You’ve been injured in an accident, your car is damaged or even totaled, and you are not getting anywhere with the other driver’s insurance company –or at least not quickly enough– and you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Now what? What questions should you ask when it’s time to find the best personal injury lawyer for your case? How do you know who the right fit is?
It seems that today, most folks involved in a car accident use the internet to find their attorney. While this is an excellent place to start, it is not a foolproof way to find the right lawyer to handle your case. It is essential to ask the right questions. Find a Personal Injury Lawyer With Experience, Preferably Trial Experience.
Find a Personal Injury Lawyer With Trial Experience
What are the most critical factors in finding a personal injury to handle your case? How do you find the right personal injury lawyer? Experience, preferably trial experience. As I have said repeatedly to all who ask if the trial experience is that important when selecting a personal injury attorney if you were having surgery, would you go to a surgeon who had never actually performed surgery? What if he had completed two or three surgeries over his career? Is that the doctor you would want? No, it isn’t. You want the most experienced surgeon you can find – the one who has performed the most surgeries.
The same is true of selecting a personal injury lawyer to handle your personal injury claim. Do you want the attorney who handles your auto accident case to be a lawyer who has tried only a handful of cases? Alternatively, do you want a lawyer with substantial trial experience who has successfully tried over 100 cases to a jury and gotten excellent results?
Contrary to what you see on television shows like The Good Wife, most lawyers –even those that advertise as a trial or personal injury lawyers– don’t try many cases during their legal careers these days. Many rarely see the inside of a courtroom, even for pre-trial hearings that aren’t in front of a jury. Although most clients are not aware of it, many of those who advertise the most on TV and the internet have tried few, if any cases. Most clients never even think to ask the lawyers they are interviewing whether they have ever tried a case to a jury, and if so, how many. This is a question you need to ask. In many cases, you may be amazed by the answer.
If the insurance carrier for the other driver involved in your car accident knows your lawyer hasn’t tried many cases, they may not offer as much in the settlement. You want to maximize your recovery, so you want the most experienced lawyer you can find. If the insurance company perceives your lawyer as inexperienced in a trial, they may offer you little or no money for your case, and try to push it to a trial to take advantage of your lawyer’s inexperience with jury trials. Moreover, if your case has to proceed to trial for you to receive any recovery, you don’t want to be in that courtroom with a personal injury lawyer who has tried only a very few cases which are fumbling around in front of the jury.
Ask How Many Jury Trials the Lawyer Has Completed.
When you are interviewing potential counsel, ask the lawyer you are talking to how many cases he or she has tried to a jury and how they would handle your personal injury case if it has to proceed to a jury trial. Look for an attorney who has tried and had primary responsibility for at least twenty-five jury trials. If he or she hasn’t, or if you can’t get a straight answer to that question, keep looking.
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Hire Only An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Jason Thomas is an experienced personal injury lawyer and has tried over a hundred cases in his career. He is a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”). ABOTA is a national organization of experienced trial lawyers with chapters all over the United States, and you can’t just sign up to become a member. Membership in this organization of trial lawyers is exclusive; a lawyer must document at least 40 completed jury trials and must be nominated by and then voted in by the current ABOTA members in the local area. If you haven’t tried enough cases, you cannot even be considered for membership. Most lawyers never make it. Because of his substantial trial experience, and their reputation in the legal community, Jason has been admitted and has actively participated in ABOTA for years. He is the kind of experienced personal injury lawyer you want handling your car accident or truck accident case.
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From our offices in Southlake, Texas J Thomas Law represents clients in Grapevine, Keller, Colleyville, Roanoke, Argyle, Justin, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Trophy Club, and throughout the DFW Metroplex area.