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If you have a question relating to an accident where you were not at fault and it resulted in injuries, I have answered many of the common questions I have been asked over the years. Just below, you’ll see a number of categories where the questions and answers are listed.

You can click one of the categories that applies to your situation, and all the answers will be presented to you. An even easier way to get an answer to your question is to type the question in the search box to the right…. and every answer that applies to your question will be shown.

If by chance I don’t have the answer to your question on this site, call me at 513-621-4775. The call is free and I’ll take the time necessary to answer your question.

Q & A About Motor Vehicle Accidents
General Q & A About Accident & Injuries
Specific Q & A About Injuries & Accidents
Q & A About Truck & Big Rig Accidents

The rules are pretty simple.

The first rule is to hire a good lawyer. Now.

Here is what he will tell you:

Get treatment as soon as you know you are hurt, and don’t stop until you are completely cured. Why? Because every good lawyer will want to wait to settle your case until the earliest of the following occurs:
-you are completely healed
-your doctor says you won’t get any better
-you know what the applicable insurance limits are, and you know that your case is worth more than the limits

Get copies of all your tax records- Schedule C’s and W2’s – going back to 3 years before the accident. Why? You cannot settle a lost wage claim without this information.

When your doctor or hospital takes you off work, make a copy of the note and give it to your lawyer. You also need this to settle a lost wage claim.

Tell your lawyer as soon as you stop going to a doctor, hospital or therapy provider. This way he can order their records – and forward them to the insurance company – as soon as possible.

Get your lawyer the names and addresses of every doctor you have seen in the past five years, so he can get their records. Why? The insurance company won’t believe you were not already hurt until they can see your bills.

Turn all of your medical bills into your health insurance company. This lets them figure out what their interest is, which the auto insurance company will consider when trying to evaluate your pain and suffering claim. (Some lawyers advise against this, because auto insurance companies like to look at the total of the medical bills, or insurance payments, when evaluating a case; if you turn the bills into the medical insurance carrier, the bills will be paid off at a discount.)

Keep copies of the bills for your lawyer. Give your lawyer copies of your pharmacy prescriptions and receipts too.

Get a copy of your auto insurance policy. Why? You might have to use it if the other driver does not have enough insurance.Get it to your lawyer so he knows how much underinsured motorist coverage you have.

Here is why the most important thing to do if you want to settle your case without filing suit is to hire a good lawyer now:

-Good lawyers realize the importance of avoiding a lawsuit, and know how to get a case settled fairly without filing suit.

-The longer you wait to get the case to the lawyer, the more likely it is the lawyer won’t have enough time to do what he needs to do.

-Your lawyer is the best one to order medical records. It takes anywhere from two weeks to several months to get the medical records once you order them.

-If you have a permanent injury, you usually need a letter from your doctor describing it and saying that it is permanent. This can take several months. Your lawyer is the one you want to get this, because he knows the questions to ask the doctor.

-The lawyer talks to insurance companies every day. He knows what information they need, and how to get it to them.

If you’ve read this far, this is obviously important to you. You deserve to have a good lawyer working for you.

I can probably help you. Give me a call. My name is Bill Strubbe and I am a Cincinnati Injury Lawyer.

If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

Probably not.

First, we need to talk about words. A trial is when you have a jury – or maybe just a judge – in a courtroom, and witnesses testifying, and lawyers making speeches, and the jury or judge making a decision after they have heard all the witnesses testify.

Nobody really knows how many lawsuits get this far, but it’s not very many. For years, lawyers said that nine out of every ten lawsuits settled before trial.

A survey done a couple years ago showed that actually, over 98 out of 100 lawsuits filed in federal courts settled before trial.

And if you include lawsuits in state courts- where the victims are usually asking for less money than in federal courts – the truth is probably that as many as 99% of all lawsuits settle.

A lawsuit means filing papers with the court, and asking the court to assign you a trial date. In the process, the lawyer for the insurance company gets to ask you questions about how the accident happened, and maybe ask the court to throw out your lawsuit.

