It’s not unusual to talk to a new client and get asked one or both of the following questions: “How long will this take?” and “What is my case worth?”. The end at the beginning.
When investigators are called in to determine the cause of an airplane crash, they have to know the ending before they can start at the beginning. What caused the crash assumes the order of end-to-beginning.
The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) sends its GoTeam to the scene and states on its website that:
At the core of NTSB investigations is the “Go Team.” The purpose of the Safety Board Go Team is simple and effective: Begin the investigation of a major accident at the accident scene, as quickly as possible, assembling the broad spectrum of technical expertise that is needed to solve complex transportation safety problems.
When we analyze cases that come in, we start with the same order or working the case. Much like a sandwich… you start with the bread.
So, to be able to answer those first two questions from new clients, I have to start at the beginning. How long the case takes can be based on such factors like length of treatment and whether suit has to be filed. If we get in the case late, it may be hard to start at the beginning, if things are missing from the beginning. Maybe that’s why the insurance company adjuster tells a person that they will treat them fairly in the beginning… they don’t need a lawyer.
States where we practice are pretty tight on advertising results in cases. At the very least, they ask us to remind that each case is different and no value is the same. So, we start at the beginning to determine value of the case. By the end, we can look back over the losses, damages and medical treatment to determine a fair market value.
Unfortunately, to be able to answer both of those client questions at the beginning would be difficult, unless I could travel on the magic carpet of my time and space continuum.
The process of starting at the beginning is not very interesting. In fact, I congratulate you, if you made it this far in the blog. A plan of order is not exciting. Instead, it’s a good application of what George Bernard Shaw said, “Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.”
And for pic o’ day, I saw this picture with this caption and laughed. And, maybe the chicken had more of a plan than just getting to the other side?