Dan Baldyga has a lifetime of experience in the field of motor vehicle accidents, personal injury and compensation. He worked his way through college employed by a detective agency. His assignments included insurance fraud, missing persons, financial and background investigations plus undercover operations. He specialized in representing major New England insurance companies for whom he collected evidence in the inquiry of automobile accidents.
Upon graduation, Baldyga joined the United States Navy and was assigned to the Special Unit of Criminal Investigations where his primary duty was to travel throughout the Mid-West determining negligence and bringing to a conclusion serious and monumental accident cases involving government motor vehicles.
After serving in the Navy he entered the world of Insurance claims where he worked as an adjuster was promoted to supervisor and then claims manager. He spent the last five years of his career assisting company attorneys a court trials.
Baldyga appeared on over 100 regional and national television and radio talk shows throughout the United States. His innovative book was an overnight success.
|If you don't think you need this book now, you will. I see accidents in Denver every week. This book will save you money and save you from that feeling of being taken by one of those smiling insurance adjusters. They shouldn't be smiling with their hand in my pocket.|
Some sample articles from Dan Baldyga
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT INSURANCE CLAIM GUIDE
By: Dan Baldyga
This is a FREE Insurance Claim Guide created especially for the readers of this sensational web site HemiTruckCLub.com as a 2004 "Gift" from both myself and H. Kent Sundling. I want very much to help Kent in all his fantastic efforts to assist his readers when it comes to a motor vehicle accident because he surely and absolutely deserves it ! Thank you. Dan Baldyga
Your “Motor Vehicle” can be a truck, car, motorcycle - - you name it! If it’s powered by a motor and has one, two, three, four (or even more) wheels this “Guide” is for you.
The information below is a bare-bones “Guide” for those who have had such a motor vehicle accident. It details the basics of how one should with their property damage and/or personal injury claim.
AFTER IMPACT CHECKLIST
We heartily suggest you make a copy of this "Impact Checklist" to be kept handy within the confines of your motor vehicle. A “Guide” to refer to so you’ll be certain, should an accident take place, that you’ve covered everything.
Other than the fact that one must obtain from the other operator, both their drivers license and motor vehicle registration information, you should also proceed to do the following:
IMMEDIATELY MAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF: Names and addresses of eye witnesses. And later the investigating police officers name and badge number. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Snow, rain, fog, mist, sleet, etc. ROAD SURFACE: Dry, wet, slippery, icy, etc.IMPACT AREA: City, suburban, business, wooded, etc. VISIBILITY: Sunny, cloudy, dusk, night, moonlight, etc. (Was the sun in the other driver’s face)? TRAFFIC CONTROLS: Were there overhead lights? Posted speed limit signs? Stop or warning signs? Hospital or school zone signs? CREATE A DIAGRAM: Driving area: Flat, crowned, straight, curved, macadam, asphalt, concrete, cobblestone, dirt, etc. Indicate the width of street. Show the location of impact, gouge and/or skid marks. CONDITION OF MOTOR VEHICLE THAT STRUCK YOU: Age and general overall condition. Is their state inspection sticker displayed and up to date? Were chains or snow tires needed? AS SOON AS POSSIBLE RETURN TO THE SCENE AND SNAP PHOTOGRAPHS: It’s most important to take pictures of: Skid or gouge mark’s on the road surface plus the damage to both vehicles. PHOTOS OF YOUR BODILY INJURIES: It's crucial to the ultimate value of your claim to snap a multitude of colored photos (up close and from different angles) of your bodily injuries - - especially all black and blue marks or bruises.
INSIGHTS INTO HANDLING YOUR CLAIM (There Are Seven Areas You Must Be Familiar With) 1. Out-Of-Pocket Expenses 2. Lost Time From Work - Lost Wages 3. Property Damage Losses 4. What Your Medical Doctor And/Or Chiropractor Reports Should State 5. Medical Payments Coverage 6. What To Do If An Adjuster Refuses To Cooperate
You Should Go Into Detail Regarding These (Below Listed) Six Areas:
(1) OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES:These are expenses that can be measured in definite sums of money. They are the foundation of the calculations used to award damages (including that often great and extra amount paid to you for your “Pain and Suffering”) regarding any financial loss flowing directly from the injury you may have sustained.
