Ira Maurer, Founder of The Maurer Law Firm in Fishkill, New York offers free consultations for victims of serious personal injury.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: All personal injury lawyers will provide a free consultation as part of the process of signing up new clients. Most potential clients want to know just how much their personal injury claim is worth, and will in most cases ask the question before they sign a retainer agreement hiring the lawyer. The question "How much is my claim worth?" presents ethical considerations for lawyers. Obviously, some cases are fairly easy to place a dollar value on, for example, if you break your arm and the bone is placed in a cast and you don't require surgery and the cast stays on for about four weeks, that's a pretty simple case to evaluate. On the other hand, many spine injury victims will come to the attorneys' office prior to the time that a firm diagnosis has been given to them by their doctor, with many not even having obtained an MRI of their spine yet. There is a broad range of potential value for spine injury claims, dependent upon other things such as whether or not surgery is required or if there is a permanent disability from work.
I do not believe there is an ethical problem for a lawyer to provide a potential client with an approximate value of a claim for a fractured arm that is placed in a cast for four weeks and has no long-term disability. However, when you face a potentially serious injury claim, with is a broad range of possible settlements or jury verdict values, lawyers can easily find themselves tempted to quote a large claim value in order to have their law firm hired by the injury victim.