Personal Injury Lawsuit Basics
Pretty much everyone who calls me has no idea how personal injury cases work. Many have received tidbits of mostly inaccurate information from either insurance company agents, or those answering the phones at bigger personal injury law firms.
As an Orlando personal injury attorney, I consider there to be four critical aspects to understanding how to get the most money possible from insurance companies. These basic rules apply to all types of accidents & injuries, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and even premises accidents like slip and falls. So these are my top 4 personal injury lawsuit basics.
Part One: Dealing With Insurance Company Agents
The first is how to deal with insurance companies. So I have several pages on my website explaining how insurance companies have changed over the years. These are not the same agents who helped your grandparents or even parents. The insurance companies are driven by profit. So they often have a very polite person “helping” you get as little money as possible. Their websites also never mention that you should get legal advice. They know that talking to an attorney usually will get you more money. So they want to keep you away from us.
The menu to the right has detailed articles explaining how insurance company training has evolved since the mid-90s into an anti-consumer profit model. (See “Why You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself,” parts I and II.)
So, bottom line, you shouldn’t deal with an insurance company alone, unless no good Florida lawyer will take your case. This includes your own insurance company. You may be obligated under your contract to report the accident to your own company. But you should talk to an Orlando car accident attorney first.
Part Two: Hiring (Or Firing) Your Personal Injury Attorney
I truly wish I could say that all personal injury law firms would be helpful. But, in many firms, paralegals are handling high volumes of cases, with attorneys barely learning your name, much less the facts of your case. This is a widespread problem. So you need to be careful. If you have any feeling that an attorney isn’t handling your case, cut and run. This should start from the first consultation. You should be speaking with a lawyer, and preferably not a first year associate.
Over the years, I have learned a good bit about the inner workings of other law firms. Some has been by working in them, others by reading law review articles, and still others from hearing client horror stories. Whenever possible, I write articles about my findings related to other law firm policies and procedures (again, see the menu to the right, various articles re: concerning practices of some other law firms). These contain solid gold information, although, for liability reasons, I never mention law firms by name. So you must be your own detective. If you feel like a number, then you probably are one. You could also call me. I will gladly share everything I have learned during any consultation.
You should also know that you can fire your personal injury attorney, although you may or may not need to make that change. (See my article to the right about firing your attorney because there are pros and cons.)
Part 3: Your Medical Treatment & Other Activities After The Accident
The next part of getting the most money possible after an accident relates to your behavior. This includes your interactions with your doctors and medical providers. This also includes everything you say to anyone, pretty much. Anyone can testify against you. Also, everything you post online after your accident could be admissible evidence. So I spend a lot of time explaining to my clients how their medical treatment effects their case value. I also spend a lot of time explaining how insurance companies devalue cases using other evidence. You need this information to get the most money possible.
Most people think all of this information doesn’t apply to them, because they are truly injured, so they think nothing could hurt their case value. That is always wrong. Not almost always. Always. You need to understand how innocent statements or actions can be twisted by insurance company lawyers, then used against you.
Related warning: if you aren’t really injured, or your injuries heal completely, you can’t get much money, regardless of what you do.
To learn more about these very important injury case issues, you are invited to read my articles in the right hand menu re: how to get the most money, how your medical treatment impacts case value, your expectations, etc.
Part 4: Your Behavior During The Lawsuit
There are a couple of days during the lawsuit that can have a big impact on your case value, positively or negatively (aside from your medical treatment). The single most important day is your deposition. I’ve been meaning to write an exhaustive deposition blog post. In the meantime, just know that you need a lawyer prepping your for that very important day. Also, check back for regular, planned updates to this page!
If you want to get the most money possible from your case, spend time reading some of the articles in the menu to the right. Through a series of articles written over several years, I have explained all about insurance companies, high volume law firms, and your own impact on your case value. That’s why I consider this compilation of articles to be the most essential personal injury lawsuit basics. Or, if that’s too much work, you could just call or text me at (407) 383-7290. I’ll explain everything you need to know, without any charge until I recover money for you.