Why Should I Retain Burton Hunter For My Personal Injury Claim?
Published to: 000116, 000117, A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective, Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer, West Virginia Lawyer - Tips and Techniques
on June 1, 2011 9:06 pm
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Retain Burt Hunter for my car accident claim? This is a fair question to ask, but it is really two questions:
1. Why can’t I just handle my own claim?
2. Why select Burton Hunter instead of one of the many other lawyers competing for my attention.
As for question # 1, even a “routine rear end collision” creates many tasks and issues to be resolved.
These tasks include analyzing the various insurance coverages, communicating with your own carrier and the other guy’s, getting your bills paid, obtaining a rental car, locating and interviewing key potential witnesses, collecting your medical records and bills, getting key photos of the vehicles and the scene before evidence is lost; and doing at least a fundamental accident reconstruction. All of these tasks, and many more, must be considered in order to SETTLE THE CASE WITHOUT A LAWSUIT!
Many people do not go straight to an attorney because they do not even know these tasks exist. They do not want to file a lawsuit, which they mistakenly think the lawyer will do, and they would rather not have to share a percentage of the settlement with a lawyer.
I believe these reasons are fallacious.
A good lawyer should be able to settle your claim for 50%-100% more than you can, WITHOUT filing suit, without filing suit.Thus, the net to you, even with a lawyer, is more, and you get it sooner.
Each claim has 10-20 components, which your lawyer and the adjustor know about, but which you probably do not. There is simply more work to putting together a claim, especially if there are multiple vehicles or issues, than you realize. And, even if you have been through such an experience before, the right lawyer has been through it hundreds of time.
The pace of the correspondence with the adjustor and doctor, the submission of “lay witness letters” from people who know you, the creation of a well-organized “demand package”, with photos, visual aids, medical illustrations, vocational reports, forensic lost income projections, and other convincing features, can make a huge difference in the success of your claim.
Knowing how to prove that medical bills are “fair and reasonable”, and the treatment reasonable and necessary, is critical.
And getting an expert to evaluate the cause(s) of the collision, to make a written diagnosis, to voice an opinion regarding permanency, to estimate the costs of future medical treatment, and to opine whether surgery will be required after settlement, are often keys to success.
Knowing how to present evidence of pain and suffering, mental anguish (psychic pain), temporary and permanent impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium of your spouse is fundamental to presenting a claim effectively.
So, assuming I convinced you that any claim involving a significant injury should be handled by your attorney, how do you select an attorney?
In family law word-of-mouth is a powerful source of work for a good lawyer. There are more divorce cases than personal injury cases, and boy do people talk about impending divorce and custody cases.
People are much more likely to go to a total stranger for a personal injury than for a divorce.
People are quieter about their personal injury claims. They do not want to sound like a whiner and they do not want people knowing about their financial woes.
Look at the Yellow Pages, and you will see the obvious. There is just much more money available for attorneys who advertise their prowess in personal injury matters, and clients tend to go to the lawyers they see most often.
If you pick your lawyer from television ads, you can select a tiger, a bulldog, lawyers who are experienced, lawyers who intimidate insurance adjustors, lawyers who demonize the insurance adjustors, lawyers who are cute, lawyers who are tough, or lawyers who have been designated “super” by a lawyers magazine, all of whom appear to be studiously sincere. Some are, some are not. How can you tell the difference?
My next blog will discuss my development as a personal injury and trial attorney, and some of my “milestones” and experiences. I hope it will convince you that I am “the real deal” for many types of cases and “a bulldog” when necessary.
This post was written by Burton Hunter