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Friday, October 13, 2017
While you could accept the first settlement offer you receive, most likely that settlement is far from what you need.
You are not a lawyer, and you do not know the process for settling these types of cases. So it is vitally important that you stop going through the claim process alone and hire an attorney.
Yes, you do.
While insurance companies might seem as though they are on your side, they are a business. Like any business, the insurance company needs to protect their bottom line – which means paying you as little money as possible.
Insurance companies will do whatever they can to lower your settlement value, including disputing every medical treatment or diagnosis.
An attorney knows the tactics used by insurance claims adjusters, and they have negotiated and settled more claims in a month than you will in a lifetime. They also know the laws, are skilled negotiators, and know how to push insurance companies into paying the amount of compensation you deserve.
And even though you have an attorney, your actions can still influence the settlement value of your case. Therefore, you must be instructed on how to act appropriately so that your chances of a good settlement remain high.
After an injury, you will be contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance claims adjuster. They may offer you a settlement within the first few days, and you are required to respond.
Your attorney will decline the initial settlement offer. After they have fully assessed the value of your case, they will write a letter containing a counter-offer to the insurance company. The adjuster then responds with their offer, which might be within your acceptable range – or not.
The process goes back and forth several times, so you must be patient. Even though you might feel as though the process is dragging on, it is important that you do not get discouraged. Insurance companies intentionally drag this out, hoping that you will become desperate and take any amount offered. It is important that during this process, you rely on your attorney’s expertise. If your attorney feels you can get a better settlement, trust their judgment.
When you first meet with an injury attorney, the attorney will request that you bring in medical bills, a calculation of hours missed from work, and more. Your attorney then calculates an ideal settlement amount based on your expenses, the evidence, and any projected costs they have.
From there, your attorney establishes his or her “range” of what is acceptable. Your attorney may have an “ideal” settlement, but also a lowest possible amount they believe you should accept. That way, during negotiations they can try to get as close to the ideal number as possible, without going below the lowest settlement point.
During negotiations, your attorney will use evidence to justify their offer amount. To help justify the pain and suffering damages, which cover physical, mental, and emotional anguish, you should keep a pain and emotion journal.
In your journal, discuss what you are feeling each day. Rate your pain, discuss the treatments you went through that day, how you felt, and discuss your emotional state of mind. Be honest in your pain journal, and do not exaggerate.
In your journal, take photographs of injuries, surgeries, and your recovery process. Keep the photographs in your journal. Your attorney may be able to use these photographs to pressure insurance companies into higher settlements. For example, if you have a permanent scar on your face from an accident, your attorney can use a photograph to justify the pain and suffering – or permanent mental anguish – you will suffer from that scar.
Every time you pay a medical bill or receive a statement from your insurance company with a bill they have paid from the accident, keep a copy of that bill for your attorney.
Also, get copies of your medical records and verify that the information in those records is correct. You may have to pay for copies of your medical records, but your attorney can request reimbursement for those costs in your settlement.
While you have these records, do not sign a third-party release to anyone. If the other party’s insurance company requests copies, which they will, they can do the request through your attorney.
Your attorney should go over which damages apply to your case since not all injuries qualify for the same types of damages. However, the most common types of damages you would receive in a car accident case include:
It is common for victims of motor vehicle accidents to sustain more than just a single injury. You could have a broken leg, but with that broken leg comes scar tissue, surgery, and physical therapy to recover.
You may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other psychological conditions because of the trauma from your accident as well.
Many of the emotional injuries do not show right away and could take several weeks to manifest. If you do become depressed or suffer from an emotional injury, see a therapist or tell your physician about it immediately. Not only do you need to document it in your medical history, but you need to receive treatment so that your emotional trauma does not affect you for the rest of your life.
You will have treatments, follow-up appointments, and medications prescribed to you so that you can heal from your injuries. It is important that you stay under your doctor’s care and follow their instructions during negotiations.
Any deviation from the care plan can harm your case. It opens the window for insurance claims adjusters to dispute your injuries – and even accuse you of faking them. If you disagree with a doctor’s order, tell your attorney and see what they suggest, but never stop treatments without a consult.
Hiring the right attorney for your case is important. While you have your pick of personal injury attorneys, you want a trial attorney that is not afraid to take your case to trial.
Most of the time, your attorney will settle the case without filing an official lawsuit. Even when a lawsuit is filed, your attorney can negotiate a settlement long before the trial date. However, if negotiations break down, you need an attorney who can be aggressive and ready to take your case to court.
Be assured that insurance companies know attorneys in the area. So if you hire an attorney that the insurance company has dealt with in the past, the attorney’s reputation may precede them. If the insurance company went up against your attorney and lost – particularly if they lost at trial – they will be far more likely to settle than try going to court again.
The personal injury attorneys at Malman Law understand what you are going through.
You are scared, confused, and in pain. You have injuries, and you do not have time to handle the negotiations and paperwork involved in an insurance settlement – and you should not have to.
Let our team take over while you focus on getting better. Our attorneys are here to file claims, negotiate with insurance companies, and we will not hesitate to fight in court if need be.
To see if your case qualifies for compensation, schedule a free consultation by calling our offices at 888-751-2297 or request more information online.
They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.
- Britany Weaver
I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!
- Cheryl Wagemann
I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!
- Elvira G.
I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
would do everything they could for me.
- Tony S.
I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!
- Devin Jones
Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!
- Annie Ong
Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!
- Eugenia Cathery
They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.
- Omolewa Snyder
I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
- Trevor Harris
Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
- Ernest Pitts
Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.
- Ariel Fleming
I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!
- Carmen Rivera
Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!
- Greg Gustafson
Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.
- Malak St.Clair
Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.
- Devri Lott
I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.
- Adrian Lopez
A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.
- Vanessa Leon
Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
- Nyah Vuljanic
This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker
- Jeff Walker
Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.
- Steve Acosta
Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.
- Adrianna Gomez
Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars
- Jose Cruz
Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!
- Meagan Cruz
- Eddie Villarreal
I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!
- Madissen Miller
Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!
- Christina Ocon
Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!
- Adriana Martinez
So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!
- Virgil Sanner
I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!
- Jazlyn Caraballo
My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
- Ashley Jenkins
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim