Soft Tissue Injuries
In insurance company jargon they are called “soft tissue injuries”, with the implication that they cannot be serious. “Soft tissue injury” simply means that no bones are broken. The reality can be dramatically different. Personal injury victims who sustain serious neck and back injuries can suffer devastating impact on their lives. So-called “soft tissue injuries” can have serious permanent consequences that plague the victim for the rest of his or her life. Unfortunately many lawyers who call themselves personal injury attorneys but do not like to go to court and who have no meaningful experience in the court room don’t know what to do with these cases. Consequently many victims with serious neck and back injuries are short changed by the legal system. This underscores the importance of getting experienced personal injury lawyers to work for you.
It reminds me of a case my partner had a little while ago. Allstate Insurance Company is notorious for not paying fair value for soft tissue personal injury claims. Our client had a soft tissue injury and the driver who caused the accident was insured by Allstate. She had a serious neck and back injury that resulted in about $7,500 in medical bills and several weeks of lost work. The injury also had “permanent sequelae” meaning that our client would probably suffer from this injury in one way or another for the rest of her life. Needless to say Allstate didn’t believe any of this and offered a settlement of around $15,000. Knowing that these cases can be difficult to prove in court we thought the case was worth more but to avoid the risk of getting a jury that favored the insurance company we were willing to settle the case for $30,000, what we thought was fair value under the circumstances, weighing out the potential of winning the case or getting a low verdict. Of course Allstate pooh poohed our demand and we decided to try the case. In one day my partner presented the case to the jury and it returned a verdict late that afternoon of $100,000 for our client.
Many personal injury attorneys without experience in the court room would have taken the $15,000. Needless to say when we make a reasonable demand to Allstate on behalf of our clients Allstate usually pays the claim. This is just one example of why its so important to have a personal injury attorney with experience in the court room working for you.