This is the 10 year Anniversary Issue of our paper. It is hard to believe I have written so many weekly legal columns for CV Weekly. It is even more amazing that many of my weekly readers forget my advice when they have been in an accident.

I still get calls asking “What do I need to win my accident case or Why Didn’t You Accept My Case? I have shared that a case requires Liability and Damages. Without Liability (who’s at fault) and damages (money lost, usually meds and loss of earnings) lawyers are not going to accept your case.

There are many reasons for a lawyer to reject a case. The most common is no liability. If you rear end someone, obviously liability is bad. However, if someone rear ends you, that is good liability.

However, if you are rear ended and don’t seek medical treatment, the damages are usually poor. Likewise if you rear end someone and then have major injuries such as loss of limb or vision, the damages would be good…but what about liability? A good case demands both liability and damages, and without both, lawyers usually reject a case.

That does not mean there is no case, but rather that a lawyer doesn’t feel the value of the case is worth pursuing. This is true since a lawyer is billing on a contingency, not an hourly.

In addition, if you are rear ended and delay seeing a doctor for 1-2 months, most PI lawyers would reject the case. Adjusters will think the driver was not injured from the accident, if a month later one started treatment. The insurance company will think that maybe the Victim slipped and fell in the shower and thought, “I was just in an accident two months ago, I will say it is from that?”

Many firms do not want an average rear end case where the victim has been rear ended and had medical treatment, but has been talking to the adjuster. The problem is that the lawyer will never know what was said, or what the adjuster THOUGHT s/he heard the victim say.

Every years greater Palm Springs is flooded with tourists from all over the world, travelling here for our beautiful weather, fun in the sun last week IW Tennis or Art Festival. However, when here, most celebrate in our local clubs and restaurants. Some get arrested for a DUI or have an ACCIDENT.

Now, the question is which lawyer do you choose. Do you retain a large TV NUMBERS firm, where you will be handed off to a young lawyer or a small PI firm? You have probably heard this before, but the adage “you are not just a number” has never been more important than when you are facing a DUI or Accident.

I know this first hand as I had a 30 person law firm in my name, and the young lawyers would handle most of the small cases. The million dollar cases were left to the senior trial attorneys.

Throughout the entire legal process, clients have questions or concerns regarding their situation or status of the case.
Sometimes those questions come after hours or on weekends. My clients always have access during these trying times. We pride ourself on always being a phone call away.

A larger “TV NUMBERS FIRM”, has many lawyers. This can lead to items falling through the cracks because no single attorney feels responsible for your case. However, the “that is not my client or responsibility” mentality does not occur at my office.

I honestly believe that a small firm, hands on approach is the only business model that truly works to maximize results for clients. The lawyers and staff must be on the same page both knowing the case and upcoming dates. There is no other way to successfully run a PI or DUI firm.