For many years, small car accident cases resulting in modest injury, were the bread and butter of a portion of the Massachusetts plaintiffs’ personal injury bar. Some firms had hundreds of these cases, which were prepared in cookie cutter fashion, and settled with adjustors with little or no discovery done, or even before suit was filed. Reputable lawyers handling the small car accident case, provided an important service. Unfortunately, some less than reputable lawyers worked with unscrupulous doctors and chiropractors to inflate the medical expenses. Some disbarments occurred, along with a huge hit to the reputation of personal injury attorneys generally.
Serious car accident cases, resulting in death or disabling injury, bear no relation to the simple accident case. They must be handled with the care and thoroughness of any catastrophic personal injury case. Time can be the attorney’s friend or enemy, depending on how soon after the accident, he is contacted. Witnesses should be located and interviewed as soon as possible, while memories are still fresh. Statements can preserve their observations, protect against changed memory or be used to refresh memory, at a deposition or trial two years later. Photographs of the site should be taken promptly as well. If too much time goes by, the scene may change drastically due to development or roadway changes. Sometimes, retention of an accident reconstruction expert will be advisable. If the plaintiff’s injuries are life-altering, a vocational expert, economist, life care planner, day-in-the life videographer, may all be brought into the case. Sound preparation and aggressive movement of the case through the justice system, gives the plaintiff the best chance of a good result.
For more information on this subject matter, please see our section detailing Car and Motorcycle Accidents.