| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accident

8 Tips for Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident

We all know that car accidents are an unfortunate reality of daily life. Yet no one ever plans to be one of the approximately 4.4 million Americans who are seriously injured in car accidents every year. Nor do most people think about the fact that car accidents are a leading cause of death for people under the age of 55.  So if you’ve been in a car accident, your life has probably been turned upside down. When that happens, you need a lawyer to help you get your life back on track. And not just any lawyer.  Here are 8 tips to keep in mind so you know when to hire an attorney after a car accident.  Tip #1: When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident Unless your car accident caused no injuries and little or no property damage, we strongly recommend that you consult an attorney. There are several reasons for this. For one, even minor fender-benders can result in expensive damage to your property, a pile of medical bills, and even lost wages. Second, an attorney has the legal expertise to serve as your advocate, help you understand your case, and work to maximize your compensation. They will also be familiar with how to persuade judges and juries in your favor.  Tip #2: Don’t Wait to Get an Attorney Sometimes people will wait to hire an attorney after a car accident because they’re worried about finances or want to try to figure things out on their own.  Do not make this mistake.  Getting a car accident attorney right away helps you preserve your legal options. Most states have a time limit called a statute of limitations that restricts your ability to file a claim after a certain period of time. So if you wait too long, your claim might be thrown out of court even if it is otherwise sound. Getting a lawyer immediately also helps protect you from being low-balled by insurance companies or hassled by any other third parties (like the other side’s attorneys).  Tip #3: Do Your Research First Not all attorneys are created equal.  Some are experienced, while others are just out of law school. Others may have a lot of experience in another area of law, but won’t be very familiar with car accident claims. And some attorneys just have a bad reputation.  For these reasons and more, it is important to research the attorneys in your area before contacting any of them. Look for attorneys that have outstanding reviews and years (or decades) of experience handling car accidents. Another good idea is to reach out to family and friends and learn about their experiences with local car accident attorneys. And while you can use online reviews, make sure that any reviews (positive or negative) are from verified customers, and not from anonymous sources.  Tip #4: Consider What Size Law Firm You Are Looking For Attorneys can either practice on their own or as part of a firm. Law firms range in size from having just a handful of attorneys to having hundreds of attorneys. There are advantages and disadvantages to both small law firms and large law firms.  Generally, small law firms are likely to give you more personal attention. However, they are sometimes limited in the kinds of cases that they offer and can vary in quality. Larger law firms tend to have legal specialists and the resources to prosecute more complex cases. At the same time, large law firms are more expensive and also more likely to charge an hourly rate as compared to working with you on a contingency basis.  Tip #5: Prepare for Your Consultations Make sure you are professional, courteous, and thorough when you consult with an attorney.  No matter what kind of attorney you speak with, they will have questions about your claim.  Be ready to discuss the critical facts of your case and show the attorney any evidence you have.  Tip #6: Speak with Several Attorneys Before Hiring One It’s essential to find an attorney that you can trust and be completely honest with. If you are able to get along with your attorney, it will make their representation smoother and more effective. Occasionally, an unsavory attorney might try to pressure you into hiring them before you consult with other potential firms. Avoid this kind of attorney at all costs. Also, make sure that you don’t sign any documents during a consultation unless you fully understand and agree to them.  Tip #7: Ask the Right Questions Before you hire any car accident lawyer, you need to ask several critical questions: What are the various potential outcomes for your case? Does the lawyer prefer to settle your kind of case or litigate in court? How long will it take to resolve your case? Does the attorney charge on an hourly basis, or on a contingency basis? How much does the attorney charge? How will the lawyer communicate the progress of your case with you? How long has the attorney been handling car accident claims? By asking these questions, you’ll quickly get a sense of whether the attorney is right for you.  Tip #8: Set Boundaries When you hire a car accident lawyer, it’s important to explain your expectations. Even the most skilled attorney won’t be able to guess how much you expect to receive from your case. Therefore, it’s best to discuss the following issues with your attorney: Your ideal outcome for the case; The minimum amount you are willing to settle your case for; The worst possible outcome of your case; and The potential disruptions to your life because of the lawsuit.  By having these conversations, you can hopefully get a realistic sense of how your case will unfold.  Why Should I Choose Gerling Law? Gerling Law is not just any law firm. Our experienced car accident lawyers know how difficult it is to put the pieces of your life together after a car accident. Unlike many other attorneys, we have decades of...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Steps to Take After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident

