What Is My Case Worth?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | March 15th, 2017

While it is impossible to provide a value at the early stages of your case, the factors the insurance company take into consideration when evaluating a claim include the duration of your treatment, the impact if had on your activities of daily living, the limitations you have once you have reached a medical endpoint, and what, if any, future medical costs you could have in the future. All of this evidence if in your control. Essentially, the more you do to get back to how you were 5 minutes before the incident, the more your case is worth. The good news is — the more you do, typically the sooner you recover. If it comes that you will never recover, your case goes up in value (although that is bad news for you).

Another answer we give to clients when they ask this question is “as much money as we can get before we risk losing it at trial.” Typically, the closer to trial we get, the more the offer grows, because the insurance company’s risk of loss increases. We will always try to get the most money without filing a lawsuit, but the reality is, if the client can wait, we get more money on good cases the closer we get to trial. If there is a good offer on the table, it is, in our opinion, better to accept it rather than run the risk of a jury coming back with a verdict for zero dollars, or less than the offer, which is always a very real possibility.

MA Insurance Loophole

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | January 24th, 2017

Studies show that the average medical bills for a car accident is $15,443. However, for more severe crashes, like Romneisha Smith’s, the costs go up to an average of $126,000. The at-fault party is liable for the bodily injuries done to you.  You are paid through their car insurance. But what if their coverage is too small?

Before you get into a taxi or, in any car in Massachusetts, be sure it has more than a $10,000 bond in coverage in case of an accident.

Romneisha Smith was just 28 years old when her life was changed by a negligent cab driver that struck the vehicle in which she was a passenger. The crash caused a fractured hip and a ruptured tendon.  Her injuries will dramatically dampen her quality of life for years. Between the emergency medical care, treatment, and physical therapy, Romneisha quickly found herself in a rapidly growing pile of medical bills. She was so badly injured that she could not walk by herself, nonetheless return to work. On top of the physical and financial hardship, Romneisha would never get the time lost with her son during her long recovery.  Because the accident was not her fault, Romneisha, as most people would have, believed that the cab company’s insurance would at least cover her medical expenses.

She was wrong.

The most amount of money that the at-fault driver had to pay Romneisha was $10,000.

How could this happen? How is this legal?

Massachusetts has a controversial law, Title XVI Chapter 90, Section 34D that allows drivers to make a deposit of $10,000 in the state treasury account instead of having to buy traditional car insurance that requires at a minimum of $20,000 in Bodily Injury coverage. This loophole law further harms the victims of car accidents by limiting the money they can recover for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Many cab companies and private drivers use this century-old law to save money on their car insurance.

The attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers made sure that Romneisha did not fall through the cracks of this flawed.  They brought the cab driver and the cab company to court and, in the end, the cab company was ordered to pay $200,000.  They are going into their 3rd year of fighting for Ms. Smith, and it does not seem like the end of their efforts to collect the amount of the verdict is in sight.

Why Should You Come to Jason Stone Injury Lawyers and Not a Different Attorney’s Office?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | January 23rd, 2017

What sets us apart from all other firms is our dedication to the client. We have always been fighters for victims and we give you the information straight so we can make well-informed decisions together. Once you become a client, you become part of our family, and we will try to help you any time you need a lawyer.

We also provide superior customer service. You hear from our office at least once a month, you can always speak with your attorney, and you never need an appointment to come into the office. We also have a case management system here that is unique to other firms. There are always 3 people assigned to your file. They are the Case Manager, the Attorney, and Jason Stone. Jason and the staff are so concerned with customer satisfaction that we even conduct calls to clients to ensure that they are pleased with the service. When Jason started the firm, his father said to him that he would be ahead of 95% of the businesses out there simply by returning phone calls. He was right, and Jason insists that your call is returned within one working day. You will find that the level of customer service you receive here is by far superior to other firms.

In addition to customer service, insurance companies know our reputation for working hard, pushing the cases forward, and being relentless in our pursuits of getting you the most money for your case. We will file a lawsuit on almost any case which makes the insurance companies know that they should make a good offer now because it will cost them more in the long run.

The combination of superior customer service and our reputation for aggressively pushing the case forward is what sets us apart. Please check out our reviews online.

