In this episode of The Blind Justice Podcast, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers from DeSalvo Law explain what happens when you are involved in a big car crash with serious injuries, but the available automobile insurance is at low or State minimum levels.
Scott: We’re continuing in our series of answering some questions that people have for Chicago car accident lawyers. Did I introduce you, Amelia Finefrock?
Amelia: Well, that’s my name so we’re done.
Scott: Yes. She’s in my podcast. Thanks for listening, folks.
Amelia: We’re done here. Bye.
Scott: We are doing … We’re answering questions again.
Amelia: Yes, we are.
Scott: If you have a question, e-mail it to email@example.com or give the office a call. Contact Jessica. Give her the question. We’re happy to answer it and as a reminder, informational only. If you’ve been injured, talk to a lawyer. Don’t just rely on our brief answer in this podcast.
Amelia: What’s that number we can call?
Scott: The office line, of course, is 312-895-0545 extension five, or I also have a toll-free 24-hour line and that’s … You can call that 365 24/7, all year round, middle of the night and that’s 888-HURT-318, 888-HURT-318. You can also … I have an injury DVD and book if you want more information. It’s about 110-page book that I-
Amelia: It’s a quick read.
Scott: Yeah, for injured people and then, I also did a DVD and a CD because some people aren’t readers. They don’t like to read so I have a CD and a DVD with tons of information on injury law. You can get one of those by visiting my website, desalvolaw.com. Fill out the form there or call 888-HURT-318 and let the operator know that you want the free book. We send it out free of charge.
Amelia: That’s awesome.
Scott: Pretty cool, right?
Amelia: That’s great for millennials too. It’s quick and easy, captures the focus.
Scott: I just feel like time is passing me by because I thought I was so up to date by putting it on CD and DVD and now, everybody downloads everything.
Amelia: No, I mean I still have a … I have an attachment for my computer for CDs and DVDs. I think it’s-
Scott: Yes, everybody here-
Amelia: It’s coming back. It’s coming back. I think it’s cool now. It’s retro.
Scott: Yeah. We switched to Mac in the office here.
Scott: A lot of the Macs don’t have CDs.
Amelia: They don’t. Isn’t that crazy?
Scott: It’s crazy but I mean one of the first things I did was go out and buy CD drives and DVD drives for everybody because we use it all the time so anyway, we may as well get on with the question.
CHICAGO CAR ACCIDENT QUESTION
Amelia: Yes, the question.
Scott: Amelia, would you please do the honors?
Amelia: Yes, okay. I was evolved in a car accident. It was a big crash and I lost consciousness, I think. My memory is pretty fuzzy. There were three cars involved and it was a major crash. The Chicago car accident where I hired got me a low offer. I had neck and back injuries and the medical bills were pretty high but all he got me was a $25,000 offer, $25,000 offer. Now, my deadline to go to court is coming up and he sent me a letter telling me he’s withdrawing from the case. If my car accident wasn’t my fault, then, how could the lawyer be telling the truth? How can my case only be worth 25,000 if that almost … Sorry.
Scott: I think that’s if that is.
Amelia: … if that is almost how much my medical bills were.
Scott: Yeah, sometimes the handwriting is not perfect.
Amelia: Well, hey. They lost consciousness and they were fuzzy while they wrote this so …
Scott: God bless them. Yes. I’m not lying. Probably 10 times a year, I get a call from somebody who’s represented by an attorney and they tell me their story and I mean it could be there … It could be a car crash case where they have a Chicago car accident lawyers or it could be like a worker’s comp case or any kind of case but it’s funny, people will contact me and say their lawyer is, or their former lawyer is doing something or saying something and it makes no sense. I have a strong intuition that even with this little bit of information, I have a strong intuition about what is probably happening, right?
