You may have heard, in advertisements for law firms or elsewhere, that “people who hire an attorney for their injury case receive three times more money than people who don’t.” Have you ever wondered if that’s true? It actually is. The Insurance Research Council looked into it and found that, on average, personal injury plaintiffs with legal representation receive just slightly less than triple the amount of money plaintiffs who pursue their cases without an attorney get. If you needed an extra reason to make sure you retain a skilled San Mateo injury attorney to handle your accident case, that should certainly stand out as one.
Why is there such a disparity? There are several reasons. For one thing, an experienced injury attorney who has handled many cases that are both like yours and also litigated in your area will have a very clear idea of what your case is “worth.” Your attorney, based on that experience-based forecasting, can help you spot a low-ball offer from an opposing insurance company or attorney.
One of the insurance companies’ business objectives is to pay claimants as little as possible. That involves employing adjusters and attorneys who all work to convince you your case is worth far less than it really is in order to get you to take as little money as possible to settle your claim.
Maybe you’re out of work due to your injuries and you live paycheck-to-paycheck. Without a knowledgeable attorney in your corner, it may be easy to be persuaded by the convincing-sounding arguments from the insurance company or attorney about how this settlement offer is “the best you’ll do,” and therefore tempting to accept that lowball offer simply to put cash in your pocket.
A real-life case study from here in California
J.S. was a limo driver who was injured in a “T-bone” accident in Los Angeles County. J.S. suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder and a torn meniscus in his knee. Both of those injuries required surgical treatment, and J.S. was also facing a knee replacement in the future.
The defense’s final offer before trial was $140,000. $140,000 is, of course, a substantial sum of money to most of us, and would certainly pay a lot of bills. It was also a number that was far below what J.S.’s case was really worth.
J.S., who was represented by counsel, wisely did not accept the settlement offer. The case went to trial and, at the end, the jury voted 12-0 to award the limo driver more than $1.85 million in damages. (Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC623885.)
Your experienced attorney knows how to make a persuasive presentation to a jury, what evidence you’ll need, which experts can further strengthen your case, how to go about making the right sort of demands for information from the other side and what legal arguments will lead to success in court (and court papers.) Your skilled legal team will also have extensive experience doing the sort of accident scene investigation needed to obtain essential proof that will be used during your trial.
Whatever the specifics of your car accident case are, there are always going to be certain things about the pre-trial process and the trial itself that require the sort of in-depth knowledge of the law and court rules of procedure that only a skilled injury attorney has. Your injury case is too important to leave anything to chance and to walk away with anything less than the full recovery you deserve. To get the diligent and effective legal representation you need, look to the knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our attorneys have many years of experience helping injured drivers, passengers and their families to use the legal system and get their best results. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.