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What you need to know when selecting a personal injury lawyer
What consumers need to know about personal injury lawyers (part 1)
Reputation does matter, in personal injury lawsuits. Probably one of the most important factors in evaluating personal injury claims from the insurance perspective is the reputation of the plaintiff's lawyer. Insurers are sophisticated consumers who keep detailed data on the lawyer's performance and track record. All of this is used when valuing an injury case.
NOT ALL LAWYERS ENJOY REPUTATIONS THAT ADD VALUE TO A CASE
Some lawyers have a reputation for being ethical, and committed advocates for their clients. Others may have a volume practice which is based on moving cases and not necessarily maximizing the value for the client. Many of the volume practice attorneys have a cookie-cutter approach to settling cases and really had no intention of trying some types of cases. The insurance company knows this and values cases held by such lawyers accordingly.
MOST LAWYERS CHARGE THE SAME PERCENTAGE
Personal injury cases are generally handled on a contingency basis. What consumers need to know is a good personal injury attorney probably charges the same percentage as a mediocre personal injury attorney. The bigger picture in serious injury cases is what is the net recovery for the victim.
ASK FOR REFERENCES
It is always a good idea to investigate the attorney you select for reputation, past results and the ability to handle your case. Many attorneys advertise for personal injury cases but on closer scrutiny you find they also advertise for criminal cases, wills, and other legal matters. Be leery of a general practitioner in more sophisticated personal injury matters.
About the author:
Greg Baumgartner is a Houston personal injury lawyer who handles truck accidents, auto accidents, wrongful death claims and select serious injury litigation.