Ok, you were minding your own business and now you feel like your life got smacked by a piano falling out of the sky.  Either you were in a collision due to someone else’s careless or reckless driving, you were hurt in a store or mall or other property, or you were hurt at work. Truly not how you thought your day was going to go. So now what do you do? Where do you turn? What steps should you take?… We have answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Can I make a claim for my injuries?

Sure, anyone can make a claim for injuries at any time. But the real question you are asking is can I be fairly compensated for the injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and emotional suffering that someone else’s actions or non-actions caused.  Yes, absolutely, you can.  If you were not at fault, or only partially at fault, you can recover for your injuries that someone else caused. But if you think that any adjuster is going to execute a sliding skid on two wheels into your driveway with a kidnap van filled with gold doubloons, you’re gonna be very disappointed.  Adjusters will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer and that they will take care of you fairly.  I really wish that were true but sadly it’s not. Adjusters know that the person who hires a lawyer makes over THREE AND A HALF TIMES MORE MONEY than someone who handles their case themselves. As it is only about 3 in 10 people ever get a lawyer involved and so there is no incentive for the adjusters to be nice or considerate to a caller because about 70% of the public just accepts the peanuts the adjusters throw at them.  If you really want to be fairly treated and to get the compensation for the injuries and lost wages and present and future medical bills you need to stand up and fight the adjusters and the insurance industry. You can try to do this yourself or you can call anybody in town but I would love to hear from you and you can call me right now at 888 WE FIGHT and we can get started fighting for you right away!

Why file a personal injury claim?

You don’t have to file a claim for your property damages, your injuries, your medical expenses, or your lost wages if you don’t want to. That’s perfectly acceptable to the insurance company because they won’t have to come out of their pockets with any money. The adjusters and insurance companies are more than happy for you to bear the costs and expenses of their insured’s negligence. Not filing a claim makes their claim history look a lot better and qualifies them for bonuses like trips to the beach, where they get to sit in the sun and drink expensive cocktails with umbrellas in them. But guess what! The money that should have gone to you is what is paying for those umbrella drinks. So if you think that an adjuster or an insurance company is ever gonna do the right thing voluntarily, you will be very disappointed. You will grow old and grey, sitting by your mailbox waiting for the check that an adjuster or insurance company mailed you because they thought it was the right thing to do. If you want to be fairly compensated for your property damages and your injuries, large and small, you have to file the claim and be ready to fight! You know we are fighters. That’s why you’re here reading this, so call me now at 888 WE FIGHT and let us get started right away!

Will it ever be too late to file a personal injury claim?

You bet it can be too late in a lot of ways. First is the statute of limitations, a time limit imposed by legislation. One of the reasons the adjusters and insurance companies drag things out like they do is because they want you to miss the statute of limitations and lose all the rights to your case. In most states, the statute of limitation is three years, such as in Mississippi and Arkansas, but in Tennessee, it is only one year. And different types of cases may have various statutes of limitation. This is why you should call us immediately so we can do what we need to do to protect your rights. Besides the statute of limitations, people often wait so long that critical evidence has disappeared, such as a car getting sold for scrap, witnesses moving away or dying, or waiting too long to seek medical treatment. The statute of limitations in those situations hasn’t run, but the evidence needed to prove the case disappears over that time, and we can’t help them. That’s a sad and sorrowful feeling for us, which happens way too often. If you’ve been injured, call us right away! If someone you know or love has been injured, tell them to call us right away! It’s never too soon to start working on a case, but there are times when it can be too late. Call us now 888 WE FIGHT and let us make sure you and those you know and love are protected.

What damages will I be able to recover with a personal injury claim?

Simply speaking you can recover damages to your person such as the human injuries to your body that were caused by someone else’s careless or reckless act or inaction. This includes every conceivable type of human injury such as death, amputations, paralysis, brain damage, surgeries, permanent limps or headaches, torn ligaments disc herniations, spinal vertebrae damage, damaged cartilage, tendons and ligaments, cuts requiring stitches, bruises bumps and general soreness.  Any injury to the body can be a basis for a personal injury claim.  You can claim the expense for medical treatment that you have had, are currently having and will have in the future for the injuries someone else’s actions caused you to have.  If you have a traumatic brain injury these could be lifetime expenses. If  you have temporomandibular joint injuries (the joint that allows us to move our mouths as we speak and eat) these could be lifetime injuries. Its very important to have a firm working with you that studies the physical aspects of the collision or mechanism of the incident causing the injury  in order to understand the mechanism of the injuries to the body.  Additionally there are emotional and psychological injuries that are recoverable. Emotional Distress is a very real injury that our clients suffer in collisions and untreated Emotional Distress can cause physical harm to an already injured person.  Adjusters and insurance companies always discount the emotional distress caused by their insureds because they dont want to pay for the damages. Oftentimes they call our clients liars or malingerers or accuse them of making things up to get a check.  This  is why we are so fanatical about obtaining all the evidence of the collision or the incident causing the injury so we can show the physical basis for the emotional and psychological injuries. A surprising number of people suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a collision but for most people they don’t  understand that they have that injury and it goes unreported, untreated, and they never receive compensation.  We carefully interview our clients for the injury facts and history to make sure that we help the medical professionals identify and treat all of our clients injuries. If you want this kind of attention to your medical needs and agressive representation against the insurance industry pick up the phone and call me now. 888 WE FIGHT

What evidence will be useful for me as I pursue my claim?

