The most important thing to look for in a personal injury lawyer is their record of success. Ask questions like: How many cases they have tried and settled satisfactorily for their clients? Why do they decide to try a case versus settle it? Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney to share some of their experiences with trying and settling cases.
Having Your Best Interests At Heart
Does the lawyer have sufficient confidence in your case to invest the up-front capital to insure a good prospect of a favorable verdict or settlement? It is not unusual for costs and expert witness fees to exceed $50,000 or more in a case involving complicated liability and damage issues. Surprisingly few lawyers have the capital and will to provide these costs upfront.
Be wary of lawyers who tell you that you have a strong case for trial without evidence to back it up. Too often, lawyers mislead you to believing you have a great case initially so that you sign up with them, but when trial becomes imminent, they suddenly shift course. While not all cases are meant to go to trial, lawyers often opt to settle even when it’s better to go to trial because it’s a choice that will require less work on their part. You want a lawyer that will choose the right course based on the best interests of their clients, not themselves.
Lastly, find out if the lawyer has a reputation for taking cases to trial in the event that the defendant refuses to make a satisfactory offer. Many lawyers, some of whom spend substantial sums on billboards, radio and T.V. advertising, operate “Mills” which depend on volume rather than quality of case. While these firms may be satisfactory for the average automobile accident case with marginal injuries, they are not geared to handle the complex claims needing thorough preparation for trial.