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Emotional VS Legal Defense: Which One Do You Have?

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Don’t take it personally if an attorney turns your case down, because he or she just might think there’s not enough hard evidence to win the case.

No one can guarantee final outcome, of course, but If the case looks from the start that it doesn’t have potential to win, it may not be worth anyone’s time and effort to pursue.

“It’s not enough to put a case together by saying ‘ I could have been killed,’” said James Johnson, ESQ, founder and head attorney of Johnson Attorneys Group, a firm that specializes in California personal injury law. “You need evidence, hard facts and credibility.”

Here are some possible reasons an attorney may refuse your case:

  • Circumstances. If you’re not injured either physically or financially or if you somehow caused or contributed to your own injury or if it is too difficult to put together case, the attorney may take a pass.
  • Government Immunity. Were you hurt on public or private property? In some cases, such as if you fell on a public sidewalk, you might need to file a claim first. Also, government entities are often immune from liability unless negligence can be proven.  Lawyers may not want this challenge.
  • Financial Concerns. Cases can be timely and costly, and the outcome may not be in the best interests of anyone. If a lawyer doesn’t think he or she can win, save your money. If you do really want to proceed anyway, think perhaps of going the ‘pro se’ (representing yourself) route.
  • Attorney Shopping. First, remember that attorneys are not allowed to guarantee the outcome. Second, if you go to various attorneys asking, “What can you get me?” chances are at least one of them is going to suspect it will go to the highest bidder and will refuse your case.
  • Attorney Discretion.  An attorney may just be too busy, think the case isn’t strong enough, or just doesn’t want it.

HOW CAN I BE SURE MY CASE ISN’T BASED ONLY ON MY EMOTIONS?

Your case depends as much on your credibility, and that of your family, as it does attorney skill. Therefore:

  • Take an honest assessment of your own emotions and the facts about your case. What are the financial and emotional losses, both present and future?  If you find yourself constantly saying to yourself, “I could have been killed,” you are going to need to explore the reasons for that thinking.
  • Review your personal and medical history and determine if you have any previous history that might affect your credibility.
  • Be truthful and don’t hold anything back from your attorney, especially regarding your medication, medical and legal history. It will only hurt your case if your attorney is blindsided by opposing counsel.

“Most of all, get all required documents, be honest and make yourself available to your  attorney at all times,” said Johnson, “if necessary, even give him or her your schedule.  Also, remember to ask questions if you don’t understand something–legal procedures can be complicated, and the more you understand the better the lawyer can make important decisions about your claim.

t’s vital that you trust your lawyer including gathering all the information he or she needs. After all, the attorney has the crucial expertise concerning the law that is applicable to your case. He or she knows the best the way that law may be for your benefit.