So for a collision with another automobile, especially with a large truck or 18 Wheeler, we need to see the damage for ourselves, so please call us immediately. We want to obtain our own photos, not photos supplied to us by an insurance adjuster or the police, no matter if the adjuster is for your insurance company or theirs. Adjusters look after their companies, not you. We look after you so call us right away. We want estimates, again, not from any adjuster’s favorite body shop. We want independent estimates. That’s the only way we know they will look for hidden damage and, most importantly, for frame damage. Here is a video on frame damage. Please watch it. Most adjusters will not allow their body shops to look for frame damage. If there is frame damage, your car may be totaled, and you will almost certainly have a claim against them for diminution in value. Here is a video that explains that. So, if no one looks for frame damage, you never know you have it until you try and sell your car, only to find out it’s worthless. Protect yourself and call us now 888 WE Fight. We also ask our clients to have their car put on a rack to check for frame damage if we feel that it’s necessary.

Can I just pursue my claim by myself?

Sure you can, and if you do, the adjuster will be very happy to cheat you with a great big smile on their face. You can handle it yourself. You can call anyone in town, but I would love to hear from you, and you can call me right now at 888 WE FIGHT. We fight, and we mean it!

How long will I have to wait to resolve my claim?

First let’s take care of you.  Lets make sure that you have all the treatment you need and that all of your injuries are identified and that you have received the best care for them that we can arrange. After that we will gather all your records of your medical providers, all evidence of past present and future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity and we will put all these together in a package that is called a Demand. We send that to the adjuster and our policy is that if they are not in good faith negotiations within 30 days we file suit.  I know that’s a very general answer but its the right answer because just like everyone of us is unique and one of a kind, every one of our client’s cases are  unique and one of a kind.

Will I need to testify in court?

If the insurance company is unreasonable and we have to file suit and we actually go to trial before a jury then yes you will need to testify. Few cases actually go to a jury trial even if a lawsuit is filed and most people give their testimony in a deposition which is under oath and in one of the lawyer’s offices.  If you have to give a deposition please know that we will have you well prepared and even though you may be understandably nervous, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Will I still be able to pursue a claim that I was partially at fault for?

Yes. This is referred to as comparative fault. Some states are pure comparative fault meaning that you can be 99% at fault and still recover for 1% of your damages for your  injuries and some are modified comparative fault meaning you have to be less than 50% at fault to recover a percentage of your damages for your injuries.

What can I do to prepare for my legal consultation?

Nothing, Zip.  Nada. You dont have to prepare at all. Just get the documents you might already have together and give us a call!  We will take it from there!

How will negligence be determined?

Negligence is sometimes a matter of law and sometimes a question of fact for the jury. In the case of auto collisions there are statutory Rules of the Road and for premises injuries we can sometimes rely on building codes. If you have a question regarding someone’s negligent acts or omissions that caused you injury call me now 888 WE FIGHT.

When should my boss report my work-related injury or illness to the insurance company?

According to the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act, employers must submit all work-related injuries or illnesses which they have been informed about or are aware of within one working day of finding out about the injury or illness. Insurance carriers or employers who are self-insured should file a claim as soon as possible, but must file no later than fourteen days of finding out about an illness or injury.

What kind of injury or illness is eligible for workers’ compensation?

Any injury or illness that occurs at work or is caused by the workplace environment and (1) prompts an employee to seek medical treatment outside of the workplace, (2) causes the employee’s death, (3) causes the employee to miss work, or (4) causes the employee to sustain permanent damage must be reported under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act.

What should my boss have done when I became ill or injured?

After an injury occurs in a Tennessee workplace, the employer is responsible for filing a claim within one working day of learning about the injury, providing the injured employee with a list of at least three doctors chosen prior to the incident, and submitting various paperwork that ensures that all parties involved receive the necessary information throughout the entire process.

What happens if a person dies before his or her personal injury lawsuit goes through?

If we lose a loved one as the direct result of someone elses careless or reckless acts or failures to act then we can still fight for your lost loved one and for the family left behind. These are called Wrongful Death actions and the surviving heir steps in as the person who brings the suit.  If we lose a loved one to natural causes after the wreck but before the case is finished then we open the appropriate estate and have someone appointed to act for your lost loved one during the case all the way to conclusion. The bottom line is that here at JMBIL the fight goes on.  We get up in the morning fighting and we go to bed fighting. When we sleep we dream of fighting. If you need someone at your side because you lost a loved one pick up the phone and call me now! 888 WE FIGHT.

What is the difference between a civil and a criminal case regarding a person’s death?

