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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

ADR is a procedure that parties to disputes give each other as options or alternatives to lawsuits. Partly because of the growing number of claims and the extra work that this has caused the court system and partly because of a need to solve problems at less expense and with less time. Examples of ADR are arbitration and mediation. These do not use the courts, judges or juries.

Firstly, let me point out that this is an optional set of procedures for the claimant. Neither they nor the insurance company is required to choose the option of arbitration or mediation. But may do so as an alternative to court or jury trial. 

Secondly, both sides must agree to submit the case to ADR as one side generally cannot force it to be done. Thirdly, the costs of presenting a case in this manner can be greatly reduced; in some instances at a fraction of the cost. Fourthly, as to timing, cases can generally be disposed of by arbitration or mediation in as sort a time as 2-4 weeks compared to months or even years for court. 

The law is changing. The law is adjusting and adapting to the needs of the people it serves and the development of ADR, giving people additional ways of resolving their differences, is good evidence of this. 

Tofaute & Spelman have been using ADR to resolve our clients' cases for many years and are skilled at making sure this option is used when it benefits our clients the most.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Personal Injury: Do We Understand? You Bet We Do. By George B. Tofaute

A few years ago, I was hit from behind by a semi-truck driver. In a split second, and without any warning except a terrifying glance in the rear-view mirror, there was a crash of a semi-truck into my car. It changed my life forever. I knew I was hurt. First I felt nauseated. I knew I was going to be sick. My head, neck, back and shoulders began to hurt. I was very hot. But I sat still until I heard sirens and then help arrived.

Even though we help people every day in similar situations, it was still hard to know what to do next. A police officer wrote his report and told me the semi driver was to be arrested. I was able to take myself to the doctor and then started months of diagnostic tests and treatments: x-rays, a CT scan, 2 MRI's, physical therapy and ultimately surgery on my neck and another one projected from my shoulder.

In a moment, I went from the attorney to "the client." Thankfully, I work with several professionals who would help me manage my case. As a result of my own journey from the accident, I vowed to always remember what it is like to be a client on the other side of the table. It literally turns your life upside down.

At Tofaute & Spelman, we have a team of men and women who know and understand the effects of injury situations. We care about injured people and their families, because we too, have been there.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Good Medicine Makes Good Law by George Tofaute

Tofaute & Spelman has limited its practice to serving injured persons and their families for 30 years. Our clients hear from us that we are most interested in following their medical treatment and being advised of their medical course. We explain to them that as the case progresses, we will need precise written reports from all their doctors and treatments and the future prospects as a result of their injuries.There are several reasons we are interested in following the course of medical treatment.

  1. Our clients sometimes undergo long series of medical treatments. Office visits, surgery, p/t, diagnostic procedures such as MRI's, CT Scans, and X-rays, therapy with chiropractic physicians and more.
  2. There are times when the client is not familiar with the various services available for the injuries they sustained. Since we deal with many health care providers, one might think we can recommend a provider. We actually have no preference for any provider, but may have suggestions about certain treatments.
  3. Sometimes, surgery is the best medical approach to our client's injuries. Clients who have surgery usually have a period of disability during the recuperation process. This increases medical expenses and can result in lost income. Lost income and is also an element of damages under Indiana law that we will be concerned about.
Like all other professionals in the filed, we strive diligently to avoid making mistakes. That is why we are so insistent that our clients tell us EVERY TIME they are treated for their injuries so we can follow their medical treatment course. This is also why we need written and accurate medial records and reports from all providers and their findings. It is only with the best medical care, evaluation, and documentation that we can render the very best of LEGAL services to those injuries and their families who's ask for our legal help.