THE DIFFERENT STEPS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN IN LAWSUITS
What Is Subrogation?
If an insurance company pays some of your medical or other expenses arising from your injury, the law provides “subrogation” which means that the insurance company stands “in your shoes” and can recover from the liable party some or all of the amounts paid on your behalf. If this is the case, they usually are required to pay their proportionate share of the attorney’s fee and costs in connection with the recovery. This is handled on a case-by-case basis.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT MEDICAL LIENS?
Some of our clients are involved in an accident where there is no medical payments insurance, worker’s compensation or private health insurance. In such cases, your doctor will expect to be paid by you at the conclusion of this case. Often they will require you to agree, in writing, to have us pay them directly from the proceeds you receive. State laws sometimes permit health care providers to file a “lien” which must be paid out of the proceeds of your case. If your doctor asks you to sign what is often called a “lien letter”, be sure to contact our office. In some cases, it may not be appropriate for you to sign such an agreement.
WHAT IF I CHOOSE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY?
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you should know that you may lose all rights to your personal injury case. The Bankruptcy Court can take over your case, settle your case and give your settlement money to your creditors, and you will receive nothing. Be sure to talk to your lawyer before filing bankruptcy.
WHAT ABOUT CLAIMS THAT ARE FILED AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT?
Any injury claim, whether it stems from a car collision or other event that involves the government, is subject to special rules. The governmental entity involved may be the state, a city, a county, local government, or the United States. Generally, a Notice of Claim must be filed with the appropriate governmental agency very soon following your injury. If you believe that the government may be involved in your case, please notify us immediately.
THE LEGAL PROCESS
First Steps In Representing You
Your initial interview with our Law Firm will help us gather general information about your case. We will guide you on what you should and should not do, and give you the necessary materials to help you. Then, you will be asked to sign certain authorization forms to allow us to obtain your medical records and other pertinent information.
Our Law Firm will contact the person who was responsible for your injury and/or the insurance company and notify the parties that you have retained us as your attorneys. We will also contact all of the doctors and hospitals involved in your care to obtain your medical chart and billing information.
Filing A Lawsuit
Before filing a lawsuit, our Law Firm will obtain your permission and explain to you why we believe a lawsuit should be filed. The decision to file a lawsuit should be made by your attorney with your input. Filing a lawsuit may be necessary to obtain adequate monetary compensation for your injury.
A settlement is always possible and is a common alternative to filing a lawsuit. In fact, only a small percentage of cases make it to trial.