In this article series, Oklahoma City injury attorney Travis Charles Smith explains the entire lawsuit settlement process and all the nuances of obtaining a settlement, deducting expenses, and obtaining just compensation for your injuries or for wrongful acts of injustice.
In this blog post, we address a problem faced by too many Oklahoma clients who have suffered injustice: the financial hardship that can come after a serious injury or a wrongfully denied insurance claim. What are clients to do during the interim while their case is pending? Sadly, there is not much a lawyer can do for the client in these situations other than aggressively push the case forward, and I will explain the reasons why below.
A good Lawyer must understand the Client’s financial struggle in order to give that Client the best Legal Service possible in Oklahoma
I can only imagine what some of my clients go through waiting to be compensated for whatever event has wrecked their life. The type of events that are subject of most lawsuits usually cause a serious disruption in the client’s life. Bad car accidents and any type of wreck involving a semi truck or tractor trailer can cause catastrophic injuries. Serious injuries can keep a person from working. Those lost wages can cause other financial ruin, such as late or missed payments toward vehicles, mortgages, and other necessities.
Wrongfully denied insurance claims can also financially impact a person’s life. For example, a person entitled to life insurance proceeds that are wrongfully denied by an insurance company has now lost not just a loved one, but also financial safety net. A person in such a situation may be facing actual poverty because of an insurance company’s bad faith denial of the life insurance proceeds.
Oklahoma Ethics Rules Prevent Lawyers from Lending Money to Clients.
There’s another tough problem in this equation. Lawyers cannot loan money to clients. Ethics rules prohibit us from doing that. So no matter how much we sympathize with your position, and no matter how confident we are in prevailing in your cause, we cannot legally loan you money to get you by until the lawsuit settles or goes to trial. That is a harsh reality, and is sometimes tough to explain to a client in desperate need.
A Good Lawyer will take into consideration the Client’s financial struggle and add that to the amount of damages sought at trial.
My best advice is to do the best you can to get by until trial. Try to trim your expenses down. If you must borrow from family, borrow only as little as necessary to get by. Keep track of all financial losses. We will seek to recover these losses at trial. After all, if the dire financial situation is a result of the subject accident in your lawsuit, then we will seek to recover all of these damages at trial. If the accident caused you to lose your home in foreclosure, we will seek enough money to make you whole again.
While this may not help the client immediately, I do everything I can to secure the best financial outcome for the client in the long run.