After a Car Accident: 5 Stages of the Insurance Claims Process

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I often get calls from people involved in car accidents, and they always want to understand the claims process better. There are certain steps you must take after your accident, and those steps are the same no matter what attorney you work with.

Car accident cases are often handled in their entirety before a lawsuit even has to be filed. Most of the time, your attorney will be able to reach a fair settlement by simply negotiating with the insurance company.

If you were involved in a car accident, you will typically go through these 5 stages of the claims process before your personal injury attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf:

Stage 1 – Information Gathering

This stage begins immediately after you hire an attorney and should take approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

  • Gathering accident information
  • Accident reports
  • Eyewitness
  • Insurance company statements
  • Property damage

Stage 2 – Medical Treatment

  • Receive immediate medical treatment
  • Continue recommended medical treatment even if you feel better
  • Never miss appointments
  • Insurance companies increase or decrease value of your claim based on the length of time you are treated

Stage 3 – Release from Treatment

  • Request all medical records
  • Attorney will prepare them and send them to insurance company
  • Can take up to 6 weeks

Stage 4 – Request for compensation

  • Present your claim information to the insurance company
  • Specific compensation is demanded for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses
  • Can take up to 90 days

Stage 5 – Negotiation and Settlement

  • Insurance company will make a compensation offer that is lower than requested.
  • Negotiations
  • Agree upon a fair settlement
  • Could take anywhere from a few days to a few months

Sometimes the negotiation process comes to a stand still. The attorney refuses to accept the offer made by the insurance company, and the insurance won’t increase their offer. At that point, your attorney will have a discussion with you about filing a lawsuit. While this is very rare, it does happen, and you should be prepared to go forward. However, know that you are, at any point, able to walk away from the claim.

If you or someone you love was involved in an accident, and you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I will help you understand what you are entitled to and that you get the compensation you deserve. As your Car Accident Lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

6 Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer Might Turn Down your Case

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You may have heard the phrase “ambulance chaser” before. I know I sure have. As a personal injury lawyer, I get a lot of criticism for being aggressive. People often think personal injury lawyers will take any case they can get, and they’re only in it for the money. However, the truth is I turn down far more cases than I take.

There is a strong misconception that personal injury lawsuits are frivolous, that people and lawyers try to take advantage of the system. However, looking at the system more closely, you will find that an argument without merit will get thrown out before the case even gets filed.

The following are 6 reasons a personal injury lawyer may turn down your case:

  1. Conflict of Interest. Attorneys have strict rules about who they can and cannot represent. If the attorney you consult has a relationship with the other party to the lawsuit, he or she cannot represent you. That would be considered a conflict of interest.
  2. Statute of Limitations. Every state provides, through statute, the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit following your injury. If you attempt to pursue a personal injury case outside of the time set by statute, you will be barred by the statute of limitations, and there is nothing a lawyer can do to help you.
  3. Lack of Insurance Coverage. If the defendant to an action has little or no insurance coverage, an attorney may be hesitant to take your case. Without insurance coverage, the defendant will have to pay out of pocket for your injuries. If the defendant is wealthy this may not be a problem, but in most cases, you will never get compensated because the defendant will file for bankruptcy on the debt.
  4. Contributory Negligence. In some states, if you are even 1% at fault for the your injury, you will not be eligible for compensation in a personal injury case. Therefore, if you actions, in any way, contributed the damages, an attorney may turn down your case.
  5. Lack of Proof. In some situations, wrongdoing is clear. However, there is no proof or documentation of the wrongdoing. The strength of your personal injury case depends on what you can prove in a court of law. Without adequate proof, an attorney may have no choice but to turn down your case.
  6. Minor Injuries. Personal injury lawsuits take a lot of time and money to pursue. They can last for years and years while the attorneys’ fees continue to add up. Most injury attorneys work on a contingency, which means they only get paid if their client’s claim is successful. If a personal injury lawyer doesn’t feel like your damages are significant enough, he or she may turn your case down. This isn’t because your injuries don’t matter; it is simply because the amount of time you will have to spend to get compensation will not be worth your recovery in the end.

If you feel like one of these examples might describe your personal injury lawsuit, don’t let that discourage you from talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

For a FREE, NO-RISK consultation, call me at 1 (877) 944-4373. If you were the victim of someone else’s negligence, don’t wonder, “What if?” Let me evaluate your case, and I will help you get the answers you deserve. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

 

Signs your Loved One May Be Suffering From Elder Abuse

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The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is a heart-wrenching decision, but it is a decision many of us have faced. When you realize your loved one needs 24/7 care and you can no longer do so, you may have no choice but to start searching for a long-term care facility.

Your first visit to a nursing home may be warm, friendly, and inviting. You may even leave there feeling like your loved one will receive the same care they receive at home. Unfortunately, this will likely not be the case. The truth is 2.1 million seniors are abused annually in one form or another in the United States, and that number is vastly underestimated. Many occurrences of elder abuse go unreported. 30% of nursing homes in the United States have been cited for abuse in a recent two-year period.

Nursing homes are full of overworked and underpaid employees with a high employee turnover rate. Unfortunately, these employees do not provide the gentle care that our loved ones deserve. Despite these heartbreaking statistics, many families have no choice, but to try to find the best nursing home possible for their aging family member. 

