Which personal injury attorney should I hire?

question marks
question marks

The vast majority of qualified personal injury lawyers do not advertise on TV.  There are, however, a very small by noticeable group of lawyers that spend a huge amount of money advertising on TV and radio and on the pages and backs of the Yellow Pages.  There is nothing illegal or unethical (according to the rules that govern lawyers) about this type of marketing.  Nothing.  However, most lawyers in the personal injury business have decided to let their experience and reputation do the talking for them.  And many lawyers these days have opted to promote their practices through web sites and social media - which is far less costly (and arguably more dignified)  than TV, radio and the Yellow Pages.  Regardless of how you hear about a lawyer you may hire, here are the questions that we believe that you absolutely need to ask: 1.  Is the lawyer you are first talking to the same lawyer that will stay with your case till the end - including trying the case if the parties cannot settle?   Many of the faces you see on TV and in phone book ads are not the lawyers who will actually handle your case or try your case - and you should know that up front.   So ask this very important question at the very beginning of your search.  The lawyer you meet with should be the lawyer who handles all lawyer aspects of your case.

2.  Has the lawyer you are talking to actually tried a personal injury case in the last 24 months?   If the answer to this is no, then you need to ask why - and then ask specifically what type of cases this lawyer has actually tried  - and when this lawyer tried them.  Trying cases is like anything else - your skills stay tuned if you keep in the game.

3.   Has your lawyer presented cases in front of all or most of the judges in the courthouse?  Most active and experienced lawyers appear on a regular basis in front of almost all of the judges of the local courthouses.   Each judge has his or her own particular way of doing things,  and the experienced lawyers often know these particularities well.

4.   What specific experience does the lawyer have in dealing with "subrogation" issues?   "Subrogation" issues involve legal and enforceable claims that medical providers and medical insurance companies have to any of the settlement or verdict monies that an injured person receives from the tortfeasor.  This has become an extremely complicated area of personal injury law - and the rules seem to change almost monthly.  In that regard, make sure that your personal injury law firm has experience on these issues and is staying on top of the emerging law on these issues.   Subrogation issues have serious bottom line effects on the net proceeds an injured party can obtain for the injury.

So when you talk to a lawyer you are considering hiring for your personal injury claim, ask these very important questions.

Auto Insurance in Ohio - What should I have?

insurance contract
insurance contract

We just processed a new case where (again) we and the client learned that the insurance available (both the tortfeasor's and the client's) to compensate our client was awfully low - leaving the client very frustrated and depressed.  This has led us to once again put together a post about the basics of automobile insurance.   Here are what we consider to be the basics: First, get the right amount of coverage.   Regardless of your income or assets, having automobile insurance coverage limits LESS than $200,000 is just plain crazy.   With the ever rising costs of medical bills (both ER bills and post-accident treatment bills),  coverage in Ohio of only $12,500 (the minimum required under Ohio law for now) might just barely cover the ER bills - leaving nothing for your pain and suffering or any further medical treatment.  The writer of this blog is the married father of 4 kids - and he has $500,000 - with a million dollar "umbrella policy on top of that (umbrella policies are something we can explain in another post).  In 2013, Ohio will raise the minimum amount of coverage that all drivers must have to $25,000 (per person) and $50,000 (per accident).   However, this is still not enough.   You might be surprised to know that increasing your insurance coverage does not mean that your premium will go up dramatically.  From what we hear, MOST of your premium covers the first $25,000 of coverage, and increases in coverage does not raise the premium proportionally.  You can also consider raising your deductible in order to get a reduction of your premium.  Most insurance brokers rarely tell you this for obvious reasons.

Second, make sure you have what is called "uninsured" and "underinsured" coverage that is at least $200,000 as well.   You would be surprised how many drivers still drive without good coverage - or without any insurance at all.    "Uninsured" insurance covers you when the tortfeasor has NO insurance.   "Underinsurance" takes over when the insurance of the tortfeasor is so low that you need your own insurance to make up the difference.

Look at your coverage now and talk to your insurance broker.  Call us if you have any other questions.  800-529-1966