Why Choosing the Right Law Firm is Critical
What happens in a case when the victim has serious injuries, but limited or no medical coverage?
Attorney Carl Reynolds states that the seriousness of the injuries determines the overall amount to which one is entitled, this includes the long term affect of the injury.
When there is a case of clear liability, and the other person is clearly at fault, then often there is no need for a lawyer at all. The insurance companies will settle the case properly. A reputable firm will tell a client, that in a case of clear liability and the insurance companies are involved, there is no need for a lawyer. He also states that a contingency fee is no more than 1/3 of the total amount “won” in the case. If the case goes through an appeal process, this fee could go up.
If the injuries are extensive, and the liable party has limited insurance, then there are other possible policy clauses that could ‘stack’ or overlap to provide additional funding sources; for example, uninsured motorist clauses in the insurance policy. To make a claim against the uninsured motorist clauses, the victim does need a lawyer.
He then goes on to give an example of how a client approached an unnamed law firm with a case of clear liability yet the person at fault had limited or minimum coverage, requiring the client to seek a lawyer to make a claim against the additional policy clauses. The client never even spoke to a certified lawyer. The law firm settled the case without filing suit and allowed a paralegal to handle the case. The paralegal had the client sign a general release agreement, rather than a limited liability release. Because the paralegal used a general release agreement to settle the case, the client was then unable make a claim against the uninsured motorist policies that he could have claimed against, if only he had signed a limited liability release rather than the general release agreement.
In addition to this malpractice in law, the firm had the client see a chiropractor for their knee injury. This is not the proper medical expertise to seek with a knee injury case.
In the end, the client could have had up to $75,000 available to them via three insurance policies, the policy held by the person at fault ($25,000), and two other uninsured motorist policy clauses ($25,000 each, for a total of $50,000), yet, because they went to a disreputable firm that allowed an ignorant paralegal to settle the case with a general release agreement, the client could not make a claim against the two additional policy clauses, therefore cheating them of an additional $50,000 in claims. Besides the legal malpractice of having the client sign the wrong release form and sending the client to a chiropractor for a knee injury, they also over charged the client by 40% instead of the contingency fee of 33% (1/3 of the settlement amount). In addition, the paralegal did not attempt to negotiate the medical bills, instead paying them in full. So, after taking a 40% fee, then paying the medical bills in full, the client was left with $11,000 and a knee injury that had not been properly attended to. The firm of Reynolds, Horne and Survant, handles these types of cases all the time and work with the client on a limited percentage fee and ensures that every possible source of funding will be made available as well as making sure the client seeks proper medical attention.