•Employment history - Has a client ever been fired? Why? Stable history or jump * around from job to job? Income history? You are facing a business dispute? Do you need a business dispute attorney?
•Insurance information/records - Medical insurance: If a client has health insurance, then medical treatment will be covered by someone other than you or medical providers “on lien.” If client is not
insured, client will turn to you to cover the costs of treatment. Liability insurance; If a client has no liability coverage of his own, then he must have a very strong case and must have a defendant with large policy and/or “deep pocket.” Don’t forget to ask about your client’s UM/UIM coverage.
•Past injuries & Pre-existing conditions - You must know of any potential problems with past injuries or pre-existing conditions before you can successfully evaluate a case. Get a complete list of prior injuries, no matter how “minor” the client thinks they were.
•Background information - Get family, social, and personal history.
•Complete Medical History (includingpsycho-logical) — Get names of all medical providers seen by clients over the last ten years and make sure to get all necessary medical records before filing the complaint/claim.
•Client on Facebook? YouTube? Dating Web sites?, etc. - look at their Web pages. Even if Web pages are taken down after a claim is made, defendants can search archives and find information.

Do your own independent research about the potential client! The Internet and legal research services such as Lexis and Wesdaw can be invaluable.

Reality Check: Recognizing the "problem plaintiff"
Unfortunately, it is the insurance adjuster and members of the jury - those people who ultimately govern whether a case is “successful” and therefore, worth the risk to you - who are the most critical of your client. If your client is a “problem,” the case will be a problem.
What to look for:
• Is the client a malingerer or hypochondriac?
• Ask clients to describe their injuries in their own words. Are injuries real? Does the client have a laundry list of complaints that don’t seem relevant to the accident?
• Listen to the client- Does the client use words or phrases such as “conspiracy,” “entide- ment,” “teach them a lesson”? Does the client have unrealistic expectations? Is the client vague or evasive? Does the client get angry or hostile?
• Has a client contacted government officials or the media?
• Does the client have a willingness to cooperate or do they “fight” you on everything?
• Has a client been “shopping” the case among lawyers? If so, this may indicate a
client who is only looking for the “right answers” or that there are other lawyers who rejected the case. If so, contact all prior attorneys who rejected the case.
• Is your client headed toward bankruptcy? Unfortunately, in today’s economic world, many lawyers find themselves in situations where their client files bankruptcy between the date of the incident and the date of settlement. This can create a myriad of problems.

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