How Can I Tell if My Personal Injury Attorney is Doing a Good Job?
The majority of Oakland residents who file personal injury claims are not legal experts. In fact, these victims may have absolutely no idea how the legal system works. Venturing into this system can be confusing and discouraging for many individuals. The first step into legal bureaucracy for many injury victims is choosing a personal injury attorney, and this step is very important. But how can you be expected to choose a qualified, experienced attorney if you are not familiar with the legal system? Furthermore, how can you actually tell that your attorney is doing a good job?
If you are serious about choosing the right attorney for your personal injury lawsuit or claim, it is important to take your time. Do not simply choose the first attorney who you come across, and make sure you do your research. Ideally, you should choose an attorney who has considerable experience with cases similar to your own. An attorney who specializes in medical malpractice claims might not be the best choice if you are filing a product liability lawsuit, for example. Once you have chosen an attorney, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself if you are concerned about whether they are representing you in the best possible manner:
Are They Communicating With You?
Just like any other relationship, your relationship with your attorney should be built upon a foundation of good communication skills. You should never feel like you are left in the dark. A committed personal injury attorney will recognize that you have no idea what is going on with the legal process, and they will provide you with regular updates.
Communicating is also about listening. Your lawyer should be willing to hear what you have to say, including your concerns and questions. Only by listening carefully can a lawyer recommend the best course of action for you. With all that said, a personal injury attorney is never going to be in contact with you 24/7. They have other clients, and they are often incredibly busy. Do not expect them to pick up the phone whenever you call them.
Do They Have Negotiation Skills?
Competent lawyers have incredible negotiating skills. These skills are often very important at the beginning of your personal injury claim, when you will sit down with representatives from the insurance company to negotiate a settlement. Lawyers should have the ability to support your claims with strong arguments, and you should never feel like your lawyer is in a weak position compared to the insurance company.
Are They Asking You for Evidence?
If your attorney is not asking you for evidence, something might be wrong. In personal injury lawsuits and claims, evidence is incredibly important. These lawyers must collect all the documentation necessary to support your claims. While they can act independently in many situations, they almost always have to ask you for certain documents. These include medical records, evidence of missed wages, and other forms of evidence. If they never ask for these documents, it could be a bad sign.
Are They Overpromising?
A solid attorney will always give you the hard facts. They will tell you right away if they think your case is not worth pursuing. They will also be honest with you about your potential for success in a trial, and they will probably have the ability to give you an accurate estimate of how much compensation you will receive. Be wary of lawyers who promise you million-dollar payouts without much evidence to back it up. While many victims do in fact receive million-dollar payouts in California, you need to make sure your attorney is not overpromising. The truth is that when you go to trial, no one really knows how a judge and jury are going to rule.
Are They Pressuring You Into Making Certain Decisions?
Remember, you are always in control over what happens. If you want to accept a settlement from an insurance company to avoid going to trial, you should always have the freedom to make that decision. A good personal injury attorney will give you advice, but they will never make you feel like you are being pressured into doing something.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
The best possible attorney is one that inspires total confidence in you. In all honesty, you should not have to ask yourself any of these questions if you have chosen the right attorney, as it will be clear that they are doing an excellent job. If you have been searching the Oakland area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Our firm has a wealth of experience with a wide variety of personal injury cases, and you can depend on us to act in a professional, efficient manner. If you want to learn more about our services, do not hesitate to reach out.