Your Case Matters: 9 Common Mistakes That Injury Lawyers Make & What to Look Out For
If you’ve been involved in an accident or have injured yourself at work or in a public place, it’s almost certain that you’ll need to hire someone to represent you such as Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers. This is invariably to get you the compensation you need for an injury that was no fault of your own. Many of the expenses incurred by an accident can accumulate quickly and if you’ve been injured, you want to know you are covered by whoever is responsible. Choosing the right lawyer to fight your corner can be hard. Here we give you a heads up as to what NOT to look for:
MISTAKE #1: Not Having Enough Experience
One of the most important factors behind choosing your personal injury lawyer is how much experience they have. Their depth of knowledge will be crucial in presenting your case and so you want to make sure they have prior experience of dealing with injury claims successfully.
In the majority of cases, the money recovered for your injuries is paid out by an insurance company and they can often underpay compensation. Despite the fact that insurance companies have a huge amount of money, they very often skimp on cover leaving injured policy holders with less money than they deserve. A personal injury lawyer should ensure you are well-represented and will fight your case to trial if necessary to ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
MISTAKE #2: Hiding behind persuasive advertising.
In this digital day and age where nearly all companies have websites, it is easy for firms to represent themselves as being something they aren’t. Many personal injury lawyers have testimonials on their websites which can be powerfully persuasive to people looking for someone to represent them.
Glossy brochures or slick adverts on TV or radio can all serve to influence people to hire a service that may not deliver on their promises. Ultimately, if you are seeking representation for a personal injury, you want to have a face-to-face dialogue with your lawyer. Sit down with your prospective injury lawyer and find out more about their specific experience and the outcomes of the injury claims they have handled.
MISTAKE #3: Promising more money than they can achieve for you.
The amount of your damages for an injury is calculated based on the following:
- Recovery period for the injury
- The cost of associated medical bills
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering caused
- Severity of injuries sustained
It is impossible to give an accurate quote on how much damages you’ll receive without taking a closer look at your personal circumstances and those surrounding the accident or incident. Never believe a lawyer when they tell you how much they can get in damages for you without knowing the specifics of your case.
MISTAKE #4: Being overly certain of success.
The majority of injury cases are settled before they go to trial although you still want to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Your lawyer has to have the experience to be able to negotiate a settlement that takes care of your financial needs in total. They also have to be prepared to take the other insurance company to court if they are unwilling to settle to your satisfaction.
It simply isn’t possible to predict the outcome of a personal injury claim, no matter how skilled a personal injury lawyer is. Always err on the side of caution if a personal injury lawyer pitches numbers and guarantees success as it is a sign of extreme naivety and lack of experience. You want a skillful lawyer who will take no nonsense and continue to hold out for a satisfactory settlement for as long as need be.
MISTAKE #5: A lawyer who practices in many different areas of the law.
Personal injury lawyers have usually focused their attention on that specific area of law. When lawyers practice across several different legal areas, they are unlikely to have the time available to commit to your personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer works exclusively with injured parties and the families of those who died and limits their practice to that specific area of law.
MISTAKE #6: A lawyer who was referred by a friend.
Every personal injury claim is completely different from the next. One person’s journey may lead them to a satisfactory settlement, whereas others may not be as successful. Although friends always mean well, if they refer a personal injury lawyer to you, you still need to do your own checks. Your friend is likely to have been influenced by their own experience with the law firm but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same to you.
Personal injury claims bring lawyers in direct confrontation with hugely powerful insurance companies. It is essential you hire a lawyer who has navigated this area extensively in the past and has a successful track record to show for it. Personal injury is a particularly cutthroat area of the law, mainly due to the large amounts of compensation payouts involved. You want to know your personal injury lawyer is up to dealing with billion-dollar insurance companies and ultimately capable of succeeding on your behalf.
MISTAKE #7: A lawyer who appears more successful than they are.
A flash office and expensive car don’t necessarily mean that a lawyer is good at what they do. Just as you should never judge anyone by their appearance, the same is true for personal injury lawyers. You want to sit down with them and find out exactly what successes they’ve had and whether they have a “feel” for your case in terms of being able to achieve sufficient compensation.
Ultimately, you don’t choose to hire a professional because they look the part, you want to know they can actually carry out the job you need them to do. Always choose a personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to sue the party involved in the accident and take your case to trial if necessary.
MISTAKE #8: Choosing a lawyer because they are conveniently located.
Although it may seem like a good idea to get a lawyer who has an office near where you live, it could be a mistake. Although it will prove to be more convenient to you, the local personal injury lawyer may not have the right kind of experience to do a good job. These days, you can hire an experienced personal injury and trial attorney without having to regularly make long journeys to their office. Most of the work done on personal injury claims can be carried out by mail or on the telephone and so it is not necessarily advantageous to have your lawyer living close. Ultimately, it’s more important they do a good job.
MISTAKE #9: Not being trustworthy.
It is always important that you have a good working relationship with your personal injury lawyer and that means you have to trust them. If your lawyer isn’t completely open with you about their experience in the field of personal injury or their ability in achieving decent outcomes in the past, there is usually a reason. Make sure your personal injury lawyer has genuine experience which you can do by asking more about their qualifications and when they obtained them.