Tag Archive for: personal injury

Should You Finish Medical Treatment Before Receiving an Injury Settlement?

Whether you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, a car crash, or another type of accident, you’ve decided to pursue compensation—but what do you do if you have a long road to recovery ahead of you? If your injuries require a lot of medical treatment, negotiating a settlement can be difficult.

That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced team of personal injury lawyers in Cheshire. At The Dodd Law Firm, we understand how important it is that you get the right compensation for your injuries. Call us at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation with our team now.

Understanding the Complexities of Your Case and Injuries

First, it’s crucial to understand that your attorney’s recommendations will vary dramatically depending on the circumstances of your case. If you have a set end date for your treatment and minimal risk of complicating injuries, waiting a couple of weeks to receive a settlement may not be too inconvenient. But if your injuries are incredibly complex and you could be receiving treatment for months or years, you may not have time to wait for a settlement; you still have bills to pay, food to put on the table, and income to replace. In those circumstances, securing a settlement prior to finishing treatment may be necessary.

Benefits of Waiting

There are numerous benefits that come with waiting to agree on a settlement number. First, it gives you the opportunity to find out how much your injury truly costs. You’ll have a better understanding of your medical expenses, how long you’ll be away from work, and other money sunk into your injuries. This puts you on more solid ground for negotiating. Additionally, waiting ensures that you’re able to request additional compensation if your injuries result in any unexpected side effects or delays in recovery. Basically, waiting ensures that you know precisely how much your injuries will cost you and how much you should settle for.

Benefits of Securing an Earlier Settlement

While it’s often better to negotiate a settlement after you have finished medical treatment, that simply isn’t always possible. If you desperately need the money from your settlement to pay bills and otherwise care for your family, accepting a settlement before finishing treatment could be your only option. You may want to exhaust your other options before, such as reaching out to friends or family members for loans. 

Agreeing to a settlement before you have reached maximum medical improvement can also allow you to start paying down your medical bills earlier, which is beneficial if your care providers charge interest on your unpaid balances or if they send you to collections after a certain period of time. Unfortunately, accepting an early settlement does mean that you risk giving up compensation for any secondary injuries that occur as a result of your initial injury. Once you’ve signed the legal documentation and received the settlement, you have no more wiggle room to ask for more money.

Working Through Your Options with Your Attorney

This is a complicated question, and it’s essential that you discuss your options with your attorney before making any final decisions. Your attorney has the most extensive knowledge of your accident, injuries, financial circumstances, and what the other party is or is not willing to offer. By discussing your concerns with them openly and honestly, they can provide professional guidance and help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Don’t forget to include your medical care providers in this discussion. They should be able to provide insight into the prognosis of your condition, how likely you are to suffer complications, and how long you may be out of work following treatment. By exploring your options with your legal team and your medical team, you can figure out the best option for your unique situation.

Reach Out to The Dodd Law Firm Today

Ready to start your Cheshire personal injury claim? The team at The Dodd Law Firm is here to help. Let’s set up a consultation and discuss your legal needs. Call us at 203-272-1883 or send us a quick message online to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys right away.

What to Expect at Each Stage of a Personal Injury Claim

When you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, it’s important to know what to expect and what your potential outcomes are. This protects you from unpleasant surprises and eases anxiety about the entire process. Whether your claim is the result of a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other type of accident, this process is fairly straightforward.

Still looking for the right law firm to represent you in your personal injury claim? The team at The Dodd Law Firm is waiting to hear from you. Call us at 203-272-1883 to set up a consultation now.

Consulting With an Attorney

Your first step is to meet with a personal injury attorney and explain your accident and injuries. The good news is that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that not only is your initial consultation free, but you don’t pay anything unless the law firm secures a settlement or court award on your behalf. Their fees are then drawn from that final award, so you pay nothing out-of-pocket. 

During your consultation, the attorney will ask you questions, explain relevant parts of Connecticut law like the statute of limitations, and look over the evidence you brought in. If they think you have a strong case, they may give you the option to go forward with retaining them and beginning your personal injury claim.

Building Your Case

From there, your attorney jumps right in and starts investigating your claim. They may pull surveillance footage, talk to eyewitnesses, reach out to expert witnesses, and look at official documentation and reports. Their goal is to prove the other party’s liability, demonstrate the severity of your injuries, and prove that you deserve compensation. This step varies quite a bit in duration, depending on how complex your case is and how much evidence is available.

Connecting With the Insurance Company

The evidence your attorney gathers forms the foundation of your personal injury case. They will build a case on your behalf and proactively address any issues an insurance company is likely to have with your demand for compensation. The more prepared your attorney is prior to reaching out to the insurance company, the more successful negotiations generally are. 

Once they have built a case to their satisfaction, they will issue a demand letter to the insurance company. This letter outlines what they are asking for, why, and the evidence that backs it up. So begin negotiations—the insurance company will likely come back with their offer, and this repeats until a middle ground is found.

Reaching a Settlement—or Preparing for Court

In most personal injury claims, the final step is a settlement. While many people have strong mental images of dramatic courtroom showdowns, few cases reach the courtroom. If both parties come to an agreement on a settlement number, the attorneys will draw up the paperwork and have all involved parties sign it. 

