“It Depends,” The Lawyerly Answer to Everything

There is a joke in law school about lawyers – that the answer to every question is “it depends.” While it is a pretty funny joke, it can sometimes be frustrating to a client when they hear this. It is even frustrating to law students and new lawyers. This post will attempt to explain why the answer to many legal questions is that “it depends.”

The Ever Changing Law

If you think about subjects you would study in high school, the law is more akin to social studies, history, or English than it is to math or science. In math or science, there is usually one right answer to a question. However, in history, English, or social studies, there can be many correct answers or theories about how to approach a topic, issue, or question. The law is ever changing and sometimes there are multiple ways of interpreting the same set of facts. If math is “black and white,” then the law is very much grey.

The outcome of each specific case can hinge on multiple variables. A lawyer can say with some degree of certainty what could happen in a case, but there can be no guarantees. How much is this case worth? Will we win this case? How long will this process take? Will the insurance company settle the case? It depends. A case’s value depends on insurance coverage, the type of injury, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and the nature of the bad act committed by the other party. Whether we win the case depends on if it is even litigated, whether a judge or jury decides the case, or whether the insurance company agrees to settle the case. The list goes on and on and you can quickly see why lawyers hesitate to give strict black and white answers.

The Importance of Contacting a Lawyer

A good lawyer will be able to understand and identify all of the variables affecting a case and what their potential impact is. This is why you go to a lawyer that is skilled, dedicated, and proven. While ultimately, “it depends”, having a good advocate on your side is important. At the Groth Law Firm, consultations are always free. If you’ve been affected by a personal injury, it can only help you to call and discuss your case.