Posts Tagged ‘personal injury lawsuit’
13 Jul2016Everyone understands what they need to do when they are the driver of a vehicle that was either hit by or that hit someone else, but not many people are sure where they stand as the passenger of a vehicle—especially if they are the passenger of the at-fault vehicle. Does being in the car with the at-fault driver automatically put them in a position of liability? If they suffered injuries from the accident as well, do they just have to live with them, or can they receive just compensation too? If they seek damages, against whom should they file a personal injury claim? If you were the passenger of the at-fault vehicle, understanding your rights can be difficult. At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, we can help you navigate these murky waters, and determine if and how you should file a personal injury claim. The Driver Has a Duty of Care to His or Her Passenger The driver of any motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft assumes an automatic obligation to drive carefully and safely, to prevent hitting other vehicles and obstacles in the road, and to prevent harm from happening to his or her passengers. This obligation is known as the duty of care, and should the driver fail to use due care, and should one of his or her passengers be injured or killed as a result, the passenger or the passenger’s survivors have a right to payment from the driver for injuries and losses sustained. A Passenger Cannot Be Negligent or At-Fault Additionally, the passenger of a motor vehicle is almost never at fault, and as a result, has the right to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company—even if the driver happens to be his or her friend, family member, or acquaintance. If you were recently in an accident in which your friend was the at-fault driver, and if you sustained serious injuries from that accident, it may be in your best interests to seek compensation for your injuries—especially if medical care is needed to heal. However, we understand how difficult it can be to file an insurance claim against your friend for your injuries. After all, your friend may misread the situation and assume that you are attacking them. However, the fact of the matter is that are not suing your friend, but rather, you are suing the insurance company. Your friend has insurance not only to protect him or herself, but also to provide for the injuries, deaths, and damages he or she causes, including injuries or deaths to his or her passengers. Before filing a personal injury claim, explain this to them – as well as your desire to be properly compensated for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering – and hopefully they will understand. Hire a Tucson Personal Injury Attorney At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights as the passenger of the at-fault vehicle, file a personal injury claim, and hopefully arm you with enough knowledge of personal injury law to thaw your friend in the event that they are upset with your decision to file a personal injury claim. To speak with a Tucson personal injury lawyer today about the steps you need to take to file a successful claim, call us at 1-520-797-1041 or 520-797-5674, or contact us online today.
20 Jun2016Most people are willing to follow their doctor’s orders to the letter if it means faster healing after an accident. Others, on the other hand, view their doctor’s orders as coddling, and push the limits on what they can and cannot do until they either do get better or injure something else. In a personal injury case, however, one does not have the luxury of picking and choosing when to follow the doctor’s orders. We understand that adhering to every single one of the doctor’s requirements may be frustrating, and even challenging at times, but if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, it is imperative to the outcome that you do exactly what your doctor says. At Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC, our Tucson personal injury lawyers guide our clients on the best course of action in their personal injury case, so that they win the compensation and care that they need and deserve. Why Follow Doctor’s Orders? According to PubMed.gov, 50% of patients treated for chronic illness fail to follow doctor’s orders, including dietary guidelines and prescription medication recommendations. It is estimated that the same number of patients – if not more – fail to adhere to the doctor’s guidelines when dealing with a personal injury, and not a life-altering disease. However, if you do not follow doctor’s orders in a personal injury case, you could risk having your claim highly scrutinized or, in the worst case, thrown out completely. If you are involved in a personal injury suit, you will quickly learn that the insurance company’s best defense is to catch you in a white lie. For starters, they are going to pick apart your entire medical record. Is there something on there that could be the cause of your current injuries? How long did it take you to seek medical attention for your claimed injuries? Did the doctor run more diagnostics on your current injuries than they did treatment? Have you attended all of your scheduled appointments for your claimed injuries? If the defense finds even one questionable aspect of your medical record, they will use it to destroy your entire claim. Once the defense is done scrutinizing your medical records, they are going to ask about your adherence to your doctor’s orders. When an individual does not follow the doctor’s orders precisely, this tells the opposing side that their injuries are not as severe as they let on, and that the compensation the individual seeks does not match up with the level of injury sustained. Adhering to the doctor’s orders includes:
- Making all scheduled appointments;
- Using all recommended specialists, and not seeking alternative treatments;
- Taking all prescribed medications; and
- Following any recommended lifestyle and/or dietary guidelines.
