Q: What is the biggest mistake clients make who have been involved in a personal injury case?
A: When a client gets injured, they receive a call from a claims adjuster. The job of the adjuster is to get “control” of the client before they hire counsel and then resolve the case for the smallest amount possible. Frequently, the client gives recorded statements to the adjuster and assumes there will be a fair resolution but in the fullness of time realizes that the insurance carrier is not in the business of being fair. Then I get the call, months after the incident and sometimes too late to be helpful. Opportunities for early investigation and securing witness statements may have been lost. Telephone recorded statements, skillfully led by the adjuster have been harmful. The insurance industry spends millions of dollars convincing the public they are in good hands, that they are on your side, but in truth they are in an adversarial position.
Q: What have you learned in four decades at the bar?
A: Despite all the changes in technology that I have seen, there is no substitute for the bond that is established between lawyers and clients. That previously happened in many face-to-face meetings. I always made house calls in major cases. Now in the pandemic we are using Zoom and more e-mail than ever, and my fear is that this important bond will suffer. At my firm, we are making every effort to find ways to keep this bond intact.
Ron Karp, managing partner: Trial Lawyer of the Year; selected 15 straight years as a Super Lawyer; Best Lawyers in America (listing the nation’s top 1% of lawyers). Ron’s cases were featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Today Show, People Magazine and NBC network news.