Earlier this week, I took the deposition of a local orthopedic surgeon in a client’s car accident case. I take several medical depositions each month. So, it’s not unusual to be in a deposition. It’s part of our process to help clients by building their cases. The case involved a car accident. The crash actually happened pretty close to my office in Huntsville. An uninsured driver crashed into my client at a busy intersection along University Drive. Because an uninsured driver caused the Huntsville accident, we made a claim against my client’s own auto insurer for uninsured coverage. The carrier — Allstate! Yes, I have a pretty negative opinion about how that company treats its own insureds. Are you really in good hands? Any Alabama lawyer who regularly handles car accident and injury cases likely agrees with me.
As is so often the case, Allstate offered practically nothing to my client after her wreck. But, then we took the ortho’s deposition. We obtained his testimony for use at trial. After his testimony, the adjuster suddenly started calling and wanting to pay. Developing the medical evidence increases case value significantly! That’s an obvious no-brainer. Yet, so many lawyers simply refuse to prepare their cases! I know lawyers who claim to handle car accident cases but have never taken key testimony from medical providers. It’s shocking to think how little value they add to cases.
How Settlement Mill Law Firms Fail Clients By Failing To Build Case Value!
Televisions and billboards are littered with them. You know, smiling lawyers asking you to call! Every one of these advertising lawyers tells you he or she is the best. They say your case will be handled easily. They say you don’t have to worry. The method to their ads is simple — Make injured people think the easiest and less stressful decision is to simply call. What they don’t say — They are running volume operations that add almost nothing to your claim. You are just a number. They do not have the time, dedication or skill to build your case. Most of these firms simply gather your records, send them to the adjuster and settle the claim if possible. In Huntsville, one settlement mill lawyer regularly appeared on television in a cape! The guy refused to take a client’s case to court. He even refused to file cases. Do you really think any insurance company was going to pay that lawyer top dollar for a case when every adjuster knew he would never file or pursue the claim? Of course not.
A few of these settlement mill firms have now started sending their clients to chiropractic clinics where they have secret deals. All that does is diminish your case and leave you owing a clinic that provided no real care. The insurance company sees reports from the same settlement mill chiro over-and-over. The insurance company knows those guys are not credible and are not coming to court. You can read more about that bad deal HERE.
Your medical evidence is a big deal. Your medical treatment is a big deal. Whether or not you have a case, you need real medical care.
If you do want to make the most of your case, you need a lawyer who understands the medical issues, studies the records, takes the time to develop the evidence, and works to prepare your case. Billboard lawyers are NOT going to do this.
I started this post by mentioning a recent case where the adjuster suddenly started calling after the medical deposition. It did not surprise me. My client was hurt badly. Her doctor is a great surgeon who really helped her recover. And, he provided testimony which really explained and established the injuries. Once we took his deposition testimony, we were ready for trial.
How Inexperienced Counsel Fails Clients By Failing To Study And Develop The Medical Evidence!
While some personal injury victims call the guy smiling from a billboard who claims car accident expertise, others hire a general lawyer without specialized experience. That’s fine when the general lawyer associates an experienced injury lawyer. But, in some cases, the lawyer does not. Instead, he or she thinks they can negotiate and settle the case. Maybe they can. But, too often, they fail to develop key parts of the injury claim. Experience pays a huge dividend for clients. That’s why a serious injury needs an experienced personal injury attorney.
How A Skilled Attorney Adds Tremendous Value To Personal Injury Cases!
When I first began practicing law (over 25 years ago), cases were regularly settled for a fair amount. Back then, most of the lawyers handling these cases were experienced and willing to go to court. A lot has changed over those many years. A lot!
We’ve all seen a flood of advertising lawyers who’ve never even been to a courthouse. We’ve also seen changes in Alabama law related to evidence, health insurance and medical liens. Almost all the legal changes have added complexity. Almost all the legal changes have been anti-consumer and pro-insurance company. The landscape has changed. Now, insurance companies know that many lawyers will settle cheaply. Way too cheaply! Now, insurance companies know that many lawyers lack the skill or willingness to go to court. Because of that, adjusters value claims far less at the start.
In Huntsville and northern Alabama, we have many attorneys who are really skilled at developing car accident cases to get the maximum value for their clients. Almost none of these really skilled attorneys advertise on television. I’ve certainly not seen any of them on local billboards. If you want a skilled attorney to work your case for its maximum value, you need to do some research. Calling the guy smiling on television might be a quicker solution but it is certainly NOT the best one.
From its office in Huntsville, the Blackwell Law Firm helps people across Alabama following a serious personal injury. If you have questions about Alabama law, an accident or injury, let us know. Our consultations are always free and confidential.