MEDICAL EXPENSES: Obtain all bills and services rendered. (Prior to their being sent out, you have ever right to ask for and read the crucial Final Reports regarding your physical condition from your Doctor, Chiropractor, “Medical Specialist” and/or Dentist).Medical Expenses Typically Include: Ambulance ~ Emergency Room ~ Hospital or Clinic ~ Laboratory Fees and Services ~ Diagnostic Tests: (X-rays and/or CT Scan) ~ Registered or Practical Nurse Fees ~ Medicine and/or Prescription Medications ~ Prosthetic Appliances or Surgical Apparatus (Canes & crutch, etc.) ~ Physical Therapy ~ Ace Bandages, Gauze & Tape ~ Heating Pads ~ Creams, Ointments, Balms & Salves. As you read them make sure these Medical Reports include the length of time of your “Total Disability” and/or your “Partial Disability”. These are of enormous value because they justify the often HUGE, extra payment made for your “Pain and Suffering” . (Plus this information will also prove your claim for Lost Wages).
NON-MEDICAL DAMAGE EXPENSES. These include: Lost Wages and Earnings ~ Lost Vacation Time and/or Sick Leave ~ Travel Expenses: (Transportation costs incurred getting to and from The Doctor and/or Hospital, etc.) ~ Household Help During Disability ~ Child Care During Recuperation.
(2) LOST TIME FROM WORK - - LOST WAGES - - YOUR "LOSS EARNING CAPACITY": The weeks, hours and/or days you were unable to work (thus the money you may have lost) is added up and documented on company letterhead. You’re often entitled to compensation for “Lost Time and Earnings” even if you have no actual loss of money ! Such as, for example, if your salary is paid by some other insurance coverage you may have or by taking sick leave or some other similar arrangement. It doesn’t matter if you're employed full time, part time, self-employed, own your own business, retired, unemployed, or a housewife not employed outside the home, you should keep a written record of all household help and/or child care needed during your disability period.
All of these constitute an element of your “SPECIAL DAMAGES” mainly "Lost Wages". Insurance companies usually don't view your time away from work (because of an injury) as “Lost Time And Earnings” but as “Lost Earning Capacity”. In most states one is entitled to compensation for lost time and earnings even if they have no loss of money. For example, when your salary is paid for by another insurance coverage you have or by taking sick leave and/or some other similar type of arrangement. There are specific situations to be considered and called to the forefront when it comes to being employed either full-time or part-time. More detailed information (regarding these above stated area’s of your loss) are found in CHAPTER FOUR “Damages” within the book AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY INSURANCE CLAIM.
(3) PROPERTY DAMAGE LOSSES: “AGREED COST TO REPAIR”: This figure has been negotiated between your damage repair person and the insurance adjuster. Be sure you know (and possess a written copy of) exactly what that figure is.COLLISION: There's usually a deductible. Read your policy. (If you’re not at fault you should eventually be able to get this money back).PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY: Protects you for damages you do to the property of another (i.e. his or her trees, lawn, shrubs, mailbox, etc.) EXCLUSIONS: These are stated in your policy. A good rule of thumb is, “If it’s not excluded, it’s covered”. Read your policy closely to discover your exclusions and how they apply. TOTAL LOSS: A “Total Loss” is when the motor vehicle damage exceeds the value of the vehicle, as stated within all of the up-to-date and “Official” Property Damage books and/or documents. OTHER PROPERTY DAMAGE LOSSES: Clothing, jewelry, watches, eye or sunglasses, etc. You can also collect for your (or any other individuals) personal property which happened to be in the car and was damaged. (Be sure to have written proof of the cost of each item damaged plus the date it was purchased). Never forget: You’re entitled to be reimbursed for any charges you may have incurred for towing, storage and/or substitute motor vehicle rental, or for that matter - - any other alternate transportation.
The above is a very brief review. For more in-depth information read CHAPTER FIVE: PROPERTY DAMAGE found in AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY INSURANCE CLAIM.
(4) WHAT YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR AND/OR CHIROPRACTOR REPORT SHOULD STATE: Each “Injury Evaluation Factor” should be clearly stated within each of your final Medical Reports. For example: That your disability is solely the result of the accident. If there were any pre-existing conditions aggravated by your injuries? What treatments were administered and for what duration? What medications were prescribed, in what amounts and for how long? What symptoms or medical problems were such medications meant to relieve? Were there any adverse reactions demonstrated? Ask to read them before they're sent to the adjuster so you're sure it explains the nature, plus the extent and frequency of the pain that an injury, such as yours, will likely cause.
PROGNOSIS: This is the clearly stated information (regarding your personal injury progress) and should include: The part played by a pre-existing condition, if any? Their prediction of any possible future temporary disability/impairments? Does the individual attending you anticipate any further or future treatments? LENGTH OF YOUR “TOTAL” DISABILITY: Why? Because it's so important (when it comes time to settle) this is clearly stated in weeks and days. LENGTH OF YOUR “PARTIAL” DISABILITY: Again (and for the same reason as above) this too should be clearly stated in weeks and days. (Specific details, regarding both “Partial” and “Total” Disability , and the incredible value it provides for you in your claim, are found in CHAPTER SIX: YOUR BODILY INJURY).
(5) MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE: If you have this coverage in your motor vehicle policy, it will pay (up to the limits stated) for all medical bills arising out of the accident - - regardless of who’s at fault! (You must read your policy carefully because the “Who”, “Why” and/or “How” of this often differs).
A WORD ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS: In certain instances, it may be possible to have your medical bills paid and yet avoid any repayment by tapping into your health insurance coverage, or some other plan you may have. (Yes, this means, under certain circumstances, you may be able to collect twice for the same medical bills)!
(6) WHAT TO DO IF THE ADJUSTER REFUSES TO COOPERATE? These Are Your Usual And Routine Choices: a. Threaten that you're going to obtain the services of a lawyer to represent you. b. Go over the adjuster’s head. c. Resolve your loss in Small Claims Court. d. Contact the proper people (working through the State Department of Insurance) implementing the time honored principle of “Good Faith” vs. “Bad Faith”.
DISCLAIMER: The only purpose of this article is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Neither Dan Baldyga, HemiTruckClub.com nor Kent Sundling offer a guarantee of any kind whatsoever, NOR to substitute for a lawyer, an insurance adjuster, or claims consultant, or the like. Where such professional help is desired it is the INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLY to obtain such services.
Copyright (c) 2004 By Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved.
~ OUTSIDE PRESSURES ~
ON ADJUSTER HENRY HARD-NOSE
By: Dan Baldyga
The typical Insurance Adjuster like Henry Hard-Nose is not without outside pressures he must deal with every day. It would be advantageous for all the truck drivers, owners and readers of MR. TRUCK to be aware of the most important of these because if understood they’ll put money in your bank.
The first of these is your State Department Of Insurance. Every state has a Department, or Commissioner, or Bureau of Insurance that overseas the antics of a Henry Hard-Nose in that particular state. Each has a Consumer Complaint Division. If the adjuster you’ve been dealing with has refused to make any offer at all, has engaged in what you consider to be unethical conduct, or has made what you believe is a ridiculously low offer, you have cause for a complaint.
The mere mention of a complaint to the State Department of Insurance by a truck driver and/or owner may bring Hard-Nose around to making a better offer. Adjusters would rather not have to deal with a complaint and they positively don’t want copies of them ending up in their personnel file.
Your complaint to the State Insurance Department will accomplish several things: First, his boss will now become aware that there’s a trucker out there who intends to do whatever it takes to obtain some settlement dollars. That will often inspire that person to take a closer look at your case and come up with a better offer. Also, if indeed you do write to the Consumer Complaints Division, it will evolve into what’s always a costly effort because a complaint with the State Insurance Department will add an additional layer of work, supervised by an extra contingent of personnel. When it’s realized this will likely come to pass both Hard Nose and his immediate superior will try harder to dump your claim.
Like the vast majority of insurance adjusters Hard-Nose dreams of one day being promoted to a higher position within the company he work’s for. In his black heart Hard-Nose is aware of the fact if his personnel file has correspondence flowing into it from claimants he’s handled (plus copies of the letters which have been sent to the insurance commissioner) those will, somewhere down the line, be read by one of his companies executives. In many instances this will be a man who doesn’t want a “problem” employee like a Henry Hard-Nose spluttering, splashing, pooping, bellowing and crashing about his office area causing a ton of headaches and extra work within the framework of that particular executive’s command. Hard Nose is fully aware that such complaints will keep him , out on the road forever ,and will absolutely prevent him from moving up the corporate ladder.
OTHER CRUCIAL ISSUES THAT EVERY HENRY HARD-NOSE IS AWARE OF
When it comes to the reality of the way things work in the actual, daily, experience of personal injury claim negotiations and settlement, it’s vastly different from the stipulations found in the “Formal Law”. That is, Legal Theory, as it’s written and allegedly supposed to work. What that means is simply this: Hard-Nose can settle a case whether his decision to do so is based on “The Law” or not.
In the real world of Personal Injury settlements “compromise” (which more often than not little or nothing to do with the law) is the order of the day. It’s commonly accepted among those in the business (because that’s what makes their work life so much easier) that in any given case there’s almost a likelihood of negligence on both drivers, rather than just one. What this boils down to in practical terms, is this: Irregardless of the law practically no claim is without merit or totally lacking in value of some sort, especially if the “Value” is simply to “get rid of it”. I know this to be true because, “I’ve been there and done that” ,even though (and Hard-Nose is totally aware of this) - - that concept has nothing to do with the law .
While it’s never "officially" expressed to him Hard-Nose quickly learns, should your case go to trail, compromise will usually be the order of the day, even in cases of questionable liability. This fact alone gives him plenty of room to make a compromise settlement - - before your case ends up in his Defense Attorney’s hands - - where a compromise will (somewhere along the line) usually take place anyways.
Why will this come to pass? Because the costs of preparing for (and then proceeding into) a courtroom battle will skyrocket.
Being aware of all of this is always bubbling and boiling in that gray matter between Hard-Nose’s ears. If there’s any question whatsoever, regarding who was at fault in the motor vehicle accident you were involved in, don’t ever give up. Keep pounding away! When faced with a determined truck driver and/or owner who’s willing to wait and haggle and wont go away, the chances are Hard-Nose will eventually make an offer.
This comes to pass because Hard-Nose (especially if your claim has some value) doesn’t want it to end up as a complaint at the State Department Of Insurance. Plus he knows you’ll be made, a settlement offer, somewhere down the line, anyway. So, better he settle it now, before the cost of defending it gets blown out of proportion, later.
In order to continue to look good (especially to those who watch his progress and the way handles the outside pressure’s that haunt them all) every insurance adjuster like Henry Hard-Nose, who want to stay out of trouble plus continue to climb the ladder to success, understand that they must be cagey individual's. For you to be aware of this (if properly understood and handled) is most assuredly be to every truckers advantage.
Copyright (c) 2003 By Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved
TRUCK DRIVERS AND/OR OWNERS - - YOU HAVE A LEGITIMATE INSURANCE CLAIM
BUT YOU FOOLISHLY HANDED IT TO A FOOT DRAGGING LEGAL BEAGLE - - NOW WHAT?
By: Dan Baldyga
YOU MUST STAY ON TOP OF THAT HOUND DOG FOR TWO
HUGE REASONS: First because that's the only way to make sure he
does his job correctly. If you don't watch him like a hawk you
could end up on the short end of a very long stick! And second,
because most Legal Beagles think they’re overworked (if you don’t
think so just ask them!) and they incorrectly feel they don’t have
the time to spend on your case today, tomorrow or even six months
from now. The truth is you’ve signed his Contingency Fee Agreement
so he knows you’re in his back pocket and someday, when he decides
to make his move, you’re still locked in. Most have convinced
themselves they’re too busy to fuss with your case for awhile.
Unless you bug them on a regular basis they’ll let years
drag on before it gets settled.
You must know what's going on with your case at
all times and if you’re considered to be a pain in the butt than
so be it. Make it known to your Beagle that you're not going to
let your case disappear into a bottomless pit . What I'm telling
you here is very simple: Don't let your case drag on and on. If
you stay on top of things it'll get settled much sooner!
So, what’s the solution? A “Give Him Hell” letter to your lawyer, sent Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested, will get his attention, and in most cases (unless he’s a blazing idiot which some of them are) assure a prompt phone call. The letter should clearly state your complaints, and also your thoughts about hiring a new attorney - - quick like a bunny - - if the necessary steps aren’t taken.
CHANGING LAWYERS: This is a very difficult move so it must be well thought out. The following are some facts you must be aware of:
The new lawyer will ask you to contact the old lawyer telling him to turn your file over. If you have foolishly agreed to pay some of your old attorney’s costs (above and beyond the Contingency Fee Agreement you’ve signed) the two of them will have to work that out. The old lawyer may agree to wait and not be paid his costs until the new lawyer has settled your case, but (and this is usually the way that ball bounces) he may not! If that’s the situation you may have to pony up some big bucks before he turns your case over to the new lawyer.
The new Legal Beagle will want to review the file a soon as possible to determine if he wants to take it on. If it looks like some money can be made, the new lawyer may take it, but that’s a long shot. Why? Because your case has to be an outstanding “goodie” - - with a huge payoff potential for the lawyer’s “Contingency Fee”. Both Beagle’s (and there’s no way out of this one) will have to split that fee. If there’s not enough money to go around the second lawyer won’t be interested in taking you case. If that happens, you’re gonna be left with an upset attorney. Chances are he’ll let your case slip into
Limbo for years to come. That’s the risk you take when you try to dump your Beagle. Insurance companies react in various ways to a change in lawyers. They may view the switch as a sign that your case, or you, are a “problem”. There’s no doubt that the switch will tell the insurance company something is wrong. If they smell smoke, they’ll suspect a fire is probably blazing. This can result in an increased reluctance to settle. On the other had, the new lawyer may breath needed energy into the case, causing the insurance company to start thinking seriously about settlement - - but that’s a long shot. I wouldn’t bet on it.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Be sure to pick a good Legal Beagle to begin with, because you’re probably gonna be stuck with that hound dog right to the bitter end!
Copyright (c) 2003 Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved.
Dan Baldyga - Author
PLACING A VALUE ONYOUR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
By: Dan Baldyga
Your Medical Doctor has released you from treatment for your motor vehicle accident and enough time has passed so you’re about to position yourself to sit down with Adjuster Henry Hard-Nose. His employer is Rock Solid Insurance, the company who insures Fred Fuddle, the clown who plowed into your rear end, smashing you with a tremendous crash which was responsible for your injuries plus the “Pain and Suffering” you’ve had to endure.
To be adequately compensated for what you’ve gone through you must have accumulated what’s identified in the world of insurance claims as “Special Damages”. Those are your medical bills, your lost wages plus every dollar paid out to help with your recovery. When building the value of a personal injury claim there are several key elements you should be aware of:
LIABILITY: In the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents it’s clear who was at fault. Assuming that Fuddle struck you a mighty blow in the rear end (rear-enders make up well over half of the motor vehicle accidents that take place in the United States each year) yours is a case that must be settled. (Final Statistics prove that in 83% of accident’s that took place in 2002 it’s clear who was at fault) !
The very doubtful liability case has little, if any, settlement value. If that’s the situation you should obtain the services of the local Legal Beagle who does a good job of that, Attorney I.M. Greedy. But, if you do, be very careful when you sign Greedy’s “Contingency Fee Agreement”. Read it closely. Don’t sign anything that will let him charge you one penny, other than his normal fee. (Do not - - in any way whatsoever - - allow him to chisel any money from you, for his out-of-pocket expenses). All Greedy should be compensated for (if he’s successful at busting loose some bucks from Rock Solid) is his fee and that should be no more than the usual one third of the total recovery.
TYPE OF INJURY: If there are severe injuries (which make up just ten to fifteen percent of all motor vehicle accidents) you should obtain the services of a lawyer. But, if you’ve had minor injuries like whiplash, bumps, bruises, sprains and/or strains (and it's clear you're not at fault) you can and should handle and settle the claim yourself.
TYPE OF PERSON YOU ARE: Rate yourself and be brutally honest. You’re most likely an average motor vehicle owner/driver, living a normal life. But, if you’ve spent some time behind bars, have a criminal record, or a history of character defects that often get your butt in a jam with the local cops (and this is well-known) you’re gonna have to take those facts into consideration when forming expectations regarding what your case is worth.
