More Useful Tools for Plaintiffs’ Lawyers
As any personal injury practitioner knowns there is a lot more that goes into a tort case than just litigating the client’s claims. It starts with an efficient method of filtering through prospective clients and cases to identify those that are worth taking. Once the good client leads are identified you need to formally sign them up and then start working with them to get the information and documents you will need to pursue their claim. This process involves a number of documents, forms and contracts such as client intake forms, retainer letters and contingency fee agreements. There are also very specific forms and documents that are frequently used in certain types of injury cases such as auto accidents vs. medical malpractice.Client Intake
Below we offer sample forms and agreements along with practical advice on how to keep you incoming feed of new personal injury cases running effectively. This starts with filtering through your stream of new incoming leads to separate trash from treasure and then getting the valuable new leads in the door and signed up as new clients.
- General Intake Form A question-style intake form that we use to screen new incoming personal injury case leads by grabbing the information that will tell us if the case is potentially valuable.
- Medical Malpractice Intake Form New lead / client intake form that we use for medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other more complex types of tort cases.
- Short Med Mal Intake Form A shorter, more concise version of the intake form for screening new medical malpractice leads or other types of complex tort cases.
- General Intake Advice Strategic and tactical advice and pointers for effective handling of lead screening and new client intakes for general types of injury cases.
- Advice on Malpractice Intakes Some general thoughts and advice on how to handle incoming leads and new client intakes for complex medical malpractice cases.
- Completed Intake Form Example of what our completed client intake forms usually look like for a typical auto tort case, along with notes and comments.
- Regular Fee Agreement Our standard contingency fee agreement for all new clients with general personal injury cases. Fee is 33-1/3 but increases to 40% if we have to file lawsuit.
- Medical Malpractice Fee Agreement Contingency fee agreement that we use in medical malpractice and other complex cases. Fee is 40% regardless of whether lawsuit is filed or not.
In this section of our Legal Information Center we share our best and most frequently used examples of these various letters, documents, and agreements covering all aspects of a personal injury cases beyond discovery and trial. Drafting a letter may seem like a simple task but it can be sometimes be much more involved. Most of the examples below can be used as templates and easily converted to fit your own case and circumstances.
- Client Intake Forms Sample client intake form to help streamline your intake process to more efficiently identify and go after the highest quality new leads and clients.
- Client Retainer Package New client introduction letter; Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement; and Medical Records Authorization.
- Retainer Agreement Our standard lawyer-client retainer agreement for representation in a personal injury case on a contingent fee basis.
- HIPPA Authorization Form HIPPA compliant authorization form that will enable you to obtain the client’s medical records from various providers.
- Lost Wages Calculation Form Form for clients to complete with their employer/supervisor to document lost wages resulting from injury.
- Consent to Joint Representation A required consent form which allows you to share fees with another lawyer who referred the case.
- Request for Police Report The police report is a critically important piece of evidence in an auto tort case. If a report was filed you need to get it. Here is our standard letter for requesting police reports.
- Medical Records Request Letter Our standard cover letter to providers requesting copies of a client’s medical records. HIPPA authorization form and other necessary forms should be attached.
- Medical Records Demand Letter Our records demand letter for uncooperative providers gently advising them that they are legally obligated to send the client’s medical records.
- No “Balance Billing” Letter Letter to healthcare provider advising that they are NOT permitted to accepted payment from client’s health insurance and also “balance bill” client for the remaining unpaid portion.
- Spoliation of Evidence Letter Form letter notifying party of a potential claim and reminding them of their legal obligation not to destroy, conceal and alter possible evidence.
- Request for Policy Limits Info Form letter to defendant’s insurance carrier requesting them to disclose the limits of any applicable insurance policy as required under new Maryland law.
- Request for Traffic Light Report Sample letter to County requesting traffic light sequence report and related information in connection with auto accident case at intersection.
- Notice of Filing Letter to Client Form letter to a client notifying them that their lawsuit has been filed with the Court and what to expect thereafter.
- Insurance Bad Faith Demand Letter Letter to insurer demanding they offer policy limits to avoid potential bad faith claim by their insured defendant if case goes to trial.
Auto tort cases are an invaluable commodity for most personal injury practices. The simple frequency at which car accidents occurs means that there is new a potential case arising basically every day. Auto accidents also make for very clean negligence cases. In most accidents there one driver is clearly “at-fault” so you there is no need to waste time and money establishing proof of negligence. Dealing with insurance adjusters is yet another unique aspect of auto cases. This page offers a detailed game plan for effectively and efficiently moving car accident cases from intake to settlement. Founding M&Z partner Laura Zois walks you through everything you need to know about an auto tort case from office management and evidence gathering to demand packages and settlement.