Initial consultations are a critical part of any successful legal claim. In this particular case, the client contacted Kogan & DiSalvo about two weeks after her fall. Unfortunately, the claim could not be resolved amicably, as the defendant denied liability and made no settlement offer pre-suit. Therefore, a personal injury lawsuit was necessary. A litigation lawyer met with the client, and after discussion, the client decided to move forward with the lawsuit.
In the first meeting with the client, the litigation lawyer explained the procedural aspects of a lawsuit, the pros and cons of litigation, the associative risk of litigation, and what to expect during the approximate year to year-and-a-half from the day she filed the lawsuit to the day of trial.
The client’s decision to pursue a lawsuit was to obtain justice and fair compensation for her injury. The client made her decision based on the fact that the defendant did not accept responsibility for their negligence, and instead blamed the plaintiff for falling down the staircase.
After the Initial Consultation
The opposing party was made aware of the client’s claim very soon after Kogan & DiSalvo was retained. We sent a letter of representation, which also sought information about whether the defendant had insurance for this claim. Once the lawsuit was filed, Kogan & DiSalvo had the defendant served with a copy of the summons, complaint, and initial discovery requests.
After the first meeting, a complaint was filed seeking monetary damages. The discovery requests were also filed after the initial consultation. The discovery requests consisted of interrogatories, which are written questions, and a Request to Produce seeking relevant documents. Throughout the litigation, Kogan & DiSalvo would serve additional discovery requests, as needed.
The specific cause of the accident alleged in the client’s claim was negligence. The allegations were that the defendant failed to make their premises reasonably safe and failed to warn the plaintiff of the danger which was or should have been known to the defendant.
The economic damages owed to the client, specifically medical bills, give Kogan & DiSalvo a starting point to evaluate the full value of a case. There were two types of damages pursued in this lawsuit: economic damages and non-economic damages.
In general, economic damages are such things as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages encompass things such as pain and suffering, both physical and psychological, mental anguish, aggravation of the previously existing condition, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. Economic damages are generally a fraction of non-economic damages, meaning the non-economic damages for pain and suffering are usually more valuable than the economic damages.
Generally, a Kogan & DiSalvo attorney would look at the economic damages, which are relatively easy to calculate, and, as a general rule of thumb, they would multiply those economic damages by three to get a rough idea of the case’s value. Of course, many factors impact the value of a personal injury case, and the economic damages calculation is simply a starting point. The real value of a personal injury case is based not just upon the nature of the physical injury itself, but how the injury adversely affects the injured plaintiff’s life.