Car & Auto Accidents
Insurance Companies Pushing your around? Let the Insurance Companies Know you mean business by hiring lawyers who try cases and get results.
Not all lawyers are created equal. Some lawyers are book smart. They know the law but have never seen the inside of a courtroom. Other lawyers are rainmakers. They are great at getting clients in the door but they don’t like hard work.
I try cases.
“So what” you might be saying? So everything.
You see, most car accident cases do settle. Insurance companies do not want to go to trial – especially considering the way they treated their insureds after Katrina.
This is a great advantage for you – unless the attorney you hire is afraid to go to trial!
The way to get a just settlement is for your attorney to work hard on your case and get it ready for trial. If the insurance company knows your attorney is prepared and ready to try the case, they will offer you a fair settlement. If your attorney is not prepared or afraid to go to trial, you will not receive a fair settlement offer.
At this point, you might be asking yourself “So how do I know the lawyers at the Gallagher Law Firm try cases?”
Good question. The short answer is: from the time I was very little, I have taken every opportunity I could to get better at trying public speaking and trying cases.
When I was 2-3 years old, my Uncle “Big” Frank called me “Silver tongue.” In Grammar School and High School, I competed in Speech competitions. (Not Debate – I played football at Jesuit and was “too cool” for debate – boy was I dumb!) In law school, at Tulane, I competed in every competition there was: Junior Appellate, Senior Appellate (made the finals), Junior Trial, Senior Trial (made the semi-finals). I was Captain of the ATLA Trial team as a senior.
But that’s all “academic” stuff. Since law school, I have tried more cases than most attorneys my age (about 11) – and I have tried them well. This does not mean I win all of my cases. No lawyer wins all the time. And a lawyer does not have to win all the time to gain the respect of the insurance companies. It’s kinda like a kid on the playground – if you are getting picked on, you need to fight, even if you lose. As long as you get in a few good shots, the bully will stop picking on you.
The cases I tried were all complicated cases. Most were not simple car accident cases – again, most of those settle (although one was a car accidence case). The cases included a guy who hurt himself dunking a basketball at Elmwood Fitness Center (I represented Elmwood). Another case involved an Internet startup company which was forced to close after KDS, the world’s second largest monitor manufacturer, breached its contract with the startup (I won $758,000 for the startup). Many of my trials involved medical malpractice, which most attorneys agree is one of the most complicated personal injury cases to try.
But you don’t have to believe me – listen to the people who have asked me to teach other lawyers how to try cases. National Business Institute. Louisiana Bar Association. Academy of New Orleans Trial Lawyers. Tulane asked me to Coach their ATLA Trial team (before I had kids) and we almost won the National Competition (we came in third out of 200 teams). An Appellate Judge asked me to appear on the cable TV show “It’s the Law” — TWICE.
You can also look at my results. Of course, I cannot and will not guarantee any case. They are all different. But, we have had some very good results – both trials and settlements. Timothy’s St. John’s case is a perfect example. Tim was a commercial diver who was injured while diving. He damaged his inner ear, which caused vertigo problems, nausea and vomiting. Tim had trouble walking, even though he was only in his 20′s. At first, Tim used a walker to get around, although eventually he was able to walk with a cane. Tim and I spoke by phone almost every day (even when I was evacuated to Jackson for Katrina), and many times we were not even talking about his case. Tim got to know my wife, Jodie, played play station with my kids and even met my parents.
We were able to get Tim a very substantial settlement by working the case up for trial. When I deposed their experts, I was able to weaken them using research and logic. If you want copies of the depositions, just fill out the form on the right side of this page and I’ll send them to you. When the company deposed our experts, we videoed the deposition so we could use it for trial. At the end of the day, the defendants paid $2,700,000. Did they pay only because of me? Of course not. Tim was seriously hurt. We had objective evidence of his injury. But our preparation for trial helped insure Tim received a fair settlement.
Not every case is like Tim’s. But whether you can’t work and now use a cane, or you hurt your back from being rear ended, we take our trial preparation very seriously.
Now, this may come as a surprise, but I am not asking you to commit to our firm right now. If you want to hire us, great, give us a call. We won’t charge you for the call and it’s a toll free number.
But I understand that you may be looking around at this point. This might be the first time you have had to hire an attorney. You might not even be sure you want to file a lawsuit.
So what I’ll do for you is this: Enter your name, email address and other information in the box on the right and I’ll send you an entire email course on car accidents. What this means is that I will send you a series of emails explaining car accident cases and lawsuit in general.
How will you deal with the insurance companies if you get in a car accident?
When you get in a car accident, things start to happen fast. Especially if you are injured. You might not need an attorney, but you will need information.
Insurance companies have claims adjusters whose only job is to handle car accidents. Some do their job right and try to help you. Others try to save their employer’s money. Either way – the adjusters have years of training and knowledge, and you don’t.
The Gallagher Law Firm will give you the information you need whether we take your case or not. There is no commitment – you don’t have to sign a fee agreement to get the information. You don’t have to tell us about your case. You don’t even have to talk to a person if you don’t want to. Just fill out the form on the right and say “Send me the info.” Make sure your email address is valid because we will send you our free online course entitled “Secrets The Adjusters Don’t Want You To Know About Your Insurance.”
