Thursday, December 13, 2018

Why Did My Lawyer Drop My Car Crash Case in Louisville, Kentucky?

I get a call about once a week from an person wanting a new lawyer.  I rarely pick up the case.  The reason is simple, I'm not a pro bono lawyer.  If your lawyer dropped your case there is probably a reason.

I drop cases occasionally.  I do this when 1) I don't think a lawsuit will help the client 2) the client wants more than what the case is worth 3) after further evaluation the case turns out not to be a case that is winnable in front of a jury or 4) the client does something that I think is questionable.

When I do drop a case I call the client and tell them straight up why I'm dropping the case.  I get calls from people stating "my lawyer says he is dropping my case because he isn't doing XYZ anymore and I"m XYZ."  Let me translate that for you that lawyer doesn't want the case and came up with a reason that sounded good as to not piss you off.  Lawyers don't drop "good" cases.

All that said, I have taken two cases other lawyers have dropped.  One was where the other lawyer presumably didn't understand under-insured motorist coverage.  The other was a fire case where the other lawyer didn't follow up on a freedom of information request that would have shown him the case was a good case.

#1 and #2 (above) reasons are similar.  I often get what I consider to be top dollar pre-litigation when you consider the costs of a lawsuit.  When I file a lawsuit clients have to pay me more money and the costs of the lawsuit are taken out of the eventual recovery.  What that means is that sometimes when you do the math there is good chance that all of the money will go to lawyers, doctors fees for testimony, and the costs of a lawsuit (like deposition transcripts).  I have heard of greedy lawyers filing suit just to bump up their fee.  That is a terrible business practice.  I don't want a pissed off client two years down the line telling me that none of the money is going to them.

If a client wants a lawsuit on "principle" or to teach them a lesson I'm not a "principle" lawyer.  My job is to get you fully and fairly compensated for your injuries.

#3 occurs when "facts" change meaning that testimony pops up that wasn't previously available or a client isn't as injured as originally thought.

#4 is a rare occasion.  One happened to me this week, I received a call from a debt collector asking me about whether or not my client had a check coming their way on a car crash case.  I told the adjuster I couldn't answer any of the questions, but it was clear that the client had tried to hold off a debt collector by relaying inaccurate information.  If I lose trust in a client I lose trust in a case.

The other issue is that the prior lawyer will have a lien for "services rendered."  Depending on who that other lawyer is they may think they are entitled to a significant fee and thus I'd be really working for that lawyer at the end of the day.

Lawyers don't share this information which is why I think its important.

Its not really Advertising Material.  but I'll write Advertising Material here :)

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