A client should never give a written or recorded statement to an insurance company. Innocent remarks will be taken out of context and used to dramatically affect the value of a client’s case. When a client employs our firm, we may under certain conditions allow a statement to be taken if we feel it will be expeditious in the settlement of a case. However, it will occur only in the presence of one of our attorneys, and only in exchange for a waiver of testimony at a later date by deposition. This is very important, because it’s very difficult to tell a story twice in exactly the same way. If a client gives a statement close to the time of an accident and then two or three years later must testify at a deposition, it’s likely that the testimony will not be identical between the two statements.
Even a small variation between a statement and a deposition will be commented on in trial by the insurance company’s attorney, and followed up with questions such as, “Why the difference in your testimony? Were you being honest in either of these statements?” They will continue to analyze any possible variation between statements until the insurance company’s attorney is satisfied that the client has lost credibility with the jury. This always happens, and it’s where the outcome of a trial will suffer causing the potential loss of damages. Therefore, no statements should be made by a client to an insurance company, with no exceptions. In fact, we encourage our clients to not speak to an insurance company at all. Absolutely no writing, no emails, and no talking. Instead, let the attorney who has been doing this for years be your mouthpiece.
Can Someone Even Afford An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?
In personal injury claims, your attorney will take your case on a contingency basis. This means that they will take a percentage of those monies they are able to recover for their client. The State Bar of California endorses this particular method of compensation to attorneys for two reasons.
First, it allows the client to retain an experienced attorney that they otherwise would not be able to afford. Many people simply cannot afford to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for an attorney’s expertise. The second reason is that it aligns the client’s interests with those of the attorney’s. We are working to recover compensation for your injuries and the fees are paid from that recovery. In this way, the party responsible for causing the injury is held accountable for the damages they caused. At the end of a case, costs advanced by our firm are paid back and an agreed upon percentage is taken for legal fees. Our law firm does one thing that many firms do not do, and that is we do not ask the clients to pay a deposit to cover the costs upfront to pursue their case. Our office advances those expenses on the client’s behalf and those costs are reimbursed from the settlement or verdict we obtain for our clients.
How Important Are Evidence And Witnesses In Personal Injury Cases?
Evidence and witnesses are very important in personal injury cases. The evidence to be produced at trial is of four types: physical, demonstrative, factual witness testimony, and expert witness opinion testimony. Simply put, the better the evidence, the better the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. This is where the resources of a law firm come into play. By understanding which evidence is important, gathering that evidence, and analyzing it properly we are better able to document who is responsible for causing the injury and damages as well as proving the value of those injuries and damages.
Analyzing evidence involves knowing how to present positive evidence, and knowing how to attack negative evidence. It’s the attorney’s level of knowledge that enables both the understanding of which evidence is important, and the proper analysis of that evidence.
It’s a combination of the attorney’s knowledge, experience, and skill that enables the persuasive presentation of the pro-evidence and the effective cross examination of the negative evidence in the courtroom. Although one of the most important pieces of evidence is often expert opinion evidence, the law permits only people who have specialized education, training, and experience to testify about certain matters that are in dispute. We call these people forensic experts or expert witnesses. The value of a particular forensic expert opinion depends on what the expert has to say, the reasoning behind the expert’s opinions, and how well the expert communicates those opinions.
The knowledge and identities of expert witnesses who can be relied upon to accurately analyze and understandably communicate their opinions is an important asset for a law firm. For example, our law firm has presented and cross examined thousands of experts in virtually every specialty of medicine, as well as mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, and marine and aircraft engineering. In addition, we have experts in psychology, economics, industrial safety, rehabilitation, heavy equipment operation, human factors and industrial hygiene.
For more information on Dealing With Other Party’s Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (760) 852-7134 today.