So you need a personal injury attorney. Perhaps you’ll look on the internet for well-rated attorneys in your area, ask a friend, or consult your local legal association.
Once you find some candidates, you might consider meeting with them to narrow down the options. But what exactly are you looking for? In a sea of seemingly competent candidates, what traits will make one attorney more qualified to win your case than the next guy (or gal).
We asked experts to share their thoughts about the attributes that matter most in personal injury attorneys.
Ian graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2009. He worked for the Oregon State Bar and practiced as a personal injury and insurance defense attorney in Spokane, Washington. Currently, he’s a legal writer for Enjuris.com, a website dedicated to helping people at one of the hardest times in their lives: after an accident or injury.
Perhaps the most important, and often overlooked, trait in an injury attorney is trustworthiness. An attorney who has earned the trust of his or her peers will generate quicker and more realistic settlement offers. Attorneys that are trusted by peers are also less likely to get dragged into protracted motion hearings that have little or no bearing on the outcome of a case.
A trustworthy attorney is more likely to be taken seriously by judges as well. Legal communities, even in large cities, are small. Judges develop in-court relationships with attorneys and quickly learn who they can trust and who they need to take with a grain of salt. In a close case, the increased scrutiny applied to a less-trustworthy attorney can mean the difference between winning and losing.
A great injury attorney should be a thorough investigator. It’s important to conduct an investigation into the accident—not just rely on the police report. [Attorneys should] look for critical evidence that can prove the other party was at fault. This can help recover damages in a personal injury case. Bringing in experts from other fields, such as medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts, is a smart move as well.
Lance J. Robinson
Owner and Lead Attorney
Lance J. Robinson is a dedicated New Orleans criminal defense attorney with over 22 years of experience. He has defended over 2,400 local and out-of-town clients and is recognized among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers.
The most important trait of an injury attorney is the ability to fight for your client, even when you feel like giving up or know you have a long road ahead. It takes a strong, unwavering disposition to be a successful injury attorney, and those who are able to keep going will do the best long term.
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