Typically, a client, who has suffered personal injury, has been evaluated at the scene by emergency medical personnel and seen by a physician at the emergency department of a local hospital. X-rays, CT scans or and MRI may have been taken and a diagnosis will be made such as fracture, closed head injury, injury to internal organs or soft tissues. Perhaps, the patient may be admitted to the hospital if the injuries are severe enough to require surgical repair.
When a lawyer first meets with a personal injury client, the client will inform the lawyer about the facts that led to the accident and injury, the medical diagnosis and course of the medical care. The lawyer must have a thorough working knowledge of anatomy, orthopedics and neurology, among other medical specialties, to understand the nature and extent of the injury and the short and long term effects that the injury may have on the client’s quality of life and physical integrity. The lawyer must also fully understand the complicated relationship between and among insurance policies which may be available to pay for the loss, the principles of engineering and accident reconstruction, the economics of the calculation of the present value of future lost earnings and potential long term medical costs and care, as well as, the operations of insurance company claims departments, what motivates an insurance adjusters’ valuation of a case and how to present the case to the adjuster to maximize its value.
The level of your lawyer’s knowledge of personal injury medicine, among other disciplines, will become readily apparent to an insurance adjuster. If the adjuster perceives that the lawyer has only a casual knowledge of these subjects, the adjuster may place a value on the case that is lower that what the case is worth and to continue to undervalue the case to take advantage of the lawyer and client. Insurance companies are interested in taking as long as possible to pay as little as possible. A skilled and experienced lawyer can work to obtain for you the full value of your case. Not all lawyers have the same skill, knowledge and experience.
A good and productive relationship with a lawyer depends upon your trust in your lawyer’s abilities. I consider it a privilege to practice law and an honor to provide services to my clients.