Stop the Madness!
Have all the lawyer web sites start looking the same to you? How is your search helping you choose an attorney? Here is the problem you may be facing:
- The sites show the name of the firm. Are you going to choose the name you like best?
- The sites show pictures of some of the attorneys. Are you going to choose the face you like best?
- The sites say “aggressive, experienced, committed representation.” What does that mean? Are you going to choose the firm that makes those assertions the most times on their web site?
- The sites say “no charge until we collect.” If they all do it, how does that help you decide which attorney is right for your case?
The truth is that none of these things help you know how to choose the right lawyer for you. The information below is a straightforward attempt to share with you what I would be looking for if I needed an attorney myself for a serious injury matter. This should help you sort through the clutter of messages in attorney web sites and advertising.
10 QUALITIES THAT REALLY MATTER IN FINDING THE RIGHT LAWYER
If your injuries are causing long-term losses and life-altering changes, you are simply not going to get fair treatment without the right kind of help. You also should not make a rushed decision about who can provide that help. Do your homework. Shop around. This section of the article can help you know what you are looking for in a lawyer.
Your Case May Not Settle-What Then?
It is better for everyone if you claim can reach a settlement without a jury trial. But too many cases settle because the attorney for the injured person is unwilling or unable to go to trial. In such instances, it is likely that the client is settling for less than fair compensation.
Most Attorneys Are Not Right for Serious Injury Cases
If you want to get fair compensation for a serious injury, you need to have an attorney who is ready, willing, and able to take the case to trial. The insurance company has lawyers that know how to go to trial and win against injured people. Consequently, if the company knows (and they do know) that your attorney is not ready, willing, and able to take the case to trial, there is little incentive to treat you fairly. Although you probably don’t actually want to have your case presented to a jury, for you to settle reasonably well, your attorney must be ready, willing, and able to take your case to trial. So what does it take for an attorney to meet this criteria? You want an attorney (and law office) who:
- Has years of experience proving cases like yours (or the attorney will not know how to prove the harm and losses you’ve suffered)
- Enjoys a solid reputation among other lawyers (or the attorneys on the other side will know they can play games)
- Has significant jury trial experience representing plaintiffs (or the attorney will be too nervous to concentrate on getting your case right)
- Regularly goes to trial on personal injury matters (or the attorney will not be “sharp”)
- Trains him or herself in the latest knowledge about jury trials (or the attorney will overlook what we now know about how to best present information to the jury)
- Has obtained large verdicts from a jury (or you don’t know if the attorney is any good)
- Has access to the significant funds it takes to run a serious injury case (or the insurance company attorneys know they can just stall, and “starve” your attorney out)
- Is surrounded by a team of competent attorneys and staff to support the effort (an attorney is only as good as his support staff)
- Has the experience, reputation, and connections to bring in the right experts and consultants on your matter (like with other professions, part of the battle is “who you know”)
- Limits his or her number of clients in a way that allows him or her to personally work your matter (do you really think the volume practice advertisers are diligently preparing their cases?)
This list will significantly narrow your options-from thousands to tens. I do not know all of the attorneys that fit this description, but there are not very many. The most limiting factor is the jury trial experience. It is becoming difficult to find attorneys who have tried enough jury cases to really be effective. That is why many attorneys bring their matters to those few attorneys for help. I am a past-president of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, and I am considered a good lawyer, but I do not yet fit the criteria set out above. I left my own practice to work with an attorney that does, and to learn from him, with the goal of meeting the criteria myself one day. That attorney is Robert Tolman. Mr. Tolman is a Certified Specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death. He and I represent seriously injured clients here at the law firm of Davis Miles, PLLC.
The second hardest quality to meet is finding a firm that can afford the cost and time to properly represent a seriously injured person. Mr. Tolman and I practice with a big law firm for a very good reason-resources. Our team at Davis Miles offers what you need to make sure you are treated fairly after a serious injury– Attorneys with meaningful experience and the backing of a law firm big enough to withstand the “siege” approach often applied by big insurance companies against the “little guy.”
READY, WILLING, AND ABLE AT DAVIS MILES
We are not the only firm that meets the standards you should seek in an attorney for a serious injury claim, but our team at Davis Miles is one of the few. If you have had to change the way you live because someone else caused you a severe injury, please contact us so we can provide you some information without charge and without obligation. This information will help you in making this very important decision.
You can order information about injury claims and about Davis Miles by clicking here, or contacting our team at 480-733-6800.