Author

 

What People Are Saying about Karen’s Books

Plaintiff 101 is an excellent resource for anyone in an accident needing to go through a lawsuit. An easy read and great advice  Even if you don’t think you will have to go through legal channels, I highly recommend it.  I didn’t think my accident was much of anything, but I ended up going through major surgery which affected my livelihood.

One thing that really helped me was knowing that I did not need to settle my case before surgery.  Sounds like common sense, right?  But when you have your lawyer present a number to you and gives you the option to sign off (which they are supposed to do) and you are not at all familiar with legal issues, you can be swayed.  After I said that no, I would wait till the surgery and the recovery, he fully supported my decision.  I am so glad I got (and read) this book before I went through the legal process.  If you or someone you know is overwhelmed with an accident, I highly recommend this book.

~ Kathleen H.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Awesome book!

ByMichael Hill on October 10, 2017

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Probably one of the best books I’ve read on what to do and not to do if you ever become a Plaintiff in a civil action.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Must Have

By Amazon Customer on May 30, 2017

Format: Paperback

Having a bad accident or otherwise is traumatic enough without the added knowledge that you’ll be in a court fight for possibly months. Mertes’ “Plaintiff 101” takes all that weight off your shoulders by offering sound advice to navigating around legal system which will help in the long run. This book has so much great advice that I never would have thought of otherwise and I’m glad I found it. Recommend it to anyone with an ongoing case or anyone who just wants to be prepared in case something unexpected happens.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Mertes gives amazing advice for you and your lawyer

By Amazon Customer on March 23, 2017

Format: Paperback

Mertes tells of her traumatic experience with a drunk driver leaving her with a serious brain injury. She tells of how she overcomes the injury and the lawsuit. This is a very helpful book for those going through personal injury litigations and don’t quite know how to handle it. Mertes gives amazing advice for you and your lawyer. Definitely recommend.

5.0 out of 5 stars

PERFECT FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO UNDERSTAND CIVIL LITIGATION

By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2016

Format: Paperback

Plaintiff 101 is a great reference for civil litigation! The takeaways along with Karen’s own compelling account of her lawsuit, makes it a very practical guide, which simplifies grasping the legal process in general. You won’t be disappointed!

5.0 out of 5 stars

Highly informative, well-written and organized

By zandor nabusan on September 18, 2016

Format: Audible Audio Edition

This book tackles a topic which some of us are currently experiencing or have experienced but are rarely dealt with by any authors in a manner that is informative and will really guide us as we through a fight as intimate as personal injury claims. It provides an almost step-by-step process on how to best tackle the proceedings, from what to do at the point of injury up to the point when the case is being defended and evaluated. Aside from the specifics pertaining to the case proceedings, the book also provides us an insight on the cost to be expected, something that most of us preliminarily considers when faced with the need to file a claim.

I’m reading the book for my dad, who unfortunately have been injured in a vehicular accident, to help the family strategize for our next actions. I say that reading this has provided me with the confidence to proceed. It has given me practical insights which I will definitely take note as we move forward. Will have to re-read the corresponding sections as we proceed with the case for me to get the most out of this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Clear. Concise. Educational.

By Heather M Lealon September 15, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition| Verified Purchase

This is a very educational book about the world of personal injury litigation. While not necessarily a subject I would consider fascinating, I found this book quite easy to read and chocked full of relevant information. This is a must-read for anyone involved in personal injury litigation or considering taking steps to seek damages for an injury. The chapters and sub-chapters are organized well, and the take-aways at the end of each chapter are helpful to highlight the most important information. They give great suggestions for questions to ask your lawyer, as well as warnings against potential pitfalls and missteps. The writers were informative, friendly, and not in the least condescending. They presented the information in an interesting manner, drawing upon personal experience to educate others. I highly recommend reading this book before entering into any form of litigation. It would be a most helpful tool in navigating a world that most people know very little about.

5.0 out of 5 stars

A necessary read for anyone headed to the courtroom

By Sara on September 15, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition| Verified Purchase

Mertes writing is clear and concise. I cannot stress enough how valuable her book is as a resource as you head to the court. Not only does the storyline create both interest that drives the book and keeps me from sleeping (something that often happens in these legal style books), but she also offers examples that display the complexities of different situations in simple ways. This is a must read for everyone wishing to understand what you will be facing in the courtroom.

Eventually most of us will be in a car crash, but how many of us think to collect the names and phone numbers of witnesses? Her simple lists of “what to do,” and just as importantly, “what not to do” are extremely helpful. Additionally she provides lists of questions to ask when hiring an attorney. All of the things that seem overwhelming and complex in the moment, she boils down to simple reminders. Legal gargin often creates anxiety in me. I want to know what is going on, but the definitions are nearly as complex as the words themselves. Loss of consortium, insurance agent versus the insurance adjuster, tort reform, and deposition finally make sense!

