Finding a really good personal injury attorney can be the difference between receiving the financial compensation you deserve and not getting anything or at least less than you should. Most practicing lawyers can offer legal counsel at a competent level. However, some traits do make the best lawyers stand out from the others. And there are also some traits that make lawyers stand out in the wrong ways.
Whenever you are looking for a really good personal injury attorney, here is what you should look at, according to top-rated specialists at Regan Zambri Long Personal Injury Lawyers, PLLC.
Good Traits to Look For in Personal Injury Attorneys
The attorney you hire needs to preferably show the following traits:
Always try to choose a personal injury attorney with several years of experience. This is because seasoned lawyers accumulated knowledge, expertise, and skills that are just possible when real cases are worked.
When attending law school, the attorney learns how legal research should be conducted, how legal opinions should be written, and how complex legal theories should be argued. However, this does not prepare the lawyer for the complications of the real world when multiple cases need to be managed, staff has to be supervised, the client’s needs should be understood, and the law office needs to be managed. Attorneys in law school also do not learn how to deal with other attorneys, court personnel, and judges.
Obviously, when you can only hire someone that recently got out of law school, you might still be properly represented. However, in most cases, it is just better to find someone with years of experience.
A Thorough Investigator
A very good personal injury attorney knows why it is important to conduct a proper, independent accident investigation. Having someone who simply uses what a police report says when building your case is not a good idea. Your case can benefit a lot from having a proper accident investigation carried out by a third party. This identifies and even preserves the critical evidence you require to prove the negligence of the other party involved in the crash. Without properly determining fault, it is just impossible to recover all the damages you are entitled to.
Whenever it is needed, the personal injury attorney is going to get in touch with the necessary experts to fully understand and prove what happened in the accident. This includes conversations with medical professionals, financial advisors, and accident reconstruction specialists. The investigation is meant to discover evidence that could be used to obtain maximum financial compensation, according to the law.
Remember that the best attorneys out there will never just randomly mention numbers without having performed a thorough investigation first. Personal injury cases cannot be valued without the completion of this comprehensive investigation.
Strong Litigator and Mediator
Many injury cases will not be litigated. But it is always best to have an attorney in your corner with the necessary experience and skills to easily negotiate a fair settlement before the lawsuit is filed. Savvy mediators will help clients much more than you initially imagined. However, this does not mean that the attorney does not need to also be a successful and skilled trial attorney.
You need to be aware of the fact that civil litigation is almost always lengthy and costly. And compensation is needed as fast as possible so you could deal with your injuries. But, this does not mean that settlements should be rushed and money should be left on the table. The best litigators and mediators know when it is time to fight and when it is time to agree to the deal offered. As a result, your attorney can help you get the maximum possible compensation in the case you have to deal with.
A Great Listener
This is quite an obvious trait that the best personal injury attorney needs to have. They need to effectively communicate or it is impossible to be successful. All speech and writing need to be concise, persuasive, and clear. At the same time, the attorney needs to be very good at listening.
There are lawyers out there that simply talk a lot. The client can rarely say what happened because of all the opinions and interruptions. This bad tendency of talking and talking will carry over as conversations happen with judges, other attorneys, experts, and witnesses. When the lawyer does not actively and effectively listen, crucial information is missed. On the other hand, the attorney that has great listening skills will intently listen and observe everything around them without interrupting. This makes it easier to perform complex case analyses.
Whenever you meet with the considered personal injury attorney, be careful with how much time is spent by them listening before they start to speak. As the attorney responds, it is easy to figure out if you were listened to or not as they would reference the data you offered. When you see this, it means the attorney listens and is most likely genuinely interested in helping.
Limited Legal Practice
When diagnosed with something serious, you want to go to a specialist, not the family doctor. In the same way, if you are injured in an accident and you want to file a claim, you want to hire someone with experience in such cases.
The attorney that you consider should have their practice limited solely to injury cases. In addition, it is worth finding someone with exact experience in dealing with cases that are as similar to yours as possible. For instance, a motorcycle accident attorney would be perfect if you had a motorcycle accident. This would be a better option for you than an attorney specialized in dealing with medical malpractice cases.
Learn all you can about the past cases handled by the considered attorney. Most of them should be as similar to yours as possible.
