The Law Offices of Nordstrom, Steele, Nicolette & Blythe

What Is The Importance Of Following Doctor’s Orders In An Auto Accident?


The defense, against an injured person involved in a vehicular accident is going to be that if they were hurt, they would be seeing their doctor. They would also, certainly, be keeping all of their doctor’s appointments. This failure to treat moves the case into a defensive posture of comparative fault. If the injury is exacerbated by not visiting a doctor or by not following a doctor’s recommendations and as a result, an injured person suffers a greater degree of pain and suffering, they can’t expect to be paid for that. The logic being that one could have otherwise minimized their degree of pain and suffering by treating with their doctors and/or following their doctor’s recommendations.

We call any failure to keep a doctor’s appointment, or any failure to be seeing doctors while hurt, gaps in care. If a defense insurance company sees that there are large unexplained gaps in treatment, they will try to use this to their advantage.

How Often Do Auto Accident Cases Go To Trial?

Most cases settle before trial. n our law firm about 90% of the cases we handle are resolved by settlement. Some cases resolve early on in the pre-litigation stage and some at the door of the courthouse on the day of trial. Each case has its particular facts but, in general most settle.

If the defense, the insurance company and their attorney’s, believe that they can either defend or successfully keep a verdict down in a case, it’s going to go to trial. Any possible defenses that you give an insurance company will haunt you throughout your case, and may result in the case going into trial. Insurance companies and their attorney’s will judge a case by whether they think they can do better in trial than paying the demand for settlement that your attorney has made. If they don’t want to pay a reasonable amount of money, then the case is going to go to trial.

If your law firm is well respected by the insurance community—in other words, a law firm that solely does this type of work and does it well—will the case ever go to trial? Defense insurance companies keep track of settlements and verdicts obtained by all attorneys that practice plaintiff’s injury law. If the insurance company feels they can outwit, out-lawyer, or otherwise settle your case for a low value, the case will either settle for a small amount or will go to trial. If it appears your attorney has not worked your case up properly, it gives the defense a strong reason to take your case to trial. If it’s known that your attorney settles cases for low value, and the low offer is not accepted, the case will go to trial. This is problematic, because sometimes people will see an attorney that’s not qualified to handle a personal injury matter.

If a client feels that their attorney is unable to achieve a salutary result for them and then hires another attorney that is qualified, to take over, the insurance company will have to come into line. However, as they have already made up their mind as to value it will be a laborious process for both you and your attorney. You will at least have an attorney that can take your case where it needs to be, that knows what he’s doing—but it may still have to go to trial, whereas the case otherwise should have been settled.

Most cases will settle if your attorney clearly knows those unique factors that give rise to your case, and you as a plaintiff. An attorney must be well versed on your injuries and the medical sequelae that will follow, and needs to have an informed idea of the value of the case in the jurisdiction where the case would otherwise be tried. You should always ensure that your attorney is familiar, not only with your case, but has handled large number of cases that are similar to your case.

One problem is that many attorneys will indicate their years of experience, but you must make sure that your attorney has years of experience with cases similar to yours. An experienced attorney that does it right, will very rarely have that case go in front of a jury. In short form, experience dictates successful results in the personal injury arena, and experience, dedication and commitment are key to arriving at a salutary resolve of a case.

How Long Does It Take For Someone To Recoup Funds After A Settlement Is Achieved?

In most cases, it’s fairly quick for someone to obtain funds after a settlement. Your attorney will receive a settlement, and release the funds generally within a few days to a few weeks after the settlement has been reached. After the release has been reviewed by your attorney and yourself, and has been executed, then the insurance company will send a draft. Again, this can be within a few days to a few weeks. It’s important for your attorney to keep on top of the insurance company to get that draft in. The attorney will then deposit that draft into the law firm’s client trust account, and issue the client a check out of the trust account.

If medical insurance, healthcare providers, or state or government providers, paid a client’s medical bills, that insurance medical payment company will place a lien on your automobile case. This is so that they can be reimbursed for the medical treatment they have paid for, out of any third-party settlement that you receive. In other words, any money from the other party that you receive. With government insurance, this process can take anywhere from 1 month to 6 months. If the attorney has already spoken to the healthcare providers, which usually they have, and the amounts of your healthcare or medical insurance payments are ascertained and negotiated by your attorney, then this can be done rather quickly in a matter of days.

For more information on Importance Of Following Doctor’s Orders, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (760) 837-1884 today.

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