Gary: Hi, I’m Gary Burger of Burger Law. I’m here with my mom, Joan Burger. One of the questions that I sometimes get is, “Do you need a lawyer?” And I’ve lectured on this; I’ve written a book on this, talking about this. And if you’re injured in a case, you have one ER visit, you’re injured in a car accident, you have one ER visit, and then you’re done treating. You got to your primary care doctor, and then you’re done treating. You can try to settle that case on your own. Call the insurance company. Give them your medical bills. Ask for that. Ask for some money in pain and suffering because at a low level, a lawyer like me can’t add value to your case, and there are some other types of ways where you’re trying to officially handle. If you’re injured on the job, you’re not that badly injured. Your employer pays all of your medical bills. They pay you two-thirds your weekly wages while you’re off-work, and they offer you some reasonable amount of lump-sum payment at the end of the case. You don’t need a lawyer. But, if cases get involved more than that, if you’re more seriously injured, if you have tougher liability issues and contested liability, that’s where lawyers like Joan Burger and Gary Burger can help, and I don’t know what your experience is on these issues. Have you been doing this for a while?
Joan: I have been. I would say that the atmosphere today, and I don’t know the cause, but the insurance companies are very reluctant to pay out much of anything, and when they do, it’s a small amount. It’s a completely different atmosphere than it was 30 years ago or 40 years ago where you could call an insurance agent and have a fairly small accident but $3,000 in medical bills, and you could get a settlement like that of $10,000. Now, they’ll offer you the $3,000, and the mistake that some people might make is say, “Oh, that’s okay because I also have health insurance and that was covered by it, so this is more money.” But you have paid by contract for that health insurance. You’re entitled to have your health insurance pay your medical bills and to recover from the person who harmed you, their insurance company. That’s not double dipping. You’re entitled to both recoveries, and so if you have a question, call us at 314-542- 2222, and we can even consult over the phone and give you some thoughts.