Albrecht Law May 2019


May 2019

Springtime on the Ranch What Helping My Grandparents Taught Me About Law

May always makes me think of childhood visits to my grandparents’ranch inWyoming. Growing up in Montana, it was only a couple-hour drive to their place, which included a large vegetable garden and a small apple orchard. I remember meals made from scratch by my grandmother, and to this day, as a dear friend of mine says, you just can’t explain the taste of homegrown produce to someone who has never had it. In fact, when I was younger, I didn’t even know you could get spaghetti sauce in a can from the grocery store. I had this revelation when I slept over at a friend’s house and watched his father pour store-bought sauce over our noodles. It just wasn’t the same as Grandma’s. If it was planting season, I would help my grandfather plant and prepare their garden for the season ahead. Then we’d sneak back into the garden each summer to eat peas like they were candy. Of course, we had to be careful to maneuver around the electric fence I had helped my grandpa install to keep the deer out. About 35 years ago and not 10 minutes after helping Grandpa install the fence and heeding his warning to not step over it, I did it anyway. An electric jolt surged through my body as I tried to slip through the strands. Grandpa had to shut the fence off and pull me out, and I still have the scar and vivid memory to prove it. I had already made that mistake once.

Suffice it to say, the electric fence worked, and rather than waiting for the deer to munch on their harvest, my grandparents actively took measures to prevent damage. Sadly, this can be difficult for some people to do, especially when they are facing a situation far more dire than protecting vegetables from scavenging deer. For example, it’s not uncommon for our firm to first meet clients months beyond when it would have been ideal. Sometimes, the first call comes within weeks or months of the statute of limitations. Whether it’s confidence in the system, fear, or shame, some people avoid seeking legal help after an accident, and this can make them susceptible to insurance company complacency. One of the most common questions I hear is:“Can I trust my insurance adjuster?”My answer is always:“Sure. You can trust them to save the insurance company money.”That is their job, and they are not working for you. As personal injury attorneys, we work for our clients, and the sooner we meet you, the better we can help. In a recent case, we were facing a tangled mess of fault in a car accident. Our client was driving along the highway when someone turned left in front of him, causing our client to hit the other driver’s trailer. The insurance company was refusing to compensate our client because their experts had calculated that our client had enough time to stop. Ironically, this insurer probably spent more on experts trying to avoid liability than our injured client spent on medical care. This was ironic because the insurer ended up paying both. But we came into the case early enough to find security footage from a nearby gas station. The crash was only visible through the reflection of the shaded window on the station, but with the help of an excellent retired police officer expert, the findings were clear. Our client could not have

stopped in time. If this client had not contacted us as early as he did, and if we had not been able to do our due diligence, this video may have been erased. Instead of being trapped into accepting the insurance company’s zero offer, this client received a fair arbitration award. Sadly, sometimes the reverse of this happens. In a different case, a client with a solid, obvious case of negligence found herself facing a defendant willing to lie and claim the injury never happened. Prior to our involvement, she tried to get security footage on her own, but when she couldn’t, she asked us for help. Unfortunately, it was too late, and the footage had been erased. Without the video evidence, her case became high-risk and ended up in a jury trial. She still won, but it was too close for comfort. It’s always upsetting when we cannot help someone because of poor timing. We will always do our best to fight for our clients, but coming in early is a lot like eating fresh produce instead of store-bought. You only know the difference when you try it.

This Month’s Happiest Client!

“Matt Albrecht is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and I would recommend him to anyone needing legal assistance! His character is second to none!” -Kevin K. | 1

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