Tag Archives: Karen Mertes

The Elements of a Good Personal Injury Lawsuit

An experienced personal injury attorney needs to prove three key elements during the trial or settlement proceedings. If any of the following three items are missing from the case, the results may not be favorable for the plaintiff.

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1. Liability for Injury

Liability is an action committed by the defendant that the law recognizes as wrong. Proving that someone was liable for your injury is very difficult in a court of law. Examples of liability include running a stop sign, not yielding to oncoming traffic, or even manufacturing a product that is defective.

2. Damage or Injury Requirement

Another item needed to build a strong case is damages. Examples of damages are the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain
  • Mental Anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of household services
  • Wrongful death

3. Collectability

Collectability is when the defendant in a case must make good on their judgment, which is a piece of paper that is awarded to a plaintiff that says someone owes the plaintiff money for their damages. Sometimes, a plaintiff will not be able to collect on their judgment because the defendant in the case does not have enough money to pay the judgment or does not have the insurance that would normally cover a judgment.

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

 

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What Evidence Can Help Me Prove My Personal Injury Case?

If you’ve been in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you’ll need to provide evidence that proves the other party is responsible for your injuries. While building your case, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible.

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  • Accident Report

When law enforcement respond to an accident scene, they usually file an accident or police report. This report provides an unbiased and objective retelling of the events that occurred. It will often become the official record that names which party the responding officer believed was at fault for the accident.

  • Medical Records

Seeking immediate medical attention helps you establish a link between your injuries and the accident. You should hold onto any emergency room records, hospital records, medical bills, psychological records, and records from physical therapists.

  • Employment Records

If your injury resulted in lost wages or ability to earn an income, you may be able to recover your lost pay. Request that your employer carefully document the days you are unable to work and provide information about your pay rate and the number of hours you averaged each week.

Then, ask for a doctor’s note stating whether your injury prevents you from working and the number of days he or she believes you should be off work.

  • Photographs

Take as many photos as possible after the accident. Make sure you have pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, damages to your property, and your recovery journey afterward.

  • Witness Statements

Witness statements provide an objective perspective about how the accident occurred—and they’re from people who are not invested in the claim. If possible, try to get contact information from any witnesses that observed the accident.

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

 

 

 

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19 Common Questions Insurance Adjusters Ask After a Car Accident

If you are the victim of a car accident, you will need to contact your insurance company about the crash. To prepare you for your interview with the insurance adjuster, here are 19 common questions you may encounter.

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  1. Could you please state your full name?
  2. Do you understand that this interview is being recorded?
  3. Is this interview being recorded with your permission?
  4. What is the year, make, and model of the vehicle that you were driving at the time of the accident?
  5. Are you the registered owner of the vehicle?
  6. Were you using the vehicle for any type of business use?
  7. What was the date of the accident?
  8. What was the time of the accident?
  9. What was the location of the accident?
  10. In what direction were you driving?
  11. How did the accident occur?
  12. Did the weather contribute to the accident?
  13. Did other vehicles contribute to the accident?
  14. Was the traffic heavy that day?
  15. Did your airbag deploy?
  16. Were you wearing a seat belt?
  17. Were there any witnesses to the accident? What are their names and contact information?
  18. Did the police come to the scene of the accident? What’s the officer’s name and badge number?
  19. Do you have bills, receipts, or any other paperwork related to the accident?

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

 

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6 Frequently Asked Questions in Personal Injury Cases

If you were recently injured in an accident, you probably have a lot of questions. If you’re considering a personal injury claim, here are 6 frequently asked questions that you might encounter.

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1. What is negligence?

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, then they failed to uphold a legal duty of care. When people behave in a reckless manner, they put other lives at risk. Negligence is one of the necessary components of a personal injury lawsuit.

2. What if I think I’m at fault?

If you think you’re at fault, don’t mention it to anyone else, especially an insurance company. Even if you are partially responsible for an accident, you may be able to receive some compensation.

3. Should I take the insurance company’s offer to settle?

Accepting the first settlement offer is usually a bad idea. Many insurers will low ball the offer and hope you accept so the company can save money in the long run.

4. What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is the period of time you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. The time limits vary based on the personal injury.

5. Do I have to sue?

You always have a choice whether or not to sue. Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action, but it is ultimately your decision if you’re unable to obtain a reasonable settlement offer.

6. Do I need a lawyer?

Lawyers know all of the tricks that insurance companies will try to use against you. It is highly advisable that you hire an attorney to help you navigate through the steps associated with a personal injury case.

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

 

 

 

 

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What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a person injury lawsuit for compensation. TV shows and movies have many Americans convinced that the trial process is swift and inevitable for most cases. Here are some statistics to help correct these misconceptions.

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  • 4% to 5% of personal injury cases in the U.S. go to trial
  • 95% to 96% of personal injury cases are settled pretrial
  • 90% of cases that go to trial end up losing

Most of the people who settle do so because they’re impatient with the long timeline involved—they don’t realize beforehand that trials can drag on for years. It’s also interesting to note that among the cases that do win at trial, the plaintiffs receive more when the case is in front of a trial judge rather than a jury.

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

 

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4 Reasons Why You Lost Your Personal Injury Case

People often file personal injury cases with serious misconceptions, and these issues can lead to claims being lost entirely or settled on less than favorable terms. Here are four mistakes that can cause you to lose your case.

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1. No Representation

Attorneys help you file paperwork, work with the court, negotiate with the defense, and sign legal documents. If you don’t have an attorney, there are many places throughout the process where action or inaction could hurt your case.

2. Social Media

Many people document their lives on social media, but your feed (or your friend’s feed) could be used as evidence against your claim. Posts on Facebook about how great you’re feeling could be used as evidence to claim that your pain and suffering isn’t real.

3. Lack of Documentation

It’s critical that your documentation is as thorough as possible after your injury. One of the first things you should do is contact the police and file a report, so you can start keeping an official record of the incident.

4. Misstatements

At some point during your case, the insurance company will put you in contact with a claims adjuster. Plaintiffs who misspeak or speculate on their case to the claims adjuster could seriously damage their claim. Usually, it’s best to decline to comment until you have your attorney there to advise you.

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

 

 

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The 6 Stages of a Personal Injury Case

If you ever experience an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a personal injury case. Since you may not know what to expect, here are 6 common stages in a personal injury case.

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1. Medical Treatment

It’s critical that you seek medical treatment and follow your doctor’s treatment plans. While it’s important for your health, it’s also crucial to your case. If you don’t seek immediate medical care, the defense attorney may argue later that your injury wasn’t serious.

2. Find an Attorney

Consult a good attorney and find out if you have a personal injury case. Attorneys are essential in cases with larger claims and serious injuries.

3. Review

Once you’ve hired a personal injury lawyer, he or she will review the facts of your case. This will include your accident details, subsequent injuries and medical treatment, and medical expenses/records.

4. Discovery

Once you’ve filed the lawsuit, the attorneys on both sides will begin the discovery process. During this time, they’ll start collecting depositions and other evidence.

5. Settlement/Mediation

The next step is an attempt to settle. Both sides will attempt to negotiate a compensation amount that the other can agree with.

6. Trial

If a settlement can’t be reached, the case will go to trial.

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

 

 

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