Following a collision with an 18-wheeler, you may find yourself in a tough position. You may feel overwhelmed and confused as you face serious injuries and deal with financial strain. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you should take certain steps to preserve your right to fair compensation. Gerling Law is here to help get you on the path to recovery. Call 911 The very first thing you should do after a truck accident is call 911. Be sure to request assistance from police and medical aid.  Officers will quickly arrive at the scene of the accident. They will ask questions, survey the scene, and collect as many details as possible. The officers will then take that information and create a police report. Police reports can play a significant role in your claim, as they answer many common questions and provide much-needed information. Your truck accident lawyer can use the accident report when building a strong case. Seek Medical Attention If injuries are severe, you will likely receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident. However, even if you do not get medical help immediately after the accident, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. There are a couple of reasons to always seek medical attention. First, you may have serious injuries without knowing it, as some injuries are not obvious right away and may take some time to become evident. Visiting an emergency room or your primary care physician can shed some light on all of your injuries, and allow you to begin treatment right away. Second, if you wait to see a doctor, the defendant or their insurance company can use that to claim that you were not injured in the accident, but some time afterward. The bottom line is that waiting to see a doctor can weaken your case. It is also essential you follow every step and piece of advice your physician gives you. If you skip steps or refuse to follow treatment, the defendant can assert that you made your own injury worse by not following medical advice. This can also weaken your case. Everything is recorded in your medical records. If you follow your doctor’s orders, these records can help strengthen your case substantially.  Collect Evidence If at all possible, begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. This can include: Driver information, Truck information, Photos and videos, and Witness information. If your injuries cause you to miss work, be sure to document all of your lost wages. Once more documentation becomes available, including accident reports and medical records, your 18-wheeler accident attorney can request these items to use for your case. Consult with an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer Your health and safety are first and foremost. Once you have sought treatment for your injuries and are ready to proceed, you should consult with a qualified truck accident lawyer. Your attorney will collect details of your accident, answer your questions, and explain how to best tackle your claim. It can be extremely challenging to handle your claim alone, so let a truck accident attorney help you. How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You are not required to have an 18-wheeler accident lawyer represent you, but you will certainly find the help invaluable. Truck accidents are unique and complicated, and only a truck accident lawyer knows how to handle the ins and outs of these special cases. You can expect your attorney to handle your claim from beginning to end, including: Gathering evidence; Conducting a thorough investigation; Interviewing experts and witnesses; Calculating damages; Communicating with insurance companies;  Engaging in settlement negotiations; and Taking your case to trial if that becomes necessary. Most claimants that get attorneys to negotiate on their behalf end up settling out of court. In other words, most cases never go to trial. But to avoid a trial, you need an experienced negotiator in your corner. And if the insurance company will not make a fair offer, you need an attorney to take your case to trial. Having the help of an 18-wheeler accident lawyer often proves to be the best decision you can make after a truck accident. So do not hesitate to contact an attorney right away. Call Gerling Law Today Gerling Law Injury Attorneys has been putting clients and their needs first for over five decades. We are motivated by the opportunity to serve clients and help them get the best possible resolution for their case. Our firm’s top priority is quality—quality service, legal representation, and relationships. Our attorneys are always ready to do what’s necessary to get the job done. Contact us today, and let’s discuss how we can help you. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Is a Passenger in a Car Accident Entitled to Compensation?

