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                    [post_content] => It seems like every time I meet with a client I hear the same thing, “I’m not out to get rich so I don’t know that I need a lawyer,” or “I’m just not the suing type."

There seems to be a public perception that all personal injury plaintiffs are “out to get rich quick.”  This perception has been ingrained in our culture and it has affected real people who feel guilty that they are sitting in a lawyer's office after they were injured through no fault of their own.

Businessman busy with documents with his colleagues in the background

So let me set the record straight, none of our clients are “the suing type” or “out to get rich.”

In fact, most if not all, of our clients want to avoid hiring a lawyer and they certainly want to avoid court. Most of our clients do not realize that they are entitled to more than just their medical expenses. By asking a jury for more than the medical expenses, this does not mean that the injured victim is “out to get rich.”  Rather, it means that the victim is pursuing relief permitted by law.

[Tweet "None of our clients are “the suing type” or “out to get rich.”"]

The law permits a victim of a personal injury to recover for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages would include medical expenses, lost wages and mileage. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and loss of earning capacity, to name a few. If you are honest, these non-economic damages are actual harms and losses suffered by personal injury victims. I blog about the types of damages in Virginia here.

These damages compensate victims of negligence for that which they have lost. So the perception that one will “get rich” from an award of compensatory damages is flawed from the outset. Rather, these damages are intended to make the victim whole—to replace that which was lost—that is why they are categorized as compensatory (i.e. they compensate the victim for his or her harms and losses). Certainly, you will never get back those days you suffered through in pain, so you cannot be “actually” made whole. While common sense will tell you that they law can’t give you those days back, the law can give you monetary damages. To the extent that you suffer emotionally and physically, the law provides for you to recover financially. There is no other viable option.

[Tweet "To the extent that you suffer emotionally and physically, the law provides for you to recover financially."]

The insurance company’s adjusters are professionals. They do this day in and day out. This is likely your first, maybe second, experience with a car wreck. The adjuster will fight for the insurance company, but who will fight for you? Shouldn’t you have qualified and professional representation, just like the insurance company? If you have been injured in a car wreck, don’t feel ashamed that you are forced to seek legal counsel.

Our goal is simple, to help folks who were injured through no fault of their own recover from their injuries emotionally, physically and financially so that they can resume living a healthy and fulfilling life.

Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq.
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                    [post_content] => Clients always ask, "what happens next?" And it is a legitimate question. As personal injury lawyers, we deal with these situations all the time so we know exactly what happens next. And sometimes, we forget to explain the next step to the client.

So we encourage you to ask your lawyer questions! Like, how long will my case take? What do you think my case is worth? What should I be doing now that I've been medically released?

You are the client and you are entitled to know what happens next. If case you were wondering, though, here is a snapshot of the pre-litigation process.

Leaving Hospital Wheelchair

Background:

You were injured in a car wreck. You hired a lawyer and you have been treated for your injuries. After a long physical recovery, you have either fully recovered to 100% of your pre-injury condition or you have reached maximum medical improvement and you have a permanent injury with an impairment rating from your doctor.

Process: 

