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Posted on February 21, 2019 in A Letter From the Lawyer

I love what I do. I get to come to work every day and help people who have been hurt or wronged put their lives back together. I am a lawyer, but personal injury law is the only type of law I practice. I don’t give legal advice to corporations regarding taxes, and I don’t set up estates or write wills. I don’t handle civil disputes, and I don’t represent criminal defendants in court. (If you are reading this and do need an attorney for any of these issues, please contact me and I can refer you to my colleagues who specialize in this work.)

I have many friends who aren’t lawyers. Friends who are doctors, art gallery owners, insurance agents, real estate brokers, homemakers, and teachers. One of my favorite things to ask them is what they do in a given day. As a business major in college, I loved learning about others’ jobs – the roles they play in a given company – and their daily challenges.  It’s fun for me because I like to know what others’ lives are like on a daily basis.

Just in case you’re as naturally curious as I am, I’m going to take you through a day in my life as a personal injury attorney. This will tell you what an experienced personal injury attorney does for you in your case. Below, I’ve written a more or less complete list of tasks that my firm and I may be called to complete in a case. Remember that each case is different, and not all of these tasks will be required in every case.

  • Educate client about personal injury claims
  • Gather documentary evidence such as police accident report and photographs of the damage to the vehicles or the scene of the collision
  • Gather client’s medical records and bills
  • Interview crash witnesses
  • Attend client’s traffic court hearing to observe what other party says about crash
  • Communicate with at-fault (liability) insurance company and its adjusters so client does not have to talk to them any further
  • Analyze client’s insurance policy to see whether there are any coverages available to help cover the client’s damages and possibly pay medical bills while the liability claim is still pending
  • Analyze client’s insurance coverages and make suggestions as to what coverages should be purchased for future protection
  • Analyze case’s legal issues, such as comparative negligence, assumption of risk, and failure to mitigate damages
  • Talk to client’s physicians/obtain written reports from physicians to fully understand client’s condition
  • Analyze client’s medical records to make sure that the client’s medical treatment is complete and client’s injuries are fully taken care of
  • If client is still complaining of injury, discuss whether a specialist is needed for follow-up care
  • Analyze client’s health insurance policy or welfare benefit plan to determine whether any money spent to pay bills must be repaid to the health insurance company
  • Analyze validity of any case liens
  • Decide with client whether we will negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit
  • Draft settlement demand package to the insurance company detailing the wreck, injuries, medical treatment, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life
  • If lawsuit is filed, prepare client, witnesses and healthcare providers for depositions
  • Prepare written questions and answers and take the deposition of the defendant and other witnesses
  • Produce to defendant all pertinent data for the claim, such as medical bills, medical records, and tax returns
  • Determine whether mediation (a settlement conference) will be beneficial while the case is in a lawsuit
  • File briefs and motions with the court to eliminate surprises at trial (motions in limine)
  • Prepare clients and witnesses for trial
  • Set trial date with court (it takes quite some time even after the lawsuit is filed to get a court date set)
  • Prepare and organize medical exhibits for trial
  • Prepare and organize demonstrative exhibits for trial
  • Take case to trial with a jury or judge
  • Analyze jury’s verdict to determine if either side has good grounds to appeal the case
  • Make recommendations to client as to whether or not to appeal the case
  • When case settles, verify balances with the medical providers and make sure providers are paid out of settlement proceeds
  • Negotiate with medical providers to reduce their bills, if possible

There are still many other tasks in a given day that we handle for our personal injury clients,  but hopefully this gives you a little insight into what we do every day here at The Melonakos Law Firm. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions. I am always happy to help. 864-485-5555

Best,

Attorney Mike