The Cohn Law Firm
handles many different types of personal injury cases. These include
car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, Medical Malpractice, slip
and fall accidents, workers' compensation accidents, and other similar
These cases are based
on the law of negligence.
901-757-5557 to schedule a free appointment to discuss your situation.
I. Initial Interview
attorney must meet with you for an interview so
that he might obtain all of the information needed
to determine whether the Firm will take your case
and thus help you. This information will include
facts about yourself, your family, the accident,
the person who caused the accident, and many other
medical authorization will have to be signed by the
client so that we might obtain medical
a release of information is often obtained from the
client so that we might obtain other information
about you which may be needed.
our contract of retainer must be signed in every
case. The contract of retainer provides for a
contingency fee agreement within the guidelines of
the statutes and laws of the state of Tennessee.
The contract provides that no attorney fees are
paid unless we obtain a recovery for you either by
settlement or by Judgment. It further provides an
increased percentage if the case is appealed to the
Court of Appeals or Supreme Court of Tennessee or
of the United States. Further, it also provides
that the expenses of the case will be borne by the
client. On occasion, we may advance some expenses
for you, but these are not credited against
attorney fees. This is your case and we certainly
want you to maintain an interest in this case. Your
financial participation, even though it is minimal,
helps us ensure that you will maintain your
interest in this case.
After you leave the office, we will obtain an
accident report if one exists from the Sheriff's
Department, the Police Department, or whatever
authority has the accident report.
will investigate the case and determine if you have
a reasonable probability of having a successful
case. We will either inform you that we do not wish
to proceed, or we will proceed with the case. If we
do not wish to proceed, then we will notify you
that we are not proceeding and we will close our
DO NOT HAVE A WRITTEN CONTRACT SIGNED BY YOU, AND
BY ALL NECESSARY PARTIES, THEN WE WILL NOT PROCEED
AND WE WILL NOT INVESTIGATE YOUR CLAIM, even if we
have opened a file.
we decide to proceed to represent you, we will then
send letters to all of your doctors, therapists,
and hospitals to which you have been admitted
either as an inpatient or as an outpatient and
obtain your medical records and bills. We also try
to obtain narrative reports from your physicians
who treat you.
important that you see a medical specialist for
each different affliction. Your injuries are not
your fault, and you should not sacrifice adequate
medical diagnosis for someone else's financial well
also important that you see your physician and
continuously communicate to him the pain you are
suffering or the progress that you are making. If a
physician does not believe that you are suffering
pain, and you continue to suffer pain, then you
should obtain a new physician.
physicians may not release you for a substantial
length of time. We will not settle your case until
the physician has either released you, or given you
a percentage of disability with an assessment of
how much more treatment that you will
you contact us and inform us that the physician has
released you, we will then obtain updated reports
and bills from your physician.
will also give you a form to be completed by your
employer which will indicate how many days and
hours you have missed from work because of this
accident. If you are self-employed, we have a
separate form for you to complete, but we will also
need copies of your tax returns for the last three
years. Only in this way can we obtain your lost
wages for you.
will need for you to provide us with the names of
the physicians, doctors, and any other medical
related providers that you have seen or see after
the initial interview.
UNLESS WE RECEIVE A WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT FROM YOUR
DOCTOR SIGNED BY YOU, WE HAVE THE OPTION OF PAYING
YOUR PHYSICIANS DIRECTLY WITH SETTLEMENT PROCEEDS
OR COLLECTED JUDGMENT FUNDS. On occasion, we may
pay the physicians and/or hospitals directly from
recovered funds. We may also pay those funds
directly to you and allow you to pay the medical
providers. Pursuant to the contract, that is our
Further, we will need you to provide us with a copy
of all items for which you have lost money because
of this accident. This includes estimates from body
shops for your property damage, and estimates to
replace personal property items lost or damaged in
the accident. We will need copies of invoices (if
available) showing what you paid originally for
items which would have been lost or damaged in the
accident. Further, we would need copies of any
receipts for the purchase of new glasses, new
dentures, or any other items which you have had to
purchase as a result of this accident.
Costs are the responsibility of the client. These
must be paid in advance.
prior to the filing of a lawsuit are generally less
than $150.00, unless an investigator is hired for
special investigation, or unless doctors must be
obtained for evaluation of a medical malpractice
case, in which the event the cost would be $650.00
filing of a lawsuit for negligence commonly
requires a filing fee to the Court of approximately $200.00; deposition costs for a Court Reporter and
for Expert Witnesses (this may include but is not
limited to dentists, doctors, engineers, vocational
specialists, psychologists, accident
reconstructionists, and investigators) of from
$300.00 to $5,000.00; costs for blow up pictures
and diagrams, photocopies, travel, and clerks fees.
III. STATUTE OF
Tennessee, THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN PERSONAL
INJURY ACTIONS (injuries to the person) IS ONE YEAR
FROM THE DATE OF THE COLLISION. The Statute of
Limitations for property damage (not injuries to
the person) is three years from the date the
times, the client is not released until very near
the end of the year. We must file the lawsuit,
however, before the year expires.
can see, these type of cases can take a very long
time. We do not like to settle these cases quickly
because a quick settlement may mean that certain
delayed injuries or delayed reactions to injuries
or other consequent problems you might experience
may not be compensated.
