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Suggestions and Advice to New Clients

We thank you for consulting The Caluda Law Firm to help you with your claim. We offer the following suggestions to help us serve you better.
  1. TALK TO NO ONE: Do not talk to anyone about your accident except one of our lawyers, investigators, law clerks, paralegals or secretaries in our office. If anyone contacts you about your accident, you should always ask for identification from that person and then only ask them for their name, address, phone number and a claim number and call or send that information to us immediately. Inform that person that our law firm is representing you for this injury/accident and tell them to call us if they need any information about your claim. Do not talk to your own insurance company without notifying us first. ALL STATEMENTS SHOULD BE GIVEN IN OUR OFFICE IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ATTORNEY OR PARALEGAL.
  2. YOUR DOCTOR: You should see your doctor as often as he feels necessary. Tell him about all of your medical complaints or problems. It is extremely important that you keep each and every one of your appointments and that you do what your doctor tells you to do. If you see any other doctor, call your attorney immediately with the doctor’s name and address. REMEMBER, IF YOU STOP SEEING YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU ARE DISCHARGED YOU WILL HURT YOUR CASE, but we do not encourage you to continue treatment if you believe it is unnecessary and/or not beneficial.
  3. Please make a special effort to remember and record the names and addresses of all doctors/hospitals/ physical therapists who examined or treated you for this injury or who were consulted on your case by any doctor. It is extremely important that you KEEP ALL YOUR DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS and continue to go to the doctor until you are discharged.
  4. If you have a problem with your doctor or any concern about your claim, call us and tell us. If your doctor is not helping relieve your pain, or you are not satisfied with your doctor, or the doctor’s location is inconvenient, please contact us and we will try to find you a doctor you will be happy with. If you go to a new doctor on your own or through your health insurance company, it is extremely important that you notify us who your doctor is, what their specialty is and what medical treatments were done relative to your case. Be sure to let us know the names of all your doctors you see for treatment for any accident related injuries.
  5. HOW MUCH TIME WILL MY CASE TAKE?: Be Patient! The legal system is probably very unfamiliar to you. Any legal claim may take months to years. Do not expect immediate results. CLAIMS CANNOT USUALLY BE SETTLED BEFORE YOU ARE DISCHARGED FROM THE DOCTOR. If suit has to be filed because the responsible parties are denying liability (denying that they were at fault for the accident/injury) it may take one to three years or more for your case to come to trial. If your case is against certain insurers (such as Allstate) your case will probably take longer because these companies do not have a reputation for settling cases quickly or for a reasonable amount. Another delay may be caused by the liquidation of the insurance company for the responsible party. If your case is against the City of New Orleans or the State of Louisiana, it may take anywhere from five to ten years for your case to be resolved because political entities usually do not have sufficient funds to pay settlements or judgments to personal injury claimants.
  6. STATUS: “What’s Happening?” If you wish to inquire about the status of your claim you do not need to speak to Mr. Caluda directly, their secretaries or paralegals will be able to help you if the attorneys are unavailable. We may not be able to return your phone call immediately, but will call you back as soon as we are out of trial, hearings or depositions. Anyone in the office can pull your file and give you a status. When you call, tell the receptionist you want to know what’s happening with your case and she’ll give you a status of your case.
  7. If your claim involves an automobile accident, please send us a copy of your own automobile insurance policy and a copy of any auto insurance policy for anyone who lives in your household.
  8. Keep all of your orthopedic appliances prescribed by your doctor (braces, crutches, canes, casts, etc.) and anything that is used in connection with treatment for your accident. Also keep all of your empty prescription bottles.
  9. Take pictures of any of your visible bruises, cuts, scrapes, casts, crutches, hospitalizations, etc. that are related to this accident.
  10. Take pictures of your damaged vehicle. If your case involves a “slip and fall” take pictures of the area where you fell or the thing that caused you to fall.
  11. RECORD YOUR COMPLAINTS: Keep a daily diary of your complaints and problems. Describe the nature and severity of your pain, with the date of the occurrence. We have provided you with a calendar and pen that you can use to record the problems you are having and record your doctor’s appointments, tests and therapies.
  12. In your diary, note how your life has changed since the accident (what you could do before but can’t do since the accident).
  13. MEDICAL BILLS: Keep all medical, hospital, and prescription bills that are incurred as a result of your accident. Send copies of all bills to us as soon as you get them.
  14. HOSPITAL AND DOCTOR BILLS: If you have “med pay” on your insurance policy, let your attorney know. You can submit the bills you incur to your insurance for payment. Also, have your hospitalization insurance pay as many of your bills as possible.
  15. LOST WAGES AND EARNINGS: Please keep an accurate record of all days you were not able to work due to your accident and GET A LOST WAGE STATEMENT FROM YOUR EMPLOYER and send it to us. We can recover this amount for you.
  16. WITNESSES: Give us the name, address and phone number of all witnesses to your accident.
  17. PROPERTY DAMAGE ESTIMATE: Get a property damage estimate IMMEDIATELY and send it to us. Be sure to take pictures of your damaged vehicle.
  18. REPAIR OF YOUR PROPERTY DAMAGE: DO NOT HAVE YOUR VEHICLE REPAIRED until you get a property damage estimate and take pictures of the damage, SEND THEM TO US IMMEDIATELY. We will need these documents to settle this part of your claim. If you have collision insurance, your vehicle will be repaired faster if you let your insurance company repair the damage. They may be reimbursed by the insurance for the person that hit you.
  19. PHOTOGRAPHS: Send us any photographs about your case. If you must be hospitalized or put in traction or need physical therapy, have a family member or friend take pictures of you and send them to us.
  20. SAVE YOUR CAST: If your injury requires you to wear a cast, brace, corset, traction or other device save it. You will need these items if your case goes to trial. We also want you to save all your empty prescription bottles. These may be used as demonstrative evidence at trial.
  21. TRAFFIC OFFENSES: If you are arrested or ticketed in connection with this accident, call us and we will see that you are advised and represented.
  22. QUESTIONS/PROBLEMS: If you have any questions or problems concerning your case, please call us for help anytime. We are here to help you through a difficult time.
  23. SETTLEMENT OFFERS: We will call you when a settlement offer is made on your case. Settlement discussions usually commence after your final discharge from all of your treating doctors.
  24. PATIENCE: Please remember that the courts are overloaded with cases. This will cause a delay in prosecution of your claim if your case goes to trial. BE REALISTIC ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES TO BRING YOUR CASE TO A FINAL CONCLUSION.
  25. CHANGE OF ADDRESS/PHONE NUMBER: IF YOU MOVE OR CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER, please call the office IMMEDIATELY to let us know. We cannot keep you advised of the progress on your case if we cannot find you. ALSO, YOUR CLAIM MAY BE DISMISSED IF WE CANNOT FIND YOU.
  26. VISITS TO OUR OFFICE: We are always happy to discuss your case with you in person, but PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE COMING TO THE OFFICE. Your attorney may not be available to see you if you “drop in”.
  27. HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?: It is virtually impossible at the beginning of your case to tell you how much your case is worth, or how much you will eventually receive at the end of your case, or even when you’ll receive your money.

The value of your case depends on many factors that lie in the future such as: the length of your medical treatment; if you went to the doctor as scheduled; what the doctor’s diagnosis will be; the amount of your total lost wages; whether you have a permanent disability or limitations; whether you will have any psychological complications; the insurance policy limits and solvency of the person, corporation or political agency that injured you and other factors.

Again, thank you for consulting us about your case. Remember, we will work hard to settle your claim for the most money possible in the shortest period of time possible.

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