13 Ways to Help Win Your Personal Injury Bicycle Case©
Communicate regularly by e-mail and telephonic appointments, as well as schedule in-person appointments with Mr. Duquette to discuss your case.
Avoid posting Face Book or other social media internet descriptions of your case, including those which the public has access to (i.e. Doing races while you are injured or posting a summary of your case online). Insurance adjusters research you online.
If you are frustrated, upset, worried, or if this is the first time you have been involved in this type of a case, then visit Richard regularly. He will be more than happy to meet with you and talk out any questions or issues that you may have. We believe good communication between the attorney and client is an essential element in the progress and successful resolution of a personal injury claim. Any issues can be worked out.
Advance the costs of litigation to help establish, finance, as well as show your investment and commitment in your case. If you can't afford litigation or surgery, there are companies that will fund litigation for a fee, on a non-recourse basis.
Be friendly to the secretaries and lawyers. It goes a long way. Remember, this is a team effort.
Avoid any conflicting advice from uninformed, but good intentioned family members, or friends. Sometimes, well intentioned family members or friends misdirect clients and provide misinformation, as they are not attorneys. Rely on your attorney here and communicate any issues that your family or friend has brought up, so that the attorney can help answer them for you. That will insure you have the best results.
Take your doctor's advice and don't try to start exercising too quickly. I know that there is a tendency to get back out there and maintain your fitness, but if you are injured the medical records will reflect any activity that conflicts with the doctor's advice and that will affect the value of your case. The insurance company will get a hold of those records. They will then try to cut off/reduce your damages because you have aggravated and failed to mitigate your damages by going against your doctor's advice. Also, if a doctor orders therapy, a knee brace, or whatever, please comply. Missed rehabilitation efforts reduce your case value.
Be realistic about your case value. If however, you choose to go to a jury trial, then work as a teammate and appreciate the risk of trial. The insurance industry will test your resolve. One way to shift the risk of costs over to the defense is to serve them with an CCP §998 Offer to Compromise. If you offer to settle your case for a specific amount, but the defense refuses to settle, then they risk sanctions. The first step to filing a CCP §998 Offer to Compromise on the defense, is to give me a bottom line settlement figure range. Then, see me to further discuss it.
Prepare for your own defense medical exam and discuss this with Mr. Duquette.
Document your losses with photos (photos, photos and more photos!! We want photos of your injuries (full body and close up shots); photos of your damaged bike; photos of your damaged riding gear; photos of any casts, stitches, braces, crutches; photos of you and your family; photos of the accident scene or other vehicles involved in the accident, etc.), measurements, receipts for medications or prescriptions, receipts for damaged property, repair estimates, any billing or receipt from any medical providers, EOB statements, prescription bottles, and witnesses information. I'm also especially interested in your lifestyle and family photos. I wrote is an article entitled, "Evidence Wins Bicycle Injury Cases". It contains a very helpful outline that can be applied to all types of civil injury matters.
Avoid requesting witness statements until asked by me. Avoid having your witnesses send in unsolicited emails about the event that must to be turned over (to the Insurance Defense) and might contain conflicting information. Talk by phone until I request a written statement.
Tell us about all your prior injuries, even if unrelated to this case. The insurance company will find them and I need to be aware of them, to maintain credibility.
Participate in your case and focus groups (and others like yours) to prepare for your deposition and trial. It adds great insight to your case.