Insurance Companies Love Letter Writers and Settlement Mill Law Firms

Insurance Law

personal injury lawyer hammer time

Not every personal injury law firm is the same. Some aim for the easiest and fastest route to a settlement check, regardless of their client’s needs. More often than not, these kinds of firms prefer to write settlement letters instead of actually preparing each case for court. These types of law firms are called personal injury settlement mills (or factories), and insurance companies love them.

How to Spot a Personal Injury Settlement Mill

There are several traits that make these kinds of law firms stand out. Because they focus more on making a quick buck instead of client satisfaction, advertising is the lifeblood of the typical settlement mill law firm. The louder and more obnoxious the TV ads, the more likely you are looking at a settlement mill law firm.

However, their most telling characteristic is the limited interaction between client and attorney. Settlement mills typically have a large legal assistant staff which handle the vast majority of their case work. If a settlement mill law firm takes your case, there is a slim chance you will have correspondence with an actual attorney.

By mass producing settlements instead of working personal injury claims up to their full value, these firms are doing their clients a major disservice. Ironically enough, they will often take much longer to resolve claims as opposed to merit-based firms. This can be caused by several reasons, such as lack of attention to individual files from attorneys, pushing cases to legal assistants, and the sheer quantity of cases they take on at once.

Instead of treating each case individually, they tend to fall back on previous settlements of similar nature and let that dictate the outcome. To put it simply, they “get what they’ve always gotten.” They churn out so many cases that their negotiations with insurance companies become routine settlements with little variation between individual clients. Even worse, the insurance companies know how to “deal” with a settlement mill based on previous negotiations, vs. a law firm which is prepared to take each case to court.

The Reyes Browne Reilley Advantage

The Law Firm of Reyes Browne & Reilley is proud to stand out in Dallas as a litigation-based personal injury firm. The typical settlement mill law firm will do almost anything to avoid filing a lawsuit for their clients.  For more than 25 years, Reyes Browne Reilley has filed suit on the majority of its cases. Here at Reyes Browne Reilley, we want to ensure our clients get everything they are owed — regardless of risk (or amount of work) required. We fight for justice for our clients, even if it means longer hours and more hard work on our end.

But don’t just listen to us, listen to our clients. We have hundreds of Google reviews and real client testimonial videos. We pride ourselves in fighting the good fight for our clients. Next time you see a personal injury attorney TV commercial or a radio ad, don’t be so quick to believe everything they claim. There’s more to personal injury litigation than a catchy slogan – Listen to the stories of real clients, and base your judgment on real results.

After more than 25 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our form online, or call (214) 526-7900, and we will get you on the road to recovery.

Dallas Man Left for Dead by Lime Scooter Lunatic

DALLAS—A local Dallas musician was recently the victim of a hit and run while he was walking on a Downtown Dallas sidewalk, leaving him a trip to the emergency room, injuries to the face and the financial burden of paying for injuries caused by no fault of his own.

The vehicle was a rental scooter traveling at full speed.

Cody Daniels, 31, is likely the city’s first hit-and-run victim via rental scooter.

Daniels was leaving his job in Downtown Dallas near the aquarium when he said he was blindsided by a man riding a Lime rental scooter.

“I Stepped onto the sidewalk and then he hit me from this side, straight to the ground,” Daniels said. “He hit me faster than I could turn my head really to look.”

Daniels said his co-workers treated him with first aid before he left to visit an urgent care. There, he received 7 stitches over his right eye.

Worst of it all, Daniels said that the rider who hit him just fled the scene.

Because the rider took off, Daniels will be paying off his urgent care bill on his own, which he said will probably cost upwards around $400.

Daniels said he has health insurance but isn’t sure if the amount meets his deductible. Plus, Daniels said the rider was on the sidewalk. A big no-no in downtown Dallas.

This unfortunate incident raises some very important questions:

    • Does the victim have the option to file a claim with his motor vehicle insurance?
    • Is the rental scooter recognized as a motor vehicle?
    • In this case, can the victim seek compensation from the rider?
    • Can the person who fled the seen be faced with criminal charges?
    • Can the person be fined for riding on the sidewalk after the fact?

According to Lime`s website, riders are responsible for accidents and injuries, and each scooter company encourages driving safely.

Late last month, the city agreed to a 6-month trial run with electric rental scooters. They travel up to 15 mph after the rider pays a fee.

You can’t ride on sidewalks in the Central Business District (which includes Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas), and you can’t ride in a street where the speed limit is over 35 mph.

Failure to do so could get you a fine up to $500 – enforced by…who, exactly?

In light of these details, Mr. Daniels may indeed have a case.

With more and more patrons taking to the Dallas rental scooters, it is important for pedestrians to know their rights, and options, if they find themselves in a similar situation. Call the pedestrian accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley today for a free consultation.

Why You Need UM/UIM & PIP Insurance Coverage

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Why You Need UM/UIM & PIP Insurance Coverage

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bigstock-Two-Car-Crash-1522381-300x240Most drivers believe they can make it by with just the minimum required coverage. When you only purchase the minimum required insurance coverage to avoid a traffic violation, you and your family are exposed to potentially devastating financial hardships resulting from an accident.

Most minimum coverage plans leave out some of the most important aspects of insurance coverage, primarily Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist (UM), and Under-Insured Motorist (UIM). Auto Insurance is designed to protect you and your family in the event of an accident – not just avoid a ticket in a traffic stop.

