You Need to Have Confidence in your Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been left with severe injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you have probably been left with a lot of uncertainty. Maybe you’re unable to work and are struggling to pay your medical bills and living expenses. On top of that, you probably have an insurance company pressuring you into accepting an unreasonably low settlement. With so much at stake and since your health should be your number one priority, you need the help of an experienced injury attorney.
But how do you cut through a lawyer’s advertising pitch and make sure they can handle your case?
In the article below, we will discuss why a personal injury lawyer’s track record matters and how to find the right attorney for you.
Does The Track Record a Personal Injury Lawyer Matter?
Your insurance company doesn’t don’t care about your lawyer’s marketing prowess or their social media following. The only thing your insurance company cares about is whether your attorneys can take your case to trial and win. Your insurance company wants to close all injury claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible. But a respectable law firm can increase your claim’s value with a careful investigation and detailed damage calculation. It’s also harder for insurance companies to pressure an accident victim into a quick and low settlement when they have an experienced attorney on their side. But insurance companies know that not all lawyers are created equal. Some lawyers will take on as many cases as they can and settle as fast as possible. Many of these attorneys will accept low settlement offers. They prefer quantity over quality.
Insurance companies do collect detailed data about how different law firms and lawyers operate.
This allows the companies to form impressions about which lawyers will take cases to trial and which ones will settle a case cheaply.
When insurance companies know they are up against a formidable attorney who won’t hesitate to take a case to trial, they are more likely to make a fair settlement offer.
Every injury claim is different, but lawyers with a proven track record of success typically get better settlements for their clients.
How to Evaluate your Personal Injury Lawyer’s Track Record
The first step of hiring a lawyer is determining if they’re a good fit for you and your case.
Consider their demeanor and whether you would or would not feel comfortable working with them.
Take a look into their reputation and track record handling cases like yours.
It might sound complicated, but it’s not as hard as it seems.
To get started, ask your lawyers the following questions:
- How long have you practiced law?
- Do you focus solely on injury claims?
- Can you share past success stories and case results?
- What is your standing in the local, state, and national legal communities?
- Have other lawyers referred accident victims to your firm?
- How often do you take cases to trial?
If your attorney doesn’t want to answer these questions or gives unsatisfactory answers, consider it a significant red flag.
How Does Your Lawyer Define Success?
There are many ways to define success in a personal injury case.
Success can be determined by settlement values and the amount recovered for accident victims.
Or, your attorney can track how frequently they take cases to trial and win.
Although that’s important, to you success means much more.
Success should involve more than fair compensation.
The client relationship should be a metric for their success as well.
They should deliver results efficiently, add value to your claim, and educate you about your legal options.
Your attorney should also do everything they can to help you heal from your injuries.
Be sure your lawyer has an interest in your welfare and recovery, not just on getting paid.
What Should I Pay My Personal Injury Lawyer?
Your personal injury lawyer will most likely be compensated on a contingency fee basis.
That means your lawyer’s fees will be deducted from the final personal injury settlement in your case.
If you aren’t compensated, neither are they.
Most contingency fee agreements give lawyers a percentage between 33 and 40 percent.
33% percent is typical in most cases.
So, if you receive a settlement offer of $30,000, you receive $20,000, and your attorney gets $10,000.
Some lawyers work on what is called a sliding scale.
For example, a demand letter might be sent to the other side right away.
The other side might make a counteroffer.
Your lawyer will negotiate further, and a fair settlement could be reached before you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
When this happens, the lawyer’s fee percentage might be at or even lower than the standard 33 percent.
But if your lawyer has to file a lawsuit, they may receive a higher percentage of the settlement, closer to the high end of 40 percent.
The percentage could go up again if the lawsuit reaches the trial stage.
So, if you think you want to reject a pre-suit settlement offer, keep in mind that as your case progresses, it may get more costly due to the contingency fee.
Wondering about what types of compensation a personal injury lawyer can bring you? Read our post, “Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Recover Lost Wages.”
What Happens If I Need To Fire My Lawyer?
If you ever get a bad feeling about your lawyer, you need to document examples of unprofessional conduct or harmful behavior.
Sometimes there is some confusion that can be cleared up, and you can straighten things out.
But other times, your lawyer may not be the best person for you.
Once the list of your concerns is documented, you should call your attorney and schedule a meeting before making any final decisions.
You should aim to preserve the relationship and clear up any miscommunications during this meeting.
If that doesn’t happen or you don’t notice any improvement after that meeting, it’s a good sign that it’s time to move on.
When preparing to end your professional relationship, send a professional letter to them summarizing your concerns and informing them that you’ve decided to terminate your professional relationship.
List essential details in that letter about their conduct and why it has led you to your decision.
While you may be upset with your lawyer, you should always remain professional.
Most lawyers care about their reputation and want what is best for their clients.
If you are reasonable and professional as you end your relationship with your attorney, they will often pass your case to a lawyer who can help.
Contact The Angell Law Firm
If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s carelessness, you deserve justice and compensation.
And you need a lawyer who can handle your case.
At The Angell Law Firm, our clients and their injuries are our top priority.
We offer a free consultation so we can answer your questions and give you candid legal advice about what your best course of action will be moving forward.
Personal injury cases can be long, drawn-out ordeals. Let us handle it for you.
If you’d like to speak with the Angell Law Firm, please contact us today.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.