If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you deserve justice just as much as any other victim. In fact, passengers rarely have any fault in a motor vehicle collision, potentially making an even stronger case for you to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. The process for pursuing a car accident settlement as a passenger can be confusing. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the answers and information you need with regard to car accident settlement payouts for passengers. In Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, Gerling Law has more than five decades of experience fighting for the wrongfully injured. We have the  knowledge and experience you need on your side now. Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts for Passengers Because every accident victim faces unique challenges and circumstances, it is impossible to estimate any average car accident compensation amount. To determine your claim’s value, your attorney will identify all your physical, emotional, and financial damages. After documenting all damages you suffered, your attorney will use that information to establish the value of your car crash claim. Although we cannot accurately estimate any average or typical claim value, it is safe to say that more serious injuries usually equate to higher car crash claim values. For example, the average settlement for car accident back and neck injury claims is generally higher than settlements for less serious injuries. It is important to note that even minor car accident settlement amounts can provide the financial resources you need to obtain medical treatment and get back on your feet. Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer is the best way to determine whether you have a valid injury accident claim and, if so, what the potential value of your claim might be. Who Should an Injured Passenger Sue for a Car Accident? Victims typically pursue an injury accident claim or lawsuit through the at-fault party’s insurance company. This may be the driver of the other vehicle or a third party, but it might be the driver of the car in which you were riding. If that person is a friend or family member, this could create a potentially uncomfortable situation. Nevertheless, you are entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Having an attorney to handle your claim can provide a helpful buffer between you and your loved one, should you have to pursue your claim through their insurer. Ideally, your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement so you can put this unfortunate situation behind you. What If a Passenger in Your Vehicle Is Injured? If you have an accident in which someone is injured, you should get them and yourself to a safe place, then call the police to report the crash. Make sure you and they seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not admit fault or discuss the circumstances of the accident with your passengers or any other party, even if you believe you might have caused or contributed to the accident. Provide your passengers with your insurance information, but don’t discourage them from pursuing a claim. Instead, contact an attorney to learn what your legal rights and obligations might be to your passengers and anyone else who sustained injuries in the collision. How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident Passenger Injury? Typically, injury accident victims are entitled to pursue compensation from the party or parties who were responsible for the crash. Victims may pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. This might include medical treatment and care, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. The nature and extent of a victim’s injuries can affect their potential claim value, as can their prognosis for recovery. Any long-term injuries or permanent damage could result in a higher claim value. The best way to determine how much you or another party might be able to sue for is to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can review the details of your case and explain how they can help protect your legal rights. How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help? If you sustained injuries in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Investigating your case and documenting your damages should occur as quickly as possible. This enables your attorney to submit your claim to the insurance company and start negotiating your settlement. If the insurance company won’t make a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit in civil court. The experienced legal team of Gerling Law understands how important it is to get your case resolved as quickly as possible, so you can get the resources you need to recover. We offer a free case review, so you can explore your options and get started with the legal process. Contact us now to learn more about how our skilled and compassionate car accident attorneys can help you pursue your passenger car accident claim. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accident