My goal is to settle your case before I have to file a lawsuit in the court. And if I have to file suit, I still try to settle suit before trial.

Usually, even after filing the lawsuit, the case settles. Sometimes the lawsuit is necessary to force the insurance company to settle – because they don’t want to go to trial.

In 2014, I filed 7 lawsuits. I have already settled three of those without getting close to trial. Of the lawsuits that I have filed but not settled, three of the clients came to me within three months before the statute of limitations – which means I had to file the suit, or there would have been no chance of settling the lawsuit because the judge would have thrown it out.

My best guess is that all of them will settle.

If you’re reading this, you obviously are interested in what you see. So why don’t you give me, a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer, a call.

I can probably tell you more about your chances of settling your claim or lawsuit than anything you can read on a website or a blog.

If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

I asked this question because I see it so often when I look at other attorney’s ads on the browser.

Google “Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer” or something like that, and you will see all kinds of ads that say the lawyer will tell you what the insurance company on your case will pay you for your injury. Sometimes without making a single phone call!

Here is why those “evaluations” may not give you a good idea what you will get:

-They don’t work if you are still hurting, or if you still need medical care, or if you are still off work because of your injury. Most people who call me are hurting, need more care, and a lot of them are off work.

-They cannot tell you whether the insurance company is going to contest liability – that is, whether they are going to say the accident is your fault in part. Or how good their witnesses look. It is not always open and shut.

-Different insurance companies evaluate lawsuits differently. In fact, different adjusters evaluate lawsuits differently. Sometimes, something as simple as filing suit, or asking for punitive damages, gets the case transferred to another adjuster. Or to another lawyer, for that matter.

-They probably don’t factor in how you look as a witness.

-They probably don’t factor in punitive damages.

-You probably don’t know your total medical bills caused by the accident.

-You almost certainly don’t know what your insurance company paid the doctors and hospitals who treated you – which is way more important than the bills in Ohio

The truth is, it’s hard to get a real evaluation without hiring a lawyer. And most good lawyers can’t give you a good evaluation without knowing a lot more about your lawsuit than you do now.

A good lawyer – I think I am one – can give you an educated estimate, if he or she knows enough. And he might be able to estimate how long it will take to get you the money.

Best of all, if you talk to a lawyer, you may be able to figure out whether you want to hire him.

If you’re reading this, you obviously are interested in what you see. So why don’t you give me, a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer, a call.

I can probably give you an answer that will tell you more than anything you can read on a website or a blog.

If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

Technically speaking, you don’t. But here are the problems with going it alone.

You don’t know when to try to settle your case. You need money now, but you are still hurting, and you don’t know whether settling now will hurt you later. (Probably, you will hurt yourself by settling while you are still hurting.)

You don’t know what your case is worth.

You don’t know how long you have before you have to file suit.

The insurance people keep calling and asking you if you are ready to settle. You feel like you are obligated to try to settle with them, but you don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.

When the insurance people call, you feel uncomfortable talking with them, and you don’t want to seem like you are greedy. You are afraid of saying something that will hurt you.

You don’t want to talk to the insurance people at all, but they keep calling you. You just want to get better.

You don’t know who you should send the bills to – the insurance for the people who caused the accident, your health insurance, or your auto insurance. You don’t know the ways you can get money now without settling the whole case. This may not be an option – but most people don’t know how to get the most out of available insurance, when they need it.

And here may be the best part; while attorneys charge a fee, in my experience they nearly always get you enough more to make up for it.

If you’re reading this, you obviously are interested in what you see. So why don’t you give me, a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer, a call.

I can probably give you an answer that will tell you more than anything you can read on a website or a blog.

If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

What is a dogbite worth?

Probably more than the same injury would be worth if it were caused by something besides a dog.

I love dogs. Juries don’t, necessarily. I am guessing, but here are some of the factors.

