The operation was successful, but the patient died. This is how a litigant feels after getting a judgment against an uninsured defendant from whom it is impossible to collect. When settling a personal injury claim with an insured defendant, a government entity or a wealthy company or person, you can count on collecting. When settling with the vast majority of uninsured defendants, you can count…
Legal Self Help
CHOICE OF VENUE
Often there is a choice of counties in which the lawsuit may be brought. This is known as choice of venue. For example, if the accident happened in one county, but the defendant resides in another county, your case probably can be filed in either county. In some areas, one county has an advantage over other counties because the awards are generally higher. For example, awards…
If you are relying on a recent change by the legislature in the statute of limitations, be sure to research whether the change applies only to cases that occur after the effective date of the new law or whether it applies retroactively. If the change in the law does not apply retroactively, you may not be able to revive a case that was time barred by the previously existing statute of limitations…
ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Jury trials are expensive and painful affairs. Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) techniques try to ease this pain and expense, while also reducing court backlogs.
There are numerous forms that ADR can take. The principal forms are mediation, binding arbitration, nonbinding arbitration, and high-low arbitration. Only the imagination limits the possibilities…
It is not unusual for a lawyer to make a settlement demand without consulting first with the client. The opening settlement demand is always for an amount that is well in excess of the actual value of the case. There is no danger that the insurance company will capitulate by settling the case for that amount.
The insurance company always offers less than the settlement demand. Once that offer…
Insurance companies know that jury verdicts, even for legitimate and substantial accident injury claims, are often much lower than they used to be. Thus, the insurance companies almost never offer full value until you have proven to them that they really have no other choice. That means having many aspects of your seemingly private life explored by means of subpoenaed…
Once the insurance company has finally made you a settlement offer, be prepared to say no. It is very rare for the first offer to be their best offer. When you go to purchase a car, you do not accept the first offer from the dealership. Similarly, the insurance company does not expect you to take their first offer, and that is why you can expect to initially receive a low ball offer.
April 24, 2013
SNAKE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY
1400 N. PROVIDENCE ROAD
ATTN: 0.J. Kildum,
RE: My Client: G. Howett Hurt
Your Insured: Scott Free
Your Claim No.: 0123456789000000
Dear Mr. Kildum:
Enclosed are the complete medica…
October 19, 2013
GOOD HANDS INSURANCE COMPANY
1400 N. PROVIDENCE ROAD
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19151
ATTN: N. SURANCE,
RE: My Client: A. Ken Head
Your Insured: Al Coholic
Claim No: 1234567890000000
Dear Ms. Surance.
Enclosed are the following medical bills and…
You can expect that, the first time you speak with the insurance company’s claims representative about settlement, there will be some kind of excuse for why a settlement offer cannot be made at that time. That is standard operating procedure. It does no good to get frustrated or angry. If the explanation is reasonable, handle it professionally and courteously. You will know if you are being…