Frequently Asked Questions

At The Pottenger Law Firm LLC, we understand that being involved in an accident can leave you struggling with a number of unanswered questions. You are probably wondering how you can get the financial compensation that you and your family need, how much you can expect to receive, and how long litigation will take.

Our compassionate Kansas City personal injury attorneys can help answer any question you may have. That is why we have provided the following list of FAQs. We hope this helps you determine what the best course of action is. To speak to one of our experienced attorneys about your case today, please contact us by calling 816-531-6006.

How long will it take to complete my case?

Every case is unique. There are no set rules. We can, however, tell you about some of the factors that determine how long your case will take:

  • We want to complete your case as swiftly as possible. We know that is what our clients want, and that is what we want also.
  • You must be released by your doctor. In almost all cases, we strongly urge our clients not to settle their cases while they are still in active treatment and before their condition is stable. If the case is settled prematurely:
    • You will probably not get the full value of your claim because it is much harder to get insurance companies to pay for treatment that you anticipate getting in the future, rather than treatment you have already received.
    • There is always a risk that the doctor may discover that you had a more serious injury than he first diagnosed, and you will get your medical bills paid or a settlement for the most serious injury.
    • If you already know that your injuries are serious and ongoing, we must wait until the doctor can make a realistic assessment regarding how much future treatment you will need, and whether you will have any permanent limitations from your injuries.

Once I complete my treatment, how long will it take to finish the case?

Again, each case is different. The steps that we undertake in almost all cases are as follows:

  • We order final records and reports from your health care providers. If there is wage loss that needs to be proven, we get the documentation.
  • We write a detailed demand letter to the insurance company. We review the letter with you and establish a value of the claim. We send off the demand letter to the insurance company with all the needed documentation, including health care records, medical bills, accident reports, and wage loss information.
  • In most cases, we will have an initial offer from the insurance company within a few months of your completion of your health care treatment. Then we negotiate back and forth with the insurance company. In the great majority of cases, the case is then settled and we can disburse funds to you.
  • If the case does not settle, you and the attorney will make a joint decision regarding whether to file a lawsuit. It usually takes many months after a lawsuit is filed to complete the case.

What can I do to help my attorney and my case?

The case progress will be smoother and easier if you:

  • Go to your health care providers regularly;
  • Keep your attorney/paralegal team advised of changes in your treatment, or if you are released from treatment;
  • Send us all of your medical bills, or documents showing a bill has been paid;
  • Tell us if you have a new address or phone number.

What should I do if I have more questions?

Call your attorney/paralegal team. We welcome your calls and would be happy to answer any questions. In fact, if we have not heard from you in a while, now might be a good time to pick up the phone and let us know how you are doing. You can reach us now at 816-531-6006.

  1. Do not sign any paper relating to your claim unless your attorney has reviewed and approved the document. This includes papers sent to you by your own automobile insurance company or health insurance company.
  2. Do not discuss your injuries with any insurance adjuster. It is fine to discuss payment of your car damage with the adjuster, but do not answer any questions about your injuries on the facts of the accident.
  3. Be sure to let our office know if you go to a new doctor or other health care provider or if your medical situation changes.
  4. Please send us a copy of any medical bills you receive, whether paid or not.
  5. Please obtain a receipt for any prescriptions or co-pays that you pay so that we can submit these to the insurance company for reimbursement.
  6. Insurancecompaniesrequiremedicalverificationofincomeloss. For any time that you miss from work, please obtain a doctor’s off-work slip.
  7. Please let us know right away if you have a new mailing address or telephone number.
  8. Filing bankruptcy could have a drastic effect on your claim. If you are considering bankruptcy, it is essential to discuss this with your attorney before filing with the court.
  9. Most importantly, concentrate on getting well. At The Pottenger Law Firm, we will take care of the legal part of your claim so that you can spend your time and energy in recovering from your injuries, not worrying about your claim.

Download PDF

While these three subjects, which are important to only a limited number of clients, this information may be crucial to their case. For more information about any of these issues, please give us a call at 816-531-6006.

1 Bankruptcy. In these economic times, bankruptcy filings are rising. Please tell your attorney if you are considering filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy may cause you to lose all rights to the settlement money from your personal injury claim. If you let us know about your plans, we can often work with the bankruptcy attorney and plan out the timing of the filing and the exemptions that are claimed in the paperwork so that you can keep the money from your vehicle accident claim.

2 Be cautious with your social networking on the computer, including Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and YouTube. Many of us have at least one such account, and the insurance companies know it. More and more, we are seeing insurance companies trolling through our clients’ web pages and postings, looking for damaging material. Do not post any comments, photographs, or videos which the insurance company can misconstrue against you. Post nothing that you do not want a judge or jury to see.

3 Public benefits. Government benefits based on need may be affected by receiving a personal injury settlement. If you, or any member of your household, is receiving benefits, please let us know. With advance planning, we can usually minimize the effect of settlement on government benefits.

Download PDF