How Does The Process Work?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | January 18th, 2017

At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, our number one priority is getting you better. Once you decide to let us take care of your case, you will come into one of our offices to sign up, or we can send our field intake specialist out to you if you prefer. There will be at least three people assigned to your file including the Case Manager, who will be checking with you at least once every two weeks, as well as your Attorney who will also be speaking with you monthly. Jason Stone oversees everything that happens in the office and is always making sure that the cases run smoothly.

Your job is to get better. It’s our job to get you paid for it. Your responsibility is to treat until you feel the same way you did five minutes before the accident. It is very important that you keep all of your scheduled appointments with your doctors. We will gather your medical records and bills, make sure your bills are processed properly, help get your property damage repaired and/or paid, and we will coordinate your claim with the insurance company. Then, once you and your doctor feel that further treatment is either unnecessary or will no longer benefit you based on your injuries, we will send out what is called a demand package and the Attorney will negotiate from there.

If You Are Not That Hurt After an Accident, What Should You Do?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | January 17th, 2017

If you don’t feel the same way you felt 5 minutes before the accident, you need to document it. If you feel the same, then you are very fortunate, but you don’t have a case. You are only entitled to compensation if the collision affected your life in some way. It’s very common not to feel pain immediately after an accident happens. Many people find that the pain sets in the days after the accident has occurred. If you do begin to become to sore, take care of yourself by seeing a doctor and then give us a call right away. 

In Massachusetts, the law states that you only have a case if you have a fracture, a permanent injury, like a scar, or have $2,000 in related medical bills. Just because you have $2,000 in medical bills does not mean you need to stop treating, it is simply the threshold that needs to be met for there to be a case that results in money in your pocket. If you never accumulate $2,000 in medical bills, you will not get any money to compensate you for the injury.

How Long Do Our Cases Take to Settle?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | January 16th, 2017

It is difficult to tell because we don’t how long it will take for you to recover from your injuries and we do not know how long it will take for the insurance company to make an offer that we can recommend. Once you fully recover from your injuries, we will get your medical records and bills and submit them to the insurance company with a detailed description of your treatment and the effect the injury has had on you. This is called a demand package. It is our goal to have that out within two months of your last date of treatment. Once that happens, insurance companies respond, normally with an offer, within 45 days. Then the attorney negotiates until we get the most money we can get from them. If the attorney thinks it is good value, he/she will recommend you take it. If the attorney does not think it is a good offer, he/she will recommend that we file a lawsuit, which takes longer, but normally results in more money. Our cases generally settle in under a year. Those in suit will generally take longer, 1-2 years, but we do everything we can to settle your case before we put it in suit. We know that the sooner we get you paid, the sooner we get us paid, but we want to make sure we don’t leave any money on the table. Of course, we work for you, so you can instruct the attorney to settle whenever you want, but the attorney will advise you as to whether the offer is good or not.

What is Our Fee?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | January 13th, 2017

Motor Vehicle Accidents and Slip and Fall Cases:
Our fee is one-third of your gross settlement plus costs. Costs are generally low and consist of expenses incurred in order to get the case settled, like medical records and court fees. We work on a contingency basis so there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement. We call it the No Fee Guarantee. The fee is taken from the gross settlement amount, not the net after costs and other expenses. If you would like to obtain your medical records on your own and pay the costs as you go, that is fine. It is less efficient and will make your case take longer, but it is an option if you would prefer to control the expenses incurred in the case.

Workers’ Compensation Cases:
Our fee is 20% of your benefit award plus costs. Costs are generally low. We work on a contingency basis so there is no cost to you unless you are awarded the benefits that are being contested.

Social Security Disability Cases:
Our fee is 25% of your back benefits or $6,000.00, whichever is less. So it will never be more than $6,000.00. This is a fee that is set forth by statute. We work on a contingency basis so if you are not awarded benefits, there is no cost to you.

Insurance Adjusters Owe Nothing to Claimants

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | October 17th, 2014

Feel like your insurance adjuster is giving you the run around?  Feel like the adjuster is being untruthful?  Pretty certain the adjuster does not have your best interests at heart, despite the fact that it keeps promising that you are “in good hands” and they are “on your side.”  Based on a recent Vermont Supreme Court opinion, it is now clear that insurance adjusters, unlike attorneys, owe injury claimants no duty to handle the claim in a reasonable manner.

All attorneys are held to a very high standard to be truthful, zealously advocate, maintain frequent contact, and diligently represent its clients.  If attorneys make a mistake, they are responsible for making it right.  But not insurance adjusters.  Who would you rather trust?

