Tacoma personal injury attorneys with Greene & Lloyd, PLLC to evaluate your claim and discuss your potential damages. Call 253-770-0808 today.

 


Increase the Value of Your Personal Injury Case by Keeping a Symptom Diary

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Being able to procure the maximum amount of recovery is important for any type of personal injury case. Regardless of the nature of your personal injury, one simple method can assist you in increasing the value of your claim. The strategy is to use a symptom diary in which you record how you feel as time progresses. This video from your Tacoma personal injury attorney will explain in further detail.


Visual Evidence

Monday, March 7th, 2016

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Hurting hand  pierce county personal injury lawyerA Pierce County personal injury lawyer can explain that visual evidence and demonstrative evidence are important in many personal injury cases.

Reasons for Photographic Evidence

A Pierce County personal injury lawyer may recommend that you take pictures of your injury. Often, there is a significant amount of time that passes between the injury and the trial. For this reason, it is important to document the injury so that there is proof that it actually existed later. Photographs can help depict the true nature of the injury and its transition over time. Another reason why a Pierce County personal injury lawyer may suggest that you photograph an injury is in case it is in a location on your body that would be immodest for you to display during a court proceeding. In many situations, photographs provide the best representation of the subject matter. For example, photos can show scars, black eyes or hematomas. These kinds of photographs can help showcase the pain that you endured even after they have long faded. Additionally, photos can show the treatments that you were subjected to so that the jury or insurance adjuster can get a better idea of the ordeal you experienced.

Obtaining Visual Evidence

Your Pierce County personal injury lawyer may suggest that you take your own photos to ensure that you have adequate proof of your injuries. Although the quality may not be the same as a professional photographer’s photos, taking your own photos allows you to follow the injury over time. Be sure that you capture any changes in treatment to paint a better picture. For example, take a picture of a broken arm when it is in a cast and right after the cast is taken off. This helps you show any skin lesions or atrophy that has developed. Another way to get pictures is to ask a physician to take pictures of the injuries. You can request your physician to take pictures of each stage of your treatment and pictures during operations.

Legal Help from a Pierce County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you would like to know whether photographic evidence may be helpful in your case, contact Greene & Lloyd, PLLC by calling (253) 770-0808.


Our Tacoma Car Accident Lawyer Reveals the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

Monday, January 4th, 2016

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tacoma car accident attorneysAn experienced Tacoma car accident lawyer will tell you that there are five main types of car accidents and that each of these events has specific traits associated with them. Knowing what the most common types of car accidents occur and why, will allow you to remain safer on the road.

Rear End Accidents

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, about 37 percent of all accidents that occur are rear end collisions. This is the highest percentage for any accident type. A rear end collision occurs when one car collides with the car in front of them. In most cases, a rear end collision occurs because the driver of the vehicle that causes the accident was distracted from the road. Nearly 95 percent of all drivers that were interviewed about the event stated that their eyes were not focused forward when the event occurred. Drivers who are using their phones, texting, adjusting the radio, or are distracted by passengers in the car are most often involved in rear end collisions. To avoid this kind of accident, always keep your phone away from you while driving and limit the distractions n the car. Limit radio adjustments to controls on the steering wheel or by hand when the car is stooped. Always focus on the road.

Accidents Involving Parked Cars

A large number of accidents are reported each year involving parked cars. This can happen for numerous reasons. Most of these events take place in a parking lot because cars are parked too close to one another. Always remember that if you had a difficult time getting into a parking space, the people next to you will have a hard time getting out. Additional parked car accidents occur on side streets where vehicles are parked in front of their homes. Drivers who become distracted may swerve while driving and hit a parked car. Always remain focused on the road to avoid this kind of accident.

Hydroplaning

A very common cause of accidents that Tacoma personal injury attorneys see are ones involving hydroplaning. When the roads are wet, it is very easy for your car to start skimming over the pavement because the tires have lost traction. This skimming motion causes the car to slide in different directions and can cause accidents. To avoid this kind of accident, you should always make sure that you reduce your speed when it begins to rain, while it is raining, and shortly after the rain has stopped. The water on the road mixes with the oils in the road, creating very slippery conditions. Many parts of the country refer to this as “black ice.” It is also important to have good tires on your car with enough thread depth to retain traction in stormy weather. Balding tires will hydroplane much faster than newer tires. It is also important to always have your tires properly filled with air. Low tires can loose traction much easier than a filled tire. When driving in rain conditions, you should always apply gentle pressure to the brakes when stopping. Stomping down on your brakes in any weather condition can cause you to loose traction. When you do it on wet roads, hydroplaning can occur.

