• Friday, 26 April 2019

Four Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Apr 12, 2019 (14 days ago) |
TORONTO: Unfortunately, accidents happen to even the most careful person. It can be especially distressing when a person experiences a debilitating injury through no fault of their own.
Insurance companies can deny claims, which will leave the injured person to deal with their medical bills and other expenses alone. Luckily, personal injury lawyers exist for the sole reason of representing people who have been injured and need fair compensation. However, finding a lawyer can be a particularly daunting task. That's why Three Best Rated sat down with three award-winning personal injury lawyers to learn four mistakes everyone should avoid before hiring a personal injury lawyer.

1. Not Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

When dealing with a personal injury case, it's best to hire a personal injury lawyer. People often make the mistake of thinking that a full-service law firm can handle your case like a focused personal-injury-only firm can, says James H. Brown of James H. Brown & Associates. However, there are nuances to this type of law that can be overlooked if you aren't doing it every day, year-round. Law is vast and complicated; it's impossible to assume one lawyer will know all there is to know about any case. This is why many lawyers will specialize in a field. By focusing on just one area of law, they can gain an intimate knowledge of that particular field, and better serve their clients. Personal injury lawyers specialize in helping clients who have been hurt through the negligence of others, whether it be from a car accident, slip and fall, product liability, dog bite or nursing home abuse, explains Patrica Sim of Grillo Barristers. If a client is dealing with a personal injury case and doesn't hire a personal injury lawyer, in the end, they are doing themselves a disservice. In addition, personal injury lawyers have seen a variety of cases and understand how it personally affects a client. Many people also suffer the after-effects of injuries, including the psychological and emotional effects, says Steven Polak of Learners Lawyers. Understanding all of the effects of an injury is an important part of representing an injured person. By having more experience with these effects, personal injury lawyers are better able to help their clients and be more sympathetic.

2. Not Doing Homework on The Lawyer

Nobody likes doing homework, or most work actually. However, with something as important as hiring a lawyer, it is vital to do research on their potential lawyer. They should see how long the law firm has been in business, whether they specialize in personal injury, what experience they have with the particular type of accident and injury suffered, and what online reviews the firm has from previous clients, Sim explains. As with most things, experience is vitally important in law and the more experience a law firm has with particular cases, the better the advice and representation they provide will be. A client should look at the law firm as a whole, and not just a particular lawyer. The lawyer will be able to pull on the collective knowledge from their colleagues to give a client the best representation and advice. On this note, it is important that a client looks at how the firm is perceived by the community and other lawyers. If the law firm has a bad reputation, then you may not want that taint to possibly impact on your case, Polak says. It is acceptable for clients to call other practices to ask about the reputation of the law firm they are considering.

3. Not Factoring Geography

Law is a nationwide practice and as such, some firms will have nationwide offices. However, there is a benefit to having a lawyer who practices in the geographic region where the case happened and has experience in the area, Brown explains. These local lawyers will be able to pull from experience with the local laws that affect the area, since they consistently deal with cases that have to contend with these laws. Often, we see people go with national ... groups that don't specialize in Edmonton, or Northern Alberta [where James H. Brown & Associates is located], and these cases can be undervalued by those groups, Brown adds. By going with a nationwide firm instead of a local one, clients risk getting a smaller settlement due to all the factors discussed.

4. Not Hiring a Lawyer They Trust

One of the most important things a client needs to think about before they hire a lawyer is trust. They need to trust and feel comfortable with the law firm they choose, Sim says. The client needs to trust that the lawyer has the client's best interest in mind and genuinely cares about their case. After all, if the lawyer doesn't care about the case, they won't put all their effort into getting a high settlement. If you're meeting with your lawyer and they're going over things quickly, or aren't thorough, that's likely an indication of how they will be treating your case, says Brown. When the client comes in for a meeting, their lawyer should take the time to explain everything regarding the case and give thoughtful advice. If the lawyer does not do this, they are laying a poor foundation of trust and the client may want to think about finding a different law firm. You want a lawyer that is best suited to you and who understands what you are going through, Polak says.

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Four Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

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