6 Points an Attorney Considers If You Have a Personal Injury Case
When a consumer brings a claim to a lawyer, the attorney considers six points to see if it is a viable case. In today’s video, Editor in Chief Larry Bodine interviews Nashville personal injury attorney John Day, about how he evaluates a potential personal injury lawsuit.
The 6 factors
- Is there a legal responsibility owed to the person who got hurt?
- Did somebody do something wrong – did someone run a red light or create a dangerous condition?
- Was the person injured?
- Was the injury caused by the wrongful conduct?
- Does the person who caused the injury actually have a way to pay for the costs? Is there insurance?
- Is this the type of case that the law firm can accept on a contingent fee basis?
For example: Let’s assume there is a 75-year old woman who died when she was run over by a homeless person pushing a shopping cart. This is a valid case, however there is nothing that can be collected – a homeless person doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have any assets and doesn’t have a job. This is a case a lawyer cannot take.
In a different fact pattern, let’s assume she was killed in a wreck in an intersection and was run into by a careless driver. A lawyer will investigate whether the person at fault has assets or insurance to pay for the damages.
In a third scenario, let’s assume the woman died in a hospital and that three different doctors and the staff made medical errors. A lawyer in Tennessee and many other states will have to consider the $750,000 cap on damages. It’s called “tort reform” and it limits the types of cases that lawyers can take. Day explained that the basic costs of the case will be:
- To evaluate the case: $15,000
- To prepare the case for trial: $50,000 to $60,000
- To try the case would cost $125,000 to $150,000 in expert witness fees and other court costs.
State damage caps often make a viable case impossible to pursue.
To find out more about how lawyers evaluate cases, visit JohnDayLegal.com. He also publishes a special site for consumers at TennesseeInjuryLawCenter.com. For lawyers he has a site DayOnTorts.com that covers formal tort concepts. He can be reached at 615-742-4880.