If you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence, you are probably interested in recovering some or all of your expenses as well as recovering compensation for your injuries and other losses. And since individuals who try to negotiate directly with the insurance company typically receive smaller settlements, you should probably look for an attorney who can help you obtain maximum remuneration for your injuries.
But where do you begin? It’s always a good idea to have a sense of what you’re looking for before you set out looking for it. In this regard, it is advisable to understand the qualities that make a good attorney. Here, we will focus, broadly, on aspects you should look for in a lawyer, regardless of their specialty. But it bears noting, before we begin, that you should be looking for a lawyer who specializes in your particular case – i.e. if you’ve been in a car accident, you should be looking for a car accident attorney.
Experience as a Litigator
Ok, so what qualities make up a good lawyer? There are a few basic criteria to consider when choosing legal representation. One of the most important aspects is a lawyer’s history in the courtroom. Your attorney should have ample experience litigating cases in a court of law and, ideally, he or she should have an impressive success rate. After all, you want to be sure that your lawyer can get the job done.
Of course, it should be noted, most claims don’t make it to court. It’s more than likely that you’ll reach an out-of-court settlement. Nonetheless, insurance companies do their research, and they know which attorneys have litigated cases and which ones haven’t. If they know that your attorney is unwilling, or unable, to take a claim to court, they’ll likely use that as leverage and low-ball you at the negotiating table. Conversely, if the insurance company knows that your lawyer is prepared to litigate the case in court, it will be far less likely to pressure you to accept a low settlement amount. When it comes down to it, insurance companies don’t want to go to court due to the high costs and fees associated with such an endeavor as well as the risk of a substantial jury verdict.
You should also make sure your attorney’s law firm has the resources to fund your case through trial. Arguing a case before a jury costs money. Your attorney may need to hire experts, and they will need to be able to cover court-related fees. Without the proper funds, a lawyer will have trouble taking a case to court.
Fortunately, Smith Stag has the resources to be able to take its cases to trial if and when appropriate for the client.
Passion for Justice
Beyond being a litigator, an attorney should also be passionate about his profession, seeking a better life for the clients rather than a higher income. Though a law firm is a lot like a business, it also provides a service that is foundational to society. You want an attorney who values justice above all else and who will do everything in his power to help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries, even if that means taking a case to court.
Advisor and Advocate
Your attorney also should be able to answer any questions that arise during the process. In the end, your attorney is your advisor and your advocate. That means he is there to give you the information you need to make the best possible choice – which is different than making the choices for you. A good lawyer is also an advocate, which means he is in your corner from the moment he chooses to represent you.
These are just a few qualities to look for when choosing an attorney. As mentioned, you want to be sure to find a lawyer who has experience with your type of case, in addition to having the qualities mentioned here.
If you have been seriously injured or if a loved one has died due to the negligence of another, we invite you to schedule an initial consultation with us in our New Orleans office. The first consultation is free, so you don’t have to worry about the cost. Please call or email us today.