Q: How do I know I have the right Attorney to handle my Motorcycle/Auto accident?
A: That’s a tough question. My simplest answer is to make sure you don’t have a negotiator instead of a Trial Lawyer. Trial Lawyers never advertise. A few years ago a client came to me for a car accident. He had a previous Motorcycle Accident that had Settled three months before. In that accident he had broken his leg. A car pulled directly in front of him from a side street from a stop sign, and he was forced to lay his Motorcycle down, he slid on some sand in the roadway right into the car. Unfortunately the Defendant driver of the car had only $15,000.00 dollars in liability coverage. As the client went on with his explanation I could see that his Attorney missed the ‘biggest’ Defendant. In his case the question that I present to you is, how do you know who to sue? How do you know who’s responsible for the accident. While it’s obvious that the vehicle that pulled in front of him and cut him off was the actual cause of the accident, what about other Defendants? His Attorney, a so called “Specialist” in Motorcycle Accidents unfortunately never went beyond the obvious and the client wound getting less than $5,000.00 dollars. I felt bad and the client felt worse. His case was easily worth six figures with current Medical Bills and Wage Loss and future Medicals probably starting at $500,000.00 dollars. Attorney’s are in a way similar to Doctors. There are General Practitioners we also have Doctors who Specialize. Most surgeons specialize. Cosmetic Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons, Eye Surgeons and Foot Surgeons. Almost all Doctors Specialize, not all Attorneys Specialize – Look at the Attorney’s website. It’s up to you, the client, to locate the best Attorney for your case. My client made a costly and serious oversight. He could have done better hiring his ‘grandmother’ and hot had to pay Attorney’s Fees. Unfortunately, the facts will speak for themselves. The more you qualify your Attorney based on their ‘Experience and Specialization’ the smarter you are and the results are going to be dramatically and financially different.
An experienced Trial Lawyer approaches each accident case with an open mind. What are the facts? Who are the potential Defendants? He or she will go out and take a look at the accident scene, study it and take witness statements. What did each of the witnesses see? What does the client remember what did they see? Who are the parties named in the Traffic Report? And who is identified but not in the Traffic Report? Why not? Just prior to the accident, where did those vehicles come from? The big question is, ‘Is there anything unique or unusual about this accident?’ There in lies your problem. If the Attorney you hired has handled hundreds and hundreds of Traffic Accidents then he or she should recognize the uniqueness of each case. Now why do I mention a Trial Lawyer? Because a Trial Lawyer is going to look at this case not as a quick Settlement but where will this case be a year and a half from now. The Trial Lawyer is going to invest 5 to $7,5000.00 dollars in an Expert to prepare your Doctors for his/her Deposition. Serve the Lawsuit and and Litigate the case. What are the questions that are going to be asked? Will the Trial Briefs win the case? Hopefully your Attorney has handled thousands of cases. We at NELSON & NATALE are still tuning up our skills even after 30 years in handling over 8,000 Injury Cases.
Let’s look back on the instant case. This was in fact an actual case. As I continued to question the client regarding the Motorcycle Accident he had. I found out that there was a Construction Site just to the right of the intersection and it was the sand and dirt from that site that dropped on the street and caused the Motorcyclist to slide and wind up hitting the car. Having been a Contractor myself everyone knows you must use a ‘sweeper’ on the big ‘dirt’ jobs. Bottom line, instead of a $15,000.00 dollar Policy Limit my client would have been entitled to the Defendant’s Insurance Policy of at least a million dollars. In other words that broken leg added to the time off work was probably worth $400,000.00 dollars plus. Why didn’t the Attorney consider that? You hired the Lawyer, apparently not a good one. Maybe the issue was short on experience or no Trial experience or maybe the issue was just too busy and just didn’t care. At any rate, the client lost out. I took the time to educate my client on Motorcycle Accidents, and guess what? He continues to call me every year referring a case to NELSON & NATALE knowing that We are thorough, We are Experienced and We care. “YOU CAN ONLY BE A WINNER BY CHOOSING A WINNER.”