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I had a new client ask: “Are we going to have to file a lawsuit for my car accident?  I don’t want the stress of having to go to trial.” Surprisingly (or not, depending on your view), most cases settle.  Back in February ’09, I posted a statistic that “about 97 percent of civil cases are settled or dismissed without a trial.” Mind you, this number doesn’t actually include the number of claims that are settled without a lawsuit actually being filed.  A high percentage of car accident claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.  There’s even law firms and attorneys that will not file a lawsuit (trying cases is time consuming and demanding).  If they can’t get the case settled pre-suit, they refer their clients to attorneys willing to try cases (like us!).   I believe insurance companies facing attorneys that won’t “go the distance” will value those car accident claims much lower.  Insurance companies track opposing attorneys, and likely know how much certain firms will settle for. Here’s a typical time-line of a car accident case: Car Accident Occurs ER Visits, Diagnostics, Followup Treatments, etc. Property damage claim settled Once medical treatment is completed or max medical improvement is reached: Our demand packet (summary of your case and offer to settle with all documentation) is sent to the insurance company At this point, the insurance company will often offer to settle the personal injury claim for less than the case is “worth” Settlement negotiations continue with the insurance company.  At this point the adjuster will eventually give their “final offer.”  Some times this is reasonable, sometimes not....
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Our firm switched to SaaS because it makes the tech side of things easier. It does everything the onsite software does, except it’s easier to update, to implement, and it’s painless to access from anywhere. Here’s the basics of what we use to manage our practice:

Email and Calendar: Google Apps

Case Management Software: AdvologixPM

Document Management Software: NetDocuments

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We used to run an on-site Microsoft Exchange Server for our email and calendars.  It worked okay.   Anytime we had problems with it though, we’d have to call our tech guy. We ended up switching to Google Apps about a year ago.  The main reason I prefer Gmail to outlook is that it groups everything by conversation.  This saves time and is really easy to use.   Plus, we’ve never had to call our tech guy about email or calendar problems. For those in your office that swear by Outlook, they can still use it.  The back-end will be the only thing different.  But, it will be generally be easier to log on from the internet and sync your phones to it.  We had people in our office that stayed with Outlook after we initially switched over.  Within two weeks they were using Gmail full time. One of the really nice things about Google is that they keep making improvements.  How often is your Outlook software improved?  For example, Google just announced that they’re adding a voice to text feature for their Google Docs platform for use with cell phones. Here’s some handy stuff/benefits we can use (we don’t use all of them at this time, but it’s nice to be able to easily add the stuff): Google Chat (think Instant Messenger if you haven’t used it) Adding attachments - it’s very easy to drag and drop them into the email Viewing attachments in a new window or tab without having to download them Google Search - it runs a lot faster than Outlook and seems to be more exact...
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Personal injury attorneys are asked this all the time.   I recently had a client, let’s call him Will, ask: “My back was killing me for several months, why isn’t my personal injury claim worth more?” Here is some background on Will’s case.  He was rear ended last year and was rushed to the hospital immediately after the accident.  The seat he was in snapped back and Will thought that he had been knocked out.  His neck and back were both hurting quite a bit.  The emergency room ran up a pretty good bill because they did a CT scan.  Will thought he had a concussion and was dazed. Will checked out of the ER with soft tissue injuries, some prescriptions for a muscle relaxer, and some pain medicine.  He was also instructed to go to a follow-up doctor if he was still having neck and back pain. After missing work for a few days, Will decided he could “tough it out” and went back to work, but his neck and back still gave him trouble.  He was in a lot of pain at work and around the house. Two months later, Will’s back is still bothering him, but he’s a tough man and doesn’t bother going to a doctor.  Mind you, the ER doctor had instructed him to go a follow-up doctor if he was still hurting. Will called me about seven months after the accident.  His neck and back had finally healed and he was curious as to why the insurance company hadn’t called him and offered to settle his personal injury claim. The case has since settled...
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