Tag Archives: Karen Mertes

What Is My Personal Injury Case Really Worth?

The answer is determined by your damages, which involves calculating what your injury has cost you and whether the defendant’s conduct should be punished. There are different types of compensation available after a lawsuit.

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Compensatory Damages

Most damages in a personal injury case are compensatory, which means they’re meant to compensate for what the plaintiff lost due to the accident or injury. These injuries can be physical, emotional, or mental.

Medical Treatment

Reimbursement for medical care you’ve already received after the injury and compensation for the estimated cost of care you’ll need in the future.


If the injury negatively affected your salary and wages, or if it will affect your ability to make an income in the future, the compensation is considered “loss of earning capacity.”

Property Loss

Any vehicles, clothing, or other items damaged as a result of the accident.

Pain and Suffering

Any pain or serious discomfort you suffered or will suffer as a result of the accident.

Emotional Distress

This includes the psychological impact of the injury, such as fear, anxiety, or loss of sleep.

Loss of Enjoyment

You might be entitled to this if your injury keeps you from enjoying day-to-day activities, such hobbies, exercise, or other recreational pursuits.

Loss of Consortium

You might be entitled to this if your injury negatively impacted your relationship with your spouse, such as the loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship.

Punitive Damages

The goal of these damages is to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent for its conduct. These occur in cases where the defendant’s conduct is considered outrageously careless. Punitive damages are awarded on top of any compensatory damages.

For more information like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.


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Timeline of a Personal Injury Case

The process of a personal injury case can be broken down into 9 steps. Every case is different, so the amount of time for each step will vary, but here is a basic outline of the process from accident to trial.

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1. Accident or Injury Occurs

Make sure to document everything, collect the names and contact information of the witnesses, and keep a record of any relevant information that you might forget later.

2. Medical Treatment

It’s important to see a doctor right away because if you deny treatment at any point in time, insurance companies will argue that you weren’t “truly injured.”

3. Consult/Hire an Attorney

An attorney will advise you and make sure you don’t make any mistakes that could hurt your case later on.

4. Your Attorney Investigates Claim and Medical Records

While your attorney investigates the case, be honest and upfront about your medical records and anything that has the potential to hurt your case.

5. File an Insurance Claim or Demand a Settlement

After filing a claim with the insurance company, you will be assigned a claims adjuster to investigate the case and negotiate a settlement.

6. Lawsuit is Filed

If a settlement can’t be reached and the insurance company won’t pay what the case is worth, it’s time to file a lawsuit.

7. Discovery

Both sides will take depositions and investigate the other party’s claims and defense.

8. Mediation and/or Arbitration

Both parties will meet with a neutral third-party to help them reach a reasonable settlement.

9. Trial

If all else fails and a settlement can’t be reached, then the case will go to trial. All of the information that has been gathered will be presented, and a jury will decide the verdict.

For more information like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.

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4 Important Things You Need to Prove in a Personal Injury Case

There are four required elements of a negligence claim in a personal injury lawsuit.

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In order to win a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant acted negligently by proving each of the following:

  1. Duty: The defendant had a legal duty to behave in a certain way toward the plaintiff under the circumstances
  2. Breach: The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way toward the plaintiff
  3. Causation: The actions (or inaction) of the defendant were the legal cause of the  plaintiff’s injury
  4. Damages: The plaintiff was injured or otherwise harmed as a result of the actions or inaction of the defendant, and money damages can remedy these harms


Lisa is a pedestrian crossing the street at a crosswalk. Carl is a driver who fails to stop at a stop sign and hits Lisa in the crosswalk. Lisa experiences significant pain and suffering and incurs medical bills after treating her injuries. Lisa sues Carl, and she wins her personal injury lawsuit because she proves that:

  1. Carl had a legal duty to drive with care and abide by traffic signs
  2. Carl breached that duty by failing to stop at the stop sign and hitting Lisa in the crosswalk
  3. Carl’s failure to stop at the stop sign caused Lisa’s injuries
  4. Lisa was seriously injured as a result of Carl’s failure to stop at the stop sign, and money damages will remedy Lisa’s injuries (pain and medical bills)

For more information like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.

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3 Key Questions to Ask When Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

After a serious accident, you may be wondering if you can receive financial compensation for your injuries.

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To determine if you have a good personal injury case, you should ask yourself these key questions:

1. Did I suffer a personal injury or just property damage?

A personal injury can be either physical or psychological. It’s considered an injury to your body, mind, or emotions. So, if you experienced severe anxiety or depression after a traumatic car accident, you suffered a personal injury.

2. Were my injuries caused by the negligence of another person or entity?

Generally, when a person or entity acts in a careless manner and causes injury to someone else, the careless party will usually be legally responsible. The law defines negligence as the failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances.

3. Do I have recoverable damages?

You must have suffered personal or financial harm that can be remedied by compensatory damages, which is a sum of money awarded to an injured person to compensate for his/her injuries and other losses. Some of these damages are economic, such as medical bills or lost wages. Other damages are noneconomic, such as pain and suffering or diminished quality of life.

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you might be a good candidate to obtain financial compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

For more tips like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.



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Are You Looking for an Audiobook? “Plaintiff 101” Has Rave Reviews

If you’re looking for an audiobook to listen to while you’re driving to work, look no further than “Plaintiff 101.” This audiobook is filled with information and tips to help you if you are ever involved in a personal injury lawsuit. Reviewers are calling it “engaging,” “informative,” and a “must-have.”

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To get your own copy of the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101,” you can find this audiobook by clicking here.

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Your Facebook Posts Could Come Back to Haunt You in the Court of Law

Posts on social networking sites are now regularly popping up as evidence in courtrooms across the country.

Plaintiff 101 Karen Mertes

According to Ian Friedman, past president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, social media evidence has become a critical element in an increasing number of court cases.

In many cases, searching people’s social networking, combing though some of what they’ve shared with the rest of the world, is almost the first place we look anymore,” said Friedman.

You never know how defense attorneys could take something out of context and spin the information to hurt your case.

For example, a plaintiff in a slip-and-fall personal injury case shouldn’t be seen dancing in a video on Facebook. Along those lines, a plaintiff who was a victim in a drunk driving accident shouldn’t post pictures on Instagram involving any social drinking. These could all be used by the defense to argue that the plaintiffs didn’t sustain the damages they are claiming they did.

So, stay off all social media during an ongoing case. Assume any statement or picture you post will be examined by opposing counsel and introduced at trial.

Once you put something out on the Internet, it’s there forever,” said Hamilton Police Lt. Carl Sigmon. “You need to be careful about what you actually put on the Internet because you never know where it’s going to wind up.”

For more tips like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.

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11 Tips for Giving a Great Deposition

Depositions are fact-finding missions used to gather evidence and information before a trial. Attorneys will ask you a series of questions, and you’re obligated to answer truthfully.

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The following are some tips for giving a deposition that will help your case:

  • Do not take notes about the event with you to the deposition. Any such papers are subject to review by the opposing council.
  • Dress professionally. Don’t wear flashy or excessive jewelry.
  • Don’t overdo makeup.
  • Sit up straight, make eye contact, and be pleasant.
  • Answer “yes” or “no.” Don’t just nod.
  • Avoid definitive words like “always” or “never.”
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” It’s better to admit that you don’t know an answer than to guess.
  • If you don’t understand a question, don’t take a stab at it. Ask for clarification.
  • Don’t volunteer information. Wait for the next question.
  • Be consistent. You might be asked different variations of the same question.
  • Take your time answering questions. Don’t let anyone rush you.

For more tips like this, you can read the #1 Amazon Bestseller “Plaintiff 101” by clicking here.

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