If you’re facing the possibility of a court settlement for a personal injury, one of your initial thoughts should be to hire a top lawyer who knows how to handle personal injury claims. To avoid settling for an average, random name from your Internet search, you’ll want to have some criteria in mind like a proven track record, solid reputation, and expertise in your type of personal injury.
The personal injury attorneys at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, LPA, Inc., understand that finding legal representation can be difficult. They are ready to handle your case with professionalism and diligence, but they also want you to know what qualities to look for in an attorney.
What distinguishes the best personal injury attorney from the rest?
How can you distinguish an excellent personal injury lawyer from others? The key is knowing what criteria to prioritize in your search:
The attorney should have a long history of substantial settlements.
In your search for legal representation, you might come across law firms aiming for high turnover and volume to make their quota numbers. But they might not say much about the amounts of their settlements. For example, settling lots of minor traffic incidents usually does little to help clients if the amounts they won have been relatively small.
If a prospective attorney primarily talks about the number of suits settled rather than the amounts of certain settlements, this is usually a red flag. Personal injuries usually incur massive medical bills. Ideally, the settlements their clients have received far surpass their medical expenses. Whatever a lawyer tells you about their track record, try to verify it with client testimonials. For instance, the office of Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, LPA, Inc., is always glad to provide an extensive list of satisfied, well-compensated clients.
The attorney should be an expert in the specific type of personal injury law relevant to you.
Any attorney could legally take on a personal injury case. However, finding a lawyer well-versed and experienced in personal injury law is in your best interest.
Most people do not realize that there are dozens of specialties within personal injury law. For example, suppose you sprained your ankle on a damaged step coming out of a restaurant. In that case, you need a lawyer who can handle “premises liability” because the restaurant owner failed to repair the entrance.
It’s worth being aware of the different types of personal injury cases to know what kind of attorney to hire. Here are some specialties:
- Defective or faulty products – A manufacturer can be held responsible for a product that causes injury, aggravates an allergy, or leads to a persistent or chronic medical condition. This is still the case if the product has undergone rigorous testing.
- Pedestrian accidents– Accidents involving automobiles hitting people walking on the street can lead to substantial settlements for injured pedestrians.
- Medical malpractice – Patients can pursue lawsuits if they have suffered from defective medical products or botched procedures by hospitals and medical specialists.
- Plane crashes – People involved in nonfatal plane crashes can incur injury, even whiplash from a difficult landing.
- Motorcycle accidents – Motorcycle-related injuries can be severe, and riders are typically more vulnerable to accidents than other drivers.
- Slander/libel/defamation of character – Public defamation can cause injury to a person’s reputation, resulting in lost income or the inability to find work.
- Animal bites – Dog bites are the most common. Victims can be vulnerable at a dog park, on the street, or on the owner’s property.
- Food poisoning – Food-borne illnesses can come from unclean kitchens and dining areas, as well as supermarkets and delis that sell or serve tainted food.
- School-related injury – Schools are liable when a student injures another or if your child suffers harm from unsafe physical conditions.
- Elder abuse at a facility – Some residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities suffer abuse and neglect, which warrant compensation.
Each personal injury case is unique. If you need compensation for any harm suffered because of neglect or carelessness, you need a personal injury lawyer most suitable for your specific situation.
The attorney should have empathy and compassion.
Not all attorneys are equal when showing genuine concern for clients. Not only should your lawyer show compassion and empathy, but they should also be the kind of professional you feel at ease with.
Your attorney should also be genuinely interested in your case and what it will take for you to recover from your injury. Asking detailed questions, engaging in active listening, and expressing curiosity about your circumstances are difficult to fake. If your prospective attorney appears insensitive or apathetic to your situation, listen to your gut instinct and keep looking.
The attorney should not earn any money until you win your case.
Personal injury lawyers generally do not bill by the hour. Instead, most get their compensation from a percentage of the settlement. In other words, your personal injury attorney should get paid only if you do. Therefore, it’s essential that you get clarification on this point before hiring a lawyer.
Keeping in mind some clear criteria makes it easier to sift out the best lawyers when searching for legal representation. Your personal injury will affect you for a long time, even after you win a fair settlement. Make sure your attorney meets all your requirements.