Over the years, I have come to appreciate the virtue of patience when it comes to negotiating claims on behalf of my clients.
Unfortunately, not every client is in a position to be patient because of individual situations and factors that cannot be avoided, such as the need to receive medical treatment or funding for basic necessities. Those cases must be negotiated with a certain strategy that maximizes recovery under the circumstances.
Insurance adjusters prey on the unfortunate situations of those who have been injured by leveraging a quick, undervalued payout against desperation for financial assistance.
For these people, the system works against them in ways that take advantage of an already downtrodden victim.
I have seen insurance companies require a complete release of its insured for pennies on the dollar of the true value of an injury claim. And once a release is signed, the case is over – regardless of the inequity of the settlement or the continuation of the harm and injuries caused by someone else’s conduct.
There are third party loan companies that will many times advance funds to accident victims in exchange for high interest rate of return with no risk to the client. While we generally discourage this concept, under appropriate situations, funding of this sort can be a good bridge to allow one’s case to mature to a point that allows maximum recovery, which can be multiples of what would otherwise be offered.
Patience is not an easy concept to accept in today’s society and that is certainly understandable. People want results and they want them now.
I recently had a client who was badly injured as a pedestrian who was out for a morning walk by a texting driver who ignored the obvious stop sign.
At age 65, the last thing on her mind was a long-term recovery from hip and rib fractures. Confined to her home – more frustratingly to her recliner – both day and night, my client became increasingly anxious to get her case resolved so that she could quit worrying about it, even before she had completed her recovery.
What happens, I believe, is that the pain, the isolation and the unfamiliarity with the legal process cause people to want for normalcy, for their lives to stabilize. So they lose patience with the process.
After consulting with my client, we agreed that the prudent approach would be to begin negotiations after she completed treatment, some three months away. Because of this decision and her ability to let the process work its course, I was able to enhance her recovery substantially. At the time, she proceeded on blind faith and confidence in our firm. In the end, she knew that her patience paid off in a big way.
If you find yourself in between a rock and a hard place because someone else chose not to follow the rules, talk with an experienced personal injury attorney so that you can at the very least know the lay of the land and whether or not it is time to settle with the insurance company. Generally, attorneys will not charge you for an initial consultation, so there is truly no risk to you or your family for getting a little advice.
As always, let us know if we can help.