I Want My Day in Court – Part 1

People frequently come to Anderson Law because they have been injured by someone else. Usually, that someone else was negligent, careless, and sometimes even reckless. Often, the injury was caused by a car crash while crossing the Blue Bridge from Kennewick to Pasco, or vice versa. Other times, it’s on Court Street in Pasco (below). Even worse, someone was careless at a nursing home or in a hospital. Damages range from sprains and strains to broken bones and even death of a loved one. Lost wages, lost time with grandchildren, lost enjoyment of life, and the list goes on and on.

So, what does Anderson Law do? We help each individual get back on their feet. Back to where they were before they were injured. We direct them to doctors, therapists, and counselors. Whatever it takes. After several months (even years), they reach a point where treatment has either brought them to where they need to be or they have plateaued. Either way, they are ready to settle their claim. Almost always, an insurance company is there to pay the tab. But the insurance company has shareholders to respond to. So they aren’t often interested in paying fair damages. Rather, they are interested in paying the minimum amount possible to make the claim go away. After some hard negotiating, the majority of claims can be settled prior to filing a lawsuit. However, if the claim can’t be fairly settled, it’s time to talk candidly about the next step: filing a lawsuit.

“I want my day in court” is something we hear regularly from clients. Our response is usually, “Are you really sure?” Filing suit is not for the faint of heart. Many attorneys will do all they can to avoid it. And those attorneys are not trial attorneys and shouldn’t be handling serious claims. Those attorneys are like runners who would never consider running a marathon, because the road to trial is a like a marathon. It’s a long, arduous process that culminates in trial. And no trial is not as exciting as it seems on TV. In fact, some people have confessed that they have struggled to stay awake during trial. Not plaintiff attorneys, of course, because we don’t even sleep well at night when we’re in trial. Handing your claim over to 12 people you don’t know and letting them decide? Taking a few hours or days to describe how this injury has affected someone over several years? It is difficult to watch the insurance defense attorney bamboozle the jury with unthinkable arguments like “it’s nobody’s fault” even though the defendant wasn’t looking, “money is not the solution” (what is, a magic wand?), and our client “should have been better after six weeks of treatment”.

And, the most important question of all is… what is the likely result when you do have your day in court? To be continued…

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