Amelia: Is this normal like-
Scott: I’m going to tell you what I think is happening. Lawyers need to do a better job of explaining why an outcome on a case is the way it is, right? Here’s the way these injury cases work. Usually, we are attempting to collect money from an insurance company, right? If you think about it, there’s a good reason for that. If you’re a working person without a bunch of money, without a bunch of real estate, without a bunch … you’re not making like a hundred grand a year-
Scott: … because you’re a doctor or something and you get into a car crash and you have car insurance but the car insurance isn’t enough to really compensate the injured person, a personal injury attorney has a choice, right? We can either collect the insurance proceeds or we can attempt to collect insurance proceeds and still proceed in a lawsuit to get more money from the insured person who doesn’t have, isn’t rich, is a working-class person, doesn’t really have money. Now, what most attorneys do, unless we’re dealing with somebody who has cash and there’s ways to find out that, there’s software and there’s subscriptions to databases and you can hire a personal private investigator do a asset search on people-
Scott: … but in the vast majority of cases, what I think is going on here is that the person who caused this crash has a $25,000 insurance policy. 25,000 is the limit of insurance. It’s all a single person can get in the crash so even if the medical bills are … What did he … Did he tell us? No?
Amelia: They’re really high. They were-
Scott: Okay. Let’s say the medical bills are $50,000. Even if the medical bills are 50,000, if this person only has 25,000 in coverage, Chicago car accident lawyers can collect the 25 but to get any more than that, you have to chase this person down-
Scott: … and like garnish their wages and all this. The problem with doing that is if they’re living hand-to-mouth based on their salary or if they’re only employed part-time or something like that, you’re going to be getting, what, like $20 a month from them forever.
Amelia: Right, nickels and dimes here and there.
Scott: Here’s the worst part. Every time they change jobs, you have to find out where they’re working. They’re not going to cooperate with you. You have to file a collection action.
Scott: Subpoena them in. If they don’t show up, you got to go back to court. I mean it-
Amelia: That’s like so much work.
Scott: You’re going to be chasing them down and ruining their life.
Amelia: Yeah. Who wants to do that?
Scott: Ultimately, you’re not getting any more money for the injured person.
Amelia: Right, no.
Doing a Background Check
Scott: What most Chicago car accident lawyers do, unless somebody is really a person of means … Now, if we do a background search and somebody owns three properties and they have a medical license and they own an airplane, look, man, that’s a person who can pay some money.
Amelia: Yeah, I think that they can shell it out.
Scott: Guess what. If somebody’s driving around with 25,000 total in insurance, they’re probably not wealthy, right?
Scott: It’s pretty easy to do a basic background search. The reason why I say I wish this person’s Chicago car accident lawyers had communicated with them is I will bet you anything that since it’s a re-render major crash with big injuries and the lawyer told them that 25,000 is all they can get, I will bet you anything that it’s an issue of only 25 in insurance coverage, no more insurance coverage to get after that and probably, the lawyer did their due diligence and found out that the driver who caused the crash is incapable of paying anything else.
Scott: Now, it’s not terrible. Really, there are ways a lawyer can make sure that the injured person puts about a third of that 25,000 in their pocket no matter how high the medical bills are. That is super involved. It involves math. Explaining detailed math on a podcast is probably not the thing to do.
Amelia: Yeah. You lost me at math.
Scott: Yeah. Maybe what I’ll do on my YouTube channel, maybe I’ll do a video on explaining how liens work-
Amelia: It’s a good idea.
Scott: … and how even a bad case is still going to put money in an injured person’s pocket.
Amelia: I think a lot of people will like to know that.
Scott: Yeah, and if I do it like … what do you call it, like a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll be able to see it real well. That’s not helping anybody on the podcast right now but-
Amelia: Stay tuned.
Scott: Yes, stay tuned.
Amelia: Yeah, absolutely.
Scott: If you guys are subscribed to my YouTube channel, keep an eye out for it. If you’re not, go to YouTube. Search for Scott DeSalvo. I’ve got like a hundred videos explaining injury law including, I put this podcast up there. You can subscribe and then click the little bell to be notified when a new video comes out. Not only do I do videos where I explain stuff but I also obviously put this podcast up there as well and if you subscribe and click the bell, you’ll get notice whenever a new one comes out.