Wild Animal Collisions

Another very common accident occurs in rural areas where there is a lot of wildlife. Collisions with wild animals can cause serious damage to your car and injuries to your body. This applies to all sizes of animals. Smaller animals can bounce over the hood and come through the windshield. Larger animals can cause extensive damage and also have the potential to come over the hood of the car. To avoid these types of accidents, always make sure that you are very aware of your surroundings when you are driving. If you see signs posted for animal crossings in the area, always look for animals near the road. Animals are more prone to be near the road between dusk and dawn. Always use your high beam headlights in rural areas when you can do so without interfering with another driver.

Side Collisions

Our Tacoma personal injury attorneys will explain to anyone that side collisions or “T-Bone” accidents have the highest rate of injuries and deaths when it comes to car accidents. This is because the impact area is generally where the driver or passengers are sitting, Side collision accidents are generally caused by a driver not yielding to a red light or turning in front of another vehicle improperly. Other events can lead to this kind of accident also. In most cases, the main cause of these accidents is drivers who do not obey traffic rules. To help protect yourself from injuries during a side collision, it is always recommended that you purchase a car that is equipped with side air bags. These accidents are often hard to avoid because the driver that is hit was not expecting the other person to disobey the traffic rules. This is why it is always important to be very aware of your surroundings, especially at intersections.

Speak to a Tacoma Car Accident Lawyer About Your Rights as a Car Accident Victim

If you’ve been injured in any type of vehicular accident, speak to an attorney at Greene & Lloyd, PLLC. One of their attorneys will review your case and explain to you what rights you have to seek compensation. Call 253.770.0808 and schedule a free case consultation with a Tacoma car accident lawyer today.


Top 10 Tips from Our Tacoma Personal Injury Attorney

Monday, December 28th, 2015

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Tacoma Personal Injury AttorneyAccidents are facts of life, so some knowledge about how to prepare for the filing of a personal injury legal claim and about what to expect afterwards can be of significant assistance to anyone whose life takes a bad turn caused by another’s negligence. Accidents that cause personal injury claims are potentially infinite in number and variety from motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall incidents on surfaces improperly maintained, or poisoning from food products negligently prepared, to cite a few examples. Fortunately, there are several ways for grievants to acquire some basic knowledge of personal injury law so they can avoid some of the most common costly, unnecessary mistakes. Here are ten such ways:

1. Get professional medical attention right away

The first thing to do after your accident is to have a medical professional treat the apparent injuries and make a thorough examination with appropriate testing for others unseen that may come to light later after delayed reactions to the trauma of the injury. It is unnecessary and often unwise to initiate any formal personal injury claim before knowing the full extent of all injuries sustained.

Claimants should be aware that unnecessary delay in obtaining medical attention after a personal injury sometimes prejudices the case for monetary damages. Opposing parties may argue that claimants have inflated their claims fraudulently by acting on afterthoughts to make their injuries seem more severe than the facts proved, or they would have gone to their doctors right away. Injured parties may be duty-bound to mitigate their losses and not to magnify them by running up costs that could be avoided or prevented by reasonably prompt action.

2. File a Police Report

Official police reports are reliable, disinterested, impartial third-party accounts and substantially probative evidence of important facts about the personal injury incident. Party names and contact data, witness identifications and initial statements, and information as to time, location, and particular circumstances are important not only in themselves but also as starting points for further investigation of additional, relevant facts. Police reports are useful as forensic aids in refreshing witness recollections and as evidence of past recollections recorded, a function particularly useful and frequent in lawsuits that go on and on for years.

3. Make no unnecessary statements at accident scenes

It may be necessary to speak directly with opposing parties at personal injury scenes, but careful reticence always should be in control. A man of few words makes not many foolish, self-defeating statements. Silence is truly golden in such situations. The injured party has no obligation to socialize, to state any opinion, or to provide any facts other than name, contact information, and insurer. Anything additional may be twistable to create confusion and doubt about the personal injury claim.

4. Maintain records and accounts of all related losses and expenses

Medical and hospital billings, bills for property repair or replacement, and insurance reports are all relevant. Lost income should be documented if the injury caused the claimant to lose time and compensation from employment. It is also generally worthwhile for the claimant to write out a detailed, personal account of what happened to cause the injury while details remain vivid in memory. The time and effort to prepare this record may pay off in a big way if the claimant later must testify at a hearing or trial to prove the case.

5. Know about filing deadlines

Under state statutes of limitations, formal legal claims must be filed in the courts of proper jurisdiction within certain time periods. Following timely filing of their complaints, claimants must meet numerous deadlines for filing motions, pleadings, and other statements of the case or risk penalties and sanctions and even dismissals of their cases for failure to file on time. If the time under the statute passes with no complaint filed or if the complaint is timely but the court ultimately dismisses it for failure to comply with case filing deadlines, the personal injury claim dies and with it any chance for claimant compensation.

