Meet Managing Personal Injury and Disability Attorney
D. Robin Gouveia, ESQ.
Law Offices of d’Oliveira & Associates
Attorney D. Robin Gouveia has been with d’Oliveira & Associates since June of 2011, however, she has been practicing personal injury law for OVER 17 YEARS beginning in December of 1998. Since joining the firm, Attorney Gouveia has been exclusively practicing personal injury and disability law. Attorney Gouveia works with clients from the East Providence, Middletown, Pawtucket, Fall River and New Bedford areas. Attorney Gouveia has an AVVO Rating of 9.2.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
WHAT TRAINING DID YOU HAVE?
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB LIKE?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE?
I went to law school while working full time for an insurance company handling claims. Once I obtained my license to practice, I began my career at a personal injury firm. I have handled personal injury claims solely for plaintiffs for more than 15 years.
My experience in the insurance company claims department provided me with the tools to become a successful negotiator. I learned the details of what claims adjusters need to fully evaluate a claim; what information is needed to increase and maximize settlement offers; and what evidence is needed to advocate and negotiate the best settlement for my clients. In addition, I gained tremendous experience in assessing, reviewing and analyzing medical records for use in effective advocacy.
A typical day for me involves speaking to prospective clients to answer questions before they come in for a meeting with us; calling active clients to discuss treatments and evidence of how the accident is impacting their daily life; and drafting and reviewing demand letters to insurance companies. I meet with clients to prepare them for arbitrations, depositions or mediations and present the cases to such forums. I communicate with medical providers regarding client treatment, medical conditions and develop the best and most effective strategy for each case.
There are so many parts of the job I love. I love talking to clients who have gone through trauma, helping them cope and deal with insurance companies, and most importantly, helping them address and connecting them with appropriate providers to alleviate and treat their injuries and pain. I also love reviewing evidence, finding key pieces to effectively fight for the client during negotiations; and negotiating is by far, my favorite part of the job. The advocacy and persuasion are so rewarding when a fair and reasonable settlement or award is obtained.
I find the greatest challenge is convincing insurance adjusters these injuries are real and felt by real people. Often adjusters doubt the legitimacy of claims. I find that to be an attitude held by many insurers and they attempt to apply it to all claims. More often I have to emphasize medical evidence, discuss statements made to initial emergency personnel regarding the mechanism of impact. (For example, statement made to ER personnel regarding positioning of body at the moment of impact or the movement of the body inside the vehicle at impact) The mechanism, I have found, to be an effective tool of persuasion for low impact or minor type cases.
I have also experienced adjusters during negotiations summarizing medical records incorrectly. This is a challenge for many because they simply skim the records and don’t know truly what the records say. I review the records fully so I know immediately if the adjuster is attempting to misinterpret or misquote the record in their favor. This happens more and more frequently and it is often challenging to know if the adjuster is doing this. Being prepared addresses this challenge effectively.