Hello everyone. My name is Robert Mansour. Today, I want to make a very brief video about whether or not it is financially a good to idea bring a claim in a personal injury case. Here's how this situation usually unfolds:
I'll get a call from a client and they'll say, "Look. I was involved in an accident, I was hurt etc, etc." I'll say, "Does the other party admit that they caused the accident? They say, "No. Actually, they don't agree that they caused the accident. They think I caused the accident." Or worse, they have a police report that puts them at fault, and the other party is not at fault. They come in and they want to fight, and they want to take them to court and all this other stuff. I said, "Okay. Well, what are your injuries?" "Oh, I got some sore neck and sore back."
I told them, "Listen, your case is not going to be worth very much. Even if it is, worth say $5000 or $6000. Are you prepared to spend anywhere between $5000 to $10,000 in an effort to recover $5000 to $10,000? It doesn't make any sense. Why would you spend as much as your case is worth, and spend two years in court, and all you're going to do, best case scenario is get that money back?"
Sometimes, even though you want to make your point and you want to prove the other party wrong, and you want to proceed on matters of "principle," you might be putting yourself in financial danger. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to decide not to proceed. Sometimes, that is financially the wisest decision that you can make.
I hope you find this video helpful. If you'd like, feel free to contact my office for further consultation. Also, visit our website valencialawyer.com for lots more information. Thank you.
A client came to my office this week to explore her legal options after a vehicle turned left right in front of her. The accident was moderate in nature...certainly not a minor fender bender. She was walking with a stiff gait and was obviously in pain.
While we were evaluating her legal options, I also told her about the possibility of proceeding without an attorney. After all, you don't HAVE to hire a lawyer to assist you with your case. There is no law mandating that you do so.
However, when I explained to her that I would be the one to deal with the insurance adjuster, and I would be the one to act as her liaison, she was very glad to hear it. She said, "I just want to go to my doctor and get better....I don't want to talk to these insurance people any more. They keep calling my house, leaving messages, asking for statements and information...."
In her opinion, having a lawyer handle the case and talk to the insurance adjusters was very reassuring. She wanted to focus on her injuries...and not hassling with insurance adjusters. She hired me to handle the case, and she got an immediate return on her decision - peace of mind!
In some cases, having an attorney handle your case can allow you to breathe easier, knowing that you have delegated the job to someone with experience. That way, you can focus on what's important - getting better!
If you have a serious accident in the Santa Clarita area (including Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, Newhall, and surrounding areas) and you'd like to discuss your legal options, call Santa Clarita personal injury attorney Robert Mansour at (661) 414-7100 for a free candid and honest evaluation of your legal options.
Some clients ask if they should try to settle their personal injury case on their own. There are many circumstances when settling the accident case on your own would be prudent. First, if your case only involves property damage, I would certainly recommend you resolve the matter on your own. You can seek an attorney’s guidance along the way, but you should be able to handle the property damage claim on your own without too much trouble. Just keep in mind that it’s never fun to resolve a property damage claim and you probably won’t be 100% satisfied. I’ve never had clients tell me they were 100% satisfied with their property damage experience. Even if your car is a total loss, and they fairly reimburse you, you still have to go through the hassle. That’s just the way things are.
You can also handle your own case if you have minor property damage and some minor injuries. If there isn’t any discernible property damage that can be easily seen, you’re probably better off without the assistance of a lawyer. When clients call my office for an evaluation, I always ask, “Do I need to squint to see the property damage on your car?” If your case isn’t worth very much money, it doesn’t make sense to involve an attorney. However, if you have significant property damage and significant injuries, it makes sense to get an attorney’s assistance. Make sure you get an honest assessment from an experienced personal injury lawyer before making this decision.
Hi. My name is Robert Mansour, and I’m a personal injury lawyer. Sometimes people say, “Rob what should I do when I go to the doctor’s office?
