Steven Gursten is speaking during Florida Justice Association Workhorse Seminar in Orlando
Friday, I’ll be presenting at the Florida Association for Justice 2015 Workhorse Seminar in Orlando (I’m bringing my daughter Abbey, who will be on stage with me before we hit Harry Potter, her absolute favorite).
My legal presentation is called, “How to Add $1 Million to Your Auto Accident Practice This Year.” It’s a fun topic. I’ll be giving a number of tactical tips on how to increase value. I’ll also be reminding the lawyers in the audience that while it may sound flashy, it’s really things like consistent communication with your clients that can add the most revenue to your cases.
Frequent communication helps lawyers see and plug holes in cases before they become problems that lower value, and allows us to address potential red flags. And it leads to very happy clients. The reality is that most people know at the end of their lawsuit that their lawyer always returned phone calls promptly, and cared.
Eric Falkenstein wrote once, “In expert tennis, 80% of the points are won, while in amateur tennis, 80% are lost.” The same is true of law, and especially of plaintiff personal injury law.
Some of these red flags include:
- Lack of client preparation for the (so-called) independent medical exam;
- Poor deposition preparation;
- A client who is not making medical appointments with specialists that she’s been referred to by her treating doctors;
- A client who stops treating (juries always feel that if it isn’t important enough for the client, then why should it be important to them?);
- The improper use of social media and especially Facebook, that has become a case-killing machine all by itself;
- And a client not receiving the right diagnostic and objective testing before getting cut off by insurance company doctors. This makes it near impossible to get these tests ever paid for by the auto insurer, as well as the subsequent medical treatment the client needs to get better.
I will also focus on things that lawyers and doctors frequently miss in the mild traumatic brain injury and herniated disk-low back and neck injury-type cases that are so common after motor vehicle accidents.
Another theme of my talk will be teaching lawyers what things we can do to increase the value of auto cases in the age of Colossus. Colossus is a computer claims processing software program used by many insurance company adjusters.
During the Workhorse Seminar, I will discuss how these principles play out, using two real case examples from two of my recent auto accident and truck settlements. In December 2014, I settled a $34 million truck accident case in Ohio. And this past February I settled a $7 million car accident lawsuit in Michigan.
The big point, hopefully, for the lawyers who will be there is that it isn’t about the settlements themselves. It’s about truly caring for our clients. That means real communication and truly helping people after their lives have been devastated. We forget that we live in a world where insurance companies are manipulating settlements through claims processing software, and driving values further and further down. We cannot let the insurance companies treat people this way.
Attorneys have to care. We have to genuinely like and want to help the people we’ve been given the awesome responsibility of representing. The companies that are putting profits over safety and endangering the public don’t care. So it’s up to us to be the very best at our craft and top of our profession. Peoples’ lives literally depend on us.