Sometimes my clients ask, "I don't know....I'm not sure if bringing a claim is even worth all my time. I've heard that this can drag on a long time, and I may not get much money out of it. Should I even bother?"
Since I cannot guarantee the result of a personal injury claim, and since the value of a claim depends on many factors, the answer to this question comes down to expectations. If you are expecting a certain monetary figure from your case, you will probably be disappointed. If all you want is to make sure you get some medical care and some compensation for your trouble, then perhaps it's worth it. Generally speaking, if you have "high expectations" and monetary figures in mind at the outset of your case, you are generally going to be disappointed with this journey.
Here is a quick example of someone who decided NOT to bring a claim. A client came to the initial consultation and explained that he had been in a moderate rear end impact. There was sufficient damage to his car to cause injury and he was indeed injured. However, the injuries were primarily "soft tissue" (sprains/strains - nothing terribly serious) in nature and he was already feeling better after a week post accident.
I explained to him that the case might not be worth very much since it was primarily soft tissue in nature and he was already feeling much better. The client explained that he would not want to proceed with the case unless I could guarantee him $15,000 in his pocket when all is said and done. I told him that there was no way I could guarantee that kind of net settlement, and that kind of number was unlikely given the facts he was giving me. Therefore, I told the client that the personal injury case will probably not worth this time. I could not guarantee such a recovery, and he would've been dissatisfied with anything less. Therefore, we simply were not a good match for one another.
Also, the client probably saved himself a lot of time by choosing not to bring a claim since he was going to be disappointed. Therefore, you have to ask yourself if a case is worth proceeding. If you're expecting at least a certain amount of money in your pocket, then you're setting yourself up for disappointment. If you have realistic expectations of these kinds of cases, and you are not primarily after money, then maybe you will decide to proceed with your case. Discuss with the lawyer and decide if it's right for you. You may indeed have the kind of case where there is a strong chance of decent economic recovery. Then again, you may be dealing with a small case. Either way, talk to an experienced lawyer to see if it is worth your time and effort. A good lawyer shouldn't steer you into making a claim.
If you want to discuss your Santa Clarita personal injury case with Rob Mansour, call (661) 414-7100 and set up your initial appointment.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,