Top 10 Tips to Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

You could always check with the American Bar Association, but asking a friend of their recommendations is always a plus. However, if you do ask a friend make sure you get specific details on why they are recommending a certain lawyer.

1) What was the type of claim (will this lawyer work for your need)?
2) What was the outcome (was it out of court or not, was the settlement satisfactory)?
3) What is the lawyer’s percentage and arrangement for costs (do they come out of settlement or paid upfront)?
4) Was there a workable relationship between lawyer and client (listening, working for your need, returning calls, communication, etc.)?
5) Are you related or friends with this recommended lawyer? Continue reading Top 10 Tips to Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

Client Rights after You Have Retained a Lawyer

Even after you have retained a personal injury lawyer, you are still the boss. After all, you are paying for their services one way or the other. Knowing your rights will keep you ahead of the game and will potentially allow for your case to bring a greater settlement. Most of the times, lawyers do not need to work for a greater settlement, because they are guaranteed a payment regardless of the settlement amount and the less time they invest and the less work they have to put into the case, the better for them.

If you see that your lawyer is attempting to use forceful tactics to make you settle this is unethical. They have sworn an oath to fight for their client and intimidation is not ethical. If you are a younger person you can be assured that your lawyer will entice you with a small quick amount hoping you will settle. But be aware that this is just another tactic and you have the right to not accept the first dollar figure that is presented to you.

You have the right to a second opinion.
You have the right to determine if you want to sign a document.
You have the right for a time of mediation.
You have the right to your day in court.
You have the right to fire your lawyer.

Therefore, if you let your lawyer know up front that you are not afraid to take your case to court they will see you are serious and perhaps fight hard to get you a larger out of court settlement. Remember that lawyers much prefer out of court settlements because this goes as a win on their record as opposed to a possible loss in court.

The truth is that your lawyer cannot tell you, but only advise you to do something.
Don’t be bullied into anything you don’t want to do, even if this includes signing a document that you are against. You have rights. If you think something is fishy about your lawyer’s conduct, then don’t hesitate to get a second opinion.

Tactics Your Lawyer May Use To Get You to Settle

Remember that lawyers much prefer out of court settlements because this goes as a win on their record as opposed to rolling the dice and possibly having a loss in court.

 They may scare you will possible future fees of court, depositions, mediation, travel expenses etc, etc so that you will take the settlement. This is true especially if your lawyer knows your financial situation.

 If your lawyer is aware of financial struggles, they may attempt to use a settlement offer as an incentive for you to be able to pay your expensive and incurred medical bills so that you are not turned over to collectors and therefore having much greater expenses.

 Your lawyer may try to tell you that your case is not worth more than the settlement amount and you should quickly take the first offer. Remember, the quicker you take the offer, the quicker the lawyer gets paid and can move to their next victim.

 Time is money for a lawyer and they will most definitely attempt to convince you that if you do not take an out-of-court settlement then your case could possible draw out for years.

 After further review of your case and closer examination of your doctors’ reports it is their opinion that the opposing counseling has a better argument for a jury, so you should take the settlement offer.

 If your lawyer tells you they will go pro bono just to get you to settle, this is a big red flag that something is not right. Lawyers just don’t give up the opportunity to get paid.

 And if your lawyer says they are going to quite on you if you don’t settle this is an even bigger red flag and grounds for disbarment.

 Again your lawyer may use another type of scare tactic that there is a Statue of Limitations coming up and we will need to settle. Of course this is not true, but if you are not aware of the law, then you are overly trusting of your lawyer.

 They pay play the trust card in which they say I’m doing what’s in your best interest and just trust me because I have done this for “x” amount of years. So I’m telling you to settle.

 Or they may use their excessive knowledge and experience to point out that you don’t know what you are talking about and should take their advice. In a polite way, they are calling you an idiot.

If you feel that your lawyer is working against you and constantly trying to get you to settle, there is probably a reason. Perhaps they are incompetent and need to be fired, or they may be in a type of dual relationship with the apposing counseling. But regardless of the excuse, don’t be blinding by these overly used tactics. Only settle if you feel that it is in your best interest.