Lastly, her tips along the way are worth reading. Remember to keep your personal details of the case off social media, because who knows how your twitter post will be spun. Whatever you do, do not record your statement before hiring an attorney. Typical rates for an attorney are commonly between 33 to 40%. These are only the start. Her book is filled with so much valuable information that it is a must read for anyone headed towards the court room!

5.0 out of 5 stars

A concise and supportive book to help your personal injury lawsuit reach the most favorable outcome

By Mrs. Anne Payne on September 15, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

Having no personal experience of the legal system and how it applies to plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, I found this book an extremely useful and clear explanation of the processes and pitfalls involved in such cases.

Based on a dual foundation of many years’ work as an attorney, on the part of Michael Harvey, J.S., J.D., and personal experience as a plaintiff in a personal injury case, on that of Karen R. Mertes, the book covers comprehensively the usual progress of a lawsuit and offers support and advice for each stage of the process. Areas discussed include: what to do and avoid at the scene of the incident; what to look for and avoid when choosing an attorney; how to prepare for and behave in a Deposition; what to be aware of prior to an Independent Medical Examination; why the majority of such cases settle prior to trial and how to make this outcome more likely; and what to expect in a settlement conference. The most important information is summarized clearly at intervals throughout and checklists at the end of the book support the reader at the most important stages of the process of such a case.

The authors hope that this book will become one that “the defense world would prefer […] had never been written and plaintiff’s attorneys see its value for their clients.” Given the expertise involved and the support and clear advice offered to the reader at all stages of the book, this outcome seems to be extremely likely.

5.0 out of 5 stars

This is information well worth reading and listening to!

By Michael S. on September 15, 2016

Format: Audible Audio Edition| Verified Purchase

I bought this audible book and immediately listened to it from beginning to end. I was amazed at Karen’s personal experience and the insight that she gained from it. Our life can change in just a moment, based on circumstances that have absolutely nothing to do with us. When Karen was injured she had no idea what to do, just like most anybody else.

What I liked most about the book was how she related her personal experience into easy to follow instructions for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation. The checklists and take aways are handy to have and contain great snippets of information. I am sure that there are plenty of how-to books out there on what to do when dealing with a personal injury lawsuit or fighting against an insurance company, but this one is different. This is one born of tragedy and poured out of a woman’s heart who really cares for her fellow man.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Plaintiff 101 is an excellent resource for regular people who are not well-versed in …

By Anya Pogorelova on September 15, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

Plaintiff 101 is an excellent resource for regular people who are not well-versed in legal terms. It is easy to read, well-paced, and guides you through all the main points of a lawsuit. I personally loved the “Takeaways”, little tips/summaries throughout the chapters written to help you remember the main points. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to help their attorney and wants to accurately present their case. Thank you, Karen, for sharing your story and assisting everyone out there looking for answers.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Invaluable and thorough resource

By Alaina S. Byers on September 15, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

You never quite know what you will do and how you will handle things if you are the victim of a car accident. The author was rear-ended by a drunk driver which seems like such an open and shut case in terms of blame. However, nothing is ever that easy. You face defense attorneys, insurance agents, and more who will poke holes in what seems to be such a clear situation. The advice provided in this book like finding the best attorney possible, being cognizant of what statements you make, ensuring you do get the names of all witnesses at the scene of the accident and making sure you have proper insurance to begin with are invaluable. As an attorney but also as a victim of a drunk driving accident very similar to this author’s, I can see the value in her story and advice. It makes me wish I knew all of what she has said in this book when I was dealing with insurance representatives from the other side after my accident. You have such a brief window of time to file for injuries you may not even realize you have, ones that may or may not show up years down the road. An accident can change your life forever in just one second. The days and months afterwards can determine how you can get through the rest of your life as a result of this catastrophic event. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, clients of mine as well as family members. Hopefully they are never in this situation, but you simply never know. This resource is simply excellent.

5.0 out of 5 stars

An exposé into the workings of personal injury litigations

By Tony Ikani on September 15, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

In personal injury cases, the plaintiffs often resort to seeking public empathy as a basis for financial settlement. However, they are usually unaware these cases, like every other, are plagued with much strife, arguments and counter-arguments, sly behavior, and roguish claims. To get a shot at compensation you have to prove liability, damages, and causation, beyond any reasonable doubt.

Plaintiff 101 takes you through a well-documented personal injury litigation. The book acquaints you with the right process, possible surprises, pitfalls, and all the tips and information you need to successfully make it through similar litigation if you ever have to go through with one.

