If you are in the process of looking for a personal injury law firm to represent you, chances are that something unfortunate has recently happened to you or a loved one. Making decisions under those circumstances is hard. You might be distracted, worried about the future, or even in pain from an injury.
It’s not hard to contact an attorney who will be happy to meet with you, but how can you tell who is willing to put in the work in order to ensure the best possible outcome for your case? How can you find a personal injury lawyer who will serve as a true partner, educating you and guiding your decisions during this difficult time?
Here are four key topics for discussion with a personal injury lawyer:
“You have decisions to make.”
The personal injury lawyer that you choose to hire is an important decision, but it is not the only determination that you need to make. I always say to clients when I first meet them they will have some decisions to make. Your lawyer is there to help you, but you also play a vital role in the outcome of your case. There are many choices you need to make on your own, such as researching and selecting a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer, managing your healthcare, and eventually considering settlement offers and perhaps proceeding to trial.
“I will prepare your case as if we are going to have a jury trial.”
From the day I open a case, I prepare as if we are going to have a jury trial. I decided a long time ago that if I am not willing to do the work and prepare, then I shouldn’t be working as a personal injury lawyer. An experienced, thorough lawyer will prepare every case, regardless of size or scale, as if it is going to trial.
This level of preparation can ensure that you and your lawyer are ready and able to effectively navigate negotiations that typically occur in a personal injury case. If your lawyer goes to mediation unprepared, knowing he or she cannot present the case successfully to a jury, settlement for the full value of the case is highly unlikely. The majority of personal injury lawyers are not routinely preparing each and every case for trial. Many lawyers get in the habit of settling everything and have little or no trial experience. This is a disservice to the clients who need assistance and guidance. An excellent lawyer is ready and able to present your case to a jury. In your first meeting, your attorney should not be promising you a quick cash settlement.
“I will not decide for you when to settle your case.”
When the case is ready to settle, I always tell my clients that I am not going to decide that for them. You are going to determine whether your case settles, or goes to trial. You should never feel pressured to accept a settlement that you are not comfortable with. Your personal injury lawyer should not make you feel rushed to complete any medical treatment, or to settle in order to avoid mediation or a trial.
“I will help you understand and evaluate your case.”
Part of my job is to answer client questions, and help them evaluate the case and understand the parameters. When making important decisions such as when to settle a case, it is important that you make an informed decision. An informed decision comes when you have a complete understanding of your case. Understanding is the result of thorough communication. Look for a lawyer that you feel comfortable talking to, particularly when you are confused, uncertain and concerned. The lawyer you retain should be able to explain all aspects of your case in a way you can understand.
Communication between you and your personal injury lawyer should be easy - can you ask questions and get them answered quickly? When meeting with your lawyer, in your first meeting or your fifth, do you feel like you are their first priority? Or, are your lawyers distracted and making you feel like you are asking too many questions?
Take the time to find a lawyer who is committed to advising you through the many different issues you may be facing during this challenging time.
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.
We enjoy helping people solve legal problems. If you would like to speak to a personal injury lawyer , please contact us to schedule a free consultation.