THE TYPE OF PERSON FRED FUDDLE IS: The better Fred Fuddle looks, or the better the "entity" “(Fuddle’s business or company, etc.) appears, the better for Rock Solid. But, if Fuddle is a known bookie or drug dealer, they’re in deep “stuff“. On the other hand, if Fuddle is a well-loved philanthropist, that can be a plus for Rock Solid Insurance. Or if the vehicle that struck you was a van driven by Pastor Frederick Fuddle, and the named insured is The Fuddle Camp For Lost Souls, that can be a plus for Rock Solid.
But, if the “entity” that hit you was a dilapidated junk pile on wheels operated by Fred “Goof-Ball” Fuddle, and the named insured is The Fuddle Rotted Cow Manure Corporation, that will not be favorable for Rock Solid.
DAMAGES: There are “Medical Special Damage” Expenses, “Non-Medical Special Damages” Expenses, and/or your “Property Damage” Expenses.
MEDICAL SPECIAL DAMAGE EXPENSESThese typically include Cost of Ambulance, Emergency Room, Hospital and/or Clinic Charges, Chiropractor, and/or Dentist, Over-The-Counter Drugs and/or Prescription Medications, Laboratory Fees and Services, Diagnostic Tests: X-Rays and (CT) Scan, Prosthetic Appliances or Surgical Apparatus, (Cranes & Crutches), Physical Therapy, Registered and/or Practical Nurse Fees, Ace Bandages, Gauze and Tape, Heating Pads, Creams, Lotions, Ointments, Balms and Salves.
When it comes to listing your Medical Special Damage “expenses” don’t overlook one single dollar because, when it comes time to settle your claim, that dollar can increase the value of your payment for “Pain and Suffering” by a multiplier of four or even five! (Yes, that means a $10.00 bill can be worth $30.00 to $50.00 more ,in your pocket, from Rock Solid Insurance, at settlement time).
NON-MEDICAL SPECIAL DAMAGES: These typically include Lost Wages and Earnings, Lost Vacation time and/or Sick Leave, Travel Expenses (car rentals, public transportation, expenses incurred getting to and from your Chiropractor and/or hospital and/or physical therapy “treatment” of some sort) Household Help during disability and/or Child Care. Be sure to obtain written proof of such "Non Medical" Special Damages.
LOST WAGES:The income you lost, because you were unable to work, is an area where adjusters take terrible advantage of the typical claimant because they know so little about it.
Commissions and overtime can make a huge difference in your lost earnings. Be sure to get a letter from your employer, on their official letterhead, explaining that in detail. Or, if you’re self-employed, get this information stated on your accountants letterhead.
The time you miss from work (thus the money you may have lost) is calculated and this element constitutes what is known as “Lost Wages” or “Lost Time Verification”. In most situations you’re entitled to compensation for lost time and earnings, even if you have no actual loss of money! Such as, for example, when your salary is paid by your company insurance coverage, or by taking sick leave, or some similar arrangement.
Even if you’re salaried you should obtain a "Lost Earnings", or "Time Lost Verification", in writing on your employer’s letterhead.
IF YOU’RE SELF-EMPLOYED: To prove your lost earnings you’ll probably have to assemble some inside information for Hard-Nose. If you don’t like the idea of submitting private documents to him, in the privacy of your home or office, just think how you’d feel about producing them in the non-private environment of a courtroom. When a case goes to trial, and if you want to prove your damages so as to collect adequate compensation, that’s your only alternative.
TWO CRITICAL AREAS REGARDING LOST WAGES:Did the injury necessitate a change of job or employment at a lesser rate? Or, did the injury allow your going to work but only on a part-time basis? If the answer to either question is “Yes”, it would be wise to ask your employer to document these facts on their letterhead.
IT’S CRUCIAL FOR YOU TO KNOW: Even if you’ve been paid while out of work, you can still compute your time lost from work as “Lost Wages” when you execute BASE (The BaldygaAuto Accident Settlement Formula). This simple yet revolutionary “Pain and Suffering” evaluation formula is explained in my book, AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY INSURANCE CLAIM (How To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss), which can be found right here on this website.
