So you are walking in a crosswalk across the street and hit by a driver without insurance. Since he has no money and no insurance you are not going to get anywhere suing him. In addition, no lawyer would take a case where both sides don’t have insurance.
I recently had a case where another lawyer rejected the above case, because the lawyer didn’t ask one more question…DO YOU HAVE UM? Many people don’t realize that even though you were on foot, you are still covered under the UM portion of your auto policy. Thus a claim can be put through your own insurance company.
We did that and settled for the policy limits which were more than enough money…rather than rejecting the case and turning the client away with no medical treatment and no recovery.
My office focuses on representing clients for Accidents & DUI’s, in addition to suing Drunk Drivers who injure our clients. Thus we understand the nuances of accident law and how to squeeze money from the insurance company.
If my office accepts the case, the following Stages will take place:
- Initially, we assist clients in obtaining medical assistance from providers that know how to treat and how to write a med-legal report. We request clients update us with new docs they may see. We collect the medical records at the conclusion of their treatment. However, because of third party reimbursement, we sometimes don’t want to request them ourselves and tip the hospital etc. that there is a legal case and a lawyer involved.
- A settlement demand is professionally prepared and sent to the defendant’s insurance company in an attempt to get a positive resolution of the case without filing a lawsuit and increasing costs. In this case we sent it to our client’s auto insurance company.
- If no settlement is reached, or before the two year Statute of Limitations has passed from the date of the accident, a lawsuit (Summons and Complaint) is filed with the appropriate court that we chose… to protect our client’s legal rights.
- The lawsuit is served on the defendant by the Sheriff or PI.
- Once served, the defendant has 30 days to file an Answer with the Court.
- The Plaintiff and Defendant exchange discovery in the form of Interrogatories (written questions), Request for Documents, Depositions and Request for Admissions. The defendant may also schedule an Independent Medical Examination (IME) of the Plaintiff. This process can take several years.
- The court may order the case to non-binding Arbitration. The arbitrator renders an award within 30 days and one of two things happens at this point: The award can be accepted by both Plaintiff and Defendant and the case is over or either Plaintiff or Defendant has 30 days to file a request for a Trial de Novo (New Trial) with the Court.
- If either Plaintiff or Defendant requests a Trial de Novo, a Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is scheduled 4 to 6 months before a Trial date.
- The MSC is the last court hearing before Trial. It is where all attorneys make one last formal attempt to resolve their case before the judge.
- If no agreement is reached at the MSC, the case proceeds to Trial where a verdict is rendered. This is the final outcome of the case, absent an appeal.
- When a settlement or verdict is reached, we await the insurance company’s settlement draft. It can take 30 days or more to receive this draft. Unfortunately insurance companies continue to “deny and delay “in order to stall” paying the money and allowing the insurance company to get the “float” on the money.
- Once the draft is received and endorsed it is then deposited into our Trust Account. Our Accounting Department then prepares a Disbursement Sheet showing the draft amount and who gets what! We arrange for our client to come in to approve this and execute their Disbursement Sheet. We then tender the net amount to our client, for which we suggest checking with your CPA to confirm the money is TAX free. We then mail checks to the medical providers as itemized on the Disbursement Sheet. This concludes the case with our office.
Suggestions for future articles? Contact Dale Gribow (760) 837-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
REPRESENTING THE INJURED AND CRIMINALLY ACCUSED
“TOP LAWYER” – California’s Prestige Magazine, Palm Springs Life (PI/DUI) 2011-20
“TOP LAWYER” – Inland Empire Magazine 2016- 2019
PERFECT 10.0 AVVO Peer Rating
“DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE OR TEXT AND GET A DUI OR ACCIDENT. CALL A TAXI, LYFT OR UBER. THEY ARE A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME”. SO DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER.