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At the Chaney Law Firm, we are happy to evaluate your case to let you know if we can assist you. As trial lawyers, many of our cases are contingency fee cases. This means that we do not charge you anything unless we recover on your claim. It also means that we stand with our clients to obtain justice. We rise and fall together.
While we wish we could help everyone who comes to us, it isn’t practical for us to take every case. We carefully review every case that comes into our office to see if we have the resources and expertise to assist the person asking for our help. If we can devote the time, energy, and resources to win your case, we will do so. If not, it wouldn’t be fair to either of us for us to take your case.
Here are the four things we look at to determine whether we can take a case:
Liability simply means, who is responsible for your injuries? To prove liability, we must show that someone owed you a duty (such as following the rules of the road), and that person failed to meet their duty. Only if someone else is more than 50% responsible for your injuries can we help. If the wrongdoer is not 100% at fault, your recovery will be reduced by the amount of your fault. In some cases, liability is clear, like in rear-end car wrecks. In other cases, like parking lot collisions or cases involving medical negligence, liability can be much less clear.
Even if we can prove someone else was at fault, we still have to be able to prove it caused harm to you. As one example, a common defense in many car wreck cases is that our clients have had other wrecks; the defense often blames other wrecks as the cause of our clients’ injuries, rather than the wreck at issue in the case. Other examples include deaths of elderly hospital patients; the rather crass but common defense in these types of cases is that the patient would have died soon anyway (we believe this makes every day of life even more precious, by the way).
If liability and causation can be proved, then we must determine the damages. This simply refers to the amount it will take to fix what can be fixed, help what can’t be fixed, and make up for what went wrong. Sometimes, people make a full and speedy recovery from their injuries. In these cases, the damages that a jury can award are minimal. In other cases, people suffer permanent and disabling injuries, which mean the damages a jury can award may be very high.
Finally, we must locate a source of funding to pay for the damages awarded to you. It would not do you much good to spend several years getting ready for a trial and obtaining a judgment only to find out that the person who hurt you has no insurance and no assets to pay for your harms and losses. So, we investigate to see whether you can collect on a judgment to help fix, help, and make up for what went wrong. We look for different types of insurance and research the wrongdoer’s personal assets to see if we can collect a judgment on your case.
We weigh each of these four things when deciding to take a case. Sometimes a tough liability case is worth taking because the other three factors are strong. Sometimes we don’t take an easy liability case because the causation link can’t be proven. It really depends on the facts of your individual case. If you would like a free assessment, give us a call at (877) 450-1818.