I’ve heard this quite a few times about personal injury cases. “I’ve called several attorneys, but none will take my case.” Let’s look at why this might happen.
First, let’s acknowledge that attorneys invest much time and money in their education. Most of them have chosen this career path because they have a fundamental interest and desire to practice law. In addition to education, they must spend significant time studying, taking, and passing bar exams. But that’s still not enough. They then spend some years practicing alongside more experienced attorneys. During their junior years, they don’t earn a lot of money. They often earn less than a good salesperson with far less education. Why would they do this? Because they expect their investment in time and money to eventually pay off.
Risk vs. Reward
Almost all personal injury attorneys, including TBI lawyers, are paid based on their success with their cases. It’s not just about winning cases. In particular, personal injury and TBI cases can be expensive for the lawyer or firm. In most cases, the lawyers will spend significant time on each case, much more than the client may realize. Then there are other costs, including, but not limited to, court fees, expert witnesses, analysts, research, depositions, investigations, process servers, and staff salaries. From a law firm’s perspective, a case is not considered very successful if the fees paid by the client are not enough to cover the costs of handling the case.
We’ve all heard or seen the lawyers advertising, “You only pay if we win,” or “Pay nothing unless we win,”… And oh, by the way, they pay a ton of money for that advertising. Here’s the gig: personal injury and TBI cases are taken on a contingency fee agreement. Meaning the legal fees are paid out of the judgment if the client wins. If lawyers can’t secure a judgment for the client, they don’t get paid and lose money on the case.
Generally speaking, personal injury lawyers want new cases. But not just any cases. They have to evaluate each case and determine the probability of success with the case. But it’s not just about the probability of winning; it’s also about the potential size of a judgment. Law firms must assess their chances of winning and the potential time and expense required to handle the case properly. If there is a high probability of winning, but the damages are small, then the case is less appealing. On the other hand, if the damages are large, and the chances of winning seem small, then lawyers will often take the case anyway, knowing that a lot of time and effort may be required to win the case.
Where’s the Money?
There is another significant factor that must be considered. And this may be the determining factor. Where is the money? If you were injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another individual or company, do they have assets that can be leveraged to compensate for your damages? Unfortunately, it’s not always about what you deserve but also what can be recovered. The individual, company, or organization responsible for your injury may have liability insurance. If so, you can count on the insurance company to vigorously defend against any claim involving a large sum of money.
For a personal injury or TBI case to be successful, liability must be established against an individual or entity, damages must be determined, and the liable party must have a means to pay the settlement or judgment. Personal injury lawyers are more likely to take a case and commit resources when the damages are large, and the defendant can pay for the damages. In those cases, the law firm and lawyers will get creative and find ways to establish liability.
If you have contacted a personal injury law firm about using the legal process to get the compensation you deserve for an accident or injury, and the law firm is not enthusiastic about taking your case, they are either too busy, or they don’t think your case has a reasonable chance of success. Don’t give up easily. You should try several other law firms; some are more aggressive than others about taking particular types of cases. Identify some law firms in your area that specialize in the type of injury or accident in your situation. Each case has its specific circumstances, and different law firms have different resources and expertise.