A question we get a lot about lawsuits in Illinois and the lawyers who handle them is:

What is your win/loss record?

It’s a sensible question if you don’t know how the legal system works.  You might have a case that one lawyer could get you $5 million on but the lawyer you hire gets $1 million. That’s technically a win, but to us it’s really a loss. This sadly happens all of the time. Who your lawyer is and how good they are is a huge factor as to whether or not you will “win” or “lose” your case.  But there is a much more important factor.

The number one influence of any lawsuit result is, how good are your facts? By far that determines who gets a great result or who feels like they lost at the end of the day. For example, if you are stopped at a stoplight and rear-ended by another car, those are strong facts in your favor. If the other driver was drunk that is even more helpful.  Did you break your leg and need surgery? Those are good facts. Did you just go to the ER and are feeling fine?  Those facts make the case worth less.   If they are driving an Amazon truck, that will make the case worth more money if your injury is serious. If it’s an uninsured driver that will make recovering money from them difficult no matter how great your lawyer is.

You could have the “best car accident lawyer in Chicago” on your side, but if you turn left into oncoming traffic and get hit by a car, they will have a hard time proving the other party wasn’t at fault. You could have the top criminal lawyer in Cook County on your case, but if you are on video robbing a store at gunpoint, getting a not guilty finding is likely impossible.

What great lawyers do with bad facts is make the end result better.  Take the guy caught on video robbing a store.  With a bad lawyer, you are more likely to get the harshest sentence possible. With a fighter on your side, the bad facts make a not guilty unrealistic, but maybe they get you out of jail within a year instead of ten.  That to me is a win.  But even with that great lawyer, facts like your background, family, job, mental health, etc. have a huge role in how a Judge will sentence you.

There are some lawyers that will only work with the best facts. These are firms that get the best personal injury cases that are usually worth in the seven figures and don’t always require a ton of hard work. Why would they take on a tough case when they make a lot of money off of easy cases with huge damages?  The point is that when the facts aren’t perfect, you need to really have a fighter on your side.  And in reality, you need that when the facts are good too because at some point there will usually be a hiccup and cases are worth more or do better when the lawyer really cares.