Common Misconceptions Regarding Personal Injury Cases
People sometimes contact me with questionable liability claims. If you think you were more than 50% at fault, that type of case isn’t very attractive. However, we see and accept many cases where there are legitimate questions about fault. We pre-screen potential claims on the telephone and are pretty good at drilling down on the important issues about case acceptability. We also have taken cases other lawyers have turned away because we’ve been able to spot a way to “make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.” We are also known for transforming cases that might, at first blush, appear modest into blockbuster recoveries.
On the topic of turning an iffy case into a strong liability case, I am currently preparing for trial in a case where the police report was erroneous and the information stated on it was completely incorrect. I took on the case thinking the police report was correct from a liability standpoint, but when I pressed the witness for additional information, I discovered that the police were confused. The case was transformed.
Attorneys need to be prepared to look at cases from many angles.
Another common misconception is that insurance companies will just roll over and part with their money easily. They don’t. In fact, some insurance companies are openly abusive toward injured claimants and their lawyers.
A lot of people have the misconception that the doctor is always right and that their diagnosis is always correct. It’s not always true, especially when it comes to brain injury cases. There are only a limited number of healthcare professionals who are adequately trained to identify and diagnose the variety of problems that can arise in the context of traumatic brain injury.
The expediency of court proceedings can also be misleading. Some folks think a case can get resolved quickly. It rarely occurs, except when the insurance coverage is limited.
Clients often expect their cases to be resolved soon after getting the trial date, either by settlement or by trial. Oh, if only it were that simple! In major injury cases, maturation of the injuries and rehabilitation may last longer than it takes to get on the trial list, or obtaining the documentation to prove a claim may be difficult. Also, in a field such as traumatic brain injury, there are always advances in the literature and with technology that we try to incorporate into our case preparation.
Reaching trial can likewise present problems. Larger cases tend to be handled by more experienced trial lawyers on both sides. To schedule a trial requires matching the availability of lawyers for both sides. It becomes very difficult if the attorney has a busy trial calendar, and that can become another impediment to getting matters over and done with.
It is also very surprising to some people that not all lawyers handle their cases with the same professional standards. There are several law firms that advertise heavily on television, highway billboards and on buses. I have interviewed employees of some of these firms for jobs as lawyers, paralegals and secretaries at Casper & de Toledo. Many cases taken by those firms are handled as though they were on a conveyor belt. The goal at many of those offices is to turn the case over quickly to make a fee, without regard to the best interests of the client. At Casper & de Toledo, we really don’t want to handle a case to “turn it over quickly.” Our approach to each case is to give the client individual attention; to approach a case creatively; and to make decisions with the client’s best interests in mind, attempting to maximize the recovery.
Some lawyers are known to settle their cases avoiding the courtroom; other lawyers are known for going to trial in a high percentage of cases. There is little doubt that lawyers who go to trial and who are known for their grit, determination and trial skills do better for their clients.
For more information on Misconceptions about Personal Injury Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (203) 325-8600 today.