What Are Some Of The Qualities I Should Look For In A Personal Injury Attorney?
Every personal injury lawyer should think they are the best in the business. Small firm lawyers will tell you clients get lost in the mix at big firms. Big firm lawyers will tell you that small firms lack the resources to appropriately prosecute a case. There are positives and negatives to all sides but here are some things to consider:
How Is Your Lawyer Compensated?
Some firms structure their compensation package of lawyers to encourage fast settlements. This can result in “cheap” or less than full value settlements. For example, lets pretend an associate at a firm gets paid a percentage of the fee. This lawyer could resolve a case for $2,000.00 before litigation aka 9 months of work. The same case might be worth $10,000.00 if properly prosecuted and litigated aka 2 years of work. Problem is the associate is not incentivized to do the work.
Does Your Lawyer Go To Court?
I cannot stress enough how important it is that your lawyer go to court (or refer out to someone that does go to court). A lot of personal injury lawyers do not file lawsuits. They send the lawsuits to other firms that specialize in litigation. If you want a fast or cheap settlement disregard this discussion. However, if you want “maximum” value like a lot of firms advertise than your lawyer must be willing to go the distance. This includes cases where it involves significantly more work for the lawyer than the payment to the lawyer.
What I mean by that is that your lawyer must be willing to look big picture. Could I settle some cases fast and cheap? Yes. But would that set the tone with the insurance companies that I am willing to do so on a regular basis? Yes. It is important for a lawyer to look long term and big picture.
Will You Get To Speak To The Lawyer?
There are some amazing marketers out there. Lawyers that don’t need to do much more than shoot commercials and print money. And some of the lawyers at their firms are really good. If you get a good lawyer at a big firm there shouldn’t be an issue. The problem happens when you get a sub-par lawyer because the firm is too busy.
On the other side of the coin are lawyers that are too small to have help. If the lawyer only accepts a small amount of cases there should not be a problem. If the lawyer has too much on his or her plate than returning calls and moving cases toward resolution suffer.
Does My Lawyer Have Money To Prosecute My Case?
On a complicated or technical case your lawyer will need to hire experts. This can be something as simple as paying an orthopedic surgeon for an opinion or as complicated as hiring a materials engineer to determine the speed of a catapult. Some lawyers have funding companies pay these expenses and then charge the clients interest. Other lawyers pay the costs and recover out of the proceeds at the end of the case. I do that at Dettman Law Costs can be a six figure number. If your lawyer won’t front the money on the case does he or she really believe it in?
Do You Like The Lawyer?
Don’t hire a jerk or someone that you don’t trust. Self explanatory, but people do this.
What About My Family Lawyer?
People hire their “family lawyer” who mostly does some other type of law and rarely practices personal injury. That is bad for a case as a lawyer who dabbles is an amateur at best.
All consultations at Dettman Law in Louisville, Kentucky are free. I practice only personal injury law. And tell it like it is.
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