Winning a personal injury case is about much more than who you pick as your lawyer. Winning a personal injury case is about you. Not every personal injury case requires a lawyer, but it seems that the most serious ones do.
In Virginia, if you are in a car accident and you’re injured, you’re entitled to pursue a personal injury claim. Now, just because your back hurts for a few days, it doesn’t mean that you will receive compensation. Instead, what I always tell people is that if you are going to be in a personal injury case, your injuries have to be serious. If your injuries aren’t serious, often, it’s not worth pursuing.
What do I mean by serious injuries? A serious injury is an injury that affects your life or the quality of your life for a period of time that is substantial. I know that’s kind of a vague definition of a serious injury. But as an example, let me tell you about a client of ours who was injured in a car accident.
Someone hit our client from behind, and because of the car accident, she tore her labrum in both hips. A torn labrum in your hip often disguises itself as a back injury. So, in her case, the accident limited her in what she could and could not do.
It took about nine months for the doctors to even figure out what was wrong with her. She couldn’t run, she had a difficult time carrying her young children and she had difficult time walking and driving for long distances. All of these things significantly affected the quality of her life for about three or four years. And then after two surgeries, she’s still in pain when she walks. The likelihood is she’ll never be quite the same.
This is what I mean by a serious injury. Now the flip side is what is an example of an injury that is not a serious? An injury that is not serious would be something like a sprain or a strain of the muscles in the neck, the client gets chiropractic treatment for about three or four weeks, and then they’re better. If your injury resolves within a short period of time, then it was not a serious injury. If you have a serious injury, and you are looking to the insurance company to offer you a reasonable settlement, then you probably need a lawyer to win your personal injury case. Most insurance companies do not make good decisions, nor do they make decisions that are in line with reality.
How to Determine Case Value
When we look at a case to determine how much the case might be worth, in terms of settlement dollars, we look at our experience with what a jury would do in that locality. Cases we’ve had inform our experiences, in cases that we know other lawyers have had that have gone to a jury in that location. Insurance companies also have access to this information, but they don’t use this information. Instead, they use information from computer systems that ignore the human element of injury cases.
What do I mean by the human element of injury cases? The injured person is a human being. The jury who gets to decide how much money to award that human being is comprised of human beings. And when you think about how much a case is worth, your analysis cannot ignore the fact that human beings are unpredictable. And your analysis cannot ignore the fact that human beings generally want to help other human beings.
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You’ll find some juries who don’t decide to help the plaintiff. Perhaps they decide to help the defendant. But insurance companies don’t even take that into account. They assume that the jury is going to see the case in the worst possible light, so they assume that the jury will give the lowest possible number. This is where it’s important to hire a good personal injury attorney who can tell a story effectively. And what we’ve found is that as personal injury attorneys, we are not the hero of this story. In other words, the plaintiff or the injured person is who the story is all about. And it’s not the heroics of the attorney that wins or loses the case. It is the quality of the human being bringing the claim that matters.
The Human Element of Personal Injury Cases
I’ll give you an example of this. We recently tried a case on Lynchburg Circuit Court; this personal injury case’s plaintiff was a good, down-to-earth, hardworking young man. Practically speaking, this young man could perform all the same tasks and do all the same things after the accident that he did before. But he did it with a deformed middle finger that was caused by his accident. The jury awarded him almost six times his medical expenses plus interest from the date of the accident. This was not because we were able to fool the jury into thinking this is a big case, rather because we were able to show the jury why this is a big case. Showing the jury what really matters is how you win big cases.
Cut through the red tape and bureaucracy and just point the jury to what matters. And in this case, it was things like our client couldn’t eat a sandwich without his middle finger being extended. In other words, if you sit in the food court at the mall eating Chick-fil-A, you will also be exposing his middle finger to the entire food court. This is embarrassing. And it affects this young man’s life permanently as there is no other surgery that can fix this. Now he just must live with the pain and the inconvenience of the injury.
At the end of the day, this young man was a high-quality human being, and he didn’t ask for much. All he asked for is to be fairly compensated for his injury. In fact, he was what we called “a man of few words.” He wasn’t there to get rich; he was there because the insurance company refused to do the right thing.
We Want to Help!
The truth is that we are not ambulance chasers. In fact, we’re quite the opposite. We help people who are worthy to be helped. We help people who are high quality human beings, and we help them win against greedy insurance companies who see nothing but the bottom line. They don’t see the human element. We do see the human element and we craft our personal injury cases around the human being. We sincerely hope that you do not have a serious personal injury case. Because if you do, that means you’ve lost something. If you have lost something or if you have suffered a serious personal injury, then call us today. We want to make your story known and we want to help you get the compensation for your losses. Reach out if you need to win a personal injury case.