“The majority rule on negligence of individual claim adjusters is that they do not owe a general duty of care to the insured, and therefore cannot be held liable to the insured for negligence as a matter of law.” Silon v. American Home Assur., 2009 WL 1090700 at *2 (D. Nev. April 21, 2009). At least 13 jurisdictions have developed case law where courts have found that insurance adjusters do not owe independent duties to policyholders. These include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont.

This isn’t the first time Vermont has ruled this way.  Previously it rejected claims of adjuster negligence in Hamill v. Pawtucket Mut. Ins. Co., 179 Vt. 250, 892 A.2d 226 (2005). While attorneys owe a fiduciary duty to their clients, insurance adjusters have only entered into a contract with their insurer and, therefore, only has to act in good faith or else it will have broken the promise in the contract.  Big deal – insurance companies break promises all of the time – that’s why they get sued so frequently.

What does this mean for you?  Do not try to handle your claim on your own because insurance companies have no obligation to act in your best interests.  However, have an attorney on your side from Jason Stone Injury Lawyers fighting for you will provide the peace of mind necessary to ensure that you will get paid for everything that you are going through.

Why Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | September 18th, 2014

One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with insurance companies is watching them try to take advantage of injury victims.  If you remember the line from the movie The Usual Suspects (great movie) “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” then you can make the connection to the insurance industry.  Through all of their advertisements promising that you are in “good hands” and “accident forgiveness” consumers are convinced that the insurance company is not the devil and there is no need for an attorney to represent them.  Nothing could be more inaccurate.

We have been taking a tally of the cases we have settled in the last year on behalf of our injury victims.  The numbers were so staggering that we have decided to share them on our Facebook Page.  One case, just settled today, had been denied by the insurance company – no offer – for 2 years, until we got on the case.  The insurance policy limits are $25,000, and we got that $25,000 for a very grateful client who had us fight for them.

Insurance companies are not your friend, they do not have your best interest at heart, and most of all, they do not want to pay you.  On the flip side, a personal injury attorney is always seeking to get as much money for the injury victim as possible because the attorney typically gets a percentage of whatever is recovered for the victim.  No money up front, no risk for hiring an attorney, and payment only if there is a recovery.  The injury lawyer’s and the client’s interests are totally aligned.  The insurance company wants to keep money in their pocket and out of yours.  Their interests could not be more different than yours.

Why do you need a car accident lawyer?  Protection – Protection from the greedy insurance companies that make billions of dollars off of your premiums and then make any excuse to limit what they pay you when you finally, and unfortunately, need them.  Let Jason Stone Injury Lawyers fight for you.  It’s what we do – and it will give you peace of mind knowing that no fat cat on the 99th floor is taking advantage of you.

 

GM recalls 717,950 vehicles in U.S.

by Jason Stone Injury Lawyers | August 1st, 2014

General Motors Co on Wednesday announced six recalls covering 717,950 vehicles in the United States for varying reasons, although none were related to ignition switch issues.

GM has recalled nearly 15 million vehicles worldwide this year for potentially lethal issues with ignition switches.

The largest recall announced Wednesday is for a potentially loose bolt in power adjustable front seats for several cars from model years 2010 and 2012.

Vehicles involved in the recalls announced Wednesday have been linked to two crashes and three injuries but no deaths, GM said.

Most of GM’s recalls this year have been for older models, but many of the recalls announced Wednesday are for current-model vehicles, including about 57,000 Chevrolet Impala sedans from the 2014 model year for the loss of power steering.

The latest recalls hit GM’s best-selling vehicles, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, from the 2014-2015 model years. They were among about 124,000 vehicles across eight model lines recalled because a weld on seat brackets may not have been done properly. GM said it expects that 1 percent of welds were not completed properly.

Others recalled include three Cadillac models from the 2014 model year, – the ATS, CTS and ELR.

The largest of the recalls announced Wednesday was for 414,333 vehicles that may have a loose bolt to adjust front seat heights. Consumers are advised not to use the power seat height adjuster until dealers can replace a bolt.

Vehicles involved in this recall include the 2010-2012 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers; the 2011-2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse sedans; the 2010-2012 Cadillac SRX crossovers and the 2011-2012 Chevrolet Camaro sports cars.

GM on Wednesday did not report how many more vehicles will be included in the six recalls outside the United States.

GM has recalled about 29 million vehicles worldwide this year, of which about 25.7 million have been in the United States.