How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
An experienced accident lawyer can usually determine fairly quickly if there is a case. The lawyer will look for the following factors:
1. Was the accident caused by someone's negligence? Unless the accident or injury was caused by the negligence of a person or a defective in a product, there is no one to sue.
2. Was the responsible party financially insured? Usually this boils down to, did the person who caused the accident or injury have insurance from which a settlement or verdict of money could come? If not, there is usually no point in suing. In some cases, however, an uninsured party may have property or assets that could be seized to satisfy a judgment.
3. Did the victim/client contribute to the accident or injury by his or her own carelessness? If so, this may not necessarily rule out a good case, but it may have an effect on the over money value of the case. This will enter into the lawyer's considerations in determining whether or not to take the case.
4. Does the law provide a legal remedy for the victim/client? In some cases, even though a responsible person caused the injury or accident through his or her negligence, the law does not provide a legal way to sue for damages. For example, under California law police departments are usually immune from suit for death or injuries resulting from a hot-pursuit even if the police conducting the pursuit were negligent.