Choose Carefully When Selecting an Injury Lawyer, and Don't be Afraid to Switch

By Mark T. Freeley, Esq. (Open Post)

When it comes to obtaining the compensation that you truly deserve for serious injuries resulting from an accident, the lawyer that you select can make all the difference. Insurance companies and their lawyers do not offer everyone the same settlement for the same injuries, the ability and track record of your lawyer plays a big part in the amount offered.

Insurance companies and their lawyers respect the lawyers that pay attention to every detail, and carefully prepare a case to prove every aspect of the damages. These lawyers will do all of the necessary work, go to court, take depositions, hire experts, prepare visual trial exhibits, and will not rush for a quick settlement. These lawyers are the most dangerous to insurance companies, because a well prepared lawyer poses a risk for a large jury verdict. This is what makes insurance companies settle cases for their true value. A quick settlement is rarely in the best interest of an injured client.

If you feel that your lawyer is not doing everything that they can to maximize the results of your case, then you should at least speak to another attorney for a second opinion. You only have one chance to get the results that you deserve, so you owe it to yourself to at least talk it over with another lawyer. If your lawyer is trying to persuade you to settle your case for an amount that you are unsure of, it is also a good idea to speak to another lawyer. You are permitted to change injury lawyers in New York at anytime and for any reason. The process is simple and the lawyers will share the 1/3rd legal fee, so it will not cost you anymore legal fee. I frequently take over cases for people who are unhappy with their current injury lawyer, and most of the time I am shocked at the condition of the file and by what has not been done.

Recently my firm took over a construction site accident case from another lawyer. The prior lawyer was pressuring the client to settle his case for $750,000.00, but the client wasn't comfortable. Once we obtained the file from the prior lawyer we went to work on creating a game plan. We first attacked on proving that the defendants were 100% at fault for causing our clients scaffold to fail. The lower court judge did not agree, so we appealed to the Appellate Division where we won 100% liability!

Upon winning the fault part of the case, we next attacked on proving the damages, and not just the pain and suffering like most lawyers. We proved the economic losses to our client. We hired a Life care Planner to say what medical care and treatment our client would need for the rest of his life. We hired a Vocational Rehabilitation expert to say if our client could work again, and if so, doing what, and at what salary. We hired a Professor of Economics to say what the future value was for the loss of income and the cost of medical treatment. We hired a medical/legal artist to create amazing trial exhibits showing the surgeries our client underwent. In all, we invested over $50,000.00 before trial to make sure that our client's case was proved perfectly. There are very few lawyers on Long Island putting forth this type of effort into cases, and the insurance companies know it.

You may be wondering what happened on this case. Well, the week before trial the insurance company and their lawyers did everything they could to have us attend a mediation. After many intense hours at mediation we successfully settled the case for our client for $2.3 million dollars, more than three times what the prior lawyer tried to get our client to settle for. Our client can now stop worrying about an uncertain future, and concentrate on rebuilding his life with his family. This is the difference that my firm makes, and we do this many times each year for many clients.

If you, your family or friends ever have any questions about a serious accident, please call me to have an honest conversation.

Keep it safe out there.