Remember, there are things you can do to keep your loved ones safe in a nursing home:

  • You must visit regularly.
  • Constantly observe your loved one’s condition and make note of changes.
  • Ask the staff a lot of questions when you’re there.
  • Get to know other patients in the facility.
  • Make your presence known.

The following are some common signs of nursing home abuse:

Physical Abuse

  • Broken Bones
  • Bruises
  • Bloody Clothing
  • Cuts

Emotional Abuse

  • Sleep changes
  • Personality changes, withdrawn or depressed
  • Being scared or anxious
  • Lack of self esteem

Neglect

  • Weight loss
  • Severe Bed Sores
  • Dirty clothing and bed sheets
  • Unclean living area
  • Not receiving medications at all or in a timely manner
  • Overly-medicated

Sexual Abuse

  • Venereal disease diagnosis
  • Blood around genital area and on undergarments
  • Bruises on inner thighs, breasts and genital area

Taking care of a loved one can take quite a toll. While you may want to take all of the burden on yourself, sometimes that can be worse for you and your loved one. It is important to realize when you need outside help.

When your loved one’s care becomes too much for you to handle alone, it is important that you do your homework before deciding on a long-term care facility.

Ask for referrals, talk to other people about their experiences, become knowledgeable about the process. Only you can look out for your loved one’s safety.

If someone you love suffered injuries from abuse at a nursing home or long-term care facility, you have to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

6 Essential Tips for Winning your Ohio Personal Injury Case

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As a personal injury lawyer, it is my job to help you win your case. I will investigate the facts, research the law, hire expert witnesses, and be your advocate from the beginning to the end. However, I can’t do it all by myself.

Most people don’t realize what an important roll they play in winning their own personal injury lawsuit. There are so many things you can do that will help your case be successful. It is important to be aware of these 6 tips for winning your personal injury case, because the failure to perform even one task, can cause you to lose your case before you’ve even filed it.

If you have filed a personal injury lawsuit or think you might file a personal injury lawsuit, your chances for success will vastly improve by recalling these 6 tips:

1. Seek medical care.  By going to a hospital or a doctor will will be able to provide your attorney with evidence of your injuries. The hospital will be able to provide you with hard documentation of your damages in the form of x-rays, test results, and medical reports. This is important even if you have suffered minor injuries because you may have complications later on.

2. Previous medical condition.  Don’t just assume that because you have a existing condition, you will not be successful in your personal injury lawsuit. An attorney will help you explain and differentiate your previous condition with your new injuries, so make sure you keep your attorney informed. Furthermore, in this situation, medical documentation becomes even more important to set your existing injuries apart from your new injuries.

3. Keep documentation.  Keep documentation of all injuries, doctor visits, conversations, missed work, and day-to-day feelings. Take photos of any visible injuries and property damage. My advice is to keep a journal of how you feel and of things that happen to you, because lawsuits can take a very long time to resolve. Often, you are forced to recall the events weeks, months, and even years following your injury. The most important thing to remember is that the court only believes what you can prove through evidence.

4. Social Media.  Monitor what you put on your social media page and make sure your pages are private.  Social media can be used against you in a court of law, and it is up to you to filter what you show the outside world. Be conscious of what you are putting out there, and of how others might be able to twist it for their own benefit.

5. Trust your attorney. Your attorney is experienced in managing personal injury cases. Trust and listen to what he/she says. Following directives is vital to winning your case. Also, being honest with your attorney is the number one thing you can do to help your case. If you aren’t honest, you are putting your attorney and your case at a disadvantage.

6. Do not talk to the insurance company. The insurance company may try to contact you with settlement offers. They will try to take advantage of you. It is important that you don’t talk to them. Instead, retain an attorney who will become your advocate.

If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury as a result of medical malpractice or another form of negligence, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Types of Undisputed Liability Car Accident Cases in Ohio

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Typically, when a car accident happens, there is a lot of hostility between the parties involved. Everyone is frustrated and emotions are running high, and frequently, the parties feel they know who was at fault. However, you cannot just assume you know who is liable. Negligence must be proven to win a personal injury case.

There are certain situations when the driver’s negligence can be proven 99% of the time.

In these situations, liability is not generally disputed by the other party’s insurance company, and there is a very good chance you will be successful in your personal injury claim.

1. Rear-end collisions – If someone hits you from behind it is always their fault. Drivers are expected to keep a safe distance from the car in front of them.

2. Left-hand turns – If a car is involved in an accident while making a left-hand turn, the driver of that car will almost always be found at fault. When a car making a left-hand turn is hit by oncoming traffic, it is generally their fault because they were reckless for turning when they did. Rarely are there exceptions to this rule, but liability may be disputed if:

  • The oncoming vehicle ran a red light
  • The oncoming vehicle was going at an exceptionally high rate of speed.

3. Impaired drivers – If a driver is involved in an accident while under the influence, even if it is not their fault, he or she will always share some of the liability.

If you were involved in one of these three types of accidents, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

There is a good chance you can be compensated for your injuries. Knowing you have a good case, the other party’s insurance company may try to take advantage of you by offering you a low settlement. You need to be prepared, and the only way you can do that is by talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

I will help you understand what you are entitled to and that you get the compensation you deserve. As your Car Accident Lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.