LITIGATION 101: YOUR FRIENDS ARE VITAL TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE

You’ve been in a wreck and are hurting.  You hope the insurance company for the at fault driver will do the right thing, but they haven’t.  It looks like you are going to have to get a lawyer to even get your medical bills paid.    You didn’t ask to be in this position, but … here you are.

The Insurance Adjuster is NOT Your Friend

man helping a friend after leg injury

One of the biggest misunderstandings I see my clients experience when dealing with liability insurance companies is thinking you and the adjuster think the same way.  You know your pain is real and legitimate.  The insurance adjuster doesn’t believe you.   This is especially true if you have a whiplash type of injury, or if you have waited a week or so before you went to see a doctor.  You were trying to tough it out and be virtuous, but the pain just got worse.    

So, now you enter the inter-galactic battlefield of YOU vs.  Goliath.  You don’t pay attention to the ongoing intergalactic battle being waged by insurance companies vs. the little guy, but now you are there regardless.    The insurance lawyers and adjusters question everything you say.    They thrive on exaggeration and ways that they can make you look like a liar.  One of the best examples of this is their choice to be able to send you to a courtroom doctor who is going to disagree with all of your own treating doctors.   These doctors are paid well over a million dollars as a supplement to their practice to render opinions for Insurance Companies, and against you.    This is a big business that pays handsomely for all the parties involved, except for you.  These doctors will always disagree with every single thing your doctor says on what caused your pain.  

Using People in Your Life To Testify in Your Case

One of the simplest ways to overcome the courtroom doctor is to have good honest friends testify for you.   We need “real people” who will go to bat for you and tell the truth about you.  I know you don’t want to bother these folks, but heck, let’s face it, if they were in the same position, you would do it for them… right?   One of the issues is, if you are going to be able to use these folks, they have to be identified fairly early in litigation.   So  you need to be thinking now of the folks that you need to list in order to help you fight the insurance company battle ahead.  

These folks are:

  1. Your best friend. 
  2. People you go to church with. 
  3. People that you interact with.  This can be anyone from your dry cleaner lady to your accountant.  It is anyone who has interacted with you before the wreck, and knows how you are different now.  Sometimes these people might know your story without even you knowing it, so be prepared to make a (short) list of people you regularly see as you go about your life.  
  4. Family. Family members can be both good and bad.  Good because they know you well.  But sometimes they may not make your strongest witnesses due to the fact that they have such a strong tie to you that they may be seen as overly biased.
  5. Co-Workers. Bosses, managers and co-workers who interact with you and can see how your injuries have affected you are great.  
  6. Hobby interactions - Are you a member of a gym?  A Book Club?  Your activity has been affected in how you live your life.  Think about this and let us know.  

This list is not exhaustive.  Be creative and just think about who knows you best.  Please get to work on this right away.  

I share this with you because as your lawyer I want to do the very best job for you as I possibly can.  Every case I take I start preparing for trial.  There is over a 90% chance your case will not go to trial, but if the insurance company continues to low ball your claim, we are going to be ready.  I tell my clients that you will never ever settle your case for the highest dollar figure that you may get at trial.  I have tried whiplash cases to a jury and received over $100,000 for cases they offered only the medical bills of $12,000.   If you are worthy, if you are honest, if you can help me find your story of how this injury has legitimately affected your life, then together we will win, and win decisively.  Unlike a lot of lawyers, I love going to trial.  It reminds me of my days playing football in college, and how I loved to try and kill (within the rules, of course) my opponent.  I get that same rush trying your case.  By being honest, worthy, hard working, non-pill seeking, you make my job so much easier.  Do the right thing, do your best, be honest and worthy, and together we will kick some you-know-what.

For the cause,

John

John Griffith
Nashville Personal Injury Trial Attorney
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