16 Jun2016Individuals invest in insurance for peace of mind in the event of life-altering incidences that are out of their control. While insurance companies are supposed to help in times of great need and stress such as after an accident, burglary, or illness, they oftentimes make it difficult for their customers to file a successful insurance claim. As personal injury lawyers in Tucson, Arizona, we see many individuals whose lives were altered drastically as a result of a serious injury from an accident, yet their insurance companies denied those same individuals help. Why? What can those individuals do about their personal injuries? If you or a loved one were injured due to an automobile accident or other type of accident and if your insurance claim was denied, you are not out of options. Our Tucson personal injury attorneys at Hoffman Law Offices, PLLC work with individuals to receive the compensation and help they need to recover after a debilitating accident left them unable to work, live life comfortably, and enjoy doing the things they love to do. Why Your Personal Injury Claim May Have Been Denied There are several reasons your personal injury claim may have been denied by your Tucson insurance provider, but that does not mean you cannot still receive help. Common explanations for denial of personal injury claims include:
- Policy Exclusion: Insurance coverage is a tricky business, and many insurance plans have such a long list of exclusions and technicalities covered in the fine print that it is hard for the insured to know exactly what they are and are not paying for. If your claim was denied because of one of these exclusions or technicalities, you may have a case, as often the exclusions covered in the fine print are illegal.
- Expiration or Lack of Coverage: Many insurance companies will fail to tell their customers that their plan expired, so that when an individual goes to file a claim, it is denied. Unfortunately, while this is not a fair practice, it is legal, and if this happens to you, you are out of luck for any injuries accrued or any claims filed after the expiration date.
- An Incorrect or Incomplete Claim: Even the smallest of mistakes on your claim form can lead to denial, so if you were denied coverage, be sure to review the denial notice and make sure it did not have to do with a misspelling, wrong date, or empty form field.
- Limited or No Medical Records: If you do not have any medical records after the accident, or if the hospital in which you received treatment did not provide thorough and detailed information about your recovery, your insurance company may deny your claim on the pretense that you never received treatment at all.
- Delay in Medical Treatment: If you did not receive medical treatment immediately after the accident that supposedly caused the injury, the insurance company will deny your claim based off the assumption that the accident had nothing at all to do with your injuries.
- Preexisting Condition: If you suffered from back pain before an accident and then filed a claim claiming severe back pain after an accident, your insurance company will likely tell you that that back pain had nothing to do with the accident. The same goes for any preexisting condition that could be attributed to a prior health condition.
- Failure To Avoid Injury: Insurance providers deny claims if they feel that the customer could have somehow avoided the injury and/or accident altogether. They will also deny a claim if they feel an injured individual waited too long to receive treatment and somehow made the injury worse in that time.
29 Mar2016When someone is seriously injured in a car accident or due to medical malpractice, the effects can be devastating. It can mean the loss of a job, loss of mobility, or worse. So it is no wonder many people find it difficult to rebuild their lives after suffering from someone else’s negligence. Many attorneys sell their services as a promise of riches or hope of large recoveries that will make everything better again. This simply adds insult to injury when, after years of waiting, the injured person still has not seen a dollar. A good personal injury attorney should explain the process thoroughly from the start so that you can make informed choices and budget for a long fight. Here are some of the most important reasons that lawsuits take so long. A Good Lawyer Never Picks a Fight he or she Can Not Win There are attorneys out there who will take every case that comes in the door. You do not want those attorneys. A good attorney knows what to look for. Plenty of people are injured in car accidents, but not all of them are due to true negligence. Likewise, doctors make mistakes in providing care, but not every injured patient is a victim of medical malpractice. A law firm that routinely takes “bad cases” that have no merit will lose credibility with the courts and will only hurt its clients in the long run. Good lawyers often take a long time to analyze the facts of a case. It can take as much as a year or more, depending on the complexity of your case. Your Lawyer Will Consult the Experts While a lawyer may be an expert on the law, it is unlikely he or she is also a skilled medical professional. Instead, your lawyer will hire and consult with numerous experts, from physicians and nurses to accident reconstruction experts, depending on your case. These experts can take a long time to review your file before reaching a conclusion. Half of Your Case Involves a Defendant All too many plaintiffs forget that the court knows nothing about their case yet. The plaintiff knows the defendant caused the injuries. But does the insurance company? No. Does the court? No. Therefore, the justice system affords the defendant and its insurance company plenty of time to respond to your allegations. For every document your lawyer files, the defendant will have time to respond. This may at times mean extensions of time. Sometimes there are multiple defendants, each of which needs time to respond. Motions Take Time Most large lawsuits involve key procedural issues that have little to do with whether the defendant actually caused your injuries. Defendants routinely file motions seeking early dismissal based on time limits, language of the complaint, or a number of other technicalities. Much of this is strategy, but it takes time for even the most talented lawyer to navigate these motions and move your case forward. What to Ask a Lawyer Before Filing a Lawsuit If you or someone you love has been injured by someone else’s negligence, you need aggressive and skilled representation from the very start. Will he or she receive more money than you? Will he or she keep you informed? Can he or she provide you with examples of recent verdicts and settlements? Hofmann Law Offices, PLLC provides top-quality personal injury representation to injured verdicts throughout Arizona and southern California. Call for a free consultation today, and ask to see the Client’s Bill of Rights Hofmann Law Offices provides.