Amelia: Who knows, maybe you’ll be wearing a [Jack Storm 00:12:42] outfit someday explaining stuff-
Scott: Yeah, or we’ll do that … What do you call that? That Goodfellas commercial that we’re talking about.
Amelia: Yeah, absolutely.
Scott: That could be fun.
Amelia: That would be very fun. Is there any way this person … This person is only going to get $2,500.
Amelia: Sorry, sorry. $25,000 and there’s no other way that they can lower their medical bills?
Scott: No, no. There is. There totally is.
Amelia: There is?
Scott: That’s why I’m saying yeah there’s a way a lawyer-
Amelia: It’s a lot.
Scott: … can do it but just the details of how we do it is probably too complicated without a visual component like I could verbally explain it but it’s probably too-
Amelia: It would break my mind. Yeah. Okay, cool.
Scott: Well, and if nobody’s going to understand it and I’m going to talk for 20 minutes and at the end of it, they’re going to be like, “I had no idea what that guy just said.”
Amelia: He’s very intelligent but you lost me. No, I get it. Okay.
Apportioning Fault In Chicago Car Accident Cases
Scott: I think the moral of the story on this one is … Now, look. I could be wrong. There’s another possibility. It could be that somehow, there’s video of the crash that shows our guy is partially at fault and if you’re partially at fault, what you get comes down based on your fault. There could be a 50,000 policy and they’re calling it a 50/50 case, right? The way that works is if you are 50% liable for the crash and you have 50,000 in damages, you get 25,000 because what you get is reduced by your own percentage of negligence, right?
Amelia: I see.
Scott: To me, it totally sounds like there’s a $25,000 insurance policy limit. This attorney got the 25,000 and is withdrawing because he’s mad at the client for not just signing off on the settlement.
Amelia: I mean isn’t it his ethical duty to at least communicate to the client like, “Hey, I’m withdrawing because blank”? I mean I think it’s very common courtesy.
Scott: Yeah. I mean it is common courtesy. Lawyers do have an obligation to communicate offers to their clients. It is sometimes hard to communicate some of these concepts to a client depending on their background and their mental state. They may be very upset when they are told something like this and maybe the lawyer is like not very compassionate or not a good communicator or they don’t take the time to really explain the details. I think at my office, I train everybody to try really hard to explain this stuff to people but in my opinion, the moral of the story here is I think this injury lawyer could probably have had the client come in face to face instead of just doing a telephone conversation and really explained it.
We do these podcasts in my conference room and I have a whiteboard that I bought and installed on the wall specifically so that I could do math in front of the client and do diagrams in front of the client. It really helps and it actually goes back to what we were just saying. I didn’t want to explain complicated math just verbally.
Amelia: Yeah. Of course, sure.
Scott: Visually really helps or whatever it takes the client to help understand, then you got to do it.
Amelia: Yeah. I mean like you trained for a long time to be able to understand Chicago injury law and you’re catching someone who has no idea what’s going on up to speed and it’s a great idea, visuals.
Scott: Yeah. That answers that questions, folks. Thank you for listening and I hope the information helped you. Subscribe to me on YouTube. Just search my name, Scott DeSalvo and make sure you subscribe and click the little bell icon. It’s funny, YouTube changed the way subscriptions work.
Scott: When you subscribe to somebody, if you don’t click the bell –
Amelia: It won’t notify you.
Scott: … you no longer get notified when people release a new video. Crazy.
Amelia: … which is like the whole point of subscribing, right, so that you’re notified.
Scott: Right. It’s like redundant. Crazy. Anyway-
Amelia: That’s crazy.
Scott: I’ve got like a hundred videos. Thanks for watching folks, or listening, I guess.
Amelia: Soon watching.
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