6. Do some elementary legal research

The claimant who can acquire some basic familiarity with the main provisions of personal injury practice and procedure is more likely than the totally untutored to navigate the civil legal process successfully. Expert knowledge of rules of practice and of case precedents is hardly necessary nor desirable as a practical matter, but a discussion with a lawyer about how to find statutes, regulations, and pertinent opinions can clarify much of what seems to be mysterious and arcane about the process.

7. Have no trust in insurance adjusters

Insurers for opposing parties are not on any claimant’s side but are not averse to suggestions or implications not truly unintentional that in fact they want to help claimants resolve their cases, a half-truth because they want the cases resolved but in favor not of the claimants but of the opposing parties whom they serve. To protect themselves in negotiations with insurers, claimants should be accompanied by attorneys to advise and advocate for them. Most personal injury lawyers agree to work for contingency fees to help claimants for no cash up front and no fee at all if the claim turns out not to be a winner or, if it wins, as a fee a portion of the proceeds from the settlement or judgment.

8. Sign nothing without clear and complete comprehension

Any document or form for ratification by signature should be fully comprehensible to the claimant invited to sign. If not entirely certain of the long- term consequences, do not sign. Take it to an attorney for help by clarification and explanation. Any documents that purport to release a party from any claim or any that require surrender of a right or privilege are always suspect. Unrepresented claimants confronting such situations should consult with legal counsel before any contemplation of ratification.

9. Make no pro se settlements

Settlement means the end of the case with no further proceedings however necessary in the interests of justice. If the unrepresented pro se claimant discovers or realizes after the fact that the opposing party’s insurer has agreed to pay less than fair damages, there is no recourse. Settlement can be a complex process, and insurers can construct complexities to encourage misunderstanding. Claimants unsure of what to do should consult with an experienced Tacoma personal injury lawyer. Again, retaining a personal injury lawyer makes perfect sense financially because the client pays no legal fee if the lawyer fails to recover compensatory damages for the injury.

10. Know the type of lawyer needed

Personal injury lawyers are a motley sort. Some are specialists in certain torts, others more into general personal injury practice. There are as many types of Tacoma personal injury lawyers as types of personal injuries, and one may be better for a case than another. When interviewing personal injury practitioners, ask about their case histories and the personal injury cases they prefer.

Consult Our Tacoma Personal Injury Attorney

Accidents are common, everyday occurrences, but they can have grievous, lifelong consequences. Accidents not only cause pain and suffering from severe and sometimes life-threatening injuries, but they also require transactions with insurance companies and lots of claim forms, correspondence, and red tape for which the tort victim may not have the time or resources necessary to confront while in recovery.

At Greene & Lloyd, PLLC, caring and compassionate personal injury attorneys are dedicated to seeing clients through such difficult times by assisting them with medical treatment, helping them organize insurance benefits for proper treatment, exhausting every monetary resource to cover all expenses, and fighting for full and fair compensation by negotiation, mediation, litigation, and all other lawful means necessary. Call 253-770-0808 today to schedule a free case consultation with a Tacoma personal injury attorney.

 


Our Tacoma Car Accident Lawyer Discusses the Low Offers

Monday, December 21st, 2015

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Tacoma personal injury lawyerIf you have been involved in a car accident, contact your Tacoma car accident lawyer immediately (especially if you or someone in your vehicle has been injured). Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. When filing for an insurance claim, you will need to deal with an adjuster for the insurance company. Often times the adjuster has the best interest of the company, not you, in mind. The following information from your Tacoma car accident lawyer will discuss one of the main negotiation tactics that adjusters use: offering you a low settlement. If you have questions after reading the following information, contact your Tacoma personal injury attorneys for a consultation.

Low Settlement as a Negotiation Tactic

Insurance adjusters are encouraged to close their claims as quick as possible, with paying as little to the claimant as they are able to. So it comes as no surprise that insurance adjusters used tactics to try to negotiate you into accepting a lower settlement amount. One of the most common negotiation tactics that an adjuster will use is to offer such a low settlement to you that it can be considered to be ridiculous. For example, you and your attorney have discussed what your bottom line settlement amounts are after determining that your claim could be worth between $15,000-20,000. You are at $10,000 while your attorney is at $12,000. Your attorney sets the settlement amount to $25,000. The adjuster calls your attorney and offers $4,000 to settle. This offer can mean several things:

  • The adjuster works for a company that would rather take the claim to litigation than settle
  • Your settlement demand was way too high
  • The adjuster is hoping you will lower your expectations as well as your settlement demand
  • The adjuster has very little room to negotiate

When this happens, your attorney can do the following:

  • Asses the amount you are asking for and adjust if necessary
  • File a lawsuit and begin preparations for litigation
  • Speak with the adjuster and ask if they have any room to go up in their amount. If so, your attorney can work with the adjuster to compromise a settlement.
  • Your attorney can ask to elevate the claim and try to negotiate with a manager

Schedule a Consultation with a Tacoma Car Accident Lawyer

When you have been involved in a car accident, you want the most experienced Tacoma car accident lawyer on your side. Call Greene & Lloyd, PLLC at (253) 770-0808. Greene & Lloyd, PLLC are the Tacoma personal injury attorneys that will be dedicated to helping you fight for the best possible outcome in your personal injury claim.