A very important thing everyone should know about the law is that it is fluid. It can always change from one case to the next. All laws can be repealed or modified without any prior notice. This is why every single personal injury attorney needs to keep learning. Continued education is practically mandatory.
In order to maintain a license, the attorney has to attend a specific education number of hours per year. For you, the client, it is important to look for those that go above the minimum. Those attorneys who are actively engaged and always look for programs, seminars, and anything else to help them improve their practice are the best.
Make sure to ask the considered personal injury attorney questions about legal process changes. If they are aware of these modifications, you can be sure that the attorney cares about continued education.
Bad Traits to Look For in Personal Injury Attorneys
The following traits should be seen as red flags and you might want to look for someone else to represent you when you see them:
Being Settlement Focused
The best lawyer is always zealous and wants to get the best possible result for the client. The problem is that some attorneys just want to get a quick profit and they will settle for much less than how much could be won. As a result, when you notice that the considered personal injury attorney often settles, it is a sign that they are not properly representing the best interest of their clients.
Does the considered attorney always give in when an offer is made? Or do they go to trial whenever needed? It is worth checking client or peer rating services to disclose information about whether or not the attorney is likely to agree to the first settlement.
Whenever something sounds too good, it cannot be true. This is a principle that applies to practically everything in life, including the work of the personal injury attorney. Whenever you meet one that offers incredible promises and guarantees of any kind, you are better off looking for someone else to help you.
There is no way to guarantee the fact that your claim will be a win. Also, it is impossible to guarantee a specific amount for the settlement that will be obtained. Always look for a second opinion whenever you are given such promises.
In personal injury cases, there are not many guarantees. That is because outcomes always depend on facts. Having seen numerous guarantees and guarantees that are lofty means somebody just wants to make some money and does not really care about the case.
As a very simple example, it is very common for dishonest personal injury attorneys to guarantee that you are going to receive over 1 million dollars from the injury claim. This is a statement made without taking into account the severity of your injuries. In reality, such an amount can only be offered if injuries and damages are very high, which is rarely the case with an injury case since most claims are much lower than that.
You always hire an attorney with the belief that they have the needed experience and skill to support the injury claim. With this in mind, one of the worst things that you could do is to hire an attorney who is not specialized in personal injury law.
Keep in mind that personal injury cases do involve several issues. They have to be treated differently based on the exact situations of the case. An approach that worked in one case will most likely not work in yours. And there are several things that have to be taken into account, like the statute of limitations and what type of evidence can be used in a trial.
Let’s think about a simple example. Having knowledge about traffic laws does not help the victim injured by the negligence of a doctor. That’s why a generalized personal injury attorney that does not specialize in cases like yours will not be able to bring in the best possible result in your case. Choose those attorneys who are certified specialists and with extensive experience in the exact type of injury you are faced with.
Having An Excessive Clients List
Whenever hiring a personal injury attorney, you trust the specialist that the case will be handled with the deserved respect. At the very least, you want the lawyer to fight for you, go to court if needed, look for evidence, and build a strong case. If the attorney has too many clients, this is practically impossible to do. In such a situation, your case can easily get lost in the shuffle. And this means you are going to receive less than you are entitled to since the attorney will try to settle fast to take care of the next client in line.
Always be careful that the person you speak with during the free consultation is the actual attorney who will represent you or is just one of their employees. If you talk to a representative of the attorney, it is a clear sign that they will not have time for you. Basically, your case is very important and you do not want to work with someone who will not give you the attention you deserve.
Last but not least, remember that whenever working in anything related to the law, you need to be organized. If you see that the considered personal injury attorney is not at all organized, it is a sign you have to look for someone else. This does not relate just to the office and how clean it is when you visit. Whenever you see that the considered lawyer has some troubles when it comes to talking to you, gets late to the meetings, does not come to an appointment, or shows poor communication skills, it is better to look for someone else.
Always take a look at the traits mentioned above to help you decide who to hire. Remember that when it comes to choosing a personal injury attorney, you will hire someone who will be helping you for a potentially long period of time. These are cases that could be pretty long and you wouldn’t want to have someone in your corner that cannot deliver the best possible legal representation.