Personal Injury Settlement Brochure: How To Prepare One

Tuesday, 18th November 2008

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Related posts:

  1. Settlement Brochure Preparation Checklist-Attorney Review .
  2. Settlement Brochure Preparation Checklist-Paralegal
  3. Settlement Brochure Medical Specials Summary
  4. Settlement Brochure Cover Letter
  5. Settlement Insufficient to Pay Medical Bills

This Post By Attorney Rex Bush

A lawyer and a wagon-wheel must be well greased. German proverb

If you absolutely cannot get a lawyer but you honestly believe you have a personal injury case then you have only one choice:  you’ve got to go it alone.

Now, I don’t recommend you do your case without a lawyer if you can get one.

First of all, studies show that an injured person with a lawyer gets more money even after paying the lawyer than one without.

Second,  there are are pitfalls, which means you could fall in a pit which you could not get out of.    An excellent example of that is the uninsured or underinsured motorist case and there is an article on that elsewhere in this blog.

Third,  you have no idea what your case is worth.

But you’ve been turned down countless times and no lawyer wants your case but you believe in it so you are doing it anyway.

Step One:  Do yourself a favor and don’t settle too early.  You have to wait till all your injuries are identified, diagnosed and treated.  You’ll reach a point where all your doctors agree you are at “maximum medical improvement.”  Don’t settle before that point and there may be reasons to wait even further.

Step Two:  Gather all the medical records from all the doctors you’ve seen and the clinics and hospitals you’ve been to.

Step Three:  Do the same thing with the medical bills.  You need every bill.

Step Four:  Get a copy of the accident report.

Step Five:   Get some idea of what your case is worth.  See my blog post entitled:

What’s Your Case Worth? Utah Injury Attorney Gives Guidelines

Step Six:  Summarize your lost income.  Now you can’t just write a one page summary of your lost income or lost wages and expect to get paid.  My clients have almost always had problems understanding what it takes to actually get paid on a lost wage claim.

You need something from your doctor saying you were unable to work because of the accident and for what time period.  If you don’t have this then you should probably just forget about it except for the fact that it won’t hurt your case to throw it in.

And you need documentation from your work.  This should include how much you earned per hour before the accident (actual proof:  a pay stub or letter from human resources).  And it should include the number of hours you were working per week just before the accident.  Once again the letter from human resources would be a great place to include this information.

Step Seven:  Gather pictures.  Pictures that will help the outcome of your case include:  1) damage to your car if it is particulary bad (on the other hand a photo showing little or no damage is the opposite of helpful)  2)  pictures of your injuries (this would include right after the accident and then, if the injury is not completely healed, some taken at the time you are putting together the brochure);  pictures of scars are particularly useful.   3) If you have a nice picture of yourself you may want to include it as it won’t hurt your case and it could “humanize” you for a claims adjuster who has hundreds of files.

Step Eight:  Summarize very simply and clearly in a cover letter the information you have gathered.  You want a “total” for medical bills and you want to quote the doctors as to their findings or “impressions” regarding your injuries.

Step Nine:  At the end of the Summary letter you will need to ask for compensation.  It’s better to ask too high than too low as you can always come down but it is hard to raise a “demand” number when you realize you have set it too low.

Now take the Summary letter and attach accident report, photos, lost wage summary, medical records and medical bills and make a copy for yourself.

Mail the original to the claims adjuster.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Let me know your specific questions on this topic or related ones. I can answer them in future blog posts.

And, even though I’ve practiced personal injury law for twenty five years and handled thousands of cases, I don’t pretend to know everything, so let me know what you liked about the article and, even more importantly, how you feel it could be improved.

Article provided by Rex Bush, webmaster of this blog’s affiliated website: Utah-Personal-Injury-Attorney.com. Click here Utah Injury Attorney to visit our home page and access other relevant articles on Utah injury law.

3 Comments to 'Personal Injury Settlement Brochure: How To Prepare One'

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  1. Alicia said:

    I really loved this post. It was very informative and simple enough for me to understand. Thank You.

    P.S. I loved the touch of humor that you gave this post. I was enjoyable to read.

    Wed 19th November, 2008 at 1:49 am
  2. Utah-Per said:

    Alicia, Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the positive feedback. You sound like a really nice person. I’ll bet you have awesome parents.

    Mon 26th January, 2009 at 7:39 pm
  3. […] motorist claim letter or an uninsured motorist claim letter follow the same format presented in “How to Prepare a Settlement Brochure.”  You’ll find a blog post on that topic here at this […]

    Tue 24th February, 2009 at 7:15 pm

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