Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Anatomy of A Personal Injury Lawsuit (Part 1)--The Initial Meeting

Almost all of our Ohio personal injury clients have had no dealings with lawsuits or the legal system. Their only "experience" may have been what they've heard from others or what surfaces in the media. Consequently, they understandably have no frame of reference for the day to day workings of our civil justice system. When this truism is mixed with the LOADS of misinformation floating around about our legal system (hatched by interest groups too lengthy to mention here), it can be a prescription for a lot of confusion.


This is often the first opportunity we have to educate our clients about what is involved in the life cycle of a personal injury claim. But before this occurs, the best thing we can do is simply listen. Clients have understandable concerns and questions like:

Who's going to pay for my medical bills?
Will my lost wages be covered?
How long will my claim take?
Will a lawsuit be necessary?
What is my claim worth?

Many of these questions can be answered at the initial meeting. In fact, our free book, "Your Ohio Accident: Sorting Through The Insurance Maze," addresses many of these questions. One question that CANNOT be answered at the initial meeting is the value of the claim. There are too many variables that come into play that make that question pure guesswork until more information is learned from the accident report, witnesses, the medical treatment, what's contained in the medical records, and whether the client's injuries are permanent or merely temporary in nature.

But for certain, the initial meeting should not be a 15 minute revolving door one, and it should not be a high pressure "sign the contract right now for us to get started." Anything else is a red flag that should send you right out the revolving door to someone else...

No comments: