Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Videos

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Settling Insurance Injury Claims - Beware of a Second Injury

Absurd Settlement Offers Cheat The Injured

Published on by: Norman Miller

When you have been injured to the point that you need to file an injury claim for financial compensation you need to be treated with honesty and respect. Most people filing an injury claim are not trying to get rich, they simply need to be compensated for their medical expenses, lost wages and other financial losses. To the injured party it seems logical and fair but to an insurance company it means lost profits; no more, no less. In the process of settling an injury claim the injured party is too often the victim of a second injury - an absurd settlement offer.

Don't Trust ANY Insurance Company

I get calls all the time from people who tried to settle their won cases with the insurance company, but to no avail. Usually, it is too late for me to do anything because the potential client has said something to an adjuster or turned over a document to the insurance company which permanently ruined their case. When I ask the potential client why they tried to settle the case themselves, they invariably say that they trusted the insurance company. They felt like if they acted in good faith, the insurance company would do likewise. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Lower Settlements = More Profit

Insurance companies, like all corporations, exist to make money, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, insurance companies in the last 8-10 years have purposefully undervalued cases in order to gain bigger profits. They know that most injured parties are very vulnerable; many cannot work due to their injuries and have no income coming in. These injured victims have to put food on the table for their families. The insurance companies know this and very often make extremely low-ball offers knowing that these people cannot wait very long to settle their case.

At one time, Allstate allegedly decided that they would target 90 of the injured parties for a quick settlement within 180 days. If you did not settle within that time, instead of "Good Hands" you got "Boxing Gloves" and Allstate allegedly would draw out the litigation for 3-5 years. A competent and experienced personal injury attorney can protect you from such nonsense.

Don't Become Just Managed Data

Additionally, virtually all insurance companies now use a software program in order to determine how much money to offer. Allstate’s program was called "Colossus". Even the name seems an attempt to intimidate. There are various problems with this approach. First, it takes the human element out of adjusting cases. An injured person may make for a very sympathetic witness to a jury, but not to a computer. Second, the computer can only base its decision on the data that the insurance companies enter into it. Here is a great article about a former Allstate adjuster who almost suffered a nervous breakdown over what Allstate was asking him to do. It’s called "turning the knobs" of the software program. One insurance company was allegedly told by a consulting company that it should offer 20% less than what the computer told them to offer.

To protect yourself from being ripped off you need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for your rights. Attorney Norman Miller is a former insurance company attorney, and knows exactly how they "manage people". He knows how to get you the highest settlement possible. Before you talk to an insurance company, or sign ANYTHING, please contact Norman Miller at 770-284-3727 to learn important information that the insurance company does not want you to know.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Personal Injury Awards Protect Your Finances

Vehicle Accident Injuries Often Cause Medical Bills . . . and Sometimes Bankruptcy

Published on by: Norman Miller

Car wrecks and trucking accidents often cause physical injuries that require medical attention and rehabilitation therapies. Medical and rehab services cost a lot of money. Sometimes the bills for these services can become insurmountable and drive an injured person into bankruptcy. A few smart moves can prevent this from happening to you.

Car and Trucking Accident Recovery Costs

Like hundreds of thousands of others, your life was probably going just fine until the second you were involved in an auto accident. The sudden, debilitating pain, helplessness and continuous mental distress that you now know as normal did not exist until the moment of impact. Now, your escalating medical bills are propelling you farther and farther into debt. Your reality is that you can get on top of the situation now with a personal injury lawsuit, or ignore your rights to receive compensation and find yourself in federal bankruptcy court with one or two years.

Auto Accident Medical Injuries

The impact of a car accident can instantaneously contort your body, and initiate several different medical injuries at once. Common multiple auto accident medical injuries include back, neck, face and head injuries. All in all, you could sustain a head concussion, facial and neck pain from the abrupt air bag opening, and spinal damage or back pain you might not even notice for days, weeks or even months after the accident. These medical injuries generally require immediate emergency care, but often, the E.R. is just the beginning of your long, painful auto accident recovery. Never overlook that every doctor visit, every medical treatment and every hospital stay racks up a big bill with your name on it.

Car Wreck Medical Expenses

You will most likely find, like hundreds of thousands of others, that you must undergo months, if not years, of post-accident treatment to completely heal from the accident. You might also have to see specialty doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and speech pathologists, depending upon the extent of your injuries. These post-wreck medical expenses can literally put you tens of thousands to over several hundred thousand dollars in personal debt. You have legal options to protect yourself from financial travesty.

Ultimately YOU are responsible for paying for your medical care. A personal injury claim is your only way to assure that you receive a level of compensation that covers all of your medical expenses. If you settle for less than your expenses will be, YOU will have to find a way to pay for every extra fee. You won't get a second chance at receiving a fair settlement!

Recovering from Whiplash

If you were unfortunate enough to suffer from whiplash after your accident, you might live with chronic pain indefinitely. You might have to undergo painful injections to help you manage painful muscle spasms. You might even need to incorporate expensive chiropractic treatments along with prescription pain medicines and extensive physical therapy, while you are recovering from whiplash. You might not be able to work during this period. Therefore, it is in your best interests to enlist the services of an attorney who specializes in post car accident bankruptcy due to excessive medical bills.

Legal Solutions For Injury Caused Medical Expenses

Certainly, many car wrecks do not cause significant physical harm. Other types of accidents cause harm that requires immediate and long term care. If you have been injured and are now facing medical expenses, or even remotely suspect that you could in the future, you should at least speak with a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer has witnessed a lot of injury cases and can provide expert consulting on the chances that medical expenses could be a problem in your situation.

If you fail to take action within a specified period of time you may lose your rights to file a personal injury claim. This means that by virtue of not taking action now, you are passively agreeing to take full personal responsibility for ALL medical bills and expenses. This frequently drives otherwise financially responsible people into personal bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy may eventually become your only way to escape the massive debt that medical expenses can generate. In almost every situation, the injured party could have avoided the financial calamity of bankruptcy by filing a personal injury claim. Hiring an attorney instead of accepting a quick, low-ball offer from an insurance company is how you truly protect yourself. An attorney can assure that you are receiving fair and due compensation for your injuries and to cover medical services.

If you have been injured in a car wreck, trucking accident you should contact an attorney. Contacting a personal injury attorney now is much better than later having to hire a bankruptcy attorney.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Miller Legal Services Earns Another Honor!

BREAKING NEWS: Miller Legal Services just made the list of "Top Georgia Verdicts" for the second year in a row!! Call us at 770-284-3727 for experienced, elite legal representation. You can also visit our website at www.TheAtlantaAccidentAttorney.com Initial consultation is always free.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Trucking Accidents - A Life Changing Event

Trucking Accident Statistics & Financial Hardships

Published on by: James Hobson - Blog Contributor

It's very probable that anyone who drives in the United States has had an uncomfortable driving experience with a commercial tractor trailer or semi-truck. Our growing population drives a need for more trucks, driving more miles, to deliver food and consumer goods. With the combined growth of passenger vehicle drivers and trucking traffic it is inevitable that there will be more trucking accidents.

Trucking accident statistics support the claim that the number of trucking accidents is on the rise. Trucking accidents often cause financial devastation on people involved in these horrific wrecks.

Tractor trailer truck wrecks involving motorcycles are almost almost fatality accidents. Truck wrecks involving passenger vehicles, especially on interstates and highways, typically cause physical injuries to drivers and passengers alike. Other trucking accidents involve bicyclists, pedestrians and even real property.

Trucking Regulations and Safety Violations

The trucking business is extremely competitive and many trucking companies struggle to be profitable. The best method of being profitable in the trucking business is to deliver freight quickly in order to move higher volumes of freight each day, week and year. This often means fatigued drivers driving well above speed limits, and often very aggressively. Additionally, it is quite common for truck drivers in trucking accidents to be found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Trucking regulations include strict laws on truck driver down time to mitigate fatigue, speed limit laws and truck maintenance requirements. I think everyone would agree that truck drivers routinely abuse speed limit laws. Many drivers falsify log books in order to drive longer hours with an appearance of doing so in a legal manner. Truck maintenance records are also forged, and it is not uncommon for trucking companies or independent haulers to ignore essential vehicle maintenance.

All of these conditions create an ever present danger on our nations highways. The only upside, sadly enough, is that being able to prove that truck drivers or truck owners have failed to comply with laws and regulations makes it easier to win substantial financial awards in trucking accident jury trials.

The Dangers of a Tractor Trailer Truck

The average passenger car weighs less than 3,000 pounds. The average commercial tractor trailer rig (cab and 53' trailer) weighs around 30,000 empty and can weight as much as 80,000 pounds when loaded. Imagine the force of 40 tons traveling at speeds in excess of 70 mph when it collides with a 3,000 pound light vehicle!

Trucking Accident Deaths and Injuries

Every year in the United States there are well over 4,000 deaths and tens of thousands of serious injuries. The Department of Transportation reported these figures increased nearly 9% from 2009 to 2010.

Financial Impacts From Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents almost always cause some level of financial discomfort or hardship. In the case of deaths, the loss can cause surviving spouses to file bankruptcy and struggle for the remainder of their lives to pay their bills and live a normal life.

Let's assume that you are involved in what would be considered a relatively minor trucking accident. Your vehicle probably is totaled which almost always means a financial loss or hardship when you try to replace your vehicle. You feel okay and decide to not get medical attention or even an exam. Then, monthd or years later you discover that the cause of neck pains or mobility problems wre caused by the trucking accident. These injuries may lessen your quality of life, prevent you from working, enjoying normal activities or performing normal household tasks. These types of late developing injuries will cost you thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Trucking accidents that are especially violent, and cause serious, permanent injury or even death, the financial losses can easily be over $500,000! A spouse making $50,000 per year, with at least 20 years more to work would have earned at least $1,000,000 and now their family is broke.

It is important to know that if you are involved in a trucking accident you should get a medical exam regardless of how you feel at the time of the accident. If you discover any physical injuries, have problems obtaining a fair settlement for your vehicle damage, or personal property you should contact a trucking accident attorney. Always remember that trucking company insurance agents will always try to settle quickly with a grossly inadequate offer. Before you accept any settlement you should take advantage of the opportunity to have a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to get a fair assessment of your situation.

Friday, October 5, 2012

If You're In A Car Wreck, Go To The Emergency Room

Car Wrecks, Injury Lawsuits & Medical Care

Published on by: Norman Miller

You’re stopped at a red light, minding your own business, when someone hits you from behind. You are momentarily startled and then your adrenaline starts pumping. You appear to be alright, so you get out of your car, exchange information with the other driver, and wait for the police to arrive. And then you go home. For two reasons this is almost certainly a big mistake.

Hidden Injury Is Not Uncommon

First, you may have internal bleeding or a closed head injury and don’t even know it. The adrenaline rush very often covers up symptoms or there are no symptoms at all. Any delay in treatment could result in irreversible damage and could even be fatal. Sometimes what seems like just minor soreness is a symptom of soemthing that may cause you a lifetime of nagging pain.

Second, the other party’s insurance company won’t take your claim very seriously if you do not go to a hospital emergency room. Very often later that night, early the next day, or within a few days your body begins to feel sore. It’s the same type of feeling you experience when you haven’t worked out in a while. You feel pretty good right after the workout, but the next day or two you begin to feel sore all over, except this time it may be more serious than just sore muscles. You eventually decide to make an appointment with your family doctor or an urgent care facility. However the other driver’s insurance company will use that delay in treatment against you when it comes time to settle.

The Insurance Company's Viewpoint

I know these things to be factual because I once worked for insurance companies as an attorney working on settlements. I did this for over 18 years before switching sides. I now represent insured parties, the injured people, instead of large corporations that see only dollars and lack compassion for victims.

Did you know that many insurance companies use a scoring system to determine the severity of injury? This statistical evaluation, which is used to limit settlement payouts, is anything but fair to the injured party. An example of this unfair systrem is that failure to go to the ER after an accident reduces the amount of “points” they allow to be considered in determining settlement figures. Additionally, most insurance companies will reimburse you for ER visits come settlement time because they understand that you do a have a right to have yourself checked-out after an accident.

Free Consulation With An Injury Lawyer

If you are injured in a car accident, and especially a trucking accident, in Cobb County or the metro-Atlanta area, please contact The Marietta Accident Attorney, Norman Miller. Our law firm offers FREE CONSULTATIONS that can inform you of your rights and why you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Personal Injury Cases and Video Evidence

Smile! You're on Candid Camera.

Published on by: Norman Miller

Video Evidence in Injury Cases

It is estimated than an average person appears on a surveillance camera 170 times per day. This not only has a profound effect on our right to privacy, but can also play an integral role in personal injury cases.

One of the most obvious areas that this comes into play involves traffic cameras at intersections. While they were put there by the local jurisdictions to catch people running red lights, it also comes in handy in recording traffic accidents. Even assuming that fault is not in dispute, just being able to show the violent impact of a traffic collision will play well to a jury (or even a claims adjuster). However, local governments only keep copies of these recordings for a short time, so one must act quickly after an accident in order to make sure the evidence is preserved.

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accidents

In large urban areas such as Atlanta, video cameras are often located at major intersections. The video evidence captured by these cameras is often instrumental in proving driver error in cases where pedestrians and bicyclists have been struck by an auto.

Premise Liability Accidents

Another area that surveillance cameras play an important role involves premises liability cases (i.e. slip-and-falls, false arrest, etc.). It’s very difficult for a merchant to deny something that is recorded. Very often, a merchant will accidentally, or sometimes even intentionally, destroy video evidence. This is called “spoliation of evidence” and can have dire consequences for the merchant.

Under Georgia law if the defendant in a civil suit destroys evidence, the jury is instructed that there is a presumption that the claim is good. As one can see, the penalties for destroying evidence are strong.

It’s very important that if you are injured in a car or trucking accident, or due to the fault of a property owner, you should hire The Atlanta Accident Attorney, Norman Miller. Call 770-284-3727 to discuss setting an appointment for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your personal injury situation.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why You Should Have Medical Payment Insurance On Your Auto Policy

Medical Payment Insurance For Injury Claims

Published on by: Norman Miller

Medical Expenses Are A Common Reason People File Bankruptcy

Assume you are injured in an automobile accident and you go the Emergency Room and incur a few thousand dollars in medical bills. You may be able to pay for these bills with your health insurance, assuming you have it, however you can also use Medical Payment coverage on you auto insurance to pay these bills. If you lack insurance, and don't hire an injury lawyer, you will be forced to pay the entire bill without any help. Medical Payment Insurance can help to protect you from this bad situation.

Medical expenses are one of the most common reasons that people file for bankruptcy. If you have bneen injured ina car wreck, motorcycle wreck, or trucking accident you need to contact an attorney to assess your potential financial liabilites.

Medical Payment Coverage

Medical Payment coverage, or medpay, is a relatively inexpensive form of coverage that you can add on to your auto insuranceIt basically replaced the “no-fault” coverage that was mandatory in Georgia at one time. However, “no-fault” coverage was repealed in the early 90’s and has been replaced by optional medpay coverage.

Medpay coverage basically pays the medical bills up to the limits of the policy of anyone injured while riding in or driving your car (including you), no matter whose fault the accident was. (Conversely, if you are riding in someone else car and are injured in an accident, you can get their medpay to pay your medical bills even if the accident was not their fault.) Insurance companies only have 60 days to pay these bills or they can be required to pay very high penalties and fees.

Advantages of MedPay

There are two distinct advantages of using the medpay coverage instead of your health insurance. First, you do not have to worry about any deductibles or co-pays with medpay. The insurance company will pay any reasonable and customary charges for medical treatment that is related to the accident. Second, and most importantly, when you recover a settlement or verdict against the at-fault party, it is unlikely that you will have to reimburse the medpay insurance company for the medical bills they paid out of said settlement or verdict. They may tell you that you have to, but State law does not require it in most cases. However, if your health insurance is provided by your employer, unless you work for the government, that would be controlled by a Federal law called ERISA that would probably require that you reimburse your health insurance carrier out of your settlement. That could cost you thousands of dollars. Of course, on the other hand a car insurer may be able to set-off what they paid on medpay from any uninsured/underinsured motorist payments.

As you can see, how you pay for your medical bills after a car accident is an important decision that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If you are injured in an accident, you need to contact The Atlanta Accident Attorney at 770-284-3727.