8 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting An Accident Lawyer

MISTAKE # 1: Choosing a lawyer who doesn’t have enough trial experience.

The most important factor in choosing an accident attorney is your knowledge, skill, and experience in handling injury claims. This includes (1) experience in handling injury cases and (2) experience in bringing injury cases to trial. In most cases, the money you hope to recover for your injuries will come from an insurance company, either the other person’s insurance company or yours. And one of the reasons insurance companies have so much money is because they pay accident victims as little as possible, often less than they deserve. Make sure the attorney you select has extensive experience handling personal injury cases at trial. Your best option is to select an attorney who is a board certified trial attorney.

MISTAKE # 2: Choosing a lawyer just because you like their advertising.

An eye-catching television ad or yellow page ad doesn’t mean anything except that the attorney agreed to pay for the ad. Advertising can make almost any lawyer seem like an expert. Don’t choose a lawyer just because you like your ad. Be sure to ask questions about the attorney’s experience and background in handling injury claims.

MISTAKE # 3: Choose the lawyer who promises you the most money.

The amount of money you are entitled to recover, called «damages,» is based on many components: (1) the length of your recovery, (2) the dollar amount of your medical bills, and (3) the dollar amount of your lost wages, (4) pain and suffering, and (5) the severity of your injuries and damages. No one can tell you exactly what your case is worth until they collect all the facts. Anyone who promises you a certain amount of money before getting this information is making a promise that you probably cannot keep.

MISTAKE # 4: Choosing an attorney because you hope to solve your case.

Most injury cases are settled without going to trial. Still, if you hope to get a fair settlement for your injuries, your attorney must be willing to take the insurance company to court. Otherwise, the insurance company has no incentive to offer you a good amount of money for your injuries. If you hire a «settlement attorney,» one who generally solves your cases and rarely goes to court, you can expect to receive less money for your injuries than if you hire a qualified trial attorney. Remember: The most powerful weapon you can use against the insurance company is your willingness and ability to bring your case to trial.

MISTAKE # 5: Choosing a lawyer because of a referral from a friend.

When a friend refers you to a lawyer, be careful. Yes, your friend probably has good intentions. But your friend may not be the best source for a referral. You see, people often select a lawyer because they like it. But you need a lawyer who is much more than a good person. You need an experienced trial attorney to take on billions of dollars of insurance companies. Insurance companies hire experienced investigators, adjusters, and attorneys to work against you. You need a highly experienced attorney and investigators working for you. Your best option is to select a board certified litigation attorney who will discuss your history with you on a case-by-case basis.

MISTAKE # 6: Choosing a lawyer because he seems successful.

A beautiful office and an expensive car tell you nothing about the lawyer’s experience. Don’t judge a lawyer by appearances. Judge an attorney as to whether you have the knowledge, skill, experience, and will to (1) sue the other party and (2) bring your case to trial, if necessary. That’s the BEST way you can be sure of getting back the amount of money you deserve.

MISTAKE # 7: Choosing an attorney due to the location of your office.

You may be inclined to select an attorney who has an office near your home. But this could be a big mistake because what you gain in convenience you can lose in experience and knowledge. Most of the work between an injury attorney and your client is done by mail and by phone. I encourage you to hire a board certified litigation attorney, even if you must drive a little further to your office. You may find that the extra minutes along the way will be worth it in the end. And if traveling is difficult for you, we will be happy to visit your home or office. Just ask. We serve clients throughout Mississippi and Louisiana.

MISTAKE # 8: Failing to review the attorney’s record.

You can get a good idea of ​​a lawyer’s experience by reviewing your case history that you have settled or brought to trial. Ask the lawyer how many cases he has solved for more than $ 1,000,000, between $ 500,000 and $ 1,000,000, and so on. This will give you a way to determine the lawyer’s level of experience.

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