Preparing for a Defense Medical Exam with Your Tacoma Car Accident Attorneys

Monday, December 14th, 2015

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Tacoma Car Accident AttorneysOur Tacoma personal injury attorneys will advise you on the importance of defense medical exams and how the process might help or hurt your case. These exams are routine and permitted by courts in all personal injury cases. It’s a perfectly normal part of the process, so there is no need to worry about why the defense is ordering this to be done. All you need to do is understand what will happen.

Who performs a defense medical exam?

The defense medical examination is performed by a doctor who is hand-picked by the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company. It’s important to remember that the doctor doesn’t work for you. While he or she is expected to be honest and ethical, the doctor will report all information back to the defendant and can use the information that you provide to put you at a disadvantage.

What is the doctor looking for?

The doctor’s job is to document details that could weaken your claim and help the defendant. Evidence will be gathered from the exam and from your medical records. Using this information, the doctor will assess the validity of your complaints and record any findings that are inconsistent. Any evidence that minimizes your injury and the value of your legal claim will be emphasized. Because the defense doctor isn’t treating you and will report everything, follow the advice of your Tacoma car accident attorneys. Be careful about what you say. These doctors can use your statements to unfairly minimize your suffering.

Contact Our Tacoma Personal Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Effective representation can help you get past a traumatic event. To schedule a free case evaluation with the Tacoma car accident attorneys at Greene & Lloyd PLLC, call our office at 253-770-0808.


Our Puyallup Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Preparing for Discovery

Monday, December 7th, 2015

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Puyallup Personal Injury LawyerEither or both of two things happen in response to any civil personal injury complaint filed in court, an offer to settle it or a responsive pleading opposing the complaint by answer or motion followed by mutual discovery of evidence, seldom the first result, always the second. A careful Puyallup personal injury lawyer sends the client copies of all discovery requests and advises that the opposing party is likely to make similar requests. The conscientious Puyallup personal injury lawyer requests from the client careful and complete answers as soon as possible to all opposing party interrogatories and requests for admissions or production and then discusses the draft answers with the client.

Discovery Pitfalls

Inexperienced personal injury attorneys often file suit, receive opposing party discovery requests, ask for extensions of time to respond, and then find out information detrimental to their clients’ cases. Such potentially detrimental revelations may be preexistent injuries or conditions, prior insurance or worker compensation awards, problems with proof of liability, witness problems, or any unfavorable facts that could harm or even ruin the client’s case.

Defense Discovery Stratagems

Many clients neglect or decide not to disclose detrimental information during claim negotiations before they file formal complaints. After filing, when discovery starts, problems begin to appear on what seemed to be an unblemished case. Insurance claim adjusters and attorneys are aware of such transformations signifying that either the plaintiff’s attorney or the plaintiff or both have held back during claim negotiations information that may fortify the defense. For this reason, insurers usually offer nominal or minimal settlements in cases with high medical expenses. They realize that formal discovery may reveal problems for plaintiffs in their medical records. They are also aware that plaintiffs and sometimes their Tacoma personal injury attorneys do not produce unfavorable medical information about prior conditions or injuries. They therefore request all medical records from all sources and providers that have treated the plaintiff over a period of years.

Interrogatories may enable them to gauge the strength of the plaintiff’s case for liability by requesting identification of witnesses and their contact information, copies of documents and photographs, theories of liability, and other information useful to them in attacking the plaintiff’s case. The upshot is always to expect defendant discovery to do something intended to damage the plaintiff’s case.

Consult a Puyallup Personal Injury Lawyer

Anyone injured in an accident caused by medical malpractice, careless, inattentive driving, or any other negligent misconduct may be entitled to full and fair compensation for all consequent costs as well as reparation for pain and suffering. A preliminary consultation at no charge with an experienced, knowledgeable Tacoma personal injury attorney is the first step toward complete recovery. At Greene & Lloyd, PLLC experienced Tacoma personal injury attorneys are dedicated to support and advocacy for injured plaintiffs until they receive the compensation they need. Call 253-770-0808 today to schedule a free consultation.


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