We met for an intitial consultation recently with a very nice gentleman who had been injured in an accident. A young driver had run the red light. There were witnesses and the police accident supported the claim.

The potential client was interviewing lawyers and he wanted to know how much his case was worth. He was rather insistent that we "put a number" on his case for him. "How much am I going to put into my pocket if I go with you", he asked.

When we prodded a bit, it turns out that one of the local TV lawyers in town had met with him in his home and had told him that his case was worth "no less" than $80,000.

We told him that we couldn't answer that question. He walked out.

Good riddance, we said.

Here's the problem:

The potential client had not yet finished his treatment and whether he was going to have another operation on his wrist was up in the air at this point. We told that client that it is impossible to "put a number on his case" until:

  1. His treatment has ended and we know whether or not he will have permanent disability or not
  2. We talk to or get reports from his treating doctors and rehabilitation specialists
  3. We know how much insurance is available to cover the claim (the other lawyer had not asked that question)
  4. We know how many medical bills remain unpaid and whether his health insurance company wanted to be repaid the money they had spent.
  5. The accident facts are further evaluated - sometimes the police report does get it wrong.

We say "good riddance" because this is the type of client we likely won't ever be able to make happy. He's purely money driven. Good for him to find a lawyer who is solely money driven. Hope it works out for both of them

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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