In catastrophic injury cases, the extent of the injuries and the related damages may be difficult to assess. A complete diagnosis of the injuries may not be available for some time after an accident. Experts may be required to ascertain the potential damages. For these reasons, it could be weeks or months before settlement discussions begin. In light of this information, when engaging a firm for a personal injury matter, you should retain counsel with sufficient financial resources to handle the case properly. This post will focus on why hiring a firm with adequate resources can impact the outcome of the case. If you or someone you love has been injured, contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident to represent your interests.
Most law firms undertake the representation of clients involved in personal injury cases on a contingency basis. This means that the attorney does not get paid unless and until the victim recovers damages from the defendant, either through a settlement or trial. The law firm will incur the costs and expenses during the process and will recoup its fees and costs at the end of the process. In addition to the attorneys’ fees, the law firm will have expenses related to the investigation of the accident, experts assisting with the damages calculation and other administrative fees. As we have discussed previously in this series, settlement discussions and litigation can become complex and could span a long time frame. Depending on the types of injuries or complexity of the case, these can become significant over the course of the representation reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A law firm without sufficient resources may not be able to achieve as good of a result as a firm with adequate funding.
Consider, for example, a case in which the injured party engages a firm without the appropriate resources.The firm is not able to spend the time and money needed to conduct a thorough investigation, resulting in failing to discover and preserve key evidence. Furthermore, the firm’s limited contact with experts did not include speaking with an economist or vocational expert to determine the victim’s potential earnings in the future, therefore significantly reducing the estimated damages. These facts may result in the attorney recommending a less than favorable settlement. If the firm is unable to bear any additional costs during the process, it may also cause the attorney to recommend an early settlement, which may not be in the client’s best interest. Furthermore, if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful and the case proceeds to trial, the law firm will incur additional, potentially significant costs. The attorney may be forced to present an incomplete case with no experts or withdraw from the representation completely on the verge of trial.
Given the potentially negative impact on your case, we cannot overemphasize the importance of hiring a law firm with the resources to commit to your case. A firm should be able to sustain the representation for as long as necessary to obtain the best result. We suggest retaining a law firm with multiple attorneys who are Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The firm should have the financial resources to conduct an investigation of the matter and to access the necessary experts to support your case for the entire length of the case. Injured parties should contact a lawyer immediately, regardless of whether the incident took place in Fort Worth, Dallas, or another area.