Injuries in 18-Wheeler Accidents vs. Car Accidents

If you suffered injuries in a car accident with an 18-wheeler, you could be facing some difficult challenges. The harsh and intense nature of trucking accidents often leaves victims with severe or life-threatening injuries and permanent or long-lasting damage. Your road to recovery could be long, painful, and expensive, especially if you need extensive treatment and time away from work. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to pursue a legal claim for your damages. However, this area of the law is complex and can be especially difficult to navigate on your own. Having an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney on your side can be invaluable. In Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, the experienced truck accident lawyers at Gerling Law understand what you are going through. We can help you with every facet of the legal claims process, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. What Makes an 18-Wheeler Accident Worse Than a Car Crash? Any large, commercial vehicle can be difficult to maneuver or stop in an emergency. The size and weight of commercial trucks, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers, often cause significant damage and injuries to drivers and passengers of personal vehicles. In addition to the increased risk of injury and damage, trucking accidents can be more difficult to document for a legal claim. Getting an attorney on board as soon as possible can go a long way toward leveling the playing field for accident victims.  Trucking companies face significant penalties and legal liability in the case of an accident. Consequently, getting to the scene and gathering evidence should begin immediately to ensure the preservation of evidence. In the case of a car crash, you typically only have to deal with another driver and their insurance company. In an 18-wheeler accident, you must deal with the driver, the trucking company, and possibly multiple other parties. Any involved insurance companies will act quickly and aggressively to minimize both legal and financial liability. The insurance company may try to negotiate a small settlement with you immediately, hoping to keep your claim as small as possible. They may also look for any potential reason to deny your claim or minimize your damages. Common Causes of Car Accidents with 18-Wheelers In the tri-state area, semi-truck accidents occur frequently when truck drivers are negligent or commit wrongful actions. Some of the most common types of driver actions that lead to crashes include the following: Speeding, Impaired driving, Fatigued driving, Distracted driving, Reckless driving, Tailgating, Illegal lane changes, and Failure to yield. Truckers also may fail to notice your vehicle and back or turn their truck into your car unexpectedly. Inexperienced drivers and those without appropriate training may be more prone to causing injury accidents. In some cases, 18-wheeler crashes occur due to equipment failure or improperly maintained equipment. In other cases, poorly marked or maintained roadways, road construction, or roadway obstructions can lead to these serious motor vehicle collisions. Whatever the cause of your crash might have been, an experienced lawyer can work to get you the compensation you deserve for your damages. What Should You Do After Getting into an Accident with an 18-Wheeler? Immediately after a collision, get to a safe place and call 911. Seek medical attention for yourself and any passengers. If you can do so safely, gather information about the truck and the driver and collect contact information from any witnesses. Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene, if possible. Going to the emergency room or hospital is imperative to ensure you get the treatment you need in a timely manner. You will also need the resulting medical records to help support your legal claim. Do not provide any statement to the insurance company before talking to an attorney. Anything you say to the insurance company could be used to deny your claim. Most truck accident lawyers—including those at Gerling Law—offer a free consultation. We have options for teleconferences as well as video conferences, so you can get the legal assistance you need right away. What About Accidents with Other Types of Commercial Trucks? These words of wisdom apply to any accident with a semi-truck, tractor trailer rig, or 18-wheeler, as well as dump trucks, cement mixers, flatbed trucks, moving vans, etc. If you are involved in an accident with a truck owned by a government agency—such as a city, township, county, state, etc., you may be subject to a different set of rules, depending on where the accident took place. You may have to file your claim more quickly than you otherwise would as well, based on the statute of limitations and tort claim notice statute in that state. Having an attorney on your side is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t compromise your legal right to pursue a damage claim or civil lawsuit. Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer? Although you have no legal obligation to get a lawyer, an experienced attorney can provide substantial advantages versus trying to pursue a claim on your own. Trucking companies need to avoid liability claims as much as possible, otherwise they face expensive insurance rate increases. They could also face sanctions from governmental agencies that oversee the transportation industry. You can plan on facing down a legal team that understands the law and how to minimize or deny injury accident claims. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can level the playing field. You need financial resources to pay for your medical care. If your injuries prevent you from working, you may also need serious help paying for your household and living expenses. Your attorney can investigate the crash, gather evidence, and build the most persuasive case possible. In most cases, your attorney can negotiate a fair financial settlement with the insurance company. This gets you the funds you need while helping you avoid the hassle and time necessary for going to court. Throughout the process, your attorney will handle everything,...

