In my last article I discussed factors to consider when deciding whether a lawyer is needed in a personal injury or a wrongful death case. In this article, I will provide some information about issues to consider when hiring an attorney.
If you know someone who has been seriously injured in an accident, or if you know someone who has been killed in an accident, the first thing that needs to be done is to gather information. If you hire an attorny, the attorney will need that information, and if you do not hire an attorney, for example, if you settle the case yourself, the insurance company will need this information in order to evaluate the case for settlement. The next issue to decide is whether your family needs an attorney or whether you can capably settle the case on your own—thereby avoiding attorney fees. A general rule is if the injury is serious or if the case involves a wrongful death, I believe that you should consult an attorney at least for a review of your case. The cost for this review should be minimal if there is a cost.
If you have made the decision that your case requires professional help, then I have 3 suggestions for you to consider in terms of choosing the best attorney for your family:
- Is the attorney experienced in serious injury cases or wrongful death cases? Serious injurycases and wrongful death cases can be complex as they involve sophisticated medical issues, complex fact situations, and there can be a significant amount of medical liens that need to be negotiated and paid. Your attorney must have experience in all of these areas in order to be successful.
- Is the lawyer capable of trying the case in front of a jury? Many lawyers claim that they are trial lawyers, but many lawyers who hold themselves out as trial lawyers have not tried enough cases to give them solid trial skills. If your lawyer does not have strong trial skills, the insurance company may reduce its offer as they are not afraid of your attorney doing well with a jury.
- Lastly, will the attorney provide your family with personalized attention, or is the attorney too busy for that? The longer that I have been in practice, the more I understand that in traumatic times like these, people want to have a relationship with their lawyer and know that their lawyer is “in their corner” come what may. I understand how important personal attention is to my clients; thus, I limit the number of cases that I have at one time so that I can work with all of my clients in a professional manner. Some law firms are so large that they cannot provide personalized attention; but at my law firm, I would quit practicing law if I could not have a strong relationship with my clients.
These are some of the considerations that I believe are important in deciding on the lawyer who will do the best job for your family. In my next article I will discuss an overview of the events of a typical serious injury or wrongful death case.