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Personal Injury Attorney Blog in Columbus, Georgia

  • 06/07/2018 0 Comments
    Steps to the Settlement Process

    In many personal injury cases, a settlement will be the final way a dispute is resolved. At the offices of Paul R. Bennett, you’ll find a personal injury attorney who is experience with settlements – when to pursue one, asking for the right amounts, and walking you through the negotiation process. 


    It always helps to have more information before you enter a situation like this, so let’s educate you a little. Here are some of the basic steps that go into a settlement for a personal injury or worker’s compensation case.

    Settlement Demand

    The first step of the process involves your personal injury lawyer drafting a settlement demand. This will be sent to the insurance company, and will outline all the components of exposure that the insurance company may have to deal with.

    These can include, but are not limited to: Future wage losses, job retraining costs, future medical expenses, QRC costs and more. It’s vital to make sure you and your attorney include every possible exposure in this document, to make sure everything is covered.

    Negotiations Begin

    Once the insurance company receives your settlement demand, they’ll generally make a counter-offer in return to begin the negotiation process. Negotiations may occur during a conference at court, at a mediation with both parties, or sometimes just directly with the insurance company itself.

    Hearing

    If no settlement can be reached during these negotiations, you must go to a hearing. This hearing is presided over by a judge, who has the sole power to determine if you get benefits or not. One important note here: While the judge does indeed render a verdict, they cannot award your future benefits in single sum. Rather, they can only determine what you’re owed and order weekly benefits.

    Deciding to Settle

    The decision to settle is one that will be made based on you and your attorney weighing your options. If you decide that the risk of a hearing, where you could lose and get nothing, is too high, you could settle instead.

    For more on settling cases, or to find out about any of our other personal injury services, speak to the experts at the offices of Paul R. Bennett today.

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  • 06/05/2018 0 Comments
    How to React After a Hit-and-Run

    As unfortunate as it is to report, hit-and-run accidents have been on the rise in recent years. Hit-and-runs, or any incident where a driver strikes another vehicle and leaves the scene without alerting authorities or exchanging information, are some of the most common claims we see at the personal injury attorney offices of Paul R. Bennett – but we’re here to help. 


    The immediate aftermath of a hit-and-run is a vital time, both for your health and safety and for your potential personal injury case. Let’s look at the basics of a hit-and-run, plus what to do if you’re involved in one.

    Hit-and-Run Basics

    Regardless of the reason, state law requires drivers involved in an accident to stop. Anyone who chooses to leave the scene, particularly when another driver is involved, can receive serious consequences. Reasons for hit-and-runs vary, but they’re often related to avoiding an insurance claim, being uninsured or unlicensed, possession of illegal items in the vehicle, or even an attempt from the at-fault party to hide from law enforcement.

    If you’re involved in a hit-and-run, here’s what you should do:

    Immediate Safety

    First and foremost, ensure the safety of you, your family and anyone else who was involved in the accident. Try to stay calm, and park your car in a safe place away from oncoming traffic. After you’ve ensured everyone involved is safe, immediately call 911 and request police to the scene.

    Medical Attention

    If you or anyone else involved has received injuries, even minor ones, receive medical attention for these from first responders on the scene. If this is indeed necessary, document any attention you receive.

    Documenting Details

    Write down or otherwise document as many details as possible, even if you think you’ll remember them later. Important details can include date and time, information on the vehicle that fled (make, model, color, license plate number, etc.), a physical description of the driver who fled, and more. If there were any witnesses to the hit-and-run, locate them and get their contact information – they can be vital to these cases. Take photos of the scene and your vehicle.

    Law Enforcement

    Cooperate at all times with law enforcement, including any medical care they recommend. Only discuss sensitive details of the scene with law enforcement – do not involve any other parties.

    For more on how to react after a hit-and-run, or to learn about any of the services our personal injury lawyer can provide, contact the offices of Paul R. Bennett today.

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  • 06/04/2018 0 Comments
    When it Pays to Use Your Own Insurance

    When you speak to a personal injury lawyer at the offices of Paul R. Bennett about your automobile accident case, you immediately get an experienced advocate on your side. We’ve seen everything when it comes to your claim and getting it handled properly, and we can help you avoid major issues. 


    One area we regularly help clients with is the use of your own health insurance versus that of the at-fault party in an auto accident. Some people believe that they aren’t allowed to use their own health insurance after an accident where the other driver was at fault – this is not true at all, and using your own health insurance might actually be beneficial. Let’s look at some important information here.

    Settlement Basics

    When you receive a settlement from an at-fault party, this will come in the form of a single check meant to cover all expenses – medical, plus any pain and suffering afterwards. The auto insurance company won’t offer you a separate individual payment for each facility you’re in or each treatment you receive. If you use this method and don’t use your own insurance, your bills will most likely move to a collection agency. This can affect your credit and long-term finances down the line.

    More Money In Your Pocket

    Not only do you avoid this issue above if you use your own insurance, but you might actually help benefit your finances as well. Health insurance only pays a certain amount of your bill – the rest is written off by the medical facility. If you don’t use health insurance, the facility files a lien for the full cost of the service, not just the contracted amount. This is instead of simply reimbursing the health insurance company the contracted amount.

    Speed

    If you’re involved in one of these situations, it’s vital to contact your medical provider and get them your health insurance information as soon as possible. Any delays here, even small ones, could lead to denial.

    For more on why using your own health insurance is often advisable in auto accidents, or to learn how a personal injury attorney can help, contact the offices of Paul R. Bennett today.

