Advice from an experienced Portland Maine injury attorney
Have you been hurt in an accident? Do you believe you are owed compensation?
If you were sitting in the office of an experienced Portland injury attorney, here is what he or she would tell you about your prospective Portland personal injury case:
A. Evaluation. The value of your case will turn on five factors, listed in order of importance:
- Is liability clear and one-sided?
- How extensive are the damages?
- Does the defendant have the ability to pay?
- Will a jury consider you a “good” plaintiff?
- Will the defendant or his actions be considered “bad?”
B. Insurer tactics. Insurance companies play rough. Personal injury claimants who have not previously dealt with insurers are usually stunned to learn that carriers can and often do simply refuse to pay. Other times the insurer will not provide an outright refusal, but instead will seek to wear the claimant down with responses like:
- “We cannot locate the medical records you sent us several months ago.”
- “The adjuster in your case has been assigned to a different office. Please give us an additional 60 days to assign another adjuster.”
- “We will not make an offer until we take a statement from you.” [Don’t do it!]
- “Thank you for offering to settle for $25,000. We will pay you $1,200.”
C. Representation. Attorneys differ in:
- The amount of experience they have dealing with insurers,
- Their willingness to take personal injury cases to trial, and
- Their track record in the courtroom.
Insurers are aware of these differences and tailor their responses accordingly.
We have been successfully handling personal injury cases in Portland and surrounding areas in Maine for over 30 years, and have learned much about obtaining favorable settlements and winning verdicts for our personal injury clients. This 180-page website will introduce you to some of that knowledge.
Be careful when talking to the insurer about your Portland Maine personal injury case
It is important to understand that making a personal injury claim is an adversarial process.
Once an insurer has been notified of a potential claim, its job is to build its file by acquiring as much information from you as possible. All the information accumulated is designed to be used against you.
You should speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney before providing a statement to the insurer. Otherwise you may damage your case. Unfortunately, that damage frequently occurs because insurers:
- Are experienced at the settlement process and claimants are not
- Begin the process in friendly and cooperative fashion
- Discourage claimants from seeking attorney advice
Claimants are lulled into thinking that the insurer is going to provide a prompt and fair settlement.
Understanding the Portland personal injury settlement and trial process
Prior to our initial interview, and definitely before you make any statements to an insurer, you will want to spend some time reviewing this website. Its pages are loaded with usable information and detailed answers. We especially recommend:
- Our answers to 51 Frequently Asked Questions explain how your medical bills will get paid, the role of your lawyer, what you need to do to help, the steps to settlement, and what happens if your case does not settle.
- The 15 educational videos to your left describe the key liability factors in a variety of personal injury cases. Learn whether your case has the attributes needed to get over this critical hurdle.
- Common Adjuster Ploys and Dirty Tricks and Insurance Adjuster Evaluation Ploys alert you to the most common ways that insurers take advantage of inexperienced claimants and attorneys.
- How an Adjuster Will Evaluate Your Case provides a look inside the insurance company’s valuation process.
- You can learn how experienced injury lawyers size up cases and clients by reading Attorney’s Checklist for Evaluating Cases and How Attorneys Spot Bad Clients.
- Our downloadable and free 16-page e-book on How Jurors Evaluate Injury Cases provides the valuable results of extensive jury research in easy-to-understand language. See the upper left portion of this page.
We are happy to personally answer any questions that remain after you review our website, or to assess your Portland personal injury case without cost or obligation. To begin the process, you may complete the short Case Evaluation Form below or contact us.