I feel that usually when someone calls with a question and gets an honest answer from us, they leave satisfied. They might not like what we have to say, but usually appreciate that we told them the truth and explained what our legal opinion is and did it all for free. We do that for everyone who contacts us.
You can’t please everyone though. I certainly did not please a recent guy that contacted me and really wanted to know what his case was worth. He had hurt his knee and back on the job and was in physical therapy. He was scheduled for surgery and frustrated because he was not making the same amount of money he used to because he couldn’t work overtime or get performance bonuses. Those are reasonable frustrations.
The only thing he wanted to know was what is his case worth. I explained that it was an impossible question to answer since he didn’t have the surgery yet. We don’t know what his ultimate outcome will be. He currently has severe physical restrictions and his surgeon has told him that there’s no guarantee his condition will get any better. He’s a high wage earner and if he can never go back to work or find a job making close to what he used to, his case would be worth a lot more than if he made a full recovery.
A lying attorney would make up some number to make him feel good and hopefully sign him up as a client. If you promise that a case is going to worth 100k and then you can only get 40k for a settlement, you have to explain that. Some attorneys are fine making up a new lie to cover their old lie. We don’t do that.
You might be able to get a range of what your case might be worth before you have your operation or know what your recovery might be. If that makes you feel good I guess that’s fine, but it’s not realistic or helpful to you in the long run. We are happy to give you a range, but will also always give you the honest truth when it’s too soon to say. Making predictions without facts is not a good idea.
The other issue we told this worker about is that if he doesn’t make a good recovery, he might be entitled to future medical care as well. Sometimes that money is worth more than the injury is worth. If you are going to need future surgeries, it’s possible the insurance company will have to fund six figures to you in advance just for that.
Bonus tip. I get that people are having money troubles right now more than ever. There is a temptation to try and settle before you are done with your medical care. Some people are refusing surgery just to settle now. It can literally be the difference between hundreds of thousands of dollars in your pocket in the end not to mention a huge risk to your health.