What Qualities Should I Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney?
Five qualities of top personal injury attorneys in California and elsewhere, in my opinion, as an accident lawyer with a solid reputation and over 18 years experience litigating injury and wrongful death claims are as follows:
- Honesty: Hiring legal counsel following a catastrophic injury or death of a loved one is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a relationship that should be built on trust and that trust begins with the very first interactions that a prospective client has with potential legal counsel. Lawyers who send “personal representatives” to your home or hospital unsolicited by you or who make grandiose or unsubstantiated promises about your case, are not being honest with you. This dishonesty can and will spill over into the life of the representation. Hiring an honest attorney is crucial to obtaining just and fair recovery. Having a lawyer that shoots straight and tells you the good and the bad aspects of the claim and gives you a realistic picture of the potential value of the claim and the length of time it will take to resolve is key to a just and fair resolution of your claims.
- Compassion: Without compassion, an attorney is simply in the business of making money. Compassion is the key component to being in the business of helping people take bad situations and make them better. Compassion comes from many places but, a lawyer with life experiences same or similar to yours can make all the difference. People who have seen injury and death firsthand and know the toll that it takes on people’s lives and the lives of the families who care for these injury victims or who have lost loved ones make the best personal injury attorneys, in my opinion.
- Creativity: Lawyers too often analyze situations based upon preconceived notions of what a “good case” looks like. The better lawyers see past obstacles to recovery and can think of creative ways to establish liability, find parties who should be held accountable for negligent or intentional acts of wrongdoing, and find sources of payment to compensate the victim.
- Tenacity: A quality personal injury lawyer must have a “never say die” attitude when it comes to advocating on behalf of his clients. That attorney cannot take no for an answer and must persist in the face of adversity time and time again until the case is resolved in his or her client’s favor.
- Personal Attention: If a client is just a number and one of thousands of files, full reasonable compensation will never be achieved. There are far too many “settlement mills in California and elsewhere in the U.S. Personal injury law firms that take in thousands of files, leave the “work up” of these files to non-lawyers, and simply try to “take what they can get” and move on.