First, in Ohio, the owner keeper or harborer of the dog is liable unless the injured person is teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog, or committing a criminal trespass or committing a criminal act on the owner’s property. There is no contributory negligence, or assumption of the risk. In other words, unless you are a criminal or doing something you would expect to provoke the dog, it’s the dog’s fault.

Second, a lot of people are scared of dogs. Probably moreso in cities, and not as much in rural communities. Dogs are uncontrollable. When they are violent, it is harder to portray the owner as just a normal person trying to do his best – which is how the insurance company lawyer likes to paint his client most of the time.

And more often than not, the victim is innocent.

No one can predict what a jury will do in most cases. But usually, they don’t look at a lawsuit for a dog bite the same way they will a rear ender.

If you’re reading this, you obviously are interested in what you see. So why don’t you give me, a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer, a call.

I can probably give you an answer that will tell you more than anything you can read on a website or a blog.

If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

There are a couple answers. Because this is really a couple questions.

The first question is how long do you have to file a lawsuit without having the judge throw the lawsuit out because you waited too long.

The answer is that you are usually – but not always – ok if you file suit within two years of the date of the accident, which is the Ohio statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits.

But the answer can be different according to the facts of your lawsuit. It can be shorter if the person or company who caused the accident is from another state, or if the claim is for medical malpractice (1 year in Ohio from the later of your last visit with the doctor who committed the malpractice, or the date on which you should reasonably have discovered the lawsuit.)

The second question is when do you give up on settling the case, and go ahead and file the suit.

The answer to this depends on certain things. First, usually it is difficult to get an insurance company to make a settlement offer if they think they can get out of settling completely. So if they have a reason to fight – for instance, a dispute about who had the red light, or whether you cut in front of their driver – it usually makes sense to file a lawsuit as soon as you can.

Second, often it becomes clear that the insurance company won’t make a reasonable offer until suit is filed. This is more often than not a matter of “feel”; but if the claim is worth $100,000, and you demand $150,000.00, and the insurer offers $2,000.00 you can bet they are not going to make a reasonable offer until they have to.

Are you wondering how long you have to file suit? Or whether it makes sense? You can call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer, at 513-621-4775. If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me.

And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

Probably not – but it is harder to get the information you need to settle a lawsuit.

In the past, most of the delay in getting the information a lawyer needed to settle resulted from the delay caused by treatment – it’s a bad idea to settle a lawsuit until you are fully recovered, so it’s important to wait until that happens before you start requesting information.

A couple new things have happened over the last 20 years.

First, it’s hard for a lot of people to complete treatment, because they don’t have medical insurance to pay for it.

This has always been a challenge – but usually, if you were hurt and could get to a doctor, he would treat you. Maybe your lawyer could guarantee the doctor’s bill out of the settlement, or maybe he would just perform the surgery out of the goodness of his heart. But I really didn’t see too many people who needed surgery not getting it.

Now, it’s different. Doctors are driven by the economics of their own practice to make a profit. It is hard to find a doctor who will accept certain types of insurance, leave alone Medicaid or Caresource.

Partly because patients stiff them, doctors are less willing to treat people who don’t have insurance at all.

Second, it is harder and harder to get the information needed from doctors in order to settle lawsuits.

There are several reasons for this. Forms permitting the release of medical information have to be “bulletproof” – that is, they have to be filled out correctly to the letter, because doctors are scared of releasing information they should not. Why? Because now, they can get sued for releasing information without permission – which was unusual 20 or 25 years ago.

So if there is a problem with the form, it comes back to you, with directions for resubmitting it.
Doctors are reluctant to talk to lawyers at all – they are afraid primarily of malpractice suits, but also of lawsuits for improperly releasing information. And when they do talk to lawyers, they need money up front for their time.

I have no problem with paying in advance for the doctor’s time; but they are less likely to give you specific information, such as stating whether the accident left you unfit for a particular occupation, or the extent to which you suffered permanent impairment for any line of work. (I think this last one is because they simply don’t like being cross examined, so they say they don’t have the training to make these evaluations.)

