Nationwide, accident victims file about a half-million personal injury cases every year. Most of them are motor vehicle collision claims. So, there are tens of thousands of lawyers who handle these cases on a regular basis. How can you possibly choose the right one for you?
You cannot judge a book by its cover. However, you only need to read a few pages to determine if the book is worth finishing. Likewise, you cannot choose a lawyer based solely on advertisements or a friend’s recommendation. However, by the time your initial consultation is over, you can tell if that particular Rockford personal injury attorney has what it takes to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries.
What are the Personal Injury Attorney’s Credentials?
It might sound trite, but there really is no substitute for experience, especially when it comes to personal injury law. These cases are quite complex, and many of the rules are unwritten.
However, years of experience can be misleading. Many personal injury attorneys practice for many decades and have very little trial experience. Granted, most civil claims settle out of court. That fact causes many lawyers to assume settlement-first postures. They may not diligently collect all evidence, and they might take the insurance company’s first settlement offer.
There’s also a difference between years of practice experience and years of personal injury experience. Many lawyers handle a few car crash cases on the side, mostly for existing clients who are injured. These attorneys are often somewhat inexperienced in the personal injury area. Your valuable claim is no time for on-the-job training.
How Long Do You Wait?
If you go to a new restaurant and you must wait two hours for a table, it’s probably best to go somewhere else. No one’s pizza is that good. At the other end of the scale, if there are no cars in the restaurant’s parking lot, there’s probably a reason why.
Here’s the application. You do not want the busiest lawyer in town. These attorneys often don’t take time to fully counsel their clients every step of the way. Even worse, busy lawyers often assign work to inexperienced associates or non-lawyer paralegals. However, you also don’t want a lawyer who always has time to answer the phone and responds to emails within minutes. The attorney’s services must be in demand.
The 2/20 rule is a good guideline. In general, you shouldn’t wait more than two days for an appointment or more than twenty minutes in the waiting room.
Did the Lawyer Fully Evaluate Your Case?
A good attorney looks at a case from multiple angles. It’s not enough to identify the favorable facts and legal theories. Attorneys must also anticipate some common insurance defenses, like comparative negligence. Of course, a lawyer is your advocate. But a lawyer is not a blind advocate.
On a related note, if the attorney predicts a large settlement or an easy victory, the lawyer is probably either not fully evaluating your case or just telling you what you want to hear.
Reach Out to a Savvy Winnebago County Attorney
Choosing the right lawyer might be one of the most important decisions in your life. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. You have a limited amount of time to act.