PROPERTY DAMAGE EXPENSES: These typically include Motor Vehicle Repair, Damaged Clothing, Broken Glasses, cost of Substitute Car Rentals, Towing and Storage. Make copies of all bills relating to any of your property damage expenses. Keep the originals. Be sure to have these in your possession when you and Hard-Nose plunk yourselves down to "Talk Turkey". Photocopies are sufficient to give him.
YOUR AGE: Because of their obvious innocence, insurance claim accident victims, up to the age of 12, generally have excellent settlement results. Those in their teens, and into their late 50’s, fall into a fairly normal category because they’re generally considered to be at the height of their physical stamina. Those in their late 60’s, and over, usually fare extremely well; primarily due to the sympathy that’s often invoked, from a judge or jury, because of general attitudes regarding frailty and the elderly.
MOST IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:The information Hard-Nose places into your file plays a major role in the ultimate value of your claim. Never underestimate the importance of his impressionsand conclusions! Should, one day, your case ends up in front of a judge, or jury, what Hard-Nose feels, observes and then reports into your file at Rock Solid about you, his insured Fred Fuddle, and/or possible witnesses, etc., (in addition to the information you’ve documented for him) could have massive influence on the value of your claim - - especially if Fuddle is a loser and he’s absolutely in the wrong. At that point the only thing stalling a settlement is the amount of money it’s gonna cost to get rid of you.
And, should your file end up in the hands of the local defense attorney for Rock Solid Insurance, all the positive factors about you, your injury and liability, will cause him to gasp, “Hey, what's going on here? My legal fees will be higher than the few hundred more bucks this one can be dumped for.”
The bottom line: Your out-of-pocket expenses correctly recorded and presented, your injury information properly documented and your lost wages clearly established will seriously increase the dollar value of your personal injury claim. (QUESTION: How does Dan know this to be true? ANSWER: “Because for 38 years Dan was right there, where he saw and done that”).
Copyright (c) 2003 by Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved
MORE ON LOST WAGES
By Dan Baldyga
Several months ago I wrote an article for MR. TRUCK regarding the handling of your claim for LOST WAGES. Since then I’ve been asked so many questions about that subject matter I’ve decided it would be wise to go into even greater depth and provide you, the reader of this outstanding publication, with deeper insights into this most crucial aspect of your truck accident, personal injury insurance claim.
GENERALLY SPEAKING: If you're
claiming five weeks of lost wages, and your Medical Record shows you
were discharged in three, you're in deep “stuff“! You're chances of
collecting for those other two weeks are minus-zip.
Why ? So you'll have a chance to
read it before you hand it to Adjuster Henry Hard-Nose employed
by Rock Solid Insurance Corporation.
Assuming your Final Medical Report
has been written accurately that's money in the bank! But, far too
often they're dashed off in haste by a "busy-busy" Attending
Physician. Don't let that happen to you because, if it does, that hot,
slick tongue you feel on you're lips, and sliding into your throat, is
the result of the kiss of death that’s being given to you just before
LOSS OF PAY VS. TRIPS TO YOUR ATTENDING PHYSICIAN: If your Lost Wage Document, which was executed by the company you work for, states that you didn’t work during the same period you were being treated by your attending physician, that’s all the proof you need to be compensated for your “lost earnings”. However, if your doctor didn’t treat you any longer after a certain date (even though stated and detailed in your Lost Wage Document) than your chances of recovery for your lost wages, after that particular date, are minus zip!
BACK TO WORK BUT STILL TREATING: If you’ve returned to work, but you’re still being treated by your attending physician, that Lost Wage Document should clearly state the date and hours you missed when you had to leave work and make that day trip to see your doctor and/or receive treatment.
BACK TO WORK BUT NOT AT YOUR USUAL,
NORMAL, ROUTINE ASSIGNMENT: During my 35 years in the business of
insurance claims I often ran into a situation where the claimant
insisted they were unable to return to their old job and this caused
them to have a lesser income. However, there were many times when the
only proof of this was their verbal contention and that was
unacceptable. That’s why it’s so important (should this apply to you
and your work/income situation) that this is clearly spelled out ,
by the company where you’re employed, in their Lost Wage Report.
An official notation on the bottom of the document, stating this to be
true, can save you a lot of grief, and earn you a ton of money!
Copyright (c) 2003 By Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved
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