If a potential client were in an automobile accident and wanted to seek compensation to make up for their losses, you certainly must have a lot of questions. Many attorneys are curious about the factors to consider when deciding what client to accept.
Most legal experts keep several things in mind when making this choice because they want to ensure each case they accept has a fair shot at getting a positive outcome. You must also remember that all cases are unique, so speak with the client about the facts and keep track of all the information you receive.
As far as personal injuries are concerned, liability is one of the most essential factors. If the police issued the client a citation after the accident but did not give one to the other driver, you have little hope of winning a case if you go to trial. A judge or jury will likely side with the police and assume the ticketed driver was at fault for the collision. You still have a chance if your client and the other driver received citations after the collision. The odds of winning go up even more if your client did not get a ticket after the other driver did.
You will need to move on to consider the losses the potential client(s) suffered after determining they were not liable for the collision. Losses include their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses encountered as a result of the accident.
If you have not already done so, now is an excellent time to collect copies of the client’s bills and other fees so that you can find out if the case is worth pursuing. You will review the documents and decide if the case is viable based on the amount of compensation they will likely collect.
The type of medical care the potential client received and the amount of time after the accident they took to see a doctor are additional factors you should consider. Proving your client’s case will be much more difficult if they waited more than 72 hours to visit a medical professional.
Some people wait a week or more to see a doctor because they don’t feel the pain of their injuries right after an accident. The problem is that waiting more than a few days makes it challenging to prove that injuries came from the accident. Any insurance company will say that the person could have received the injuries in a separate incident that took place after the accident; this can be a good reason to refuse a case.
In addition to reviewing your prospective client’s current medical bills, you will want to know about any ongoing treatment they will get in the coming weeks, months, and years. If the client isn’t sure if they need ongoing therapy, have them speak with their doctor and provide the prognosis in writing so that you know what to expect moving forward. This information will help you decide how much the potential case is worth, which is a factor when deciding to take the case.
You will want to know if the client’s doctor has given them instructions or restrictions that can limit the extent of the injuries. In addition, you will need to know whether or not the client has been following those instructions. For example, if the doctor told someone not to go to work for a few weeks and they did not listen, the insurance company can use that against them. The insurance adjuster will say that their failure to obey a doctor’s orders worsened the sustained injuries, reducing the value of the case.
Insurance companies often request verbal or written statements from those who file claims. Their goal is to get something in writing they can use against the client if you try taking the case to court.
They will want to know whether or not the client was speeding or breaking any other traffic law at the time of the accident. They will ask about injuries and the type of medical care that was received. If you don’t know the full extent of your client’s injuries when they give their statement, winning a case becomes difficult. Anything said to the insurance company can and will be used against you.
A good auto accident attorney will want to know who is at fault for the accident, the types of injuries sustained, and if you the client has been following the instructions of their doctor. These facts have a strong impact on your odds of getting a favorable result in court.
Depending on the client’s situation, you might take a case even if it doesn’t meet all of these standards, so taking advantage of consultations is always a smart choice. You and your client will work together to determine the strength of your case and if pursuing it makes sense. When automobile accident firms accept cases, it means they believe in the case and know the client has a decent shot at getting a fair outcome. Scott Distasio