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accident

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Losing a loved one is a difficult thing for anybody. Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be even harder. Lives are cut short every day for many reasons, but losing a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions is especially tragic. When such an event happens, the family of the person who died is entitled to compensation. Wrongful death suits occur when someone who has lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence files a claim against the individual responsible for the death. In 2019 more than 170,000 people lost their lives in the US from accidents or unintentional injuries. In fact, such accidents are the third leading cause of death in the US. While accidents happen in an almost infinite number of different ways, some wrongful death causes are more common than others. Here are some examples of wrongful death causes. Car Accidents There is no way to ignore the fact that driving a vehicle can be dangerous. While many of us may go years without getting into a car accident, others are not so lucky. Many wrongful death lawsuit cases happen each year after fatal car accidents. Generally, if a driver’s negligent actions cause a death on the road, they are liable for the wrongful death.  The number of car accident fatalities each year may surprise you. More than 38,000 people die in car accidents each year. In 2020, while there was less traffic volume than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of vehicle fatalities rose. Some experts say that the increase in fatalities was due, in part, to increased rates of speeding in the US. If a loved one dies after a car accident that someone else negligently causes, you are entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. Some of the most common causes of death after car accidents stem from things like: Brain injuries, Neck injuries, and Internal bleeding. The two best things you and your loved ones can do to avoid suffering a fatal injury in a car accident are wearing your seatbelt and avoiding distractions while driving. Defective Products Defective products lead to numerous wrongful death claims each year. Most consumer products producers are responsible for ensuring consumer safety as long as their products are used as intended. Some products are inherently dangerous, but other times, a consumer product can have a fatal defect. For example, a cooking utensil that leaches deadly chemicals into food as it is used as intended can lead to a wrongful death claim against a manufacturer. Similarly, a safety feature in a vehicle that doesn’t work properly, like a seatbelt that comes unbuckled easily in an accident, can easily cause fatal injuries and leave the manufacturer liable for wrongful death claims. Even an inherently dangerous consumer product, such as a gun, comes with an assumption of safety with proper use. A defective part in a gun that causes a chambered round to go off without the user pulling the trigger can easily lead to a wrongful death claim.  When a manufacturer of goods is made aware of a dangerous defect in their product, they are responsible for notifying the public of that defect and recalling any defective products. They are also responsible for replacing those products free of charge. Boeing became responsible for numerous wrongful death claims after a design flaw caused some of their 737 Max commercial aircraft to crash in 2018. Since then, in addition to settling wrongful death claims, Boeing has recalled and replaced all of the affected 737 Max airplanes. If you want to keep track of any consumer product recalls to help ensure your safety, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the best place to do so. The CPSC website contains a database of all consumer product recalls. You can even subscribe to the CPSC to get a newsletter of product recalls relevant to you. Workplace Accidents Unfortunately, many accidents happen in the workplace. While all employers must provide their employees with a safe workspace, some employers fail to do so. Even an employer who takes all necessary precautions can have a fatal accident occur at their workplace. In addition, some jobs and workspaces are more dangerous than others. For example, a construction site will typically be more dangerous than an average office.  While the vast majority of workplace injuries are nonfatal each year, the number of fatal injuries is still significant. Employers in the US reported 2.8 million nonfatal injuries in 2019. During the same period, however, a total of 5,333 workers died due to workplace injuries. If a loved one dies after a workplace accident, you can file a claim through their employer’s workers’ compensation program. Most employers in the US are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. However, if a loved one dies due to negligence by someone other than their employer or coworker, or if the employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to seek additional compensation through a wrongful death claim. Medical Malpractice Medical malpractice commonly gives rise to wrongful death claims. Medical malpractice is estimated to take roughly 250,000 lives each year. Generally speaking, medical malpractice occurs when an error in medical treatment leads to injury. If the patient dies due to a medical error, their loved ones are entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice wrongful death claim. To file a successful wrongful death claim based on medical malpractice, one must prove that the death was caused by a medical provider’s mistake that amounts to a violation of the medical standard of care. Pedestrian Accidents Another common source of wrongful death claims is pedestrian accidents. Unlike when a car strikes another vehicle, when a car strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian does not have the protection that a vehicle offers. Thus, a pedestrian receives the full force of impact when a car strikes them. As a result, it is not uncommon for injuries to a pedestrian after being struck by...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Car Accident

Taxotere Trial Schedule Update December 28, 2020

December 28, 2020 — “The Court selected certain Plaintiffs to proceed with discovery in preparation for the fourth bellwether trial.” Reference:  “United States District Court.” MDL – 2740 Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation | Eastern District of Louisiana | United States District Court, 28 Dec. 2020, www.laed.uscourts.gov/case-information/mdl-mass-class-action/taxotere

