The first thing every plaintiff wants to know when meeting with a personal injury attorney is: "Do I have a case?" The second thing they want to know is: "How much is my case worth." Unfortunately, your personal injury lawyer, if he or she is a lawful practitioner, will not be able to give you a clear answer to these questions. That's because a clear answer simply doesn't exist.
No one has a crystal ball they can use to predict all future outcomes related to your potential personal injury case. In fact, the only thing an attorney can tell you with any certainty is, "Yes, you have some viable causes of action to assert and your factual circumstance warrants the filing of a lawsuit." Beyond that, the attorney will not know all of the facts until you begin the litigation process. Here's why:
-- Plaintiffs are not always clear on the facts about their case.
-- Sometimes, things have happened that the plaintiff doesn't know about. These things could have a positive or negative effect on the outcome of the case.
-- Different judges could have entirely different opinions about the same case and arrive at entirely different rulings.
-- During the information exchange process of litigation called "discovery," new information could come to light that illuminates negative or positive aspects of the case.
-- Most experienced personal injury attorneys have pursued countless cases in which they were completely surprised by an unexpected piece of information that dramatically affected the outcome of a matter.
In this respect, if your attorney doesn't give you a clear answer when you ask, "Do I have a good case?" or when you ask, "How much is my case worth?" don't hold it against him or her. It could simply be a sign that your attorney is doing a good job and being as honest and straightforward as possible.