The book follows a clear outline and is quite layman friendly. It is one I can easily recommend for all.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Must Read Before That Litigation

By Sylvester O. on September 15, 2016

Format: Audible Audio Edition

Plaintiff 101 is your first stop if you should ever want a book that lucidly explains everything you need to know before stepping your feet into a court. As Karen advises, you may not know if you could be involved in any incident that would result in filing a law suit. Although I have not been in court ever, I was forced to read this book following a terrible experience my sister endured in January. I personally believe my sister would have done better in court had she read this book.
Hopefully, you will find the genuine advice from Karen’s own experiences, useful as I did.

5.0 out of 5 stars

What to know about personal injury litigation.

By sphinx on September 15, 2016

Format: Audible Audio Edition

This is a masterpiece, highly informative for a person claiming damages for personal injury, tells you what and what not to do from the beginning to the end and what to expect from your attorney. You will not go wrong reading this book.

4.0 out of 5 stars

Where was this book 10 years ago? Plaintiff 101 should be mandatory reading for professional drivers.

By Chuck Kidd on September 14, 2016

Format: Audible Audio Edition

While I have been fortunate in my life in avoiding a civil litigation, I can’t say the same for my best friend. As an over the road Tractor Trailer driver for more than 30 years with a spotless driving record, he was involved in an accident caused by a State of Ohio road construction crew setting up their warning system (those dreaded orange barrels) improperly. This negligence on their part was the direct cause of the accident that resulted in the death of his driving partner and leaving my friend in a wheelchair for life with the eventual loss of both legs.

The State of Ohio lined up a legal team that pulled every trick in the book to get him to settle out of court. He settled while still in the hospital and was really taken advantage of. His quality of life after the accident would have been vastly improved if he was aware of the information in this book.

Karen and Michael lay out the hard facts in a manner easy to understand whether you are the injured party or a lawyer. Plaintiff 101 should be mandatory reading for professional drivers so they are aware of the litigation procedures they will likely encounter in the event of an accident. Knowing what to do and more importantly, what not to do may be the difference in the eventual outcome of the litigation being to your satisfaction.

5.0 out of 5 stars

A must have for anyone dealing with personal injury cases.

By Sweet Jimmy on September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition| Verified Purchase

I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little about the court system or lawsuits. I count myself lucky that I haven’t ever had to deal with the court process. A book like this is invaluable to me so that I can know and understand my rights during a personal injury claim. This books lays out what to expect from all members of the court. How your attorney will help you while also teaching you how a defendant will try to protect themselves and win the case.

This book is a great guide in preparing you want to expect if some type of injury should happen to you. Don’t think you know everything and go charging in head first before talking to an attorney. Before you know it, you may have done and/or said things that make your case much harder to win. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book for a short and easy read. Go in prepared so that you can understand what your attorney is saying and trying to do for you. Hopefully you never have to use your learning from this book and you life an injury free life. Just remember: YOUR injury affects YOUR life. Shouldn’t YOU do everything in your power to get justice?

5.0 out of 5 stars

Recommended reading for proactive and educational awareness on personal injury litigation.

By ReadingBoosters on September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

The dual views and perspectives from which this book was written is most insightful and encouraging – leaving me feeling educated, prepared and empowered should I ever find myself needing personal injury litigation.

This book is an excellent resource guide that should absolutely be recommended reading as a proactive and educational measure in the event one should become a plaintiff in a personal injury case.

Thoughtfully presented, Plaintiff 101 was engaging, eye opening and laden with helpful “takeaway” summary recaps of key points. A valuable and welcome addition to my Kindle library, I highly recommend this book and checklists to anyone facing a personal injury case.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Valuable information to know if you ever find yourself in a personal injury lawsuit

By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition| Verified Purchase

I was in a car accident in college in which a tractor trailer swerved into me while going down the highway. I ended up doing a U-turn at 60 mph, continued down the highway backwards, hit the concrete median with my back bumper which pushed me all the way across 3 lanes of traffic back to the other side of the highway where I finally stopped. The trucker tried to claim it was my fault. I wish I had read this book back then. I made so many mistakes. Two of them were: 1) Get the names and numbers of witnesses at the crash. Don’t rely on police officers to do this. 2) Don’t do the recorded interview regarding the crash until you talk to an attorney. During my accident, I was dazed and scared. I relied on other people around me to take care of things and didn’t realize that from the moment blame was placed on the trucker, the insurance company and the defendant were already preparing to fight me. This book offers valuable insight for preparing for a situation like this.

Excellent, eye-opening read.

-Kristin C

5.0 out of 5 stars

This is the go-to book for anyone facing personal injury litigation.