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accident

When You Should Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. When someone else’s negligence caused the collision, you could have the legal right to pursue a claim. Filing a claim against the other party’s insurance may seem pretty straightforward, but the claims process can become complicated rather quickly. Knowing when to hire a lawyer after a car accident is essential. In most car accident cases, you need someone on your side who can protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. At Gerling Law, we understand how stressful and frustrating the auto accident claims process can be. Our car accident injury lawyers have decades of experience helping clients in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois resolve all their personal injury claims, including auto accidents. Contact our nearest office to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help. When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident? Numerous accident scenarios warrant having an accomplished personal injury attorney representing you. The following are some of the most common examples of accidents where our legal team can help. Someone in Your Vehicle Has Severe Injuries If you or a family member sustained severe injuries in the accident, hiring an attorney is crucial. Cases involving extensive medical bills or a permanent disability are typically harder to resolve. There’s a greater chance that insurance companies will fight your claim as they have more exposure and financial risk. Their goal is to avoid paying you as much as possible. You want an experienced attorney on your side who can keep insurance companies from unfairly reducing your claim’s value. If your accident was relatively minor and you saw a doctor only once or twice, you may not need to hire a car accident injury attorney. A Family Member Died in the Accident If someone you love died in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, certain family members might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are typically complex. You need an advocate on your side who understands precisely how wrongful death claims work and can help you get compensation for your family’s loss. Multiple Parties Involved Multiple defendants can also complicate the negotiations process. Your attorney can determine who all the potential defendants are and help you hold all responsible parties accountable. For example, suppose you are involved in an accident with a truck driver. In that situation, defendants could include the driver, the trucking company, and even a parts manufacturer if there are allegations that a defective part contributed to the accident. Other Driver’s Insurance Denies Liability In cases with disputed liability, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the other driver’s insurance to take you seriously. It’s not uncommon in disputed liability cases to see the other driver’s insurance company deny your claim outright. They hope that you will accept the denial and walk away from pursuing the claim any further. Without legal representation, insurance companies know you will have a hard time funding the fees and costs necessary to proceed with litigation. Retaining an attorney can help get the insurance company back to the negotiating table. If they still refuse to accept any responsibility at all, your attorney can start preparing your case for trial. The Statute of Limitations Is Expiring Another reason to file a lawsuit could be that the statute of limitations in your case is near expiration. The statute of limitations dictates how long you have before you are legally obligated to file a lawsuit in your case. If you are negotiating with the insurance company and the deadline passes, your claim could be barred. Even if the insurance company extended you a settlement offer, they are under no obligation to pay you anything if you haven’t reached an agreement by the time the statute of limitations expires. The Other Party Is a Government Entity Filing claims against government entities requires specialized knowledge. Particular deadlines can apply in the claims process beyond just the statute of limitations. If you miss a filing deadline or make a mistake, the government will quickly deny your claim. The Insurance Company Is Low Balling or Acting in Bad Faith Insurance companies rely on the fact that you don’t have legal experience or know how the car accident claims process works. Some insurance companies cross the line in unfair tactics and wind up acting in bad faith. They may wrongfully deny your claim or extend a low-ball offer for significantly less than your case is worth. When this happens, you need a car accident injury attorney who can evaluate your claim to determine whether the insurance company has acted in bad faith. If you are negotiating directly with the insurance company and are only a few hundred dollars apart, you may not need an attorney. You would lose more in fees by retaining a lawyer to settle. How Long Does It Take to Get Your Settlement After a Car Accident? The time it takes to settle a car accident claim varies. Some cases resolve quickly, such as within a few months, while others may take years to resolve. If a lawsuit is filed, it can take even longer. Once you reach a settlement with the insurance company, the amount of time it takes to receive your payment will vary. First, the insurance company will send your attorney a release of all claims to have you sign. Once the executed release is received, the insurance company will issue your settlement check. The settlement check will be mailed to your attorney, who is required to deposit it in a specific trust account. Then, your attorney will issue payment to you. If you did not have an attorney and negotiated directly with the insurance company, they will send the check directly to you after receiving the release. In many cases, the settlement check will be issued from an out-of-state bank, which could take longer to clear. Assume that it might take another seven to ten...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accident

