Most, but not all, prospective personal injury clients what to know the value of their case when we meet them for an initial interview. This is almost always an impossible question to answer. Let me explain why
Tennessee law of damages in personal injury and in wrongful death cases includes several different factors that must be considered in evaluating a case. (Please see our Legal Guides for a discussion of Tennessee wrongful death damages and Tennessee personal injury damages.) At the time of our first meeting with a potential client, we will lack information about certain of the elements of damages that will permit us to make an informed judgment about the value of a case.
Let me give an example. Assume that a client has a torn rotator cuff and is scheduled for surgery. It is impossible to do a fair evaluation of that case until after the surgery and the physical therapy that will inevitably follow. Why? Because (a) the cost of the surgery and physical therapy is not known; (b) it is unknown whether there will be complications during or after the surgery (for example, a hospital-acquired infection) that will impact your medical expenses and recovery time; (c) your lost wages are not known; and (d) it is not known whether you will have any future limitations in the shoulder, which in turn impacts a claim for future medical bills, future loss of earning capacity, pain,suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Thus, I do not believe that any lawyer can truly evaluate a case at an initial meeting unless the potential client has always reached a full recovery and the liability facts are known.
In fact, I would recommend that if you meet with a lawyer before you have reached a full recovery and he or she is willing to give you an opinion on the dollar value of your case you seek a different lawyer. Any lawyer offering an opinion of the value of your case before you have reached full recovery is either (a) trying too hard to get you as a client and thus telling you what he or she wants you to hear or (b) is too inexperienced to be your lawyer.
The Law Offices of John Day, P.C. represents Tennessee personal injury and families of Tennessee wrongful death victims. We offer our services on a no recovery, no fee basis. For more information, call us toll-free at 866-812-8787 or complete the no obligation "Case Evaluation" form on the right side of this page. These notes from some of our former clients will give you an idea of our commitment to serving our clients.