By prentis on September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition| Verified Purchase

This is a complete how-to book of personal injury litigation for the ordinary person to help assist their attorneys and improve their chances of a successful settlement/verdict. Court proceedings and legal terms can be so confusing for anyone not in the legal profession but this book gives great advice from the plaintiff’s, Karen’s, perspective and guides you with very important details that will help you should you ever find yourself in a personal injury suit. Included with a notes section in each segment so that you can write your own personal notations and then with a checklist so that you can keep on track with the things that you need to do that get easily forgotten in the midst of everything else. A great read just for informational purposes, if nothing else. You never know when you might need this book for future reference.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Loved the book

By Kimberly Hon September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

Loved the book! This was a great guide to the legal system, the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Lots of great advice for some of the pitfalls you should watch out for when going up against big insurance. This read like a manual to how to do things right in this kind of litigation. And I’m a practicing lawyer and saying this.

If you are in the middle of a lawsuit, or even thinking about filing this, read the book and learn how to protect your rights.

4.0 out of 5 stars

An indispensable guide that I hope I’ll never have to use

By Jared Erickson on September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

I certainly hope that I never find myself in any sort of personal injury litigation, but if I am, you can bet that I’ll be consulting this book.

First and foremost, this book dispels the popular notion that personal injury attorneys are just “ambulance chasers”, and that plaintiffs are just out to make a payday. Karen’s personal experience with traumatic injury clearly show that these are real victims with real injuries who just want their lives to get back to normal. Her bird’s eye view into the process, and recounting of events, show the outsider what really happens when someone is injured. Her personal experiences were both heartbreaking and touching.

By the same token, the co-author provides a great explanation of the legal side of things in simple-to-understand terms. He masterfully details each step of the litigation process– an explanation that is desperately needed when most people only experience the “legal process” through television programs. His words show how things really work, from the attorney’s office to the court room.

I found the “Takeaway” sections to be especially helpful. They provided useful and simple summaries for the specific subjects being discussed. These sections alone would doubtlessly be beneficial to anyone facing personal injury litigation.

I sincerely hope that I’ll never have to consult this book, but I feel much more at ease having this as a resource if the unthinkable ever happens.

5.0 out of 5 stars

A true account packed with practical advice & insight

By Jessica on September 14, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

A personal injury accident is never something you anticipate or learn how to handle ahead of time, which is why I’m glad I found this book.

Karen gives a quick account of her life-changing accident and then the rest of the book is packed with guidelines for everything you need to be sure you do, from those few crucial moment right after the collision all the way through the litigation procedure. She paints the true picture of what the courtroom will be like, who is on your side acting in your best interest and who won’t be (e.g. the claims adjuster). All the advice is practical and comes from the combined knowledge of her personal experience and that of the co-authoring attorney.

This book helped me better understand the traumatizing experiences of people I know who went through long litigation procedures. Many of them had very unfavorable results so I am happy to be equipped with an easy-to-reference guide to reread if I, myself, or a loved one ever end up in a similar situation. Proceeds from the book also go to the author’s non-profit.

5.0 out of 5 stars

This book “sent” to my insurance agent where I requested …

By Rod Dimon on August 22, 2016

Format: Paperback| Verified Purchase

This book “sent” to my insurance agent where I requested a policy review. Upon completion, I bought an umbrella policy to address this need should it happen !! Mertes book should be a must read for all drivers !!!

5.0 out of 5 stars

Save thousands of dollars by reading this book and not making simple mistakes that will hurt your personal injury claim.

By Matthew D. Powell on October 25, 2015

Format: Paperback

The insurance companies defend personal injury claims as a business and they know what they are doing and how they can reduce the value of your claim. This is likely your first involvement in the legal system and you may be naive about what is ahead of you. So, please read this book and be prepared for battle, protect your rights and save your claim. Read this book today!
This is important information for anyone involved in a personal injury claim. Karen and Michael lay out the hard facts of what an injured victim can expect from the insurance company defense teams, their lawyers, their doctors, and their investigators.
This book is easy to read and full of valuable information. Anyone who reads this book can easily preserve or increase the value of their personal injury case by not making simple mistakes.
How do I know? I am a veteran trial lawyer who has witnessed defense teams consistently shred innocent victims claims who made simple mistakes. Such things as giving a recorded statement, being tricked into doing something by an investigator who videotapes it and uses it against them. Mistakes like not going to the doctors, or failing to tell the doctors about prior problems. This book will guide you through the litigation jungle and save you stress, frustration and financial losses.
Be prepared by knowing what to do to protect yourself.

5.0 out of 5 stars

highly recommended

By Amazon Customer on October 20, 2015

Format: Paperback| Verified Purchase

book was written very well , highly recommended

5.0 out of 5 stars

Plaintiff 101 is a great reference for civil litigation

By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2015

Format: Paperback

Plaintiff 101 is a great reference for civil litigation! The checklists and takeaways, even Karen’s own compelling account of her personal injury lawsuit, makes it a very practical guide, which simplifies grasping the legal process in general. Definitely a great buy!