This is a case study about the journey of a Hancock Law client. Actual client names are being protected for their privacy; the names used in the blog post below are pseudonyms.
Mary was driving when a man coming off a side road hit her. He was at a stop sign and thinking it was clear, proceeded. It’s at this moment that he hit Mary. This accident provided clear liability from the scene. These private driver-to-private driver accidents are the most common type of personal injury case that Hancock Law handles.
Unfortunately, Mary endured some pretty extensive injuries from the accident. Mary left the scene of the accident and immediately went to the emergency room to seek treatment. Hancock Law always encourages clients to seek treatment first. “Failing to seek accident-related medical treatment not only hurts you physically, but it can hurt your case, too,” Kenneth Hancock, owner of Hancock Law, states.]
After seeking treatment, Mary hoped to resolve this case and its aftermath quickly. With that in mind, she spent just over 3 months dealing with the insurance company on her own. They were responsive for the most part. But when Mary’s case was assigned a new adjuster, they stopped communicating with her almost entirely. When she would hear back from them, they were often curt and would provide her with minimal information.
Eventually, the insurance company made Mary an offer. It was a decent one for unrepresented clients but, given their recent behavior, Mary didn’t trust that this was a fair valuation of her claim. This is when she called Kenneth Hancock, personal injury attorney in DeSoto and Charlotte county, to get a professional opinion.
Mary and Kenneth worked together through the standard lifecycle of a personal injury case. After Mary’s first meeting with Kenneth, the pre-suit phase continued. When the insurance company would not come back with an acceptable settlement, Mary decided to file suit after assessing the pros and cons in her risk assessment meeting with Kenneth.
She was an exemplary client: she continued to seek medical treatment and communicated regularly with Kenneth. As the litigation continued, Mary had to provide deposition testimony. Kenneth explained the importance of giving a strong deposition and prepared Mary with his eight principles of deposition.
After her deposition, the insurance company requested mediation. This is typical. Once they realized Mary was credible and made a great appearance, they wanted to talk settlement. They tried making a few more lowball offers before mediation, but Kenneth and Mary held out until mediation. Mary was not at fault and had objectively serious injuries with very costly medical treatments. Hancock Law represents those impacted or who are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident that is not their fault.
After 3-4 hours of mediation, the insurance company barely moved from its starting point. The last offer was still what Kenneth and Mary considered a lowball offer. This is a common tactic. The insurance companies try to wear down injured victims in the hopes they will get fed up and accept less than their case is worth. It mostly worked in this case because Mary was ready to stop fighting, but she trusted Kenneth to walk away from the mediation and try to get more later. Over the next two weeks, Kenneth continued to negotiate and was able to get the insurance company to a much better number. It was less than he wanted to get for Mary, but she was more relieved at being finished than she was with the recovery amount.
And that’s how it should be. Good lawyers realize that there is much more to it than achieving their own aspirational goals for each case. We work for our clients, not the other way around. Whether that means settling for an “okay” number or shooting for a big jury verdict, we counsel our clients about the risks and benefits at every stage and abide by their wishes. Even in situations where Kenneth disagrees with a certain course of action, his clients are well informed and they call the shots.
All in all, Mary’s entire case lasted approximately a year and a half, including the 3 months that she represented herself. The mediation occurred about 10 months after sign-up, which is within the 8-10 month standard timeline.
Kenneth aims to provide guidance and legal counsel based on his sixteen years of experience as a personal injury attorney in South Florida, but deciding to move forward is a very personal decision to make. Kenneth and the Hancock Law team will never push clients into a decision they do not feel completely comfortable with. This is just another benefit of working with a small firm instead of a large firm. Hancock Law deemed this case a success as Mary was happy and satisfied with the recovered damages, with her boundaries respected.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information provided on this blog is general and should not be construed as legal advice nor as creating an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and legal advice cannot be provided by Hancock Law unless/until we meet to discuss the particulars of your case. Whether an attorney-client relationship exists can differ on a case-by-case basis, but at Hancock Law we consider such a relationship to exist only upon a potential client’s request and our agreement to accept that representation.