Why You Need UM/UIM & PIP Insurance Coverage

Having the right insurance can make all the difference in what you pay after an auto accident, and how your claim is handled. The State of Texas only requires drivers to have liability insurance coverage, which helps the other person in the event of an accident. Liability coverage protects you from the risk of liabilities by lawsuits or other claims from other parties, but it doesn’t fully cover you.

Liability insurance does not include collision or comprehensive coverage to fix your car, towing, rental car, or the other guy being uninsured/under-insured. You might think that everyone has liability coverage because it’s the law, but over half the accident victims who call our law firm have at least one party in the accident who was uninsured! Assuming the other guy has it covered, and skipping the proper coverages to save a few bucks can and will hurt you financially if you are injured, or your car is too damaged to drive (or both). The resulting domino effect can be catastrophic when you can’t work, can’t get to work, and potentially lose your job, home, and your credit rating due to unpaid medical bills. Below are some insurance terms you should get to know. Many people do not know whether they have the following ‘extra’ coverage items:

Personal Injury Protection

PIP‘ covers you and the passengers of your car in the event of an accident. PIP covers medical and related expenses, lost wages and collateral costs after an accident. Collateral costs can include child care, lawn maintenance, and even travel expense to receive medical care. PIP covers you even if you are at fault for the accident, making it that much more important to consider when purchasing auto insurance. If you have a good health care plan, comprehensive PIP may not be necessary, but as we all know – health insurance doesn’t cover everything. For this reason, it is always important to go over all of your coverage options for each type of insurance so you know exactly what you are covered for and under which policies. PIP coverage is also valuable is when it covers your passengers. Pip covers non-immediate family members to help alleviate medical cost from both you and them. This is most important when you regularly have passengers in your car, such as a carpool. Your health insurance plan won’t help them, but PIP coverage will.

Uninsured Motorist

UM‘ coverage helps drivers involved in a crash with an uninsured driver. A surprising amount of drivers are not complying with State minimum requirement laws. UM covers you and your vehicle from damages caused by an uninsured driver in an accident. Additionally, this will cover you and your passengers for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. UM coverage is valuable in the event of a hit and run accident as well. Since in that circumstance you are unable to confront the responsible party, UM will give you the same coverage and protection. UM coverage, as with any type of coverage, has different restrictions and limits in each state and with each different insurance company. Check with your agent for details.

Under-Insured Motorist

UIM‘ Coverage is similar to UM coverage in that it covers you when the other driver’s limited coverage cannot. UIM helps take care of the financial burden that happens when you are in an accident with a driver who decided it was better to save a few bucks on their quote, and doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your injuries or property damage. This type of coverage is usually put into two different types of UIM coverage; bodily injury and property damage coverage. Bodily injury coverage is the more popular type of UIM coverage, and covers your medical expenses when you sustain an injury after an accident with an under-insured driver. Property damage coverage only applies when the other driver is at fault and they do not have adequate coverage. This coverage will help pay whatever the at-fault driver’s insurance plan will not cover. UIM property damage coverage can go beyond just automobile damage to also help recover damages to valuable property such as cell phones and laptops.

The more insurance coverage you have – the better off you will be in the event of an accident, but you need to find coverage that fits your budget. When getting that insurance quote, please take a moment and think about the devastating effects that high medical bills and time missed from work would mean to your budget and your family. PIP, UM and UIM coverage are not required by many state minimum coverage plans, and therefore many people neglect to purchase them. These three types of coverage can and will make it easier for you to recover physically and financially if you are in an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck due to someone else’s negligence contact the expert DFW car accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley for a free case review today!

Is Arbitration a Legitimate Threat to Our Justice System?

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Arbitration clauses are becoming an effective tool for employers and certain litigation-prone professions like medical doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and automobile manufacturers to bypass the legal system. The vast majority of people who sign an employment contract, service agreement, or purchase contract have no idea that they are signing away their right to take the company or person to court should a dispute arise.

People who are injured in accidents, suffer medical malpractice, or are sexually harassed or otherwise wrongfully terminated from their job are shocked when they file legitimate civil claims suing their doctors, employers and manufacturing companies and have their cases thrown out of court, not being heard by a judge that cites the arbitration clause present in the contract.

The NY Times lists several cases where legitimate civil claims were forced into the arbitration process instead of being heard by a judge in court:

  • A 94-year old women who died of a festering head wound was forced into arbitration rather than a malpractice lawsuit.
  • A women in Alabama who sustained injuries when the brakes failed on her car was barred from suing Honda.
  • A women who sued her obstetrician for negligence when her baby was born with serious deformities had her case thrown out of court and forced into arbitration instead.

And the list of abuses in arbitration continues from there.

  • Arbitration officials can be a lawyers and not a judges.
  • There is nothing prohibiting the lawyer from having pre-existing or on-going relationships with the defendant.
  • The appeals process is non-existent.
  • Witnesses can be paid for their testimony by companies.
  • Employees can be threatened with termination for not testifying in favor of the company.

And the cost of arbitration can be prohibitively expensive. The Times article cites arbitration cases running as much as $150,000 for a six-hour session and if that wasn’t enough to discourage one from pursuing their case, the arbitration hearings are often held in the offices of the lawyer that represents the defendant!

Arbitration is fast becoming an alternative justice system and is denying people many of the rights that the legal system affords them. Lawyers feel that there is an alarming and growing trend for the current legal system to be bypassed in favor of arbitration. What’s to prevent every company from shielding themselves from their legal responsibilities by adding a simple arbitration clause to all their employment contracts and purchase agreements?