Obviously, you might think me a little biased if I explained why we are a good choice if you have been seriously injured, especially if you or someone you love has suffered a head injury, or been the victim of a reckless trucking company or premises owner. But, I thought it might be useful if I could give some tips of types of plaintiff’s attorneys, or injury lawyers, that you might avoid. It is important to note that I know many excellent and honest attorneys in this practice area, but with every field—there are always some to avoid.
Avoid Cheesy Gimmicks
First of all, avoid anyone who with seriousness and gusto, declares themselves a law “animal,” refers to themselves as a tool (although, ironically, this description might fit), or utilizes any other gimmicky name. The problem is not so much in the name, but might be the business model that they choose. Often, with these firms that use billboards all over town and non-stop commercials, they are reaching a wide swath of people and bring in many cases. They often have call centers just to handle the number of incoming calls. This is not a problem if the law firm is only taking on a certain number of cases. But unfortunately, many times these attorney’s take in a large number of cases and use the “style of business” referred to as “churn and burn.” Meaning, they take in a lot of cases and settle them quickly for less value than the case is probably worth if it had been worked up right.
Hire Someone Who Is Willing To Fight, Rather Than Settle
As a result, the attorney still makes a good amount of money because he or she is moving so many cases—but each individual client will make less, as their case will have been settled for less than its actual value. And, of course, the insurance companies are never stupid when it comes to paying out their money, so they are well aware of which firms practice like that. Since they know these law firms are not willing to fight it out, they know they can give them low-ball offers and get away with it. In fact, insurance companies keep stats on each attorney they deal with, how often they go to trial, how often they win, and whether they are willing to take low offers.
Don't Settle for Less Than What Your Case Is Actually Worth
Another issue with many of the firms you see advertising constantly is they are what are referred to as “settlement mills” in our business. This is related to churning and burning cases but just refers to the fact that they only settle cases and do not take anything to trial. This might seem like a great thing at first. Who doesn't want to settle their case and avoid trial? The problem is the cumulative effect of settling so many cases. The insurance companies know that you are not willing to take it all the way to trial, so they can offer less money than they would to an attorney they know has no problem taking it to trial.
So, what happens in the cases where they do not get enough money offered to even talk their unsuspecting client into taking the settlement? Your case usually will just be dropped or possibly referred to another firm. This other firm might or might not have the resources and time to work your case right. And, of course, they are starting behind the ball as they are late in the game picking up your case.
Do Your Research and Ask Good Questions
The best thing you can do for your own case is to do some research before you hire an attorney. See who is practicing locally in your area. Are they well-reviewed? When you meet with them or talk to them, are you given a lot of information and your questions answered? Do you know the specific attorney and staff that you will be assigned to? Ask the attorneys (if you are even allowed to meet with one) how many cases, on average, are they typically handling at any given time? How often do they take cases into litigation? How often do they take cases to trial?
If you do this research upfront, you will be able to rest easy through the rest of the process knowing you have a competent lawyer pushing hard to maximize the value of your individual case—because they handle less volume of cases and make their money by maximizing the value of each case. Don’t get hammered by a wrong decision when it comes to hiring an attorney when you have a significant injury. After all, you only get one swing at getting it right.
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At Samples Ames, we give every potential case that comes through our doors the attention it deserves. We will be open and honest about what we feel your case is worth and the chances of us obtaining a favorable outcome for you. If we decide to move forward with your case, you will have close contact with your attorney throughout the entire process. Contact us today to speak with a personal injury lawyer.