Are we a good fit?
We are reasonable. The team at Sally Morin Law works best with clients who are reasonable in their approach to and expectations from their accident case. One thing we identify right away when interviewing potential clients is whether or not they come off as vindictive, looking for some kind of revenge, or are seeking to go after absolutely every penny they can get. This will not be a good fit for us. There are lots of personal injury lawyers out there that fit this profile. They want to take every case to trial and fight it to the bitter end. They want notoriety, they are focused on ego (another notch on their belt) and they want to look good to their peers. They’re into the fight. At Sally Morin Law, we are not so much as into the fight as we are into the fairness of the compensation and a quick, low-stress resolution of the case. Clients who are a good fit with us, want that too. They want that too. They don’t want their legal case to become their life. They want to get what they deserve and get back to their real life as quickly as possible.
We are quick. Most of the people who work with us are not looking to drag out the process or get “top dollar.” Typically, their primary goal is to minimize the stress that this whole thing is causing and get a fair result as quickly as possible, and they need a personal injury attorney who understands their objective. Our clients focus on a positive end result as getting back to their awesome life, not some big “payday.” Clients who fit best with us are focused on getting back to working at their great job, being a great family member or spouse and getting back to whatever they love doing, like riding their bike or playing in a band, or whatever it is that makes them happy.
We fight when necessary. While we try to focus on low-stress, quick resolution of our cases, sometimes the circumstances require us to “take off the gloves” and fight. Getting in a fight is not our primary objective, but we are ready to do it when the case calls for it. We have successfully taken cases to trial, and we do litigate cases to get fair compensation for our clients. Unlike many personal injury lawyers who start every case with this aggressive mentality, we selectively “go to the mat” in cases that require a little more “force” to get the insurance carrier or third party to pay our client fairly for the serious injuries they suffered as a result of their bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian or auto accident. We are very careful to educate our clients thoroughly through the process to be sure they are on board for the demands of litigating a personal injury case. This is a decision we make together. This is where a solid, trusting attorney-client relationship is mandatory. We want to serve the needs of our client in getting a fair result, but we do everything we can to avoid dragging them through an intensely stressful process.
I am not saying that personal injury lawyers who often fight for these cases are wrong. There are most definitely some cases where there is serious injustice and they may be getting an offer of zero and then if they take it to trial, they’ll get an offer of $100,000 or a million. But typically in the cases we handle, it is not a matter of zero or a million, it’s a matter of fair or unfair. It’s not all or nothing, so the decision to fight requires more contemplation and even math (see below).
Sometimes we have to prove to the insurance company that we will put up a fight if they don’t get real with their offer. We have plenty of litigation experience, and do not shy away from this when we see moving forward as adding true value to the end result for our client (not for our ego or track record.) If we are getting an unreasonably low offer, we have no problem filing a lawsuit, moving the case into litigation and then pushing it forward.
We do the math with the CLIENT in mind. As explained above, we fight when necessary, but how do you know when it is necessary? Well, you have to really do your math. Personal injury attorneys who take cases all the way to trial may end up getting a higher dollar about than if they had settled the case, but this may not always be in the client’s best interest. For instance, let’s say the settlement offer was $75,000, if they go to trial and they get $110,000, that’s a bigger number for sure. They are sure to let everyone know (again, that ego thing.) They say, “Look at me, the offer was only 75, and I got 110!” The thing is that if you do the math, even though the number is $35k higher, what was the cost of getting that extra $35k? The client certainly does NOT get $35k more than she would have if the case settled for $75k. Maybe she got $10k more (or maybe she got less than if she would have settled.) Not only is there a financial cost to be considered (thousands of dollars in litigation and trial costs and increased attorney’s fees), but also a time cost. The increased result will likely not be seen for 12-18 (or more) months down the line. The client loses several months of being “free” from their case. (It is certainly liberating for clients to move past their personal injury cases.) Also, the client has to spend a week sitting in a courtroom watching this all go on before their eyes. When we discuss this option of settlement vs. litigation with the client, we make sure we are clear on what the end result could look like for the client, not just for our track record, ego or reputation. What matters most to us is the peace of mind of our clients!