Impact Of An Auto-Accident On An Individual’s Life
Interviewer: What have you seen people do once they had an accident – do they kind of return to normal life so it doesn’t affect them too much; they’re able to function while the case is ongoing?
Richard Sailer: I always tell people that an accident is a horrible thing and I’m sorry that they hand to experience that; but it is in their best interest to try to get back into their normal routine and their normal lifestyle as soon as possible. Because when an injury is knocking you out of your normal routine and you allow that to happen; often times other things happen – typically people may fall into depression, anxiety may get worse, it may affect their family relationships, it may affect them at their job. So I always encourage the clients to the extent that they’re physically able to try to get back into their normal routine as quickly as possible; so that way their lifestyle, their mental health and everything hand-in-hand, will hopefully improve.
Typical Timeframe of Resolution for an Auto Accident Case
Interviewer: How long do these cases take to get anywhere to get compensation? You know – ballpark.
Richard Sailer: You know ballpark – it’s kind of a case by case basis. Typically once the treatment ends, it takes a couple of weeks for us to gather up all the medical records and bills; we process a demand of the insurance company; they take a few weeks to evaluate it and extend initial offer. Once the insurance company has extended an offer, I can kind of have a good idea with the client’s input on whether or not it’s something that we’ll be able to negotiate a settlement with, or if it’s something that will require a lawsuit to be filed. If it’s something we can negotiate a settlement with, typically within 3 or 4 weeks it’s wrapped up. If it’s something where we need to file a lawsuit, then we’re kind of at the mercy of the court system.
Different Modes of Resolution in An Auto-Accident Case
Interviewer: So the three stages a case could be in that you have to – you settle without a court; or you file a lawsuit and at some point you settle before trial; and most expensive is you have to go all the way to trial.
Richard Sailer: Correct
Interviewer: What percentage of the cases, and where?
Richard Sailer: It’s probably 80-85 percent of the cases; we’re able to resolve pre-litigation with the insurance company just by negotiating a settlement. And of the balance that a lawsuit has filed, I would say maybe five percent of the fifteen percent that we have to file lawsuits on actually end up in trial. Usually at some point along the road, the case will resolve.
An Attorney Takes The Brunt Of Mistreatment By An Insurance Company In Place Of The Client
Interviewer: You notice that once you get involved as an attorney, the insurance company magically starts treating the person better?
Richard Sailer: Well no, I would say quite the opposite. I think there’s a misperception out there that attorneys have a magic wand to wave. There is no magic wand to wave and the insurance companies don’t necessarily treat us any better than they treat the client; but it does let me get mistreated rather than the client having to be mistreated by the insurance company.
Insurance Tactics That Aggravate and Frustrate People Involved in Auto-Accidents
Interviewer: What are some of the things they do that upset people – do they get frustrated?
Richard Sailer: The number one thing that I think is the most frustrating is when they don’t want to pay for small things; penny wise and dollar foolish sometimes with insurance companies. They’ll nickel and dimepeople for things on their vehicle. They’ll say, ‘hey the paint on your car wasn’t so shiny so we don’t want to repaint the car because you’re going to have to contribute a portion of the cost of the paint job. because the paint was already crappy on the vehicle to begin with. Situations where we’re seeing a broadside accident where the tire gets damaged; and they’ll say’ ‘well the tire was going to need to be replaced in three months anyway, so we’re going to not pay for a brand-new tire ‘. Just those type of things are really frustrating to clients. The other thing that’s really frustrating to clients is when their vehicle is repairable but the insurance company makes a business decision to declare it a total loss because it’s in their best interest to total out the car. You know now the client has a car that’s completely operable, it gets them back and forth to work, there’s no problems. But because it may be an older model or may have high mileage, the insurance company deems it to be a total loss even though it’s completely repairable – and now the client gets a couple of grand for a car that was much more than that to them.