HOW IMPORTANT ARE EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Like any legal case, it is all based on evidence, which does include eyewitnesses. That is the number one reason why somebody injured in an accident should not delay in seeking an attorney, because that attorney can jump on the case and interview viable witnesses while they are still available, and before memories fade. We are able to document the condition of the intersection and note any particular conditions. For example, I had a case where there were clumps of banana trees growing in front of the stop sign. That obscured my client’s view of the stop sign, and it was important to document that before the construction crew or the property owner could chop down the banana trees.
How Is the Viability of An Auto Accident Claim determined?
It is important to get documentation of the injuries from a medical physician. Usually claims that are successful in producing a significant monetary award are those where there has been some sort of objective testing which helps us prove there was an injury. The cases that are harder to get a good settlement are those where the person just feels some soreness in their neck or back, but the doctors cannot really document anything at the physiological level. I would not say those are hopeless cases, but without medical proof of injury, they are not worth as much in settlement.
Can Someone Handle an Auto Accident Claim on Their Own without An Attorney?
You can handle your own auto accident on your own, but it is sort of like trying to fix your own plumbing rather than hire a plumber, or fix your car and pretend to be an automobile mechanic. You are probably not going to do as good a job, and you might screw it up. I have had many cases where my client has tried to negotiate with insurance companies prior to retaining me and not been satisfied with the offer. In those cases, I have consistently been able to get them as much as three times the money in a settlement. That more than covers the attorney’s fees which are normally one-third of a settlement. So the client definitely comes out ahead. I would recommend to everyone that they do hire an experienced attorney. This is so we can present the case in the best possible light and make sure not to fall into any traps that might destroy the case.
What Sets You and Your Firm Apart in Handling Auto Accident Claims?
Experience is very valuable. In the three decades that I have been handling these types of cases, I think what sets us apart is an attention to the way that an injury has affected our client in particular. We do not lump our clients into some category of whiplash injury or whatever it may be. We spend a lot of time with our clients exploring how this injury has affected them in terms of what they can do and how it has affected their lives on a daily basis.
Our demand letters we send out to all the insurance companies are often very lengthy in report. We go into detail and more importantly, we personalize each case so that the insurance adjuster can see this person has been harmed in definite ways that it has a real impact on their lives. It is not just some garden variety auto accident injury. If we are not able to settle the case based on that demand package, then we will likewise present the case in a similarly compelling and personalized fashion to the arbitrator, mediator, opposing counsel or jury if the case goes that far.
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