1. Gathering and Reviewing Medical Records Depending on the complexity of your case and the number of healthcare providers, it takes several weeks to gather up all of your medical records and organize them and prepare an abstract of treatment and summary of expenses. It takes several more weeks, possibly a couple months, to get a letter from your doctor stating your impairment rating, if any. 2. Making a Demand On The Insurance Company After talking extensively with you about your injuries and economic and non-economic damages, you lawyer prepares a demand package and sends it off to the adjuster. That demand package will explain your injuries to the insurance company’s adjuster and detail your economic and non-economic damages. 3. Negotiating the Demand It usually takes a couple weeks for the adjuster to review the package and all of your medical records and other supporting documentation.  When the adjuster calls your lawyer, the adjuster will communicate an initial offer. Invariably, the initial offer is lower than your bottom line. Your lawyer should call you to discuss the negotiations and to get authority to reject low offers and make demands. Negotiations take on a life of their own. Some may take a week and others may take months. 4. To Settle Or File Suit?  Finally, your lawyer will either recommend that you file suit and go to court or settle your case for a fixed amount which is acceptable in your unique case. If you settle your case, then you will have to sign the release prepared by the insurance company and your lawyer will later disburse the money to you and to any lien holders on your settlement proceeds.  If you reject the insurance companies final offer, then your lawyer will file suit in the appropriate court and begin the litigation stage. We want you to be knowledgeable about the process and what you should expect in your case. That is why we publish blog posts and have our free E-book which you can directly on your right. Of course, if you have been injured in a car wreck through no fault of your own, contact us for your free personal injury consultation. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => So You Are Finished Treating, Now What? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => so-you-are-finished-treating-now-what [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-24 13:15:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-24 13:15:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=281 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1296 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2015-11-13 19:04:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-11-13 19:04:23 [post_content] => Why do we need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, also known as UM/UIM? What is it? Am I being sold something that I do not need? These are questions you may be asking when you look at your insurance bill. Or, these are question you may have asked when you are contracting for automobile insurance coverage with your insurance agent. But if you are not asking these questions, maybe you should. [caption id="attachment_791" align="aligncenter" width="759"]The insurance section of a collision report. The insurance section of a collision report.[/caption] Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage that protects you when the driver that hits you is driving an uninsured vehicle. So in other words, you have coverage in a wreck where you are hit by an uninsured vehicle. Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that protects you when you are in a bad accident and the driver that hits you is driving a vehicle with minimal coverage. [Tweet "Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage that protects you when the driver that hits you is driving an uninsured vehicle."] Consider this true story: our client comes in after an awful wreck. She was hit by a crazy driver who was raging up the road. Our client was severely injured and ends up with substantial hospital and medical bills. The crazy driver was uninsured and he was driving an uninsured vehicle. Our client told us that she had “good insurance.” We had her to bring in her declaration sheet and policy. As it turns out, she had good insurance coverage ($300,000) if she caused the wreck, however, she had recently reduced her UM/UIM coverage from $300,000 to $25,000, in order to save a few hundred dollars in car insurance per year. It is this latter coverage that applies in this case. Unfortunately, she made this change just a couple of months before the accident. So this change just cost the client up to $275,000 worth of coverage for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other compensation! When you are purchasing car insurance you should consider this real world story and ask yourself whether you are really covered by your policy. Every time you watch TV there is a commercial advertising cheaper auto insurance. Just because the insurance quote is cheap does not mean it is "full coverage." For more information about insurance coverage, you can go here and here. [Tweet "Just because the insurance quote is cheap does not mean it is "full coverage.'""] As always, call or email us if you find yourself in this situation. We would be happy to help. Posted by Samuel "Sam" F. Vance, IV [post_title] => Why Do We Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-do-we-need-uninsuredunderinsured-motorist-coverage-a-case-study [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-22 13:30:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-22 13:30:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=1296 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1297 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2015-11-04 19:07:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-11-04 19:07:51 [post_content] => If you haven’t already, you need to start keeping a daily journal of events related to your claim for your attorney to use in preparing your case for a jury. This is important for a number of reasons. Journaling First, you can use your notes to refresh your memory later as the case progresses. It is amazing how you forget some of the most painful physical feelings, and corresponding emotions, in your life. Include in your journal examples of how your life and physical pain have affected your daily life. For example, if you have a lower back injury and you cannot wash dishes, cut your grass, unload your groceries, or find a comfortable position in which to sleep, you should make notes in your journal about these difficulties and what you had to do to compensate for them. As a result of these difficulties, you may rely more heavily on your spouse or significant other to perform household duties such as washing dishes or vacuuming; you may hire a company to come cut your grass and perform other landscaping tasks; you may purchase a new mattress at your doctor’s suggestion that alleviates some of your pain while lying in bed. All of these items are a significant inconvenience to you and you should record them so that you remember them later. Second, it will help your attorney later to get a glimpse into your life and your pain and suffering. This glimpse will help your lawyer to prepare a demand package to send to the insurance company, and it will give him or her ammunition to challenge the insurance company’s refusal to offer a reasonable settlement. It will also