Why Don’t People Call a Lawyer When They Need One?
That’s a question I have asked myself for years. After 44 years of practicing law, I finally know the answer – or, I should say, answers.
Of course, I know there are as many different reasons as there are people. Still, I’ve come to realize there are several primary reasons people seem reluctant to make the call.
Are You Afraid You May Not Have a Valid Claim?
Many people hesitate to call because they don’t know if they have a claim. Uncertainties may arise if the facts are unusual or a family member is the driver at fault in a vehicle crash. For example, many people don’t realize that they have a claim when the at-fault driver is a family member. The law is no different if the driver is a family member or a non-family member. That’s the reason people have auto insurance. If in doubt, the only way to find out if you have a good claim worth pursuing is to ask us.
Do You Fear You’ll End up Owing an Attorney Money?
Many people who do come talk to us at Abeyta Nelson are concerned that they’ll end up with nothing at the conclusion of their case, but still end up owing us. We won’t advise them to pursue a claim unless we believe it’s likely we’ll recover compensation for them, well beyond our attorney fee. If we can’t give them that assurance, we let them know. We only take less than one of 10 cases we’re asked to review. None of our clients have ever ended up owing us a cent.
Are You Unsure How You’ll Pay for an Attorney?
This one’s easy to answer. We only take cases on a contingent fee. In plain English, this means that we don’t get paid unless the client wins their case. If there is no recovery for the client, they owe us nothing. In that case, we work for free.
Do You Think You Might Do Better Without a Lawyer?
This one’s also straightforward. We won’t take a case unless we can put the client in a better place financially, after our fee has been paid than if they handled their case themselves. Anyone, no matter how bright or experienced, who thinks they can outsmart a professional insurance adjustor is mistaken. Non-lawyers are no match for someone who adjusts claims for a living.
How do we know? We’ve seen the results when people come to us asking us to get them out of an unfavorable, low settlement. It’s too late for that after the release has been signed.
Do You Fear Your Case Will Require Going to Court and Will Take Years to Resolve?
The truth is that most cases are settled without even having to file a lawsuit. About 80 percent of our cases are settled without a lawsuit. Lawsuits have a place, but only when settlement negotiations are unsuccessful because the insurance company’s offer isn’t fair, our client is fully advised what filing a lawsuit involves, and they agree with our recommendation that filing suit is required. The final decision about whether to accept the final offer or to file suit belongs to our client.
As to time, many cases are settled in a year or less. Those that require significantly more time are the minority of cases where suit is required.
Many Are Misled into Thinking An Insurance Adjustor Will Help Them.
The insurance adjustor, no matter which company that adjustor works for, is not your friend. Even if the adjustor is friendly, his or her job is to pay you the lowest possible amount to get you to sign a release. It’s that simple. That doesn’t change even if you have an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. Once you’re dealing with a claims adjustor, it’s adversarial and the playing field isn’t level. Our job is to ensure that you’re fully and fairly compensated for your loss. Abeyta Nelson levels the playing field.
The Longer You Wait to Discuss Your Case, the More Life Gets in the Way.
We talk to people on a regular basis who wait months or even years before talking to us. Sometimes it’s because they were still treating and hoping to get better. Sometimes it’s because the adjuster keeps stringing them along asking for more information. Sometimes it’s because their claim keeps getting passed from one adjustor to another.
Often, the reason is simply that times passes quickly and life gets in the way. Weeks turn into months and months into years. Soon, the two-or three-year time limit for bringing a claim is looming and they’re up against the gun. Or, worse yet, the time expires and the claim is now barred forever.
Whatever your reason for hesitating to call may be, call us today. There’s never a fee to discuss whether you have a case worth pursuing. We’ll listen. We’ll give you solid advice you can rely on. If we take your case, we’ll get you out on the right end of things.
-blog written by attorney Terry P. Abeyta, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law