There are many mistakes people make when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
I’m going to review five of those mistakes today (see attached YouTube video for same content):
Mistake #1: Hiring a lawyer who does not focus on personal injury cases
Now, some lawyers practice in tax, and some lawyers practice in divorce and other areas—and they do a great job in those areas, but if they haven’t practiced in personal injury then they might not do a great job in a personal injury case.
If you’ve got a medical condition such as heart disease, you’re probably not going to go to a podiatrist (a foot doctor); you’re probably going to go to a cardiologist, and that’s because a cardiologist specializes in heart disease and heart condition cases. The same thing applies in law. If you have a personal injury, you’d be better served if you go to a lawyer who focuses on personal injury cases.
Mistake #2: Hiring a lawyer based only upon their television commercials
We’re bombarded by the television commercials by lawyers and, frankly, I hate them; you probably hate them too. What you can’t determine from these television commercials is if the lawyers are qualified and whether they will handle your case with personal service devoted only to your best interest. Some of these firms are structured on the volume of cases they take in rather than individual attention to your case. You should definitely be focused on hiring a lawyer that will give your case personal attention.
Mistake #3: Hiring a lawyer who tells you how much your case is worth in the very first meeting
Personal injury cases are complex and there are so many variables involved that it is virtually impossible to determine how much a case is worth in the very first meeting. The lawyer probably has not seen any or all of the medical records, or determined all of your elements of damages such as past wage loss, future wage loss, loss of earning capacity, or permanent impairment. Those things are impossible to determine in a first meeting. Any lawyer who tells you exactly how much your case is worth in the first meeting…well, you should not only walk away from that lawyer—you should run away! Find a lawyer who will be forthright about the process it takes to value your case, which will take some time.
Mistake #4: Hiring a lawyer who does not take cases to trial
Taking cases to trial is important in personal injury practice because sometimes you can only recover the full value of your case by going to trial and getting a jury verdict. Why? Because oftentimes insurance companies will not offer full recovery on your case unless they’re convinced that you’ll take the case to the mat, go to trial and get a jury verdict for the top dollar you can get for your case. If a lawyer doesn’t take cases to trial, or if the insurance company believes or perceives that the lawyer is afraid to go to trial, then the insurance company won’t offer full value on your case. So, you need to make sure your lawyer does take cases to trial and has jury trial experience.
Mistake #5: Hiring a lawyer who cares more about his or her fee or ego than about your best interests
Frankly, it takes a big ego to be a personal injury lawyer and a big ego to be a trial lawyer. And frankly it takes money to run a personal injury practice because law is a business—the rent has to be paid, the paralegals’ and secretaries’ salaries need to paid, etc. so it is a business and the fee is important, but if the lawyer is more concerned about satisfying his or her own ego or is more concerned more about the fee than your best interest, that is not good.
We’re talking about your recovery. We’re talking about helping you get the resources that you need to not only recover money for your damages, but to get the medical care that you need and to help you out in every facet of your case and your life. Bottom line: You should hire a lawyer who cares and who will work diligently for you in all of those areas.
There are many questions you probably have about hiring a lawyer and about the legal process. We at Mac Hester Law are happy and able to answer those questions because we practice and focus on personal injury cases only. We have jury trial experience and we will take cases to trial if necessary. If you have questions, please give us a call at (970) 493-1866, text us at (970) 822-0167, visit our website, or email us at [email protected].