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A Client’s Story

A Client’s Story

insurance-formsTwenty five year old “Frank” (not his real name) was a client of ours whose case just settled. In October of 2015, Frank was riding his motorcycle when a car pulled from a stop sign on a side street directly in front of him.  Frank had no choice but to hit the car.  The driver of the car said she couldn’t see Frank because the sun was in her eyes.
As a result of the impact, Frank sustained a fractured pelvis, fractured left arm, fractured jaw, fractured eye sockets, fractured teeth and two brain bleeds. Frank was transported to the hospital by ambulance where he spent time in the Intensive Care Ward and then time as an inpatient.
He then required six months of medical treatment to get back on his feet, and lost several months of work. He will have permanent pain and suffering as a result of his severe injuries.  He sometimes walks with a limp and still gets headaches.
Frank’s bills were over $300,000.   He had no health insurance to pay the bills, having just started his job.  Additionally, the “at fault driver” only had a $100,000 policy of insurance, and no assets that could be reached to satisfy any judgment that we could get on Frank’s behalf.   If there would have been a $1,000,000 policy involved we could have justified forcing the insurance company to pay us that on Frank’s behalf for his severe and permanent injuries.   Frank only had a $25,000 policy so we couldn’t look to his policy under the terms of his Underinsured Motorist Protection.
A word about Underinsured Motorist Coverage. If you are injured by someone whose insurance policy is too small to fully compensate you for the injuries sustained by their negligence, you can look to your own car insurance policy to make up the difference.  But, you must have policy limits bigger than the underinsured driver.  So looking ahead, always get the highest car insurance policy limits you can afford to cover yourself in case this happens to you.  In Frank’s case, he didn’t.   That creates a dilemma.
At MacCloskey Kesler & Associates, we have seen this sad scenario many times, and we are well aware of ways to negotiate bills and liens in some cases and force medical providers to take lower amounts than the face value of the bill in others. This can save tens of thousands of dollars or more.
In Frank’s case, we were able to get him set up with Medicaid, and force the medical providers who would not accept Medicaid to take pennies on the dollar. The net result?   Even after paying us a one third contingent fee and repaying Medicaid and the medical providers, Frank walked away with over $44,000.
Consider that. He had over $300,000 in medical bills, and we were able to pay ALL THOSE BILLS IN FULL, pay our fee, and Frank walked away with over $44,000 in net compensation (which is not income to him, by the way), when there was only $100,000 that we were able to recover.
That’s what experienced lawyers like MacCloskey Kesler & Associates can do for you.   So if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle, car or truck accident, call us at 815-965-2000 today for a free consultation.   Put our passion, knowledge and experience to work for you.

Why Won’t You Take My Case?

Why Won’t You Take My Case?

Unfortunately, we cannot help every person who contacts our office. Our firm has made it our goal to help injury victims.  This means we handle cases which we believe we can successfully resolve favorably for our clients.  This also means we must decline representation at times.
In order to proceed on a personal injury case you must prove the following: liability, proximate cause and damages. If we do not prove all three of these items we lose at trial.  Attorneys invest time and money into every case they take on a contingent agreement.  We do not get paid if we do not win.  Therefore we must be selective in our representation.
Liability means that we must prove someone else is at fault. This can be difficult in slip in fall matters.  Just because you are hurt on someone else’s property does not mean they are legally responsible for causing your injuries and have to pay for your injuries.  We must prove they did something wrong.   An injured person can also be found part at fault and still recover money, unless a jury determines the injured person is more than half at fault for causing that injury.  The ability to prove liability depends on the specific facts of every case.
Damages include but are not limited to medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These items are awarded a specific monetary amount.  In order to recover damages, we must prove the damages are a result of the crash, fall, or other event claimed.  This is called proximate cause.  It does not require the event to be the only or nearest cause.  Cases where someone has a prior injury can be difficult.  Also, older individuals often have degeneration or arthritis.  Insurance companies often try to use these non-painful prior conditions against injured people.  Damages and proximate cause must be proven through medical treatment.  Good medical treatment is therefore essential to proving our case.
We are proud to represent injury victims. We have helped thousands of them.  We cannot take every case that comes through our door, only cases where we can prove liability, causation and damages.  This sometimes upsets people.  We always advise potential clients that are not retained to seek a second opinion of another attorney, since they may view the facts differently.  Also, cases can change after our first appointment if the facts are determined to be different than we were advised.
It is our position that we would rather have a client leave disappointed after the first visit than find out later that we see problems that make their case unprovable. This means we take the time to discuss the case with the client at that first visit.  We never send a non-lawyer “investigator” to your home.  You meet with a partner of the firm. If you have been injured, contact our office for our honest opinion from one of the partners of our firm.   We assure you that you will always get our honest opinion on your case based on our history of handling thousands of injury cases just like yours.

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