What You Should Know Before You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney
If you are searching for the best personal injury attorney on the internet you have got to do your homework, prepare before you begin your search. Make sure you understand the type of lawyer you want to handle your case. For example, if you are looking for a lawyer to quickly resolve your case without resorting to litigation, i.e. filing a lawsuit on your behalf and going through the court processes: deposition, interrogatories, motions, etc., then you may want to limit your search to attorneys who are not litigators, i.e. non-trial-attorneys. Non-trial-lawyers refer their cases out for litigation to trial attorneys if the need arises, in Great Britain they are called Solicitors, as opposed to Barristers who handle court trials. However, if your case involves serious injuries such as brain injury, fracture of limbs, or spine including wrongful death then the best approach is to look for a trial lawyer, who can prepare your case from the beginning for trial, and be prepared to go through a lengthy court process sometimes taking years before a resolution is achieved either by a jury verdict or a settlement during the litigation process. Many personal injury trial lawyers are unwilling to handle small injury cases, i.e. non-serious injuries, in such cases you are limited either to handle your case through small claims court, where you are not permitted representation by an attorney, or find a non-trial lawyer to handle your case through an insurance claims process.
Keep in mind that a personal injury trial attorney can always settle your case without litigation if an acceptable reasonable offer is made during the insurance claims process or even during litigation of your personal injury case. For serious injury cases it is best that you search the web for an injury attorney trial lawyer. If you hand your injury case to a non-trial-attorney, he or she would have to refer your case to a trial lawyer for further handling if the case does not settle, and the trial attorney will have to split his attorney fees with your first lawyer. Consequently, if you begin your serious injury or wrongful death case with a trial lawyer you will do better in two aspects. First is that your case from the beginning will be prepared for trial without any mishap or delays and thus possibility of a great settlement increases thus avoiding a lengthy litigation, in other words you begin your case with a trial lawyer, but yet you will end up settling your case just for the fact that you were represented by a trial lawyer - insurance companies' offers for settlement are more reasonable when they see you are prepared to fight your case in a court of law. Second is that when you begin your case with a trial attorney, your trial attorney would be more aggressive in terms of investing major money and time in your personal injury case, as contrasted with a situation where he or she has to split fees with your first attorney.
One last thing to consider is a potential for conflict of interests, yours and your non-trial-lawyer's. Imagine you are represented by non-trial-lawyer, the insurance company has made an offer of one million dollars, but the insurance company has a two million dollars policy however they are not willing to give up the second million without a fight, i.e. litigation/trial. At this juncture your settlement of the case for one million dollars would result in the same amount of attorney fees to your no-trial-attorney as settling the case for two million dollars after referral to a trial lawyer. In other words, if the trial attorney settles or gets a jury verdict for two million dollars she or he would have to split the attorney fees with the first attorney. So, you end up getting twice the dollar amount, which is great, but yet your first attorney who had to wait for a long time ends up getting the same amount of attorney fees. There lies the conflict of interest, and thus your first attorney's recommendation for settlement should be examined with considerable scrutiny, i.e. a second opinion from a trial lawyer.
So when you go online to do a search for the best personal injury attorney, include in your search term the words "trial lawyer" or "trial attorney". But don't stop there, make sure that the trial lawyer you find online has in fact a proven track record of trial experience. Keep in mind that any attorney can claim to be a trial lawyer, but it is the experience that is crucial. In other words, any licensed attorney is permitted to handle trials, however it is the trial experience that counts. It is the trial experience that makes the insurance companies think twice before rejecting a reasonable claim for compensation. Insurance companies know who a capable trial attorney is and who is not. So, interview the lawyer you select to handle your case to make sure that he or she is in fact a trial lawyer by experience. By Art Majlessi, Trial Attorney © www.LegalMetro.com