The Plain Truth About the Practice of Personal Injury Law

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What is my Personal Injury Case Worth?

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After representing thousands of Chicago injury victims in a wide variety of personal injury, PI cases, the most common question asked after my first interview is “what is my case worth?”  In the typical scenario, the client has just received emergency medical treatment and remains in significant pain. At this point they may not have even have been seen by a medical specialist. They have no idea how much time they may lose from their gainful employment?  Will they require one or more operative procedures?  Can they make a full recovery or will the medical treatment fail leaving them with a permanent disability?  Will their wounds heal without scaring, on and on?

At this stage in the proceedings there is clearly no answer to the question. Until the clients’ physical condition reaches maximum medical improvement the injury attorney would be speculating by suggesting a dollar amount. This is not to say that unscrupulous injury attorneys do not regularly tell their potential clients’ that they will recover “millions of dollars” hoping to impress them into retaining the attorney, only to later learn that their case is worth a minimal sum. 

This situation creates a dilemma for the reputable, experienced Chicago injury attorney. Does he tell the client the truth that there is no way to determine the case value at this stage of the proceedings with the risk of losing the client or disclose a high speculative number? 

As a Chicago personal injury attorney, I must and always tell the client the truth but explain in detail all of the above mentioned variables which can change the dollar recovery. I then give them a range of potential monetary recovery depending upon their ultimate physical recovery. This procedure usually appeases the client on a short term basis while maintaining my integrity. I also explain to them that their case cannot be settled before they reach a level of maximum medical improvement.  No attorney in good conscious can negotiate a settlement with the at fault parties insurance company at an earlier date and risk committing legal malpractice.

Potential clients must be educated to understand the procedures that experienced, Chicago injury attorneys must follow in the handling of their PI cases. They further should be told that there will be a day in the future when their attorney will given them his or her opinion of the true value of their case based upon the testimony of witnesses, medical records and the opinions of their treating physician. They will then and only then be in a position to determine whether to settle or take their case to trial.

Be patient and you will secure a maximum settlement for the injuries and lost wages you sustained as a result of the negligence of another.


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  2. I Appreciate, Today's Clients are well educated but he has to understand that there are many possibilities in a case to reach at the compensation. Delay in receiving the compensation amount is not due to lawyer's fault.There are many things thats understand by the judge and then compensation has been given to victim. The judge cannot make injustice with anybody...
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