You’ll waive your right to sue for your current injuries or any other injuries that arise as a result of the accident in question. The final settlement is then paid. Any care providers who need to be paid will get their cut; this includes hospitals and other medical service providers. Your attorney’s fee will be paid. Finally, you get your share of your settlement.

Unfortunately, not every personal injury claim is quite this easy. If the insurance company refuses to admit fault or won’t budge at all from their initial number, negotiations may fail. In that case, your attorney will move forward with filing a lawsuit and beginning court preparations. Your case may go to court, or a settlement may still be reached at any point during this process. If your case goes to court, a judge or jury will decide if the other party caused your injuries and if so, how much they must pay you.

Considering a Personal Injury Claim? Call The Dodd Law Firm Now

When you’re ready to learn more about your personal injury claim options, talking to the team at The Dodd Law Firm should be your next step. Set up your free consultation right away by calling us at 203-272-1883 or getting in touch with us online.

The Importance of a Spoliation Letter in Truck Accident Cases

Truck accidents are generally far more destructive than crashes solely involving smaller passenger vehicles. They are more likely to result in fatal or catastrophic injuries, and they are capable of causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy for you to prove that you’re owed compensation. You can still expect the insurance company and the trucking company to do whatever they can to keep you from receiving compensation.

The good news is that truck accidents have a substantial amount of evidence. To use that evidence, you must preserve it—even if it’s in the other party’s possession. That’s where a spoliation letter comes in. Learn more about the role of a spoliation letter in your claim, and when you’re ready to move forward with your case, call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.

The Role of Evidence in Your Truck Accident Claim

Evidence is crucial in any personal injury case, but it’s especially crucial in a truck accident claim. As a victim, you’ve likely sustained serious injuries and are now struggling with pain, a loss of income, and a totaled vehicle. When you’re looking for sizable compensation, the other party will put up a serious fight to keep you from getting it. Evidence can go a long way in proving how the accident happened, whose error caused the crash, and how your injuries have impacted your life. Without a strong body of evidence, it’s unlikely you’ll get anything close to what you actually deserve.

What’s Included in a Spoliation Letter?

A spoliation letter is an integral part of your claim. It’s a legal document that reminds the other party of their legal duty to preserve evidence related to the crash. Elements of a spoliation letter include:

  • List of evidence in the other party’s possession
  • Notification that you are seeking legal action against the other party
  • Information on the other party’s obligation to preserve the evidence
  • The consequences of failing to comply with the orders given in the letter

Sending a spoliation letter is basically putting the other side on notice. You’re letting them know that you are building your case and you know what evidence is out there. They then know that if it happens to go missing or show up destroyed, you will hold them accountable for it. Without a spoliation letter, you risk the other party tampering with or “losing” evidence that is damaging to their case.

The Other Party’s Obligations

Upon receiving the spoliation letter, the parties who receive the letter are legally obligated to preserve the evidence in question. This may mean making backups or copies of evidence that is likely to degrade with time. For example, electronic logging devices, dashcams, and other sources of electronic evidence generally only keep records for a set period of time. If the party in possession of that evidence does not take steps to preserve it, it could be lost forever.

The parties in question are also obligated to keep the evidence in its current state. This means not tampering with it or altering it to make it more favorable to their case. This is an issue with trucking logs, which can be altered after an accident to make it look like a driver was compliant with hours of service and inspection regulations.

Consequences of Destroying or Losing Evidence

Generally, sending a spoliation letter is enough to keep the other party from damaging or destroying evidence relevant to your case. But if the evidence is devastating for their case or they simply don’t care enough to preserve it, it could be destroyed regardless. If this happens, it can have devastating outcomes for their case. The courts do not look favorably on spoliation, and there may be significant consequences for the other party. These consequences may include:

  • Court sanctions against the party that engaged in spoliation, ranging from fines to jail time.
  • Adverse inference—the court may draw an adverse inference in the absence of necessary evidence, which means that they assume the lost evidence would have been damaging to the party that lost or destroyed it.
  • Jury instructions that tell the jurors to assume the evidence would have been unfavorable to the party who lost it.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Call The Dodd Law Firm

When you’ve been injured in a truck accident, there is a lot at stake. You need to work with a Cheshire attorney dedicated to fighting aggressively for you. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 or reach out to us online to schedule your consultation right away.

How is a workers’ compensation claim different than a personal injury lawsuit?

The main difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit is that a personal injury  lawsuit is based on fault while workers’ compensation is not. Any injury that occurs to an employee during work is  covered by workers’ compensation regardless of fault.

In order to recover damages against another person in a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall, one must be able to prove negligence on the part of the other person.

Employees who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of fault. Employees are not required to prove any negligence on the part of their employers in order to file and receive workers’ compensation benefits. Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation even if their own negligence cause the injury.

While workers’ compensation will pay you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and permanent impairment rating, it will not pay for pain and suffering. The cap on workers’ compensation benefits, therefore is much lower than the typical personal injury lawsuit/settlement.

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The workers’ compensation laws are designed to ensure all workers’ who were injured on the job would get their lost wages and medical bills paid right away. In return, employees lost the right to sue their employers for negligence and lost the right to collect damages for pain and suffering.