This course will teach you:
- How to effectively deal with your adjuster;
- What words to tell your adjuster to make them take you seriously;
- What your adjuster should be doing for you (and probably isn’t);
- What the insurance probably covers and what it does not cover;
- And much, much more.
Let me tell you what happened to Mrs. Johnson, a client of the Gallagher Law Firm.
Mrs. Johnson is in a car with a group of friends. She is driving and has two friends in the car. She is traveling West on I-10, slightly above the speed limit. Suddenly, another car rams into Mrs. Johnson from behind. That’s right, from behind. I know it doesn’t make sense that a car could be going 70 mph and still be hit from behind, but a police officer working a detail witnesses the whole thing. Mrs. Johnson’s car rolls four times and comes to a crashing, screeching halt. Pieces of both cars are strewn about the interstate like some gigantic kid leaving his toys around. Mrs. Johnson is hurt, but not terribly.
What should Mrs. Johnson do? What would you do in Mrs. Johnson’s shoes? The answer depends very much on how injured Mrs. Johnson is. If she is sore, but can walk and does not think she is too terribly hurt, she should check on her passengers. The, if she can, she should get out of her car and check on the other car’s driver and passengers. Then, call “911.” The Operator will call an ambulance if necessary, and will notify the police. Finally, you should exchange “information” with the other driver: name, insurance company, policy number.
What you shouldn’t do is talk to the other driver about the accident. You can talk about the weather, the Saints, politics, but not about the accident. It’s like those crime movies on TV – what you say can and will be held against you.
When the police officer gets there, tell him or her what happened. Try not to be emotional – just say your peace. Let the facts speak for themselves. Remember: no one wants to be “convinced”; everyone wants to reach their own conclusions.
After the police officer listen’s to both sides, he or she will write a report – but not right away. He will also give you a slip of paper with the report number on it. Don’t lose this paper – it is important. If anyone violated the law, that person will get a ticket. Many times, officers don’t write tickets because they cannot tell who was wrong. But the report is important because the officer does take down what each party says.
When you tell the officer what happened tell the truth! If you hurt somewhere, tell the officer. Do not say “It’s not a big deal.” Tell the officer “This hurts a little” or “This hurts a lot.” You may be right – it might be a minor injury. If so, get your car fixed and go on with your life.
But if what you think is a “minor” pain turns out to be a major injury, the report will come back to haunt you.
The reverse is also true – don’t lie about injuries or make small injuries seem worse than they are. I will find out and I will drop you as a client. The legal system is stuffed with cases as it is – the last thing we need is someone making up an injury to make money. It’s bad for the system, bad for me and bad for you.
How does this “lawsuit” work.
Most of my clients have never been involved in a lawsuit before. In fact, I don’t take clients who have been in too many accidents. (How much is too many? I’m not sure, but I’ll tell you up front if we meet). The litigation process is pretty complicated. There is a certain order we do things, and a reason for going in that order.
How to Choose a Lawyer
That’s right, I’ll give you the information you need to find a lawyer. I know I can’t represent everyone who visits my website. And I am sick and tired of hearing from people who picked the wrong lawyer for their case. So I’ll send you an article on how to choose the right lawyer for your case.
More Legal Help
I want my clients to think of me as their lawyer, not just their car accident lawyer. So if we take your case, we’ll help you out with some other legal matters as well (for free). First, we will draft a simple will to protect your heirs. You might think you don’t need a will, but you do. The Will insures that if something bad would happen, your assets will go to your kids, your sister, your momma, whoever. You also want to make sure that if you have kids, you put your assets in trust, and that the trust is controlled by someone close to you (your momma, sister, daddy). You want to make sure someone you trust is the executor of your estate.
Also, you need a Living Will. We will draft this for you for free. This is a document that tells the doctors what to do if you go on life support. You may decide that you want life support as long as possible. You may decide that once you are terminal, the doctors can take you off life support. This is a very personal decision. But whatever your decision, it need to be IN WRITING and in the proper form. We will do this for you for free.
We will also draft a Power of Attorney for you. Not everyone needs a Power of Attorney. This is a very dangerous document. It allows the person named in it to totally control your assets. You have to have ABSOLUTE TRUST in the person you name, because they can sell all of your assets without your permission. Why would anyone sign a Power of Attorney? If there is a risk that you will become incapacitated or unable to care for yourself, the Power of Attorney will allow someone else to take care of your business (pay bills, deposit checks, sell property, etc.). I do these quite often for older people. They are probably less necessary for younger people.
Finally, as one of our clients, we will give you one free consultation per month on a legal issue OTHER THAN YOUR CASE. Call as often as you like about your case. But if you have another legal issue come up, a problem with a lease, problems at work, whatever, let us know, and we will schedule a call to try to answer your question. Just a few rules. We need you to fax your problem, the legal question and any documents related to the question. For example, if your landlord is giving you trouble, send us a fax letting us know what is going on, what your question is, and attach your lease. Mary will then set up a short phone conference with either Elizabeth or me for us to try to answer your question. Please remember, I know quite a bit about the law, but I don’t claim to know everything, and there are areas I know little about. If I can’t answer your question, I know attorneys who can and I can put you in touch with them.
Youl shouldn’t have to be reading my website. I tell my friends “I hope you never need my services.” But since you are here, my goal is to make the legal process as easy for you as I can.
Richard T. Gallagher, Jr.