If you’ve ever browsed through the “yellow pages” of your local phone book,Guest Posting you’ll often find numerous advertisements (some times dozens of pages) for personal injury attorneys. These ads usually say the same things: “Free Consultation” “No Recovery, No Fee” “We’ll Protect Your Rights!,” “Aggressive Representation!” or “Need a Lawyer?” How on earth does someone who has never had to hire an attorney wade through all of these ads and find a qualified personal injury attorney, let alone someone that is good?? Finding a good personal injury attorney can be challenging, but not impossible. Here are some guidelines, which if followed, should make your search easier and also relieve some anxiety.
*Choose an attorney who specializes in personal injury. There are many attorneys who represent personal injury clients in addition to other practice areas, such as divorce, criminal defense or real estate. You should pick an attorney whose practice is devoted 100% to personal injury law. The field of personal injury is too complicated for a “generalist” or “part-time” lawyer to master. If you needed surgery on your shoulder, would you rather see a “general” surgeon who performs surgery on many different areas of the body, or a surgeon who only does “shoulder surgery?” Most people would choose the specialist. Don’t take chances with your personal injury claim by hiring a “generalist.”
*Choose an attorney who demonstrates expertise in the field of personal injury law. There are too many different types of the law for any one attorney to claim specialty in multiple areas. No one can do everything well. Most people want to see a specialist. The same is true for lawyers. The field of personal injury law is complex with subtle nuances that could mean the difference between recovering a few hundred dollars versus several thousands of dollars. The attorney you choose should limit his or her practice exclusively to personal injury law. Does the attorney write about personal injury? Is the attorney frequently asked to lecture and/or teach on personal injury topics? If yes, these are good signs that the lawyer is a personal injury specialist.
*Choose an attorney who understands the medicine involved in your case. This is a no-brainer, right? But you would be very surprised at how many attorneys who claim specialty in personal injury have little understanding of the medicine and treatment involved with the client’s injury. For example, take a case involving neck and back injuries. These types of injuries can be difficult to prove in court because spine medicine is extremely complex and the diagnostic imaging may show very little or nothing at all. Yet, this area of medicine has also undergone enormous strides and advances just in the last ten years. There are now new diagnoses in the area of spine medicine that literally did not exist a few years ago, not to mention new treatments and minimally invasive procedures that have been created due to advancements in technology. If you have a neck or back injury claim, you obviously want an attorney who understands spine medicine so proper treatment and diagnoses can easily be pursued or presented to the insurance company in negotiations, or made part of a persuasive presentation to a jury on your behalf. You would be surprised at how few personal injury attorneys really understand this area of medicine yet neck and back injury claims make up the bulk of accident cases that exist in Washington.
*Choose an attorney who actually goes to trial. I know, I know. If you’re like most people who have a claim for injuries, you’d rather not have to go to trial. So why pick an attorney who actually does regularly try injury cases? To understand why this is such an extremely important factor when choosing an attorney you have to understand the business of insurance and why claims are settled. Essentially, the Austin Personal Injury Lawyer insurance company is in the business of “risk.” That is, it accepts your money with the promise that it will pay you money if you encounter certain risks of harm or damage. The risks are usually low, which is why the insurance company can earn enormous profits. When it comes to paying a claim, the company only pays a “settlement” if there is a “risk” that the company may have to pay more if the person files a lawsuit and goes to trial. Attorneys who regularly win at trial increase the insurance company’s “risk” that it might have to pay much more money if the jury awards more than the last settlement offer. Insurance companies regularly keep lists of the personal injury attorneys who do go to trial. These are the attorneys who can command premium settlement offers compared to attorneys who do not go to trial. Simply put, the insurance company will pay more money to settle a case if there’s a greater chance that the attorney will try the case in court. That is why you can actually avoid going to trial if your attorney has a reputation for winning.