Prison. The difference is prison. In a criminal case the state files charges against someone who unlawfully caused another’s death by action or failure to act. This is called a homicide. The wrongdoer is arrested and jailed and charged with a criminal charge of homicide and the case is handled before a criminal court and jury.  In a civil case the surviving spouse or heirs file a civil lawsuit for damages arising from the wrongful death.  In many cases a wrongful death will result in both criminal and civil cases against the person who caused the death of a loved one. 

I slipped and hurt myself while on someone else’s property. Can I file a claim?

Yes you can. These are called premises liability claims.  Usually they are against stores or commercial establishments but every now and then against a homeowner or a landlord renting homes out who has not kept the property in good condition. Generally speaking we need to show that either the store or a store employee caused your injury, or that the store knew of a dangerous condition and didnt warn you about it or make the dangerous condition safe.  As you might guess stores hate to pay out on these kinds of injuries and will act really nice to you when it happens but the adjusters are really nasty when you ask for money for medical bills or for your suffering.  Evidence from the time of the injury is critical in these cases such as pictures of what caused the fall and witnesses’ names and phone numbers and whether or not the store made a report. If you or someone you know and love has suffered injury from a fall pick up the phone and call me now! 888 WE FIGHT because we need to get to work on your case right away.

What kind of compensation can I receive for a slip and fall accident?

You can receive full compensation for all  your injuries just as you can in a car wreck case. Because a lot of the slip and fall injuries involve someone’s feet going out from under them the number of disc injuries causing numbness and tingling and closed head injuries from the head striking the floor are greater than in cases of a car collision case. This is why it’s critical to call us as quickly as you can after the accident. Pick up the phone and call me now!  888-WE FIGHT.

What is a structured settlement?

Have you ever seen an ad for J.G. Wentworth? Those are structured settlements. The insurance industry loves them because they can pay less money than the settlement calls for and by purchasing the annuity that is the basis of a structured settlement they get tax advantages too. You on the other hand get peanuts on the front end and small payments for years. That’s why we don’t like them and we don’t recommend them. Structured Settlements work for the insurance companies, not for our clients.

The insurance company has asked me to sign a release. What does this mean?

A release is what the insurance company uses to take away your rights for compensation for damages and injuries. YOU SHOULD NEVER SIGN A RELEASE OF ANY KIND WITHOUT TALKING TO A LAWYER. There are many different kinds of releases for many different types of uses.  Information releases are one where you can release your medical history including all of your past doctor visits medical bills and diagnoses. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN A MEDICAL RELEASE FOR AN ADJUSTER OR INSURANCE COMPANY WITHOUT TALKING TO US!! Once you give permission for your information to be released its very difficult if not impossible to put that genie back into the bottle. We do ask our clients to sign a HIPPA medical release form and we gather all the records and then we have control over this very private area of your life. In some cases such as litigation, the other side has a legal right to this information but even then we can enter what is known as a Protective Order to keep your private information confidential.  Another type of release is for the damages to your car.  But when you sign that release you let the insurance company off the hook for all the damages to your car.  Was your car fixed correctly? Did they look for all the hidden damages? Were your seat belts inspected and replaced? You should read your owner’s manual it says that after an accident the seat belts should be inspected and replaced.  Don’t expect the adjuster to ever tell you that because they are trained not to. Do you have a claim for the loss of value of your car? This is called a diminution in value claim. You won’t ever hear those words coming out of an adjuster’s mouth because if you have a new or newer car and its damaged your car simply isn’t worth as much anymore and the insurance company owes you that money.  It’s just another way that the adjusters and insurance companies take advantage of people day in and day out. This is why you should never sign a property damage release unless we see it first to make sure you are protected. And this is why you need someone at your side fighting the adjusters and insurance companies from the very beginning! Pick up the phone and call me now! 888 WE Fight!!!

Lastly, the insurance companies will offer you a quick check if you sign a release. Don’t do it! They will promise you anything they will tell you they will pay for future medical bills but that’s all lies. They will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer.  If you hear an adjuster telling you that you don’t need a lawyer, hang up on them and dial 888 WE Fight because if they say that, they are doing their best to cheat you!  I tell people all the time that the best way to know if they have a good case or not is if the adjuster shows up at their house or hospital room and offers a check to them.  If this happens pick up the phone and call me now! 888 WE FIGHT!!  Once you sign that release the promises don’t matter anymore, they won’t remember your name anymore, won’t answer your calls anymore.  You’ve given away your rights and unless we can prove you were on medication or were tricked then we won’t be able to help you.  Pick up the phone and call me now! 888 WE FIGHT!!!!

What are punitive damages?

There are many types of  damages including punitive damages which are designed to punish the wrongdoer for knowingly or recklessly hurting people.  We see that in situations where people drive while distracted, or speed recklessly or drive drunk.  We see that in situations where someone has knowingly left a dangerous condition exist when it was obvious that someone would get hurt. We see these in situations where companies put their profits over the safety of people. These are special damages and they are intended to send a message of deterrence to wrongdoers. 

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