Lessons Learned in $2,315,000 Accident Lawsuit

Last week I won a $2,315,000 trial verdict for a nineteen year old car accident client, who suffered several broken bones in the crash. The trial took place over the course of one week in Monroe County, and the case had many lessons that you might find interesting:

  • The defense offered, one week before trial, to pay $1.4 million to settle. I advised my client to reject that offer, and she did. Lesson: If your accident lawyer is highly skilled, smart and experienced, listen to your lawyer and take his/her advice.
  • Up until the very last minute, the defense claimed my client caused the accident. We knew she hadn't, and we refused to bow to this pressure. Lesson: Believe in yourself and your case and don't listen to the naysayers.
  • The defense claimed my client wasn't wearing a seatbelt and she should therefore get very little money for her case. We located a witness who was first on the accident scene and proved my client was wearing a seatbelt. Lesson: Even difficult issues can be overcome at trial with proper preparation and investigation.
  • The ONLY way to get fair value for your accident case is to prepare, from day one, to go to trial, and do so if necessary. Think my client would have received anywhere near $2,315,000 if her "family lawyer" had represented her? Lesson: Never hire any lawyer who doesn't specialize and promises to "settle your case quickly" or "without ever going to court."
  • Don't be intimidated by the insurance company's "independent" doctor. There is nothing independent about him/her