better equip your lawyer to prepare for trial in your case if the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement. And third, at the end of the day, journaling is good for your spirit. Ten years from now, you can look back at all you have experienced and remember, “I have come this far, I am better today than I was then.” In the example of Samuel after Israel defeated the Philistines, Samuel “took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12. It is good to remember the victories of recovery whether it be spiritual, emotional, physical, or financial. Thus, it is good to record memories whether they are good or bad. So write your journal and record everything related to your injuries. Set your Ebenezer stone in your journal and say, “Thus far the LORD has helped me.” [post_title] => Winning Your Personal Injury Case: Keeping A Journal [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => winning-your-personal-injury-case-keeping-a-journal [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-16 13:54:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-16 13:54:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=1297 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1295 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2015-10-21 19:01:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-21 19:01:53 [post_content] => Noise, there is a lot of it in the personal injury lawyer space. Personal injury lawyer marketing ranges from the blatantly silly to the obscenely insincere. Both give personal injury lawyers a bad name. Every law firm that practices personal injury law advertises and you are only confronted with the best side of that law firm on a billboard, television commercial, radio commercial, yellow pages, internet, etc. All of this can be confusing if you are a novice personal injury victim, which is true of almost all. In full disclosure, Overbey, Hawkins & Wright uses all of these mediums (and then some) to get our message to you. Some means are more effective than others. But with all of the noise in this space, how are you, the victim, suppose to discern which law firm is the best for you. This is not an easy question and I do not purport to have all of the answers. From our perspective, there are several things you should look for in your personal injury law firm before you sign documents hiring that firm. As a general matter, the law firm should be concerned with your physical and emotional recovery just as much as your financial recovery. Often your financial recovery is entirely dependent on your emotional and physical recovery. Here is a short list of what I think should be important to you. The law firm should
  1. Help you with obtaining your med pay
  2. Help you get treatment when you have limited resources to give to your doctors
  3. Encourage you to make all of your appointments and get all of the necessary treatment
  4. Teach you through the process of litigation.
  5. Teach you how cases are evaluated.
  6. Negotiate your medical liens and insurance liens discussed more fully here.
You’ll notice that I used the word teach several times. Don’t let your lawyers talk down to you. Hire a lawyer who is willing to teach instead of dictate. If you don’t understand, ask your lawyer to explain. Ask you lawyer about these things when you meet for the first time. If you feel like the law firm is interested in you as a person, then hire them. If not, then don’t. These are just a few examples of what you should look for when you are interviewing lawyers and law firms to represent you in your personal injury case.   [post_title] => What to Look For In Your Personal Injury Law Firm? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-to-look-for-in-your-personal-injury-law-firm [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-16 13:56:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-16 13:56:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=1295 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 283 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2016-06-14 21:21:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-14 21:21:44 [post_content] => It seems like every time I meet with a client I hear the same thing, “I’m not out to get rich so I don’t know that I need a lawyer,” or “I’m just not the suing type." There seems to be a public perception that all personal injury plaintiffs are “out to get rich quick.”  This perception has been ingrained in our culture and it has affected real people who feel guilty that they are sitting in a lawyer's office after they were injured through no fault of their own. Businessman busy with documents with his colleagues in the background So let me set the record straight, none of our clients are “the suing type” or “out to get rich.” In fact, most if not all, of our clients want to avoid hiring a lawyer and they certainly want to avoid court. Most of our clients do not realize that they are entitled to more than just their medical expenses. By asking a jury for more than the medical expenses, this does not mean that the injured victim is “out to get rich.”  Rather, it means that the victim is pursuing relief permitted by law. [Tweet "None of our clients are “the suing type” or “out to get rich.”"] The law permits a victim of a personal injury to recover for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages would include medical expenses, lost wages and mileage. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and loss of earning capacity, to name a few. If you are honest, these non-economic damages are actual harms and losses suffered by personal injury victims. I blog about the types of damages in Virginia here. These damages compensate victims of negligence for that which they have lost. So the perception that one will “get rich” from an award of compensatory damages is flawed from the outset. Rather, these damages are intended to make the victim whole—to replace that which was lost—that is why they are categorized as compensatory (i.e. they compensate the victim for his or her harms and losses). Certainly, you will never get back those days you suffered through in pain, so you cannot be “actually” made whole. While common sense will tell you that they law can’t give you those days back, the law can give you monetary damages. To the extent that you suffer emotionally and physically, the law provides for you to recover financially. There is no other viable option. [Tweet "To the extent that you suffer emotionally and physically, the law provides for you to recover financially."] The insurance company’s adjusters are professionals. They do this day in and day out. This is likely your first, maybe second, experience with a car wreck. The adjuster will fight for the insurance company, but who will fight for you? Shouldn’t you have qualified and professional representation, just like the insurance company? If you have been injured in a car wreck, don’t feel ashamed that you are forced to seek legal counsel. Our goal is simple, to help folks who were injured through no fault of their own recover from their injuries emotionally, physically and financially so that they can resume living a healthy and fulfilling life. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. 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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Misperceptions of Personal Injury Victims

