What to Do when your Personal Injury Attorney Drops your Case
When your personal injury lawyer tells you that your case does not appear to have merit any more, do not believe that your case is dead. Seek another personal injury attorney. Like in all types of professions, there are many lawyers, but not all of them are willing to fully invest their time and effort in your case.
Personal injury lawyers generally sign up their clients on contingency basis. That is, they do not charge their clients unless they gain compensation for the client, either through a settlement or a court judgment. To reach a settlement with the defendant, usually one or more insurance companies, a lawyer negotiates with the defendant and has to demonstrate, directly or indirectly, that the plaintiff has what it takes to negotiate, the strength of the plaintiff’s case: demonstration of a good understanding of the applicable laws and the plaintiff’s willingness to go the distance to convince a jury in a potential trial that the law is on the plaintiff’s side. In other words, the plaintiff’s attorney has to demonstrate to the defendant’s attorney that his arguments will prevail in a court of law and the jury will find for the plaintiff. The size of the settlement your personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate is directly proportional to his ability to convince the opposing lawyer of the merits of the case.
Some lawyers, however, only take slam-dunk cases, those cases that they believe are sure to settle quickly and easily with the defendant; these lawyers may be unwilling or unable, for various reasons, to spend the time necessary to research the case sufficiently, with expert witnesses as necessary, to be able to demonstrate the merits of the case. These are the same lawyers who may take your case assuming that it is a slam-dunk case but later they find out that they need to do more work to win a reasonable settlement. Once they get to this realization, some lawyers tend to drop the case and pronounce it dead, telling their client that they do not believe the case has any merit. They leave their client hanging in the wind. Obviously that is not fair and can jeopardize your case.
During the last few months alone, two clients brought two cases to me that other lawyers had dropped as dead cases. The first had been dropped twice, by two law firms, and the second had been dropped by one attorney. I was able to convince the defendants, insurance companies, of the merits of these two cases and that my client can win a court judgment. The first case settled for $300,000 and the second for $120,000. These settlements, however, came as a result of time and effort that I invested into the two cases: researching the applicable laws, the facts of the case, the city codes, and obtaining affidavits of expert witnesses and eye witnesses. This is the kind of time and effort that every client hopes to get from a personal injury attorney, and that every client deserves to get from his attorney.
You, the client, have to make sure that you find one of those good lawyers to work on your case. Interview the lawyer and make sure that your case will get the attention it deserves. Otherwise, you may find yourself without a lawyer somewhere down the line as some lawyers have a habit of dropping cases and the reasons for that are always the same. If your case is dropped by your attorney as a dead case, do not give up. Consult another attorney; most personal injury lawyers provide free consultations.
Ramzy Ladah, Esq.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney, PLLC