How to Get Money From a Car Accident Without a Lawyer

Car accidents happen rather frequently and can leave you with a variety of injuries. After suffering these injuries, you will likely be left with medical bills and perhaps lost wages. Seeking compensation for your injuries is your next step.  You may be wondering whether a car accident attorney is necessary to obtain compensation. Every car accident case is different, and the answer will depend on your particular situation. Getting a Car Accident Settlement Without a Lawyer If you are working to receive compensation without an attorney’s help, you will need to follow specific steps and stay organized. The following steps will help you and your car accident claim.  Seek Medical Attention Following a car accident, seek medical attention. If you suffer severe injuries at the scene of the accident, call 911. Even if you did not suffer any injuries, you should still visit your primary doctor as soon as you can. Some injuries are not apparent right after a car accident, with some injuries taking a few days to surface. Speaking with your doctor in detail may help them diagnose hidden injuries.  Equally as important is following all recommendations your doctor may give you. If they instruct you to seek further medical treatment or rehabilitation, do as they say. All of your medical visits and treatments are well recorded, and these medical records can strengthen your case. If your injuries are severe, you should at least consider getting help from a car accident attorney. You likely deserve pain and suffering damages for more serious injuries, but the insurance company is unlikely to offer you a fair settlement if you don’t have a lawyer to represent you. Gather Evidence Your health and safety are most important following an accident. However, if possible, gather as much evidence at the scene of the accident as you can. Evidence to collect can include: Photos of the accident scene; Pictures of the vehicles and property damage; and The other driver’s information. When police are at the scene, they will write a police report. You can obtain a copy of this police report for your records. If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their information. Also, gather any other helpful documentation, including medical bills and a record of missed days of work and lost wages. The more evidence you collect, the stronger your claim will be. Notify Both Insurance Companies After a car accident, you must notify your insurance company. Most insurance companies require you to inform them of an accident within a certain period of time, generally within 30 days, But it’s best to notify your insurer as soon as you possibly can. Also, be sure to report the accident to the other person’s insurance company. While you may want to give extensive details of your accident, refrain from doing so. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to limit liability, so they may use anything you say against you. It is best to keep details at a minimum and avoid giving a recorded statement. Use PIP Coverage, MedPay, and Your Insurance If you suffered injuries in an accident, you will undoubtedly have medical bills. Depending on your state, you may have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. You can make a PIP claim against your own insurance company for payment of any initial bills. After your PIP coverage has run out, you can then use your medical insurance to take care of the rest. Or if another driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue a claim through their insurance or file a lawsuit. If you have extensive medical bills, it’s usually best to consult with a lawyer about your options.  Some states also have medical payment insurance, or MedPay. MedPay coverage helps cover medical expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident. To utilize this coverage, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. Keep in Mind There Is a Statute of Limitations While you may want to handle your own car accident claim, there may be times you will find yourself needing to file a lawsuit. If there is a possibility of a lawsuit, keep in mind that a statute of limitations governs every type of lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is typically two years after the date of the accident, but it varies by state. After this time clock has run, you are unlikely to be able to recover any compensation. If you wish to sue a government entity, you will generally need to file a tort claim notice before filing a personal injury lawsuit. The notice period is usually much shorter than the typical statute of limitations. Additionally, the notice period may vary depending on whether you are dealing with a state or municipal agency. It is wise to consult with your lawyer about the rules in your state to make sure you comply with all notice requirements on time. Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer After a Car Accident? No two accidents are alike. Therefore, there is no exact science as to when you should or should not hire a lawyer to represent you in a car accident case. Generally, if you feel uncomfortable handling your own claim, or want to be sure you’re getting the fairest settlement, you should consult with a car accident attorney. A car accident attorney can be a great ally after your car accident. They will handle every aspect of your case, including: Gathering necessary evidence, Calculating damages, Dealing with insurance companies, and Engaging in settlement negotiations. If you’re concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer, don’t be. Most personal injury attorneys, including those at Gerling Law, take car accident cases on contingency. That means that you won’t owe any fees unless you recover compensation. Then your fees will be paid out of a portion of your settlement or award. Navigating a car accident claim can be tricky, especially for someone unfamiliar...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Do I Need an Attorney for a Car Accident?