It seems like every time I meet with a client I hear the same thing, “I’m not out to get rich so I don’t know that I need a lawyer,” or “I’m just not the suing type

 

 

There seems to be a public perception that all personal injury plaintiffs are “out to get rich quick.” This perception has been ingrained in our culture and it has affected real people who feel guilty that they are sitting in a lawyer’s office after they were injured through no fault of their own.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

So You Are Finished Treating, Now What?

Walking you through the pre-litigation process!

Clients always ask, what happens next. And it is a legitimate question. As personal injury lawyers, we deal with these situations all the time so we know exactly what happens next. And sometimes, we forget to explain the next step to the client.  So ask, ask, ask, ask, ask. You are the client and you are entitled to know what happens next. If case you were wondering, though, here is a snapshot of the pre-litigation process.

You were injured in a car wreck. You hired a lawyer and you have been treated for your injuries. After a long physical recovery, you have either fully recovered to 100% of your pre-injury condition or you have reached maximum medical improvement and you have a permanent injury with an impairment rating from your doctor.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Friday, November 13, 2015

Why Do We Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

A Case Study From Real Life

Why do we need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, also known as UM/UIM? What is it? Am I being sold something that I do not need? These are questions you may be asking when you look at your insurance bill.

Or, these are question you may have asked when you are contracting for automobile insurance coverage with your insurance agent. But if you are not asking these questions, maybe you should. This post will answer some of those questions.

 

Category:
Continue Reading >
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Winning Your Personal Injury Case: Keeping A Journal

If you haven’t already, you need to start keeping a daily journal of events related to your claim for your attorney to use in preparing your case for a jury. This is important for a number of reasons.

First, you can use your notes to refresh your memory later as the case progresses. It is amazing how you forget some of the most painful physical feelings, and corresponding emotions, in your life. Include in your journal examples of how your life and physical pain have affected your daily life.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What to Look For In Your Personal Injury Law Firm?

Noise, there is a lot of it in the personal injury lawyer space. Personal injury lawyer marketing ranges from the blatantly silly to the obscenely insincere. Both give personal injury lawyers a bad name.

Every law firm that practices personal injury law advertises and you are only confronted with the best side of that law firm on a billboard, television commercial, radio commercial, yellow pages, internet, etc. All of this can be confusing if you are a novice personal injury victim, which is true of almost all.

Category:
Continue Reading >