Clients ask, what is the approach that we follow in determining if there’s a case? Should they spend the time, the effort involved, in pursuing the case? And I basically tell them it’s a step-by-step process.
Personal Injury Case Evaluation Steps
- We want to gather the records first, and determine whether or not there is a case. If after the review with the records we don’t think the case is worthwhile proceeding with, we stop it at that point in time. We’re working on a contingency fee basis — the contingency being, we don’t get paid unless the case is successful. I’m a lawyer, so therefore obviously I didn’t do well math in high school – But one thing I learned, one-third of nothing is nothing. Our fee is contingent. It’s one third of the net recovery. And if the the net recovery is not going to warrant the time and the effort involved to pursue the case, we’re not going to take the case.
- So with after the review the records we think the case is worthwhile proceeding with, we’ll send it out to experts to review and evaluation.
- Based upon their reports, again, another decision has to be made – is the expert firmly believing there’s malpractice or has he pointed out to us a number areas where the defense will likely pick up on and make this case a case not likely a successful litigation. Again, it is another point in which we can stop the process. Again, we’re working on that contingency fee basis and we want to make sure there is a reasonable opportunity of recovery.
And that’s the simple standard we use in these cases: is there a reasonable opportunity, a reasonable chance of success? It’s our experience that helps us make the determination that the overwhelming majority of cases that we take are successful.
Our success rate on these contingency fee cases is in the area 90%, which means in 90% of the cases that we take the insurance company is willing to make an offer, or a jury has returned a verdict in our favor.
The case costs involved these, depending upon the issues involved, can be quite expensive. That’s why you need the experience level to make the determination as to whether or not the case has a chance a success. Recently we’ve been spending in some cases in excess of a hundred thousand dollars per file in order to pursue the case.
So we have to bring the experience that we have to bear to make the determination whether that type of expenditure is going to have a reasonable opportunity of a successful return for you, the client.