Practicing law is hard, but being a Personal Injury Lawyer is not (most of the time)
Let’s get something out of the way first, practicing law is hard but fighting to get you paid for your injuries after a car accident is easy…most of the time.
- The reality is that car accident lawyers are not rocket scientists.
- They are not curing cancer.
- They are hard working men and women fighting every day to do a task that can be broken down into formulaic principles.
That is why it is easy.
But, it may take many years or decades to get to the point where it is easy, but maybe not.
There is a lawyer in Louisiana who, never having settled a lawsuit of his own, never having stepped into a trial, never having any experience in personal injury law gets a client who has some great facts:
- Car overturned on the expressway, getting hit from behind at 70 miles per hour, with a subsequent fire that engulfed the car in mere minutes.
- She was pulled out of the car by onlookers, apparently with minor cuts and bruises (and a whopping headache).
- She doesn’t seriously treat for several months, until she meets this attorney who tells her that he is going to help her get better and get paid.
- He starts by finding out how much insurance is available by contacting the insurance companies for the guy who hits her and her own insurance company.
- Luckily there is more than $125,000 in insurance available between the liability insurer and her own uninsured motorist policy.
- She has symptoms of dizziness, loss of sleep, headaches and memory loss.
- Classic symptoms of a TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury, but she didn’t really know it. She just thought her head hurt and she may have heard of the word concussion before but didn’t know that was actually a laymen’s term for a TBI.
- She sees a neurologist and specialists who tell her there is not much they can do or that she can do, but wait, take time away from work and let her brain rest.
- She follows their advice to the best of her ability but she also has to work, take care of kids, live her life…and the last thing she wanted to do was deal with insurance companies after a long day.
This lawyer, with limited experience but a propensity and desire to learn the art of negotiating a deal calls on his more experienced personal injury lawyer friends to help him do the right thing and maximize the claim for his client.
He follows their tried and true advice:
- Get treatment for the client documented by well known doctors in the field who will give a causation statement that her injuries are a direct result of the accident and were not pre-existing.
- Make sure the client goes to treatment and get the medical records to submit with a demand letter detailing all treatment with corresponding expenses.
- Research the cases and determine the case value for the types of injuries in the jurisdiction in which the accident case would be tried in court.
- Talk to the adjusters and never, ever take the first offer (or second or third).
- Keep the pressure on that you will go to trial
After doing all of those things and sticking to his guns, the lawyer ends up with all the money that he had sought to get for his client.
He was amazed. So was the client.
He followed a formula. It is not hard and he learned it. So he got excellent results.
He also had great facts, great mentors and a drive to win.
Those are the easy cases and the hard cases without great facts and high policy limits are the ones where great PI lawyers earn their keep.
But most of the time…it is the diligent practice of grinding it out, following the formula and never taking no for an answer that makes a PI lawyer a winner.