After a car accident, sometimes you just want to recover and move on, but if you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation and help to cover your medical expenses. Finding a team of car accident attorneys in Milwaukee can be difficult, because the market is saturated with attorneys of all shapes and sizes, with varying levels of knowledge and experience to truly help you and your individual circumstances.
I hope to use this article not to sway you to choose my team of personal injury attorneys in Milwaukee, but rather, to help inform you on your options and provide you with information to help you make an educated decision.
Because at the end of the day, your decision could mean the difference between success or failure in the courtroom.
Here are 3 important tips for you as you select an attorney in Milwaukee:
1. Look for Experience and Direct Attorney Contact
I have been practicing personal injury law in Milwaukee for 32 years now, with experience in car accident cases, work injury and medical malpractice, to name a few. I believe in educating clients on their rights and working with clients to reach a settlement or trial decision in their favor. From the first steps of legal discovery, to jury trial, to the appellate court and even the Supreme Court: my philosophy and the philosophy of my team of personal injury attorneys is to treat every case as if it is going to trial.
Unfortunately, in the past ten years, I have seen the development of a type of law firm described as a settlement mill. The lifeblood of the settlement mill is an aggressive advertising campaign to sign up new clients. The settlement mill handles a very high volume of cases, while litigating very, very few. They use a cookie cutter assembly line procedure to handle car accident cases, using primarily paralegals or support staff, not attorneys.
This model of law firm was described in an article published in the Stanford Lawyer entitled “Run of the Mill Justice” by Nora Freeman Engstrom. In this type of firm, contact is with paralegals or other legal professionals, rather than attorneys. Sometimes, not even the initial meeting is with an attorney. Cases are processed in a cookie cutter approach, and settled for what cases have been settled before. This process lacks individual consideration of the merits of each claim, which is fine if your claim is without merit or extremely small. As Engstrom noted:
For many clients, and particularly those with minor injuries or a dubious legal entitlement to relief, this new system seems to function well. … Unfortunately, as we have seen, those who have meritorious claims and have been seriously injured are least apt to benefit from this unique brand of legal service, raising profound ethical and public policy issues deserving detailed scrutiny by academics, bar organizations, and the judiciary.
How can you avoid these settlement mills?
2. Look for a Personal Injury Attorney with a Track Record of Success and Appellate Work
Instead of listening to radio ads and television commercials that guarantee results (without ever hearing about your case), consider doing your research and finding a personal injury law firm that focuses on quality, not quantity. Each case should be evaluated individually, as each individual is different and injuries affect each person differently.
Make sure that you meet with a lawyer. An experienced lawyer will handle contact with your doctors to get the appropriate reports. The lawyer will evaluate the case and discuss the expected value, and the options available. A lawyer will be handling your case at each step of the way – not a paralegal, not a support staff member.
How do you know a law firm is not a settlement mill? Aside from the obvious awards from Martindale-Hubble, US News’ Best Lawyers and Law Firms designations, one good indication (and there are many) of a settlement mill is a lack of appellate work.
Firms that have taken cases on appeal have already gone to the mat in the trial court, and are pushing that case further on appeal. Appeals involve a tremendous amount of time and effort, and with the settlement mill, handling a case on appeal would be an extremely rare occurrence.
The court of appeals and Supreme Court have a web site where anyone can search for an attorneys name (not law firm) and see what they have handled on appeal. This is very enlightening on what firms are doing. Take a look at http://wscca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl
You can also check out the work done by the attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser by clicking on the following links
- For Milwaukee personal injury attorney Keith Stachowiak: http://wscca.wicourts.gov/pager.do?cacheId=B0362330C6CF70757300CC4F6FC04DC6&offset=0&sortColumn=0&sortDirection=DESC
- For Milwaukee personal injury attorney Don Prachthauser: http://wscca.wicourts.gov/pager.do?cacheId=70FA81405C8717C5B606E51B6D4A065F&offset=0&sortColumn=0&sortDirection=DESC
- For Milwaukee personal injury attorney Kevin Kukor: http://wscca.wicourts.gov/pager.do?cacheId=97A138232F7E19FB0D4BC9FCE49C38D3&offset=0&sortColumn=0&sortDirection=DESC
- For Milwaukee personal injury attorney Thadd Llaurado: http://wscca.wicourts.gov/pager.do?cacheId=580CCE4CF9D66BCF77C3440CC7F66BE5&offset=0&sortColumn=0&sortDirection=DESC
- For Milwaukee personal injury attorney Mark Baus: http://wscca.wicourts.gov/pager.do?cacheId=05D5EF18F9A9E73A76B0357BE03252DA&offset=0&sortColumn=0&sortDirection=DESC
3. Complete a Free Personal Injury Case Evaluation
You may be entitled to compensation for your car accident injuries and you should not have to suffer alone without support. Our team of personal injury attorneys in Milwaukee is dedicated to helping you understand your legal rights and answer any questions you may have.
- A case evaluation can determine if you have a personal injury claim
- A legal case evaluation can help you understand if your case is worth pursuing
- A case evaluation is the first step to help you recover for your injuries
- Most importantly, a case evaluation can give you great insight into the law firm and their level of experience
As you search for a personal injury attorney, we hope you found this article helpful. Just remember, do your research to find the best attorney to fit your needs: one with experience, who meets with you in person, and one who has experience winning cases in the courtroom.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us directly.
At Murphy & Prachthauser we are car accident attorneys in Milwaukee and personal injury attorneys in Milwaukee who practice the law the way it should be practiced – motivated and equipped to do our best for you. We take pride in being good lawyers who help people.
If you have a case you would like to speak to a personal injury lawyer about, please contact us to schedule a free consultation and get an experienced Milwaukee auto accident attorneys and Milwaukee personal injury lawyers working on your behalf.