A potential client called our office and was very upset. They had been dealing with the insurance company handling their claim for over 2 years, getting them all the records, tax returns, lost wage documents, and completed an interview with them. According to the records, the potential client was permanently injured, yet the insurance company denied her claim.
My Client’s Fear
The potential client was afraid they did not have a valid case after struggling and fighting for two years. They didn’t even want to call a lawyer or get a lawyer involved but had nowhere else to turn to for help.
How Garmey Law Helped
As motor vehicle accident attorneys, we walked the potential client through the elements of negligence that must be proven in any motor vehicle accident case: Duty, Breach, Cause, and Damages. We explained that, in essence, each element is a wall along the road toward recovering in your case, and if you cannot get over, around, or through that wall, then your case would stop, and you would likely not reach the end (recovering money). We walked through specifically what those elements mean to the everyday person:
Duty: A legal obligation to do something or not do something. In this person’s case, that meant driving a commercial vehicle with reasonable care and abiding by the rules of the road.
Breach: Either failing to do something you are supposed to or doing something you were not supposed to do. In this person’s case, that meant they did not use reasonable care and did not follow the road rules when they crashed their plow truck into the potential client.
Cause: The breach of duty explained above had to have been the proximate cause of the potential client’s injuries. This means that these injuries would not have happened absent the other party’s conduct. In this case, the force of the plow truck hitting the potential client’s car caused her to suffer the injuries.
Damages: Since we don’t have a time machine to go back in time and prevent injuries, the law requires that we put a dollar value on the amount that a person is hurt or harmed. This could be physical injuries, pain, and suffering, medical bills or expenses, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, lost property or the use of property, and many other ways that someone’s life is impacted by the incident. In this case, it meant pain and suffering, a back injury, and many other things, including being unable to lift her small child anymore because of the pain.
After reviewing all these elements and what needed to be proven, the potential client understood what had to be proven and that there was evidence to prove each of those elements and move forward with the claim. We signed an agreement and began representing the client with a mutual understanding that we knew what we needed to prove and how we would prove it.