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How Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Decide Whether to Accept or Reject an Injury Case

Houston Personal Injury Lawyer | Houston Accident Lawyer | Best Personal Injury Lawyers

It’s not unusual for victims of truck and 18 wheeler accidents, oilfield accidents, work accidents, and other accidents that cause serious injuries or wrongful death to seek compensation for their injuries and financial losses from the person or company who was responsible. While many accident victims are entitled to recover substantial damages for their injuries and losses, some may be surprised (and disappointed) when a personal injury lawyer declines to accept their case.

The decision to represent a client is not taken lightly by any personal injury attorney and requires a careful evaluation of the circumstances of the accident, the severity of the victim’s injuries, and the risks and benefits of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

What Caused the Accident or Personal Injury?

Before taking your case, an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer will need to obtain the facts surrounding the accident to determine how and why it occurred. This information, which can often be obtained by accident reports and witness statements, will allow the personal injury lawyer to evaluate whether the accident was caused by another person’s or company’s negligence.

Let’s say you’ve been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident. The fact that a particular trucking company’s vehicle or employee was involved in the crash is not enough to hold the company financially accountable for medical bills and other losses you’ve incurred. Rather, you must be able to prove that your injures were actually the result of a negligent action on the part of the trucking company or its driver.

State law will also impact your ability to pursue a negligence or wrongful death case. In Texas, for example, accident victims can’t win a negligence case or recover any damages in a lawsuit if they’re found to be 51 or more percent responsible for the crash. When a victim is found to be less than 51% responsible, they are able to recover damages from any other parties who caused or contributed to the accident, but their damages will be reduced in proportion to their percentage of responsible (i.e., a $100,000 verdict would be reduced to $50,000 if the individual was found to be 50% responsible for the accident).

The Severity of Your Injuries

In any personal injury case, the severity of the accident victim’s injuries is one of the most important factors in determining the amount of financial damages they and their family can recover in a lawsuit.

Severe injuries include those that lead to long-term disability and/or disfigurement, require extensive medical treatment, prevent the victim from returning to work in their chosen occupation, either permanently or for an extended period of time, and greatly diminish the quality of life for both the victim and their family.

If your accident didn’t require surgeries or significant (or any) medical treatment and didn’t prevent you from caring for yourself, your family, or returning to work, your potential to recover damages will be substantially reduced, which may lead a personal injury lawyer to “pass on” or decline your case.

An experienced personal injury may also decline your case if the costs of preparing it for trial (e.g., costs of expert witnesses, depositions, accident investigations and reconstructions, etc.) exceed your total past medical expenses and other out-of-pocket losses/damages.

The Economics of a Personal Injury Case: Potential Value and Likelihood of Success

The vast majority of personal injury lawyers – including ours – represent clients on a contingency fee.

This means the personal injury lawyer’s law firm will advance and cover all the costs and expenses associated with preparing the case for trial. If your case is successful and you recover damages through a settlement or verdict, the expenses and your attorney’s fees are deducted from the total recovery.

If, however, you either do not recover any compensation at trial or through settlement, or you recover less than the total expenses associated with preparing your case, your lawyer is out of pocket all the expenses that were spent on your case, as well as his or her contingency fee.

Ultimately, although a contingency fee arrangement can be extremely advantageous to an accident victim or wrongful death victim’s family members by allowing them to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer without fronting any fees or expenses, it does require your lawyer to evaluate the economic risks and benefits associated with accepting and pursuing your case.

Have You Been “Lawyer Shopping?”

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a very important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Accident victims have one chance to hold the person or company who caused their accident and injuries accountable, so it’s critical that they hire a lawyer who has a track record of success in similar cases.

Most personal injury lawyers, however, will be reluctant to accept your case if you you have a history of filing lawsuits, appear to only be concerned about and interested in how much money you could potentially recover, or if you’re already spoken to other personal injury lawyers, who have turned down your case — or the opportunity to represent you.

An experienced (and ethical) personal injury lawyer won’t try to predict exactly what your case is worth until they’ve

  • reviewed the accident reports, witness statements, and expert reports
  • evaluated medical records and diagnostic test results that identify the severity and nature of your injuries
  • spoken to doctors, economists and other experts who are qualified to give opinions about how your injuries will affect your ability to work and care and provide for yourself (and your family) in the future, and
  • examined the applicable insurance policies and their total policy limits (i.e., the amount of insurance coverage available to satisfy your verdict or settlement)

The reason this information is important is because its very difficult (if not impossible) for any lawyer – no matter how experienced – to precisely predict the amount of money you’ll be able to recover in your case until they’re familiar with the facts of your case and the nature and extent of your injuries and damages.

If a personal injury lawyer tells you that they can get you “millions” or any specific dollar amount for your case before they’ve examined any of the documents or records explaining how the accident happened or how serious your injuries are, you should continue your search and hire another lawyer.

Contact our Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here

Our Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers have won billions for accident and wrongful death victims across Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and the United States, and consistently recover Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements on their behalf.

If you or someone you love were injured or tragically killed because of someone else’s negligence, our Accident Lawyers will devote whatever time and resources are necessary to ensuring that you and your family receive the maximum compensation possible for all of your injuries and losses.

Your consultation is always free, and you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.

Call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat now” option on our website, or click here to fill out our confidential contact form.