Evaluating Your Birth Injury Case

evaluating your case

The initial consultation is crucial for prospective clients and attorneys alike. While this first meeting gives an injury victim the opportunity to review the lawyer’s experience and expertise, the lawyer is in turn evaluating the case.

At Stern Law, PLLC, we view each case as a partnership with an individual whose family has suffered the aftermath of a birth injury. For a free review of your claim, please call us at (800) 462-5772 today.

Ten items the lawyer will assess before agreeing to take the case

Ten items the lawyer will likely be assessing before agreeing to represent you include:

  • Determining whether any applicable statute of limitations has expired;
  • Assessing if the case has merit that can be proven in court;
  • Assessing the chances of successful litigation;
  • Ascertaining whether any “caps” or statutory limitations exist that may restrict the benefits;
  • Assessing the time constraints the case will place on the firm;
  • Assessing the required resources and the risk the case may impose on the firm;
  • Assessing capabilities to represent your case;
  • Establishing whether any conflicts of interest may exist;
  • Assessing you and your commitment to litigate;
  • Helping you determine whether the anticipated benefit justifies the estimated expense of pursuing Lifetime Benefits.

Both you and the lawyer are focused on the benefits to be derived by your child. Not every child will qualify for Lifetime Benefits. For those who do receive compensation, the benefits received can be utilized to offset costs of care, medical treatment, services, and products your child will require to manage any physical and/or cognitive impairment over the course of his or her lifetime. Lifetime Benefits sought by an attorney represent an attempt to provide some measure of compensation you need and the child deserves, given the circumstances. Although this will not change what was done to your child, it will enable you to provide the best accommodations to help him or her lead the best life possible.

Ultimately, you will make the final decision on whether to pursue legal recourse.

Why lawyers are selective in the cases they choose to litigate

Lawyers carefully consider whether they will accept or decline a case. They want to know whether the case has merit and whether they have the ability, to help you pursue your child’s right to Lifetime Benefits. They also need to be reassured that you are committed to pursuing a case. This may seem a little unfeeling considering the catastrophic circumstances that shapes every day of your life.  We personally know how desperately you struggle to provide a wonderful and fulfilling life; however, we want you to be completely prepared for anything that may happen following a consultation.

The legal process requires expenses above and beyond staff time and operational overhead. There are fees associated with filing court documents, obtaining medical records, contracting expert services, and holding depositions, for instance. Birth injury cases can cost as much as $75,000, or more, even before reaching the trial phase.

Many lawyers will initially absorb this cost for you if they agree to take the case on a contingency fee basis, regardless of whether the case ever makes it to trial. Even if a case goes to trial, there is no guarantee of a winning outcome. This is a risk the lawyer must weigh before agreeing to represent you.

A law firm must also be certain no known conflicts of interest exist in representing you. Staff availability and the ability to commit required time and resources are further considerations for the lawyer.

For these reasons, lawyers are very selective in the cases they choose to pursue. By agreeing to take a case, a lawyer is investing valuable time, money and resources, which may or may not result in a case settlement, much less a verdict. Lawyers put considerable time and effort into evaluating whether the case has merit. If the case reveals merit, the lawyer then must evaluate whether the merit can be successfully proven in a court of law. If the lawyer feels the case can be proven in a court of law, the lawyer must feel confident the benefit derived will far outweigh the cost of pursuing the case; otherwise, there will be no benefit for your child.

Equally important is whether the lawyer feels a positive client relationship can be established, and whether you will commit to pursuing litigation. You need to be certain that the lawyer will be the most zealous advocate for you because he is your legal representative and needs to communicate your story. You have an equal say in the selection process and are the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to pursuing litigation.

Ten reasons a lawyer may decline a case

If a lawyer decides to decline a case, he or she will inform you of the decision in writing. This is typically called a “close letter.” If a case is declined by one attorney, it does not necessarily mean that the case is without merit. This merely represents the opinion of the first attorney. Many times, you may be encouraged to secure a “second opinion” if you have any lingering doubts about the merit of your case.

Ten reasons a lawyer may decline a case include:

  • The lawyer believes the case may be without merit;
  • The lawyer believes the case may have merit, but will be extremely hard to prove in a court of law;
  • The case has merit, and the lawyer has reason to believe the case can be successfully proven in the court of law; however, the expense to pursue the case outweighs the benefits to be derived;
  • The lawyer does not concentrate on the type of law required in the case;
  • The lawyer does not have the capability, at the time, to add the case to their current caseload;
  • A conflict of interest exists for the lawyer in handling the case;
  • A personal reason the lawyer cannot handle the case exists at this time;
  • The lawyer does not believe you are committed to pursuing the matter;
  • The lawyer does not have confidence in the client/lawyer relationship;
  • The lawyer and the client could not agree on a contract, fee agreement, or payment plan.

To find out if you have a viable case, please call (800) 462-5772 to speak with an attorney at Stern Law, PLLC for free.

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