Access to Your Lawyer
With larger firms, you never or rarely get to speak to your lawyer. If being able to speak to the person in charge of your case isn’t important, then don’t worry about this section. Our clients generally like to speak to the person with the knowledge of the law and how it applies to their case. They want to know that their calls will be promptly returned and their emails answered.
When it comes to the law, experience counts. You’ll want to choose a lawyer who focuses on the area of law you need help in. A great divorce lawyer does not make a great negligence or accident lawyer. Make sure the lawyer you hire has lots of experience with your type of injury, injury cause, or preferably both. Andrew has worked exclusively on injury claims since 2007.
Question to ask the insurance adjuster: Why do I have to give you a recorded statement when you can get information about the accident from the police report?
Some lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom or do so only once or twice in their career. Be sure to ask your lawyer both when was the last time he tried a case and what was the result. If he hasn’t tried a case in a few years, beware. Insurance companies know who takes cases to trial and who doesn’t. Assume the worst – that the insurance company will deny, delay, and offer you pennies of your claim’s value and force you to go to trial to get justice. If the insurance company knows your lawyer won’t go to trial, how do you think that affects their valuation of your case? Our firm has obtained a top 100 verdict in all of Texas two years in a row (for all trials, not just personal injury)!
Don’t be fooled by high settlement results.If I told you I settled a case for $1,000,000 that might sound great, but what if the case value was $2,000,000? Settlement results by themselves are meaningless. You need to know if liability was admitted or fought, where there any factors that made this case stand out (like a drunk driver), what were the injuries, how painful were they, how long did they last, and how did they interfere with that persons life. Of course, the amount of available insurance is also important and usually limits the amount that can be recovered. But sometime, an experienced lawyer will recover more than the policy limits for their client. We’ve done that many times with ultimate resolution for our clients being anywhere from 5 times the policy limit to 40 times the policy limit.
All of the items above play into a lawyers reputation – experience, settlement results, and trial results, as well as opinions from clients and other attorneys affect the lawyers reputation. A lawyer with a good reputation will generally be better to work with than one who does not have a good reputation. Check out your potential lawyer’s reputation online before you hire him or her.