When an injured person first consults a personal injury lawyer, one of the first things this client would like to know is how much the case is worth. An experienced personal injury lawyer can usually give a broad range of value at the first meeting. The lawyer knows that the individual is entitled to be compensated for the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental or emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of the normal pleasures of life
- Disfigurement (scarring)
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earnings
He also knows that research and experience have revealed that lawyers negotiate settlements 3 ½ times higher than unrepresented individuals.*
But a good lawyer would never try to answer this question with certainty, however, until he has completed a full investigation into the accident, all the damages and expenses have been totaled, and the client’s doctors have reported how the injury will affect the client in the future. Often it is several months after the accident before all the necessary factors are known which will enable the lawyer to evaluate the claim and begin settlement negotiations with the insurance company. If the client insists on a quick settlement, this can be accomplished, but almost always the client will get less than the full value of the claim. Another danger of settling too soon is that a latent or unknown injury may appear weeks or months later. If the claim has been settled and the responsible party released, it cannot be reopened.
In our firm we endeavor to settle every claim for “top dollar”. We are not a personal injury “mill” which sacrifices full value in favor of quick and easy settlements. That is, we deal in quality, not in quantity.
We make every effort to achieve a full and fair settlement before we resort to filing a lawsuit in court. Because David Gordon is board certified, insurance companies know that he has the experience and skill to file a lawsuit if the settlement is too low. This usually results in a fair settlement for our client without a lawsuit. Our goal is always the same: To achieve the maximum recovery for our client.
*Insurance Research Council – 1999 study