Crashed Toyota Matrix

A fellow injury lawyer friend of mine from Oklahoma, Clayton Hasbrook,  recently posted a question we hear all the time: “Are we going to have to file a lawsuit for my car accident?”

Most people don’t enjoy the litigation process – it’s stressful and time consuming.  I certainly understand that concern.  When I am asked that question I always answer that I frankly cannot predict those cases that will require me to file a lawsuit and those that can be settled before a lawsuit needs to be filed.  Likewise, of the lawsuits I file on behalf of my injured clients, I cannot predict those that will have to go to trial versus those that can be settled prior to trial.

Unfortunately, despite 25 years handling NY and PA injury and malpractice cases, I do not have a crystal ball and there are simply too many variables in every case to be able to accurately predict what will happen in YOUR case.

What I CAN tell you is that I get paid only when you get paid and the more I get for you, the more I get for me!  Because my fee depends 100% on winning and because my fee is one-third of the total recovery, I have a direct, personal incentive to resolve your case as quickly as I can AND for as much as I can.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t have it both ways– a fast settlement AND a maximum recovery.  You can have it fast if you are willing to accept mere pennies for what your case is really worth.  But if you want full value for your case, you might have to wait a little longer because the insurance company is going to insist on doing things the hard way.

The key thing for you as the client is that you have an attorney who is willing to do things the hard way if need be.

Your attorney cannot be a cut-and-run artist who is willing to accept the first dollar bills that are waved under his nose!  He cannot be afraid to file a lawsuit.  He cannot be afraid to take your case to trial.

As you’ll notice on our New York Personal Injury Settlements page, our attorneys actually try cases.  We are prepared to go to trial on EVERY case we accept.  That does NOT mean that we DO go to trial on every case.  Quite frankly, in most cases, if you are well-prepared and do your homework, the insurance company will ultimately make a reasonable settlement offer.  However, in those cases, where the insurance company or their defense lawyer refuses to make a reasonable offer, we know the only way to get full value for our clients is to take their case to trial.

Our firm has a similar position to that of Clayton’s:

We KNOW  insurance companies facing attorneys who won’t “go the distance” will value those car accident claims much lower.   Insurance companies smell fear and if they know an attorney is afraid to take a case to trial, they will low ball the case and offer mere pennies on the dollar……

Insurance companies carefully track opposing attorneys and know the attorney’s track record.  One summer while I was in law school, I worked for the Dark Side, the defense side, for a firm that defended claims.  One of the things I got to see first-hand was the report that a defense attorney was required to file with the insurance company for whom they worked.  One of the questions on the report requested the defense attorneys “evaluation” of the attorney representing the injured party.  Is that lawyer experienced?  Well-prepared? Intelligent?  All of these factors, together with the lawyer’s reputation in the courtroom, was all taken in to consideration when the insurance company was deciding how to handle the claim.

So, if you are sitting down to make the important decision about what personal injury lawyer you are going to hire to handle your injury case, make darn sure you pick someone who you trust will work hard on your case for as long as it may take…..

Thanks for reading!


James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)