Once the case is settled
or Judgment in a lawsuit is entered, you cannot then go back and
sue for more. If you cannot stand up the next day after the settlement
or judgment, the odds are that you are not going to be able to obtain
any more compensation. Therefore, it is important that the case
be properly administered, analyzed, and a settlement in the proper
amount be obtained.
901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.
some point in time, we will have obtained all of
the information and we will submit a demand letter
to the insurance company of the defendant or to the
defendant. We will try to obtain for you all of
your medical expenses, medical reports, lost wages,
property damage, and any other damages you may
will also try to obtain an amount for you to
compensate you for the pain that you have suffered.
This is not in any way illegal, immoral, or
unethical. It is deeply rooted in our system of
justice and has been in effect since the days of
we are able to obtain for soft tissue injuries
three to five times the amount of the medical bills
plus your lost wages and property damage on a
dollar for dollar basis. The amounts vary with each
insurance company and the facts of the accident.
Some insurance companies will try to "low ball"
you; that is, they will offer you next to nothing
and force you to file a lawsuit. These same
companies then advertise how much litigation is
raising insurance premiums.
there are any broken bones, broken teeth, bad cuts,
bad bruises or other items which a jury would first
hand understand to be more painful, then we will be
able to obtain a larger settlement.
there is any permanent disability or permanent
disfigurement, this obviously would lead to a still
larger settlement. Further medical expenses may
also be considered. Obviously psychological damage,
if present, will still further increase the amount
of the settlement.
event, the final decision as to whether or not to
accept a settlement will be yours. We will be happy
to make a recommendation upon your request and to
explain how we arrived at our recommendation and
demand. However, the final decision will be yours.
you decide that the insurance company is not
dealing in good faith, you may want to sue. Please
understand that the insurance company is in
business to make money. Rarely do they offer the
lawyer anywhere near what could be obtained in
trial, and more rarely still would the insurance
company offer an individual without a lawyer
anything more than his medical payments and an
amount to fix your car. "Good Faith" interferes
with the insurance company's "profit", and the
adjusters "bonuses" and "promotions", and good
faith is therefore not in the vocabulary of the
insurance company. To make a long story short, the
insurance company is not interested in your best
interests. You are not their insured, even if you
have filed a claim under your Uninsured Motorist
lawsuit involves filing a Complaint. The defendant
files an Answer. Each party may serve written
questions on the other party, and the party must
file written answers. Each party may request
documents, and these documents must be produced.
Depositions may be taken of the parties and the
witnesses. This is where the lawyers and the party
or a witness sit down before a court reporter, and
the lawyers ask the party or witness questions. The
court reporter records the questions and answers,
and types it up for the lawyers to use at
may be Motions filed and argued. This is where a
Judge decides questions of law upon which the
lawyers disagree prior to trial. The Judge may
also, upon motion of one of the lawyers, dismiss
the case, or grant a Judgment to one of the parties
without a trial. This is called a Summary Judgment
and means that the Judge has decided that there is
no need to have a trial on one issue or on all
are expert witnesses which must be hired. These
costs money, as do doctors who are going to
testify, even if the doctors testify by deposition.
Investigations and court reporters are another
common source of expenses.
there is trial. This will last from two days to two
weeks, and possibly more.
Judgment is entered either for you or against you.
This can be appealed to the State Court of Appeals
(or to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals if your
trial is in Federal Court). After the Court of
Appeals rules, you must ask for permission to
appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee (or the
Supreme Court of the United States if your case is
in Federal Court). During the appeal time, your
Judgment is accruing interest.
the appeal process is over, if you have won, we can
then obtain payment if there is an insurance
company involved. If not, we must utilize our
knowledge of post-judgment collection procedures to
collect your money. It is possible that your
Judgment will be uncollectible if the defendant has
no money and no insurance.
VI. UNINSURED MOTORIST
law of the state of Tennessee says that every
insurance company must offer you this coverage
UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY DECLINE IT. If another
driver hits you and it is the other driver's fault,
and the other driver has no insurance, then YOUR
insurance company must act as the OTHER DRIVER'S
insurance company. Once you settle with your
company or obtain a judgment against the other
driver, your company must pay you, and your
insurance company can then sue the other driver to
obtain its money back.
law also says that YOUR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RATES
CANNOT GO UP SOLELY BECAUSE OF A CLAIM UNDER YOUR
UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE.
VII. PROXIMATE CAUSE
will hear many different things from different
people as to why you should recover from the
defendant. The simple reason is that you will
recover if the defendant's actions were the
"proximate cause" of the accident. The lawyer will
explain the importance of this concept to you upon
request. What you think is proximate cause and what
legally is proximate cause usually differs.
doctor, dentist, engineer, lawyer, architect or
other professional is liable for malpractice when
his treatment or actions are below that standard
other like professionals in the community would
utilize. It is NOT the RESULTS which are
malpractice, it is the PROCEDURE used to OBTAIN the
results. Every bad result does not mean that there
are the items for which you should be compensated
by the defendant under the law of the state of
Tennessee. The lawyer will explain these to you as
they vary from case to case.
et al v. MLG & W Electrocution Judgment for
& Cole v. Nichols Car Accident Judgment for
verdict Settlements (which are not public record)
car accident $105,000.00
901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.
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