“Help me help you” is my Jerry McGuire response to my clients when I hear them recite that other line—“Show me the money”—from the same movie.  Your knowledge regarding these dozen key ingredients will help me to help you keep your peace of mind as we resolve your personal injury claim.

Know the process.  Pursuing a personal injury claim is a process.  It involves investigation, identification of and communication with an insurance carrier, medical treatment, collection of medical bills and records and documentation of other damages, transmittal of that information, a demand for money, and negotiation, IN THAT ORDER. Understand that no settlement is generally possible when you are still treating for your accident injuries.

Email.  Most of the time, the fastest way to obtain the answer to a quick question is by email.  Your use of email will allow us to serve you most efficiently.

We will respond to your phone call.  It may not be instantly. You will talk to Chelsea or Mike, if necessary, and most of the time by the next business day.  We may respond to your call by email.  Unless it is a genuine health, safety and welfare emergency, repeat calls are not necessary.

There is a 2-year statute of limitations in Arizona, unless your claim is for a dog bite or against the government (1 year).  Depending on the client and the course of treatment, a personal injury claim can take many months, or over a year, to settle.  So relax, and let us do the work.  The passage of time does not mean your claim is behind schedule.

Collecting medical bills and records can be tough. Often our requests are simply ignored.  We will follow up and follow through and ultimately obtain all of your medical bills and records, in time.

No news is not bad news.  We will update you when we receive NEW information. If you haven’t heard from us in a couple of weeks, it is likely because we do not have any new information to share.

Maximum medical stability. We like to wait a month or two after your treatment appears to be complete before making a demand.  In the event that you suffer a relapse, you should be compensated.

Little treatment, small settlement.  Do not delay or fail to obtain your recommended treatment.  A gap in treatment or failure to obtain necessary treatment can significantly reduce your settlement.

Delay, delay, delay. Insurance companies are notoriously slow to respond; they like to hold on to their money as long as possible. This is especially true with medical payments coverage. Be patient.

We’re low ball hitters.  That first offer will likely be low, or even insulting.  Keep in mind it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.  Moreover, we can do a lot to reduce bills and reimbursements and increase your net recovery (money in your pocket), and turn an average settlement into a great one.

Fine wine.  Like a fine wine, lengthy letters and demands take some time.  We must distill hundreds of pages of documents and facts into just a few pages.  Excellence cannot be rushed.

Settling is not settling. Oftentimes a client will want to file a lawsuit, believing that this will result in a quicker resolution.  Most of the time, at least initially, that is not the best decision.  Filing a lawsuit immediately puts the resolution 9 months or more into the future, when a settlement still may be obtained in a matter of weeks.  The fee percentage increases when we file a lawsuit and the client immediately incurs hundreds of dollars in costs.  While we often have to file lawsuits, it is important to allow the negotiation process to play out first in order to maximize your potential recovery.