It’s common for my office to receive a call from someone who isn’t a client but wants to ask questions about what his/her case is worth; this to be a curious thing to do. A lawyer’s advice and time is how he makes money. So, calling a lawyer and asking him these questions is no different than asking a mechanic to fix your car and then deciding if you want to pay him. More importantly, it is next to impossible for a lawyer to tell you the real value of the case for several reasons, among them:
- We don’t know who is really at fault? We only know your version of the events? The value of your car accident case can be reduced by the percentage of fault a jury might assign to you…and people will rarely admit their fault even to themselves. It’s the lawyer’s job to look at all the facts and assess the fault realistically.
- We don’t know anything about you. Some callers sound wonderful, but when we meet them we realize they might not have jury appeal. As unfair as it might seem, jurors will judge you based on how you look, how you sound…do you tell the story credibly? A good lawyer can help the truth come out and help jurors see past their own biases.
- The location (county) of your claim makes a tremendous difference. Some communities are more conservative, some more liberal. Same with judges.
- The insurance company makes a huge difference….as does the adjuster or defense attorney.
- We have to know the total amount of your medical bills? Do you need more treatment? Who has paid your bills? They are entitled to be repaid from your settlement?
- Did you lose time from work per a doctor’s note? Did you receive some form of sickness and accident benefit while you were off? If so, who paid for that policy? If you can’t go back to your old job then will you get retraining or job placement assistance? Are you getting social security disability?
- What is the insurance policy limit? If your medical bills are $100,000.00 and the policy is only $20,000.00 then what do you do? A good lawyer can handle a reduction of the bills, elimination of liens and can still put money in your pocket.
- IS there other potential insurance coverage that you were unaware of? That means more potential money to cover past and future medical bills and to help compensate you for your injuries.
These are just some of dozens of issues that go into assessing what a case is worth. As you can see, the only way for a lawyer to be able to give you a reliable valuation is to handle your case from beginning to end. And, with a lawyer you will almost certainly end up with more in your pocket even after his fees and costs. Even if you don’t hire the Law Office of Keith Short, hire a lawyer. Don’t be a victim twice.
LAW OFFICE OF KEITH SHORT, 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055