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HAVENS MALCZYNSKI GRIGOLLA, LLP

How Do People Unintentionally Hurt Their Personal Injury Case?


The number one thing that people do that unintentionally hurts their claim is to post on social media during the pendency of their claim; it could be something innocuous. For example, I had a client post lyrics from a song and the words they used painted the person as money hungry, when it was just a rap lyric they enjoyed. Ultimately, it hurt the claim. Being careful of what you post on social media is very important.

The second thing that people don’t intentionally do but feel like they’re supposed to, is talk to the other side’s insurance company. When you speak to the other side’s insurance company they’re typically recording and they will use everything against you in order to not pay a claim. We recommend that you not contact the other side’s insurance company without an attorney, that your attorney do it for you, and to use the attorney’s means of communication rather than contacting them yourself.

What Defenses Do Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Out On Claims?

In order to avoid paying a claim, insurance companies will typically argue that the injured person’s injuries are not as severe as the plaintiff is alleging. They’ll argue that the treatment sought was merely to try to increase the value of the claim and that it was not necessary. They’ll try to downgrade the total amount of the care; they’ll say, “We agree that you should have gone to a chiropractor for 3 weeks but it should have only cost $1000 of $4000.” Then they’ll look at the facts of the incident and try to put some percentage of liability on the plaintiff. They’ll say, “They caused the incident,” “It shouldn’t have occurred the way it did,” or, “Had the plaintiff not been doing what they were doing they would not have been injured.” They will use anything they can to avoid paying the claims.

Can I Even Afford To Hire An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?

With regards to cost, I can’t speak for all law firms, but at my firm personal injury matters are exclusively contingency based. This means that we only get paid if our client gets paid a settlement or a verdict amount. We have a sliding scale based on the time in which a settlement is reached. Typically, it’s a percentage prior to filing a lawsuit, and once a lawsuit is necessary the percentage goes up. You don’t pay anything out of your pocket to my firm. You go to treatment and get your medical needs taken care of. We pay for everything upfront from doctors to the experts that we need. Then, once the case is settled or resolved we get a percentage of the total amount of the recovery and are reimbursed the costs that we paid upfront.

Affordability is not and should not be a factor in determining if or when to hire an attorney. Especially in a personal injury case where you’ve been truly harmed and need to recover; to get the treatment you need and the peace of mind moving forward.

Does Having An Attorney Involved Tend To Make Insurance Companies Handle My Claim Differently?

I represented insurance companies for 7 years and I could tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that when there was an attorney on the other then the case was handled considerably differently on the defense side. When it was just a person making a claim then it was valued at a lower number. The work we did was in order to scare the other side away. Frankly, there’s a reason that I switched sides: I saw the darkness of the defense side. I can say that there is no question that a claim is handled differently when there’s an attorney on the other side.

What Should I Be Looking For In a Personal Injury Attorney To Represent Me In My Personal Injury Case?

When looking for an attorney you should be looking for somebody that’s been there and done it, that’s handled claims similar to yours, that’s been able to recover money, and who has been able to recover as large or larger claim amounts to yours. You have confidence in the attorney that’s handling your claim to get you the value your claim is worth. What makes our firm unique is my experience as a defense attorney because I have been on the other side. I have written the status reports to the insurance carrier advising what a settlement amount should be, and the costs associated with taking the case to trial are versus settling the case; looking for people with that experience is crucial. You also want a law firm with the infrastructure to handle the volume of cases that lawyers typically deal with, so that your case won’t languish for months and months without being handled. These are all crucially important and our firm meets all those criteria.

For more information on Unintentionally Hurting Your PI Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (626) 385-6303 today.

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