A personal injury lawyer should be open to all your questions. You are likely wondering, “When will my lawyer tell me how much my case is worth?” As any accident attorney would admit, this is an important question. But aside from a ballpark estimate, you may not get a precise answer; that’s because the exact case value may not be immediately known.
Why Is My Lawyer Dodging the Question?
There can be a lot of unknowns at the beginning of a case or when a potential client contacts an attorney. Some lawyers suggest not answering the question, but clients looking for an attorney need advice quickly. Your legal counsel should present the facts as you can understand, which means explaining what variables can impact the value of your case.
- The Types of Damages You Qualify For: Plaintiffs in automotive and other accidents can qualify for economic damages. These are direct, out-of-pocket losses such as lost income, medical bills, and the cost of repairing a vehicle. Calculating these damages often only requires adding up receipts, but can be challenging if you’re not completely healed. Non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering or other less tangible losses, while punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant’s conduct.
- The At-Fault Party’s Insurance Coverage: Rather than the defendant paying out your settlement, it’s usually their insurance company. Payouts depend on their insurance policy and what it covers for certain events or expenses. The case value will match the policy limits if the defendant has only the minimum coverage required by the state and has no significant income/assets.
- The Strength of the Case: Both sides rarely agree on liability or the value of damages. Your ability to prove the other party’s liability and the extent of all claimed damages determines how strong your case is. Again, if you’re receiving medical treatment, it can be hard to estimate damages if you’re still incurring medical bills. That’s unless police reports, witness statements, or traffic/dash cam footage show the defendant’s behavior was especially negligent or illegal.
How Location Can Affect Case Value
Where a lawsuit is filed, or a trial is held can affect the value of a case. This may not be something your lawyer will know from the outset. A jury or judge can determine the amount of damages to award. But counties and federal districts can handle personal injury lawsuits differently from one another. For example, some tend to favor plaintiffs, while others tend to lean toward the defendant.
Case value might be unknown until your attorney knows exactly where the lawsuit will take place, and the defendant agrees to the chosen location.
Other Important Questions to Consider
Even if there’s no immediate answer to “When will my lawyer tell me how much my case is worth?”, you can still gather a great deal of information about an attorney. To do so, ask pertinent questions such as:
- Are you experienced with litigating cases like this?
- What are my chances of winning and receiving fair compensation?
- Do you work on a contingency fee and how much is it?
- Are there out-of-pocket costs if the case loses?
- What is your history of winning cases that go to trial?
- What is the general timeline for a resolution?
- Who on your staff will be handling my case?
There’s a lot you should know before filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will tell you how much the case may be worth when they have enough information to provide an honest answer.
Contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani
We have won millions of dollars in damages for personal injury clients. Our team specializes in many different practice areas and serves all of California. To win, you need a skilled Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who knows how to take on the insurance companies. Schedule a free case consultation or call 888-952-2952 to determine how much your case may be worth.