Pursuing a claim for injuries sustained in a car accident can be time-consuming and frustrating. Even if evidence points to the other driver being entirely at fault, their insurance company is likely to deny liability or offer you less than your claim is worth. At this point, you may be wondering if you should be finding an attorney for a car accident claim. While retaining legal representation is a personal decision, you should at least meet with a car accident attorney who offers a free, no-obligation consultation. Evaluating Car Accident Injuries Evaluating your injuries after a car accident is not necessarily straightforward. The other party’s insurance company will look at the accident facts and determine whether they believe your injuries are related. They will also look at the treatment you had, the costs, and whether your treatment was reasonable and necessary. Did you recover within the expected period of time for that type of injury, or did it take you considerably longer? These are all factors that can impact your case value. Other damages like pain and suffering and lost wages will depend on the severity of your injuries. If you need future treatment, like surgery, that will affect the value of your claim too.  Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with My Case? Hiring an attorney after a car accident can give you an objective view of your case. When you meet with an attorney, they will review the facts of your accident, your injuries, time off work, etc., and tell you what your case is potentially worth. Having this information is vital because it’s hard to remain objective when you are personally involved. Most plaintiffs think their case is worth more than it actually is. When you have a realistic view of what you might receive in compensation, it can make resolving your claim easier. An attorney can also handle all negotiations with the other party’s insurance company. Dealing with insurance adjusters can be daunting. They may give the appearance they are on your side, but they aren’t. Their goal is to gain information from you that they can use against you to reduce your claim’s value or deny it outright. The adjuster may offer you a small amount early on in the case in hopes you will settle. That way, they can close their file before you have additional treatment. If your case proceeds into litigation, you need an attorney who has the necessary experience to take your case all the way to trial. Many cases won’t ever go to trial, but there is always the chance. That is why you want an attorney from the start who can fight for you and win over a jury if it comes to that point. 5 Signs You Need a Lawyer If you are still undecided about finding an attorney for a car accident claim, here are five signs you need to hire one: You sustained severe injuries in the accident; You have concerns you cannot pay for your treatment costs; The insurance company has denied liability and won’t pay for any of your treatment; You missed time off work; or You have been seeking medical treatment, but you’re not improving at all. Any time you have serious injuries or have been treating for several months without improvement, you need to contact an attorney. When you have an attorney representing you, they will fight for the maximum compensation possible. They can also offer suggestions on various specialists with whom you could make an appointment if you aren’t improving. Understandably, medical bills can bring added financial stress. If you are concerned about how your medical treatments will be paid for, you want to contact an attorney. Likewise, you should talk to an attorney if you missed a significant amount of time from your job. If the insurance company isn’t offering you enough to cover your medical treatment and loss of earnings, you need an attorney who can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance adjuster. When the insurance company denies your claim, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will continue to push settlement through the discovery process. If the other driver’s insurance company keeps denying liability, your attorney will prepare your case for trial.  How Do I Find the Right Attorney for a Serious Car Accident? When you’ve decided to hire an attorney, you don’t want to hire just anyone. Choosing the best car accident lawyer after an accident takes some research. You may need to meet with several attorneys before finding the one that’s right for your case. You want someone who has experience handling cases similar to yours, as well as trial experience. Make sure you feel comfortable with the attorney you meet with and that they care about your case. You don’t want to wind up as just another case file in a law firm’s computer system. Choose a lawyer who will give your case the attention it deserves. At Gerling Law, you get the skilled professionalism you expect from a large firm with the personalized focus you get with a boutique firm. Have you been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence? If so, contact Gerling Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.®

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Recall on the Road and Your Safety

Have you ever received a letter from your car manufacturer telling you about a recall on your car? If you have, did you look into it? Ensuring your car is meeting safety standards regarding recalls is extremely important. It can even mean the difference between life and death. March 10, 2010 A pediatric nurse, Brooke Melton, in Georgia fell victim to a vehicle defect on her 29th birthday. While driving down the highway after a shift at the hospital, Melton’s car, a 2005 Cobalt, “slipped into the accessory position,” causing her car to lose all power and struck another vehicle. Due to her injuries, Melton passed away. At first, police concluded that Brooke Melton lost control driving since the roads would have been wet due to rain that day. However, weeks after the accident, Melton’s family discovered a notice in the mail from GM. This notice, addressed to Brooke, informed them of the open recall on Cobalt’s that GM had let slide for too long. Unfortunately, 124 people lost their lives due to vehicle defect that was the subject of this recall, and left 257 injured. Startling Facts The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2018 that over 30.7 million cars were on the roads with open recalls. That number should be concerning to you if you know you have an open recall on your car. In 2017, every 1 in 5 vehicles had some sort of open recall. However, if you’re wondering if you car is subject to any sort of recall, even regarding tires, check here. Most recalls come in the form of a printed notice in the mail. Otherwise, you could be notified when taking your vehicle in for maintenance at a certified dealership. Dangers Behind a Recall Imagine you’re on a road trip. Maybe this is for work or leisure. Either way, you are traveling down a fairly unoccupied highway and suddenly your car stops. Or, it is making a funny noise. Something happens and you know this can’t be good. You vaguely remember receiving some kind of recall notice in the mail. But, you discarded it without a second thought. Ignoring a notice can lead to you becoming stranded or even be the cause of an accident. Unfortunately, for Brooke Melton, her notice was not sent out until it was too late. If you start to notice your car acting funny, or doing something it should not be doing, contact your local manufacture dealership and ensure there are no open recalls. Keeping up with your car’s safety will help keep you and your loved ones safe. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464).

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