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  • 23/03/2018 0 Comments
    Basics on Filing Insurance Claims

    If you are involved in a vehicle accident where you believe the other driver is at-fault, there are certain steps you should take to protect your claim for compensation from the at-fault driver and his insurance company and even to protect any claim you might have on your own automobile insurance policy. 


    At the Law Office of Paul R. Bennett we help people every day navigating the insurance claims process to secure compensation for property damage and bodily injury claims. Here are the basic steps that must be taken following a vehicle accident in order to protect your claim and how an experienced lawyer can assist you.

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  • 06/03/2018 0 Comments
    Learning About the Declarations Page

    When it comes to a car accident or any kind of vehicle collision where you retain a personal injury lawyer for possible compensation issues, there are several important documents to keep in mind. Things like the police report and any medical reports are some of the more obvious documents, but there are others that some often don’t think about. 


    At the offices of Paul R. Bennett, we can help with all these documentation areas. In this blog, we’ll go over one of the documents that’s most commonly glossed over: The declarations page. Let’s look at the basics on this document, why it’s important, and how you can obtain it.

    Declarations Page Basics

    Simply, the declarations page is a single page that summarizes all your insurance coverage. It does this using a variety of acronyms, many of which you may have no clue about – don’t worry about this, as this is what a personal injury attorney is here for.

    While this kind of page may seem boring, it can make the difference between a successful case and an unsuccessful one. It has nothing to do with fault, necessarily – this document is often required even for people who had zero fault whatsoever in the accident itself.

    What it Means

    There are two major areas your attorney can draw conclusions from based on your declarations page:

    Unpaid bill: Firstly, your declarations page can tell you if you have an unpaid medical bill as part of your medical expenses. A small box on the document labeled “med pay” is shorthand for medical payment coverage, which generally ranges up to $5,000. If you have that coverage, you can pick and choose where you go for treatment, and your insurance will be billed. This will not increase your rates.

    Claim success: Your attorney can also usually tell whether your claim will succeed based on this document – even if the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance or is limited here. The declarations page also contains an area for uninsured motorist coverage, telling you how well you’re covered if you’re hit by one of these drivers. If you have a large policy, you’re insured for that amount even if the driver who hits you only has small limits. Once your attorney sees this box, they’ll know there’s a good chance of recovering funds on your behalf.

    In most cases, obtaining your declarations page is as easy as calling your insurance agent, who will email or fax it to you. To learn more about this document or any of our services, speak to the staff at the offices of Paul R. Bennett today.

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  • 14/02/2018 0 Comments
    What Kind of Automobile Insurance Coverage Should I Have?

    Thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents in the United States every year. No matter how safely you drive, you may still find yourself involved in a vehicle collision caused by an inattentive or distracted driver or by someone driving under the influence of drugs or medication. This is why we all seat-buckle ourselves and loved ones, try to drive defensively, and carry automobile insurance. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to purchase the right kind of automobile insurance coverage to fully protect themselves, their family, and their other passengers.

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  • 06/02/2018 0 Comments
    Basics on Filing Insurance Claims

    If you’re in a car or motor vehicle accident where you believe you aren’t at fault, you’ll have to take steps to seek compensation from the party who is. This generally involves going through this party’s insurance company, but in many cases, you’ll have to go through your own insurance company as well even if you don’t believe you’re at fault. 


    At the offices of Paul Bennett Law, we’re here to help. Here are the basic steps of filing a claim with your insurance, and how a personal injury lawyer can help.

    Providing a Statement

    After you’ve notified your insurance company of your accident, you’ll get a call from a claims representative. This person will be looking to take a statement from you on the details of the accident and any injuries you sustained, and they’ll usually record the statement. Details they’ll likely ask about include:

    Date and location of the accident

    Information on how the accident occurred

    Information on injuries and medical bills (including documentation)

    Other expenses resulting from the accident

    Determining Fault

    After taking your statement and collecting all other pertinent information, the insurance company will go about the process of determining who was at fault. If the other party is found to be at fault, the insurer will offer you a settlement – this can be negotiated on based on how fair you feel the initial offer was. If no agreement can be reached, the case may make it to court.

    How a Lawyer Helps

    This is where a qualified auto accident attorney can play a big role. Without one, you may make statements or hand over information that’s harmful to your claim. You also won’t know how to navigate the settlement process or get the most out of your potential deal – insurance companies are always looking for ways to reduce their liability and pay you less, but we help hold them accountable.

    For more on filing an insurance claim after a car accident, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, contact the offices of Paul Bennett Law today.

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  • 21/12/2017 0 Comments
    Can my lawyer settle my case and how does the settlement process work?

    Most personal injury cases are settled without the need to file a lawsuit. While a case can be settled at any time, the earlier it can be settled, the better for you. An early settlement allows you to collect money to compensate for your injuries much sooner, helps you pay less in attorney’s fees and expenses, and you are spared the stress and uncertainty that is involved in any civil trial. At the Law Office of Paul R. Bennett, we are experienced in dealing with personal injury cases of all types, know how to fairly evaluate their worth, and know how to work with insurance companies to get you the best settlement as soon as possible.

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  • 08/11/2017 0 Comments
    Common Personal Injury Mistakes

    Whether you’re injured in a car accident or some other situation, personal injury cases are a way for you to get the compensation you deserve. At the law office of Paul R. Bennett, you’ll get an experienced personal injury lawyer with the expertise to get you every penny that’s coming your way. 

    Within our practice, we see a number of common mistakes made either during or after the accident that might hurt the personal injury case process. Here are a few of these mistakes and how you can be sure to avoid them if something like this happens to you.

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