Did You Get Sued By an Injury Lawyer? Here Are Ten Things You Need To Know.

by Brian Robert Dettman on Jun. 28, 2017

Accident & Injury Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident Accident & Injury  Malpractice 

Summary: Answers to questions regarding what to do if you get sued by an injury lawyer.

Did You Get Sued By an Injury Lawyer? Here Are Ten Things You Need To Know.
DISCLAIMER: Although parts of this article are written in first person, this ARTICLE IS NOT DESIGNED FOR PERSONS THAT WERE SUED BY ME. If you have ongoing litigation with me please do not read the remainder of this article. This is a general discussion and was written in response to a friend who was sued recently. There are exceptions, but generally speaking here is what is going on:
1) There is a high possibility that your choice in insurance company resulted in you getting sued. I have forty open lawsuits at the moment. A large percentage of them are with two insurance companies. My take is some companies would rather pay lawyers to fight my clients than resolve claims in a fair, reasonable manner. If it’s not the insurance company it’s probably the adjuster. There are some insurance companies where I don’t bother with low level adjusters and just file a lawsuit.
2) An insurance adjuster probably tried to low ball the injured party into a quick and/or cheap settlement. He or she may be six months into the job, very low on the totem pole, and told the amount of money they can work with (often very little). When I’m made an insufficient pre-litigation offer by the insurance company I’m forced to file a lawsuit on behalf of my client because I can’t advise my client to accept less than what a case is worth.
3) If a lawsuit if filed it is highly likely someone is significantly injured. Injured enough they are willing to undergo one to two years of litigation to fight for a fair amount of compensation either through a settlement or jury verdict. It also means I’m willing to put significant time, energy, and money into the case and I haven’t made the decision lightly.
4) There is a chance your personal assets are at stake. If a jury awards more than your policy limits (25/50; 50/100; 100/300; etc) than there is a potential the injured party can come after your personal assets.
5) Your attorney was assigned by the insurance company. From a legal standpoint your lawyer represents you. It is likely that lawyer obtains a significant part of their business and livelihood from your specific insurance company. The majority of insurance defense lawyers take their obligations seriously to the client (and these are the ones you want defending you). There are a few not so desirable lawyers, that in my opinion, that seem to take their instructions from persons making business decisions for the insurance company. Your lawyer is also getting paid by the hour. If you don’t like your lawyer I probably don’t either. The opposite is true as well and there are plenty of defense lawyers (a family member of mine included!) that I do like. You also have the right to hire your own separate lawyer.
6) You can speak to your lawyer, tell them what you want done, and have some control of your case. You are the one getting sued and have the right to tell your lawyer what you think is right. If I was sued I’d put in writing my position regarding the case to the lawyer. If your insurance company gets your position in writing and fails to protect you then you may have a “bad faith” case against your own insurance company.
7) If there is a trial you will likely have to attend. A lawyer will send a subpoena and you and the injured party will have the opportunity to get on the stand and testify.
8) You were sued because you had insurance in the first place. Unless you are independently wealthy it’s highly unlikely a personal injury lawyer is going to pursue you without insurance.
9) The injured party, just like you, would like the ability to move on with their life. What they would really like is a fair resolution and/or for you to write your lawyer or insurance company that you want the case resolved. As a lawyer, won’t let my clients emotion control the litigation. There is a business decision that needs to be made by all parties involved: what is the case worth, who needs to pay, and can it be resolved without subjecting your time and assets to further risk.
10) A good personal injury lawyer isn’t going away for less than what a case is worth.
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