CASE REJECTED BY TV LAWYER
Karlos Finley of Boteler Finley & Wolfe recently secured a settlement for an auto-crash injury client in the amount of $53,000.00. That in and of itself is not out of the ordinary. However, in this particular instance, the client had come to Mr. Finley after his case had been turned down by a lawyer who heavily advertises on television (TV lawyer). The young man had been the victim in an automobile collision involving a driver who was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence (DUI) and found to be at fault by the investigating police officer. However, when the DUI case was not prosecuted in the criminal courts and summarily dismissed, the TV lawyer dropped the client and told him that he had no case because they could not prove the other driver was at fault. After the DUI case was dismissed, the at-fault driver’s insurance company denied the claim. The young man was then recommended to Mr. Finley by a relative who had previously used Finley’s services. Mr. Finley did a preliminary investigation of the case and determined the TV lawyer had not attended any of the criminal proceedings, had not taken an active role in participating with the prosecutor’s office relative to the criminal case and, most importantly, he had not spoken with the arresting officer nor the eye witnesses that had called the 911 operator the evening of the collision in question. As previously reported in the Summer 2014 edition of Legally Speaking, Alabama’s lax regulations regarding attorney advertising allow lawyers to go on TV with commercials promising exaggerated results and puffed up claims of legal experience.
Finley agreed to accept the young man as a client and began working on the matter after the case had been laying dormant for a over 8 months prior to his involvement. Because the at-fault driver’s insurance company had denied liability for their customer, a lawsuit had to be filed. Finley’s work on the case established the adverse driver was in possession of alcohol in his vehicle at the time of the collision. He refused to take a Breathalyzer test on scene and at the police station and he was unable to perform a field sobriety test. After taking numerous witness depositions, Finley entered into negotiations with the lawyer who had been hired by the insurance company to represent the adverse driver. Finley was able to attain a settlement of the matter in the clients favor through the Court ordered mediation process. Finley stated; "This case settled because we were prepared to take it to trial. Insurance companies know which lawyers can and will try cases and which ones will not. They are only motivated to fairly settle cases that have been thoroughly researched, investigated and prepared for trial; with competent counsel to present the case to a jury."
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