Thinking of hiring an attorney for your personal injury compensation claim? Do you picture a big courtroom in your mind, with your lawyer leaving the opposition nonplussed with his or her oratorical skills before a jury? Well, statistically, not even 5 percent of personal injury claims in the US go to trial.
An overwhelming majority of these cases settle during negotiations with the defendant or their insurance company, before they reach the trial stage. But this does not mean that trial experience is not important. There are a number of reasons why you should find an attorney who has a successful track record inside the courtroom.
The Importance of a Lawyer with Trial Experience
If you look at the advertisements, you will find that all lawyers have some type of “experience”. However, you may need to carry out due diligence and dig deeper to ensure that you retain an attorney who has proven results.
It should be a cause of concern for you if a potential lawyer on your list is not particularly forthcoming in this regard. A successful trial attorney should be more than willing to answer any questions about their cases and trial results.
The importance of trial experience cannot be stressed enough when hiring a lawyer to represent you for a personal injury claim. An attorney with substantial trial experience will not only possess the competence and skills to persuade a jury in your favor, but also command respect from the insurance company’s lawyers.
What if Your Case Goes to Trial?
Even if the odds of your case going to trial are small, there is always a possibility of settlement negotiations breaking down, and you finding yourself headed for litigation. Just the prospect of a court trial often has a significant impact on the value of your case, irrespective of whether it actually ends up in a courtroom or not.
If the pretrial negotiations fail to break the impasse, your lawyer must be ready and willing to represent you in court. A lawyer with no trial experience could be a huge liability at this stage. This is the precise reason why you as a plaintiff must look for a personal injury lawyer with trial experience.
How a Lawyer with Trial Experience can be an Asset in Settlement Negotiations?
You need all the leverage you can get in order to negotiate from a position of strength. Otherwise, you run the risk of the insurance claims adjuster placing a much lower offer on the table than your claim is really worth.
Retaining an attorney with considerable trial acumen can protect your interests even at the negotiating table. The reason is that the insurer may offer less if it senses that your lawyer is trial-shy, and settlement is the only option. Wielding the implicit threat of being trial-ready in case of a negotiation breakdown, can be a potent tactic.
Hire an Attorney with Trial Experience Relevant to Your Case
Depending upon the specifics of your case, a lawyer with just any trial experience might not work for your particular case. You must look for an attorney with sufficient experience and competence in handling claims similar to yours.
For instance, if you are filing a claim against a defective product maker, a lawyer with experience of handling only car accident claims might not be suitable. Try to look for credentials of winning similar cases as yours.
Some Common Warning Signals When Looking for a Trial Attorney
- Flashy claims in advertising but with no credentials to back those claims
- Lawyers who are not forthcoming in sharing their case results or answering questions about their experience
- Lawyers with no trial experience whatsoever
- Lawyers who also work for insurance companies
Questions You Need to Ask a Potential Law Firm
- Can you give sufficient time to my case?
- What is the combined experience of your lawyers in practicing personal injury cases?
- What are the terms for your contingency fees?
- Do you also represent insurance companies?
- What is the worth of my case in your opinion?
- How experienced is the actual lawyer handling my case?
- Do you have expertise in gathering and evaluating the evidence related to my personal injury case?
- What sets you apart from other law firms?
Be Discerning While Selecting a Personal Injury Attorney
It is important to be duly diligent when seeking legal counsel for your compensation claim. Spend time researching potential law firms and speaking with lawyers, on the phone or in person. Most personal injury lawyers will readily give you a free initial consultation with no obligation. They should be open to sharing their case experience and welcoming your questions.
You must keep in mind that this could be one of the most important decisions of your life, especially if you are seriously injured, out of work, and under tremendous financial strain due to your injuries. You need to choose a lawyer with substantial trial experience to help you recover full and fair compensation.
Hire a Skilled and Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in GA
A seasoned lawyer needs years of trial acumen to be able to represent clients successfully in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries and damages due to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another individual or entity in Georgia, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Stein & Fox LLP. For a free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment, call today at 770-691-6937 or send us a message online.