Personal injury cases get a lot of negative attention in the media and are often viewed with disdain. For instance, Stella Liebeck’s case, a woman in her eighties who suffered third degree burns to her thighs, buttocks, and groin from a McDonald’s coffee, has been repeated scornfully all across the nation. There is a common misconception that people who suffered excruciatingly painful injuries and their attorneys are somehow “ambulance chasers”.
This mentality is incredibly unhealthy and encourages people that have undergone traumatic injuries to their persons to settle quickly with insurance companies and other parties rather than be categorized with the McDonald’s coffee lady. The problem is, the general public does not know the details of these cases nor can they fathom the pain suffered by the plaintiffs. A spilled cup of coffee does not equate to the scalding burns Ms. Liebeck endured, and your own potential case is not being experienced by Judgmental Joe who will tell anyone that will listen he once spent an entire day working with a nail hammered in his hand.
That being said, clients who are often eager to retain counsel to deal with insurance companies after an accident are often impatient to see the attorney working diligently on their case in some substantive way. They are continuously met with their attorney’s insistence that they need to be patient and continue with whatever physical therapy or other treatment they are undergoing. Does this mean their attorney is lazy? Does it mean the attorney does not care about your case? The answer to both of these queries is a resounding “no”.
Personal injury cases require patience if an attorney wishes to ensure that their client is protected. Attorneys look for their clients to reach maximum medical improvement “MMI” before they will begin settlement discussions with the client’s insurance company. This is not because the attorney does not wish to have the client settle their case and move forward with their lives. If a client settles for an amount prior to reaching MMI, they will be barred from receiving additional medical payments from the insurance company for the injuries they sustained going forward. This is an incredibly unfavorable circumstance for the client to be put into, which is why a competent attorney encourages their client to continue with any treatment plans they have prior to settling. There are a plethora of injuries that a person may sustain that continue to present months or years after the initial injury, and attorneys should attempt a wait and see approach if the client appears to have a case that falls under this category.
Have you been injured? Is an insurance company pushing you to settle quickly? Please contact the attorneys at Bryan, diStefano & Mattingley to set up an initial consultation prior to putting a pen to paper. There could be a reason insurance is attempting to get you to settle so quickly, and it most likely is not with consideration for your best interests. Contact the attorney at our firm today, where we guarantee to take on the tortoise approach rather than the hare’s in order to ensure that you come out in first place when your case settles.