I would like to thank you for considering our office to
represent you with regard to your recent accident or injury. I am writing this in order to provide you with a brief
outline as to how your case will be handled. We have found
in our 40 plus years of practice that an early explanation as to
how your case will proceed is a great aid in our continuing
attorney / client relationship. We have represented
thousands of injured people in a vast variety of cases. From children yet unborn to the very elderly, from catastrophic
injuries and death to minor fender benders.
We initially interview you. We take general personal
information about you and some specific information with regard
to your accident, the place of the accident, who is responsible,
the general nature of your injuries, and information relative to
your treating physicians. Thereafter, a file is opened by
us and we utilize the information we obtained from you in
connection with our investigation of your accident. Many
times we utilize the services of professional investigators and
various experts to help us win your case and recover the highest
award of damages possible.
We will be notifying the potential responsible parties, along
with any insurance company providing coverage for the payment of
your medical coverage, auto damage, deductible, rental car, wage
losses and full compensation for all your pain and suffering
that you have retained us as your attorneys or we will be
notifying these defendants relative to your own insurance and
will likewise be placing your own insurance company on notice of
our representation. If you have given a statement to
either insurance company prior to retaining us, we will attempt
to obtain copies of these statements for your file.
In most cases we will also be forwarding letters to all of
your treating physicians and hospitals, notifying them that you
have retained us to represent you. We will be asking them
for copies of medical records and reports pertaining to your
injuries. The most important instruction that we can give
you at this time is that you not speak to anyone other than this
office with regard to your accident. If you are contacted
by an insurance company or an investigator, you should provide
no information whatsoever without first speaking to us. In
a situation where you have exhausted your insurance coverage, we
will attempt to ask your creditors to wait for payment of their
bills until the conclusion of your case. Although
most creditors will agree to accept such a letter of protection,
we cannot force them to accept this.
Our initial investigation will involve gathering such things
as police reports and speaking to various witnesses whose names
you may have provided to us. If necessary, we will also
take photographs of the accident scene and in some cases may
have to retain a professional engineer to reconstruct your
accident or to render a professional opinion relative to your
case. We may also contact the director of internal
revenue, your employers, school, or other persons who may have
information we need relative to assisting in the handling of
your case and maximizing your compensation.
It is important that you understand that we will make no attempt
whatsoever to settle your case until your medical treatment has
concluded or you have reached a plateau and you have so advised
us. The reason for this is that the exact nature of your
injuries cannot be determined until the conclusion of your
treatment. Therefore, we are unable to place a value on
your case until all medical treatment has been concluded.
It can generally take several months to gather the required
information from your doctor until he/she discharged you.
Prior to obtaining your medical records we will forward to you a
medical treatment summary form which we ask that you complete
relative to all treating physicians. You must understand
that only the doctors and hospitals which are provided by you on
this informational form will be contacted by us.
Therefore, it is important that you keep track throughout your
medical treatment as to the doctors you see, the diagnostic tests you are
given, the prescriptions you receive, and any hospitals you may
visit. You should also keep track of any expenses you
incur and likewise keep track of days you miss from employment
as a result of the injuries you may have sustained.
As soon as the investigation has been completed and all
necessary medical information has been obtained we will evaluate
your case for purposes of making a settlement demand on any
potential defendant. Remember some injuries are so
catastrophic that the medical treatment cannot be concluded
prior to the two year statute of limitations and a law suit is
filed before any settlement negotiations are attempted.
It is also important that you understand that in most cases we
do not start a law suit until we have made an attempt to
amicably settle your case after your medical treatment has been
completed. However, in other cases it may be necessary to
start a law suit at the beginning of the case depending on who
the responsible party may be or the position they have taken as
to who is responsible.
A law suit is started by serving the responsible party called a
“defendant” with a legal document which is called a “complaint”.
The complaint is a legal pleading which states in summary form
the allegations of negligence and the injuries or damages you
have sustained. Once this is served on the defendant, the
defendant is usually forced to retain an attorney so that an
answer can be filed to the complaint.
I would like to point out that although a lawsuit may be
started, settlement is always possible and it very often may
occur just prior to an arbitration or trial.
After a lawsuit has been initiate both sides have the right to
obtain information about the case by way of “discovery process”.
The discovery process may involve your answering written
questions which are called “interrogatories”. You also may
be requested to attend a independent medical examination by a
doctor who is chosen by the defendant. Likewise, you may
be requested to come to our office or the defendant’s attorney’s
office to give you a “deposition”. This is a process in
which the defendant's attorney may ask you questions about your
case prior to trial. Likewise, we may take the deposition
of the defendants prior to trail.