My job as your lawyer is to get the information I need for your settlement. I do this by making it a practice of ordering copies of your records and bills as soon as possible from your doctors and hospital, and your insurance company. If you’re not sure whether there is enough insurance to cover your injuries, call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney. My phone is 513-621-4775. There is no charge for talking to me.

Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

This is the only day of the year I make it a point to go “off topic” – the only day that I blog about something other than getting compensation for injured people.

I started because of my Uncle Bill – a Marine who died in the South Pacific in World War II. I never knew him. He, all my uncles, my father, my father in law, and my wife’s uncles, all served their country in the military.

When I try to count the people in my generation – and my son’s generation – I know who have served who are friends, I have trouble getting beyond one hand.

It’s tough to talk about this at length without sounding preachy or militaristic, and I don’t want to do that. The fact speaks for itself.

This is a wonderful country. I am blessed by my family, my profession, and virtually all of my friends. I am grateful for every minute a man or woman has spent in uniform guarding those blessings.

God Bless America.

Not enough insurance.

I haven’t seen the studies, but this just seems to be the biggest problem I keep running into.

You might not like a particular law, or the way a particular judge , insurance adjuster or lawyer looks at your lawsuit. But sooner or later, everyone usually does what is rational – because if they don’t, a jury will wind up deciding the case.

But there isn’t really a good fix for not enough insurance.

If you’ve been in a car accident, there are several types of insurance that might help you. For our purposes, though the most important are auto liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Liability coverage protects the other driver against your lawsuit; if the other driver doesn’t have coverage, or doesn’t have enough coverage, then the uninsured/underinsured coverage you have under your own policy takes over – IF you follow the policy conditions for recovery.

Let’s say that the other driver causes an accident. Let’s also say that everyone agrees that if your case goes to a jury, it’s worth $100,000.00.
What if the other driver carries only the Ohio minimum limits of $25,000.00 per person, $50,000.00 per accident? You might be okay – IF you have $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage under your own auto policy.

But what if you only have $50,000.00 in uninsured/underinsured coverage? Or worse, what if you don’t have any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage at all, and the other driver has no liability coverage? (Despite the fact that Ohio drivers are required to carry insurance, a lot of them don’t. Way too many, in fact.)

In that case, there is not much anyone can do.

And I am seeing more and more situations where nobody has enough insurance. For a bunch of reasons.

First is the fact that a lot of drivers don’t have enough money to pay the premiums for more than minimum limits policies. They just care about getting enough coverage to make sure that they won’t get their license taken if they get stopped. So they buy a policy that covers them for $25,000.00 per person, $50,000 per accident.

That is fine, until someone gets hurt real bad.

Second is the fact that, in a change that goes back to 2001, insurance companies don’t even have to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage any more. And they are so interested in getting the business, when someone asks for an auto policy the agent only quotes for a policy with liability coverage, rather than one providing the uninsured/underinsured.

And finally, even if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it doesn’t cover everyone it used to. It used to be that the automobile owner’s policy provided coverage for everyone in the car. Now, it’s more likely to provide coverage only for the owner and his family.

The end result? I see more and more lawsuits where, 10 years ago, there would have been $100,000.00 in limits – maybe more. But today, there might be $25,000, or maybe less.

You cannot know until you talk to a lawyer. Chances are that, as you are reading this, you don’t know how much insurance coverage there really is for your injury.

My job as your lawyer is to make sure that I get every bit of coverage for you that I can. If you’re not sure whether there is enough insurance to cover your injuries, call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney. My phone is 513-621-4775. There is no charge for talking to me.
Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

What Matters Most In A Personal Injury Lawyer?

April 29, 2014

Hard Work. People think being a trial lawyer is easy – that the best results come from being smart and well spoken. Make no mistake –to some degree, those talents come naturally to some people. They hold the world in a paper cup. They make the complicated simple. And when they say something simple, it […]

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