What to Do When Your Personal Injury Lawyer Drops Your Case
When your personal injury attorney tells you that your case no longer seems to have merit, don’t think your case is dead. Find another personal injury attorney. As in all types of professions, there are many lawyers, but not all of them are willing to invest all their time and effort in your case.
Personal injury attorneys generally hire their clients on a contingency basis. That is, they do not charge their clients unless they obtain compensation for the client, either through an agreement or a court order. To reach a settlement with the defendant, usually one or more insurance companies, an attorney negotiates with the defendant and has to show, 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 applicable laws and the plaintiff’s willingness to do everything possible 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 prove to the defendant’s attorney that his arguments will prevail in a court of law and that the jury will find in favor of the plaintiff. The size of the settlement your personal injury attorney will be able to negotiate is directly proportional to his or her ability to convince opposing counsel of the merits of the case.
Some attorneys, however, only take on slam-dunk cases, those cases that they believe will be resolved quickly and easily with the defendant; These attorneys may be unwilling or unable, for various reasons, to spend the time necessary to investigate the case sufficiently, with expert witnesses as necessary, to be able to demonstrate the merits of the case. These are the same attorneys who may take your case assuming it is an easy case, but then find that they need to work harder to reach a reasonable settlement. Once they realize this, some attorneys tend to drop the case and declare him dead, telling their client that they don’t think the case has any merit. They leave their client hanging in the wind. Obviously that is not fair and may jeopardize your case.
In the last few months alone, two clients have brought me two cases that other attorneys had written off as dead cases. The first had been abandoned twice, by two law firms, and the second had been abandoned by a lawyer. I was able to convince the defendants, the insurance companies, of the merits of these two cases and that my client can win a judgment. The first case settled for $300,000 and the second for $120,000. However, these settlements were the result of the time and effort I invested in both cases: researching the applicable laws, the facts of the case, the city codes, and obtaining affidavits from expert witnesses and eyewitnesses. This is the kind of time and effort that every client expects from a personal injury attorney and that every client deserves from their attorney.
You, the client, need to make sure you find one of those good attorneys to work on your case. Interview the attorney and make sure your case gets the attention it deserves. Otherwise, you may find yourself without a lawyer at some point, as some lawyers have a habit of dropping cases and the reasons are always the same. If your attorney drops your case as a dead case, don’t give up. Consult another attorney; most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations.
Ramzy Ladah, Esq.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer, PLLC