Why Do The People On Legal Billboards Receive So Much Money?Posted on: July 28, 2020
What you see on a billboard regarding what a client has received for a case tells a small fraction of the story of that case.
Like a contract, you must read the fine print. Even on the billboard itself, you can see in much smaller print that the recovery does not include attorney fees, costs, and medical expenses. So, what does that disclaimer mean?
The Fine Print You Don’t See
Part of the disclaimer is that it does not include attorney fees and costs. Depending on the nature of the case and the stage of the case for resolution, the attorney fees will usually range from 33%-40%. Therefore, you can see a statement that the person received $500,000, but they received less than $300,000 once the attorney fees were taken out of the case. Clients also incur costs associated with a case. At Beers & Gordon, we keep our costs low in pre-suit cases and do not charge for scans, copies, faxes, and the like. Many firms do. When cases go into litigation, the costs can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars when the case settles shortly after suit is filed to tens of thousands of dollars if the case proceeds to trial.
The other part of the disclaimer is that the amount does not include medical expenses. As a person treats for an injury, the person is incurring medical expenses for this treatment. While Personal Injury Protection insurance pays up to $10,000 for treatment, there will be balances with the providers. Also, for treatment beyond the $10,000, medical expenses are incurred. When a client has been in the hospital for several days or had surgery, the medical costs may soar over $100,000. So, that $500,000 that the client received may be reduced by another $100,000 in medical costs.
Thus, the person holding the check on the billboard saying she received $500,000 may actually have received less than $200,000 when everything is taken out of the case. But, $500,000 sounds better than $200,000, right?
What Settlements are “Billboard Worthy?”
More importantly, many factors exist on how clients receive large settlements or verdicts that would be considered “billboard worthy”. At Beers & Gordon, we have settled and received verdicts in excess of a million dollars. We also have had many cases that were worth seven figures, but an important missing factor was involved in the case that you may not know. That factor is the amount of insurance that is available in a case.
Many of those recoveries on the billboards involve commercial vehicles that have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of insurance coverage. When someone is involved in a crash with another individual, it is very likely the other individual has minimal coverage and certainly under $100,000 in coverage. So, a case that may have value over a million dollars cannot settle for that amount because only so much insurance coverage exists to allow for the recovery. The lack of insurance in cases is one of the most frustrating aspect of the case for the client who has been catastrophically injured. In nearly every instance, the individual with limited insurance has no recoverable assets. So, suing the person individually is not worth it because the client will never recover above the policy limits.
Why Decades of Experience Matters
Another factor in why that person on the billboard received an extensive sum is the nature of the injuries suffered. The attorneys at Beers & Gordon have over 67 years of combined experience and have settled thousands of cases on both sides of the law. During that time, it has been exceptionally rare to resolve a case for multiple six figures without a surgery occurring and substantial medical expenses being incurred. So, the person on that billboard has usually suffered a devastating injury that has led to the necessity of surgery and substantial medical expenses. Other damages may exist in terms of lost wages, loss of future earnings, and the like.
So, the person on the billboard is smiling and happy to advise the world of the resolution of the case. We are always happy when individuals get a recovery that can help them move forward and continue with their life and recovery. That makes everyone happy on some level. However, everyone should understand what goes into that case that led to the recovery of significant amount of money and also realize what the person on the billboard is actually receiving that is net to them.
At Beers & Gordon, we are always happy to discuss any potential case with you to help you understand these issues. We are a small firm that keeps the volume of cases to a level that we can meet with clients and really advise them on their cases. That way, you can understand your own case and know it proper value.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a wrongful death, a personal injury, or a motor vehicle accident, please contact the law offices of Beers and Gordon P.A. for a free consultation. Our firm serves all of Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake, and Brevard counties, including Oviedo, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Longwood, Winter Park, Lake Mary, and Greater Orlando. Our attorneys have over 65 years of combined experience ready and willing to go the distance on your case. Call us right away at 407-862-1825.