Car Accident Cases

AuthorCindy Stormer
I. General Points
§2:01 Essential Elements
§2:02 Problems with Personal Injury Work
§2:03 Referral Agreements
II. Types of Personal Injury Actions
§2:10 Car Accidents Are Typical
§2:11 Wrongful Death Claims
§2:12 Survival Actions
§2:13 Medical Malpractice
§2:14 Health Care Treatment Decisions
§2:15 Other Types of Actions
III. Office Procedures
§2:20 The Initial Client Contact: Telephone Procedures
§2:21 Interviewing the Client
§2:22 Evaluating the Client and the Case
§2:23 The Contract
§2:24 Termination of Employment Contract
§2:25 Record Authorizations
§2:26 Advances to Cover Costs
IV. Investigating the Case
A. Liability
§2:30 Determining Liability and Causation
§2:31 Act Quickly
§2:32 Hiring an Investigator
§2:33 Retaining Experts
B. Damages
1. General Points
§2:40 Damage Definitions
§2:41 Gathering the Data
§2:42 Medical Records and Bills
§2:43 Paid v. Incurred Medical Expenses
2. Types of Damages
§2:50 Past Medical Expenses
§2:51 Future Medical Expenses
§2:52 Disfigurement
§2:53 Physical Pain
§2:54 Mental Anguish
§2:55 Loss of Consortium
§2:56 Loss of Household Services
§2:57 Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
§2:58 Physical or Mental Impairment
§2:59 Property Damage
§2:60 Exemplary Damages
§2:61 Prejudgment Interest
C. Insurance Coverage
§2:70 Determine Insurance Coverage
§2:71 Liability
§2:72 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
§2:73 Comprehensive
§2:74 Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist
§2:75 Statutory Damages for Property Damage Claims
§2:76 Review of Social Security Administration’s Death Master File
V. Pleadings
§2:80 Statute of Limitations
§2:81 Filing a Petition
§2:82 Insurer Cannot Be Joined as a Third-Party Defendant
§2:83 Forum Non Conveniens
§2:84 Answering a Petition
VI. Dealing With Insurance Companies
A. The Opponent’s Insurer
§2:90 Insurance Adjusters
§2:91 Reserves
§2:92 Notice Letters
§2:93 Timing for a Demand Letter
§2:94 Determining the Amount of the Demand
§2:95 Writing the Demand Letter
§2:96 Brochures and Videos
§2:97 Negotiations
§2:98 The Client’s Medical Records and Exam
B. The Client’s Insurer
§2:100 Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage
§2:101 Insurer’s Subrogation Rights
§2:102 Stacking Policies
§2:103 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
C. Bad Faith
§2:110 Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
§2:111 The Bad Faith Cause of Action
§2:112 Document Delays and Unfair Dealing
§2:113 Stowers: Failure to Settle for Policy Limits
§2:114 Stowers: When Representing Plaintiffs
§2:115 Stowers: When Representing Defendants
§2:116 Punitive Damages Cannot Be Excessive
VII. Settling the Case
A. Types of Settlements
§2:120 Cash (Lump Sum)
§2:121 Structured Settlements
§2:122 Tax Implications
B. Working With the Client
§2:130 Client’s Refusal to Settle
§2:131 Capacity and Authority
§2:132 Settlement With Minors or Incompetents
C. The Settlement Agreement
§2:140 Review the File and Procedures
§2:141 Settlement Agreement as a Contract
§2:142 Consideration
§2:143 Writing and Filing Requirements
§2:144 Collusive Agreements Are Illegal
§2:145 One Satisfaction Rule
§2:146 Effect of Settlement on Co-Defendant
§2:147 Release
D. Third Parties
§2:150 Subrogation Claims
§2:151 Tax Consequences
§2:152 Paying the Bills
§2:153 Unknown Responsible Third Parties
VIII. Discovery
§2:160 Comply With Requests You Receive
§2:161 Informal Discovery and Request for Disclosure
§2:162 Interrogatories, Production & Admissions
§2:163 Documents and Physical Exams
§2:164 Depositions
IX. Arbitration and Trial
§2:170 Arbitration
§2:171 Prepare for Trial
§2:172 Trial Evidence
§2:173 The Physician
§2:174 Evidence of Settlement Offers
§2:175 Surveillance Evidence
§2:176 Perjury for Underreported Income
Form 2:10 Procedures—Telephone Intake
Form 2:20 Questionnaire: Basic Case
Form 2:30 Questionnaire: Complex Case
Form 2:40 Interview
Form 2:50 Declining Representation—No Insurance
Form 2:60 Declining Representation—No Fault
Form 2:70 Contract for Employment—Simple
Form 2:80 Contract for Employment—Complex (Includes a Power of Attorney)
Form 2:90 Medical and Employment Records Release
Form 2:100 Initial Letter to Personal Injury Client

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