Nov 19, 2021
Finding the best attorney for your specific type of case – whether a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, premises liability, motorcycle crash, or other type of personal injury claim – can be a daunting task for many people. Where do you start to look or conduct a search? How do you know whether, if you’re searching online, you’re clicking on an advertisement? What sort of qualifications should my lawyer have? How much experience should my lawyer have?
These are just a few of the questions that can arise when you’re in need of the very best legal representation available. And when you’re injured in a car accident or other type of incident, finding the right attorney can be even more of a burden.
Below we will take a look at the Top 10 Signs indicating that you’ve hired a qualified and proven lawyer to handle your personal injury case. We’ll also review how to file a claim after a car accident or other personal injury incident and provide information on the types of damages that may be recoverable which can help ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
The Top 10 Signs of a Great Personal Injury Lawyer
When hiring an attorney for any type of personal injury claim, it’s in your best interest to find someone with a depth and breadth of experience. That means, in addition to the number of years a lawyer has been practicing, it can be important to look for someone with a “well rounded” background.
For example, there a few questions you might consider asking yourself (or determining during the traditionally free consultation phase), including:
This pretty much speaks for itself, but a couple of specific results which are typically easy to determine and you may want to consider include:
One important question you may want to consider asking a potential attorney candidate is whether or not they take cases to trial. Believe it or not, a significant number of lawyers have no trial or courtroom experience. In some instances, that can mean that if, for example, your car accident claim isn’t settled, rather than proceeding to trial your case may need to be dropped or closed. That can leave you having to start the attorney search process all over again, and depending on the statute of limitations, your claim could be in jeopardy.
Before you hire an attorney, ask whether or not they have any trial experience. Additionally, make sure to determine if they are willing and able to take your case to trial in the event that a settlement can’t be reached with the at-fault party or their insurance company.
A prospective attorney should be open and honest with you about everything from their experience to the potential time it might take for your case to settle to the estimated overall value of your claim and, of course, the fees they will charge if a successful conclusion is reached.
If you’ve been in a car accident but only sustained a minor injury and incurred a few thousand dollars in medical bills, your claim isn’t going to be worth a million dollars (and an attorney should tell you as much). But if you’ve been seriously injured by another’s negligence and an attorney tells you to expect to receive a settlement figure that is far lower than what your overall expenses and losses resulting from the crash amount to, run for the hills and find someone honest to represent you.
An attorney’s integrity can be displayed in many ways, such as their willingness to disclose a potential conflict of interest (and respectfully decline your case accordingly) or even let you know when they may have made a mistake or given you incorrect or perhaps unclear information.
Going hand-in-hand with integrity, an attorney who is objective will likely be more inclined to make sound decisions on your behalf. Any sort of bias or conflict of interest should automatically disqualify an attorney from accepting a case, so it’s important to ensure your prospective candidate maintains objectivity from the initial consultation to the courtroom.
You probably want your lawyer to be passionate and optimistic about the potential success of your case. But it’s important to consider if that optimism is rooted in reality, or perhaps they attorney is a bit overzealous. As a general rule, an attorney who is cautiously optimistic about a case can be a sign that you’ve found someone who understands that, while they will do everything in their power to help ensure your case is successful, there are no guarantees. It’s important for both clients and their legal representatives to adhere to that principle.
Part of being a skilled lawyer is creativity and being able to think “outside the box.” If you’re certain your injury was due to another’s negligence but the case might be difficult to prove, can your prospective attorney devise some possible strategies that may give you a fighting chance? Are they open to a dialogue about potential approaches for proving your claim? In many cases, this can also involve an attorney’s experience, as those who have seen various types of claims will likely be more able to devise creative and winning strategies.
A good attorney communicates effectively, both in the courtroom and when discussing case details with clients. Accordingly, an injured victim should look for a lawyer who is able to clearly articulate why he or she is the best choice.
Additionally, a good attorney keeps in regular contact with his or her clients. A few questions related to communication you may want to consider asking a potential attorney during a free consultation include:
This particular category comes in last because, while important, it’s also necessary to note that many attorneys will pay for reviews which may give you a false sense of confidence. Additionally, one star reviews can be misleading and not always offer a full picture of what transpired – and some lawyers might not be able to respond to a former dissatisfied client right away. Moreover, sometimes people leave one star reviews if an attorney declines to take their case.
But just because a lawyer refuses to accept a case doesn’t mean he or she deserves a bad review. In fact, attorneys who are open and honest with potential new clients (see sign #4) about the validity of their claims are actually doing them a favor. It would be unethical for a lawyer to take on a case that he or she knew was not based on negligence or even impossible to win, so keep that in mind when scrolling through reviews.
Filing a claim for a personal injury incident like a car accident or slip and fall can be done through any licensed and practicing attorney. Once you’ve found someone who is qualified, experienced, and proven, your claim will likely be filed within a matter of days provided the attorney has received all of the facts related to the case.
In most personal injury cases, a demand letter will be issued to either the at-fault party or their insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will then likely be filed with the courts. If a settlement can’t be reached at that point, your attorney should proceed with taking your case to trial (but, again, not all attorneys have courtroom experience – and even some who do are unwilling to go to trial). That’s why determining whether or not an attorney has trial experience and is willing to proceed with a case in court is something that should be determined in advance.
Recoverable damages can vary from case-to-case and will depend largely on both the facts of the incident and severity of your injury. Some common damages that may be recoverable after a car accident or other type of personal injury claim include:
For a free and no obligation with an experienced member of Dordulian Law Group’s team, contact us today at 818-322-4056. There is never any fee until we successfully recover maximum financial compensation for your personal injury claim.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.