Learn why some California attorneys won't take your case
If you've been unfortunate to be in a car accident in California recently, which was completely the responsibility of the other driver and now you're dealing with your injuries, insurance companies and still haven't been able to find a personal injury lawyer to take the case, this article is for you.
Does it seem that they are not interested when you call different personal injury law firms? Or have you been told repeatedly, "Great case, but right now, we are just too busy!" Today, for the kinds of personal injury cases that would have members of this profession drooling just a few years ago, it is indeed more difficult to find a personal injury lawyer.
Between about the 1960s to the late 1980s, the best game in the house was a personal injury if you were a lawyer. It was normal to see car accident cases with minimal injuries being settled for amounts that surpassed the medical bills and missed earnings. The so-called low-impact crash would end with thousands of dollars from insurance companies going into the pockets of consumers and their personal injury attorneys in cases where, at times, there was no noticeable damage to the vehicles.
The 1970s and '80s saw chiropractors and physical therapists became very popular, depending on where you lived. This was guaranteed money-making opportunity for 'health care practitioners' if you had Medical Payments Coverage (MPC) on your vehicle.
Historically, making a salary close to or in excess of a million dollars a year was extremely unusual for a personal injury lawyer, physical therapist, or chiropractor, but many did so in those years. They could only see a rise in their practices and billings, and many took on huge debt, confident the party would never stop.
But it did end in 1988 when the Supreme Court of California rescued the insurance industry from what had become legal bribery. Analysis conducted by the well-respected Rand Institute reported many years later that "there were less serious and less costly accident lawsuits once third-party bad faith was excluded."
"It only took the insurance companies a few months to adapt to the changes in the law, but they changed, cutting settlements, sending the pendulum too far in the other direction, and that's where it sits today," said Alan Smith, a California, personal injury attorney.
Today, insurance companies are taking a strict line on the medical necessity of treatment, the duration of treatment, and how they see as insured. They can not even give enough money to cover your medical bills unless there is real property damage-a, big crash, tow truck, ambulance, emergency room, and severe injury! " emphasized Alan.
And because these firms have been pushing lawyers to stand trial, guess what? Personal injury lawyers are no longer taking "iffy" cases with fewer plaintiff verdicts of any real scale. Alan explained, "What was a strong case 15 years ago is today's iffy case."
"Today, even with a strong rear-end case and major property damage, the fact is that a soft tissue injury will only carry a settlement package of either the medical bills or the medical bills plus a minimum payment for pain and suffering, a common whiplash scenario. Today, California personal injury attorneys are taking two-thirds fewer cases than they did a few years ago,' Alan said.
So what can a person do when it seems obvious that they can not be able to find a personal injury attorney to take the case? Alan had this piece of legal advice: If the case is not taken over by an attorney, then you must become your own attorney. This includes collecting medical bills, proof of loss of income, and bills showing accident-related expenses. Present this with typed, professionally organized business-like letter to an attorney for consideration, and have reasonable expectations.
Alternatively, you can pursue your legal claim on your on by filing a claim with your local small claims court where you don't need a lawyer.
During the '70s or' 80s decades, if you had an auto accident case, remember today it would settle for significantly less, and that's valid no matter who you hire as a personal injury attorney. Low-balling settlement deals are usually the insurance industry, informing the public how generous and honest they are. Generally speaking, it is propaganda, but in fact, the majority of cases settle for much less than in the past.
We advise people that it is in their best interest to do it on their own for a small case. The explanation is that if I take it, yes, my one-third will be paid for, but the accident survivor will have nothing left over after paying medical bills and fees. "It is simply not fair to the client, and at the detriment of the client, ethical lawyers will shy away from enriching themselves," our colleague concluded.
Yeah, there are attorneys who deny a case because it will hurt the client to take it. The next time a legal dispute arises, those are the attorneys you want to see.