I was working out at the YMCA the other day, and another one of those attorney ads came on the television. The promise? We’ll get you money fast for your wreck. Well, I don’t know what process they are using, but I do know that our experience shows that proper compensation for your injuries does not come fast.
In this commercial, the firm implies that the process is quick, easy, and simple. That might be true if the case is settled for less than a fair value. Usually, the adjusters for the insurance companies make you prove your case and injuries before they properly evaluate the claim, and even then, they don’t always evaluate it properly.
What if the case has to go to court? What does that entail? Well, we have to file a complaint with the court. Once the defendant is served with a copy of the complaint, they will have thirty (30) days to answer in Circuit Court. Once that process is concluded, paper discovery ensues, depositions are taken, a scheduling order is entered, and the case is typically set for trial within 12-18 months (For more information on the process, visit the Lewis, Feldman, Lehane & McAtee, LLC website). Is that fast? Is that quick and easy?
What about issues of subrogation? What is that? If your medical bills are paid by a health insurance company such as BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, you have to pay them back and potentially negotiate a settlement with them. If Medicare paid your bills, you have to send them a letter and wait for a response. Do you know how long it takes to get a response from Medicare? Think about typical government action and how long that takes.
When attorneys start making promises of quick and easy cash for your injuries, question the process. How familiar are the attorneys with the court system? How many cases have they tried to verdict? How do they define proper compensation? This article is not to denigrate any firms or their attorneys, but to dispel the idea that these cases can be settled for quick and easy cash and provide you with adequate compensation. They CAN be settled for quick and easy cash, but the case will usually be settled for less than fair value.