First of all, make sure you mention all of your injuries to the doctor. This is not the time to hold back. Also make sure you go to the doctor soon after your accident. Don’t wait too long or else the insurance company for the other party is going to doubt that you were injured. Also, when you first go to the doctor, they’re going to give you an “intake form” that you have to fill out. You want to make sure that you fill that out completely. Put all of your complaints – everything that happened from the car accident you should write it down. Here is the reason: The absence of information leads some insurance adjusters to think that something never happened. So if you don’t complain about your neck pain, if you don’t complain about your back pain, the insurance adjuster might say, “Well, he must have not had any neck pain. He must have not had any back pain.”
So be very, very thorough when you first go to the doctor. Whether you go to your own doctor or an attorney-referred doctor is something you should discuss with your personal injury lawyer. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact my office. Thank you very much.
Sometimes I get calls from clients who have called 5 or 6 attorneys before. They don’t understand why a lawyer doesn’t want to represent them. They keep "fishing" for a lawyer who will accept their case. As a general rule, a lawyer won’t take your case unless there is a reason to do so.
One reason is being able to help the client in some way. Several times, clients have called me and I’ve told them they are better off without a lawyer because getting a lawyer won’t be much help. In fact, in some cases getting a lawyer isn’t a good idea at all. Therefore, if I can't bring some "value" to a client's case, then I probably should not be getting involved.
Another reason is that lawyers are running a business. They simply can’t accept every case that walks through the door. It has to have merit and be potentially profitable. Therefore, if a case is going to cost the lawyer more than he/she will possibly make on the case, they can't really accept the case unless it's a "pro bono" matter.
Therefore, the lawyer has to be able to help you and be able to make money since they are running a business. If a lawyer cannot take your personal injury case, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't pursue your case. You might simply be better off trying to handle your case on your own.
Here are some reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer:
When it comes to car accident cases, or other injury cases, there are times when involving an attorney doesn’t really add value to your case. When a client contacts my office, there are several things that I discuss with them. I would say at least 50% of the time, I tell the client they are better off without a lawyer. There are several factors that influence this advice.
First, if the property damage is not extensive, it is difficult to persuade a jury to give more than a few thousand dollars to the injured party. While the impact may seem huge to the client, it doesn’t matter what they think. All that matters is what an insurance adjuster or jury may think. If they have to squint to see the property damage, it’s going to be an uphill battle. If the dollar amount of the property damage estimate is low, people often think the impact was “minor."
Second, simple soft tissue injuries are a tough sell. Remember that all that matters is what an insurance adjuster thinks – or what a jury thinks. Since September 11th, juries don’t really care much for plaintiffs who complain of ‘soft tissue’ injuries. Most average people have aches and pains. Everyone is having a tough time with something. Some have financial troubles, family issues, illness, etc. Folks simply don’t have patience for others who complain of aches and pains from car accidents.
In my 18 years of practicing law, most were spent as a defense lawyer. I’ve handled dozens of trials, and I can only recall a handful of times when the jury awarded the plaintiff more than $3000 in a soft tissue injury case. In most cases, they awarded the plaintiffs a big fat zero!
Finally, if medical treatment has been delayed or inconsistent, I am reluctant to handle the case – regardless of the injury in most cases. Insurance adjusters and juries see delays in treatment as a liability. If you delay or have serious gaps in medical treatment, then your actions beg the question: How bad could your injuries be? If you were really hurt, you would have been more proactive about your medical treatment!
When clients call my office, I tell clients they might be better off without me, especially when you consider the typical one-third contingency fee in personal injury cases. If I know the recovery will be minor, why should I take 33% of the client’s potential recovery? That often leaves them in worse position. There are times when a client really needs help, even with a minor case. However, a good lawyer shouldn’t take every case that presents itself. It is our duty to tell clients of their options, and they can decide. However, there are times that I won’t take the case because it simply would be a disservice to the client. I just give them some advice and encourage them to get a second opinion.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.