A deposition is testimony which is given under oath in the
presence of the attorneys and a court stenographer who takes
down the testimony and creates “notes of testimony” which can
later can be used at the time of trial.
Interrogatories are written questions which either attorney may
submit, and which have to be used at the time of trial.
Generally, both interrogatories and depositions help to develop
the facts necessary to win your lawsuit and obtain maximum
compensation. Remember, we cannot be paid an attorney's
fee until you receive due compensation. We are motivated
in attempting to provide you full recovery because our fees are
bases on that recovery value.
If the defendant requests that you be examined by a physician of
their choice, they will pay the costs of this examination and a
report will be issued by the examining doctor. We have a
right to obtain a copy of that report and a copy will be
provided to you. Of course we attend all defense
medical exams with our clients to observe the doctors conduct
and yours. This insures the doctor does not ask you
inappropriate questions or engage in improper conduct.
Remember these doctors are well paid to testify against you!
Once again, at any time during this discovery process settlement
may occur. We must emphasize that at all times you must be
candid since your failure to provide information in your
interrogatories or during your deposition could hurt you case at
a later date.
It is you that must determine if you are going to accept the
defendant’s highest offer to settle and if you are satisfied
that you are
being fully compensated. If the settlement offer is
insufficient many times you have no alternative but to file a
If after concluding the discovery process we are unable to
settle your case, your case will then go to either arbitration
or trial depending on the amount of money which we are seeking.
This will be explained to you prior to requesting arbitration or
trial. Once again, cases are often settled within a few
days of the arbitration hearing or trial date. If your
case cannot be settled for a fair amount of money, we will, with
your permission, proceed to arbitration or trial. Before
we go to arbitration or trial we will spend time on detailed
preparation of your case. It will be necessary for you to
come to our office either in advance or in some cases on the day
of the arbitration or trial to prepare you for these
It is absolutely necessary that we have your complete
cooperation in helping us prepare for your trial.
We would also bring to your attention that the insurance
companies involved have an index system on a nationwide basis
which shows all of the people that have made claims before for
other injuries. If you have made such a claim in another
accident for another injury, your name will be in the index and
they will have this information. You are therefore urged
to be absolutely frank with us with regard to prior accidents,
lawsuits, and injuries. Your failure to provide this
information once again could hurt your case.
The information being provided to you is very general in nature
and each case must be evaluated individually as to how it will
proceed. Although we will personally supervise the
handling of your file, it is necessary that you understand that
you should cooperate will all attorneys, legal assistants or
other staff of this office who may contact you as your file will
be handled on a “team” approach. Therefore, it is possible
that you may be contacted by one of the other attorneys in this
office with regard to answering interrogatories, preparing for a
deposition or going to arbitration/trial.
We will make every effort to keep you informed as to the
progression of your case. However, we want you to
understand that if you have any questions whatsoever at any time
please do not hesitate to contact us personally and we will make
every effort to get back to you within a short period of time.
I don’t get paid until you get paid. If I can’t get you
compensated, it costs you nothing.
Please be careful to read the following suggestions:
Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorneys
or your doctors.
Do not sign anything with respect to your claim until you have
checked with your attorney.
Obtain receipts and keep records of all drugs, appliances or
bills incurred as a result of your injuries.
Notify your attorney at once of any change of address,
employment or other facts which affect your case.
If you are going to be out of town for more than a few days,
please call your attorney and inform him of this fact.
If, after consulting us, you miss any work because of your
injuries, please notify us right away of your absences.
Should you go to the hospital at any time, please notify us of
the date of visit, the purpose of the visit and if you receive a
bill, please provide copies of any and all bills.
If you are self-employed, keep a record of all times that you
have been unable to work or perform your duties or miss any
Keep a diary regarding your recovery from your injuries.
This will be
extremely helpful to you to explain the nature of your injuries
at a later date.
You are under no duty to talk to anyone. They have no
right to interview you or ask you questions once you have
retained us to represent you. Such discussions cannot help
your case, they can only damage and possibly be detrimental to
your case. Refer all such persons to your attorneys if
they contact you.
Do not think that harm cannot be done to your case as long as
you do not sign or initial statement. Your oral statements
can be equally damaging. Any statement, whether written or
oral, can be introduced into evidence against you at the time of
your arbitration hearing or trial.
This is by no means a complete list. The only instruction
we can give you is when in doubt, keep a written record of all
items of expense that you think might conceivably be related to
Once again, we thank you for having consulted our office.
Let me help you:
Get a rental car;
Get your car repaired;
Get your deductible paid;
Get your medical bills paid;
Get your lost wages;
Get your future lost wages;
Get you compensated fully for pain and suffering;
Get your spouse compensated for their loss too.
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