Episode 16: Louisville car wreck attorney Jim Desmond explains what happens after your car wreck. It can be a time of confusion and stress. Jim will do his best to lay out the steps and help you to understand the process of dealing with issues related to your automobile accident.
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You Can Help Your Claim
If you’re not severely injured and if it’s safe to do so, Jim recommends taking photos of the car accident scene. If witnesses are present, take pictures of their licenses to make it possible to follow up with them. Document the location and position of the cars on the road. Also, take pictures of any skid marks.
All of this is valuable evidence that can be used to explain what happened at the time of the collision. Understand that this evidence can fade away or disappear. A series of photos helps to preserve that evidence for your insurance claim and any potential lawsuit.
Jim often checks to see if any cameras, such as security cameras or Ring cameras, are located near the crash site. If they recorded footage just prior to or at the time of the collision, that information is also important evidence to support your claim.
Remember, it’s not what you think happened; it’s what you can prove. Stories can change. Memories can get confused. Witnesses forget details. Pictures preserve facts.
Seek Medical Treatment
If your car is significantly damaged, go to the hospital to get checked out. Ask them to note in the records that you were involved in a car wreck. You could have injuries that aren’t immediately noticeable. Adrenaline can mask the extent of the injuries.
Let the medical providers examine you and possibly run necessary tests. Yes, it may take a while, but again, the medical records are evidence.
Covering the Cost of Your Medical Treatment
Kentucky is a no-fault state. This means the insurance company for the vehicle you were in at the time of the collision covers your medical bills for the first $10,000 in medical expenses and/or lost wages. There are a few other items it can cover, but it’s primarily there to enable you to get medical treatment, immediately. It doesn’t matter who was at fault. That’s why it’s called no-fault coverage (sometimes referred to as PIP coverage).
If you have health insurance, there are circumstances in which you may want to use your own insurance to get necessary treatment, while the claim is being handled. Your attorney may be able to negotiate the actual final cost of those medical bills, which can leave your $10,000 in no-fault (PIP) coverage to be used for additional medical expenses. It’s a way to stretch the available insurance money to help you.
Jim Desmond often explains handling a case involves getting the most for the damages, on behalf of the client, but also preserving as much of those funds for the client.
For more information about Louisville Personal Injury Attorney Jim Desmond, visit www.AttorneyDesmond.com. Better yet, call Jim on his cell phone at (502) 609-7657. That’s actually his preferred way to hear from people who have been involved in a collision. He may be able to begin working on getting the police report and other important information to help start your claim more quickly.
Meet Face-to-Face with Jim Desmond
Jim actually prefers to meet face-to-face with his clients. You want to hire an attorney whom you can trust. That personal interaction helps you to get to know Jim and have a better sense of how he’s going to work with you.
If necessary, yes, your claim can be handled electronically via email or video calls, but a car wreck is a serious issue. Jim wants to make sure you get the answers and the time you need to make a good decision regarding this situation.
Jim explains the biggest complaint attorneys receive is all about communication. Jim tries to avoid this by ensuring you have his cell and can contact him when you have questions or need information. In your first meeting, he’ll lay out a game plan so you’ll have a better understanding of the process and the steps involved to resolve your case. You’ll get solid information and have the proper expectations about your auto accident claim.
Make Your Claim Easier to Resolve
Jim comments that you should send him any information you receive, such as medical bills. Send him a quick text about your treatment status or especially when you go to a new medical provider, such as a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist. This can enable him to quickly update your case and to make sure the medical records are gathered to support your claim. This is especially important when the case is ready to resolve. It takes time to track down missing medical bills or other invoices related to your claim. Having that information in a timely fashion makes your claim easier to resolve.
Jim often provides self-addressed stamped envelopes so you can easily send him the information, as soon as it arrives.
Contact Jim Desmond as Early as Possible in the Process
It’s always easier to start from scratch and build the case from the outset. If you wait several weeks or months to contact an attorney, a lot has already happened and it will take time to figure out all of the moving pieces. When you contact Jim as early as possible in the process, you have a better chance of making sure you get the case off to a fast and proper start.
Jim explains attorney fees in car wreck cases are not set in stone. Attorneys can charge whatever they want. Jim charges 33.3% of the amount he recovers, for settling a claim pre-litigation. If it has to go to trial, his fee increases to 40% because of the additional work that’s required for trial.
Jim works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t owe him anything unless he recovers money for you. He’s been doing that for 20 years.
A Different Way of Practicing Law
Jim also puts in writing that he won’t take more as an attorney fee than what the client keeps as part of the net settlement for any claim that settles in pre-litigation. Basically, if medical bills eat up a large portion of the settlement, he won’t take a larger fee than what the client puts in his/her pocket. Jim will lower his fee to keep this promise.
Jim competes against the big TV advertisers by delivering excellent service and making sure he’s personally involved with each client’s case. You’re going to work directly with attorney Jim Desmond, not a case worker or paralegal.
It’s the right thing to do.
The information provided on this podcast is for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should seek the advice of an attorney for guidance related to your specific situation. I am only licensed in Kentucky and Indiana, so the general advice provided may not apply outside of those states.
This podcast may be freely shared, but may not be modified or edited in any way. This is an attorney advertisement. The principal office is located in Louisville, KY. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson.