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Too many people are so rushed to hire a personal injury lawyer they grab the first one they see on TV or are referred to by their chiropractor. Instead, of looking at obvious red flags, they ignore them and end up, many times, getting less financial compensation for all of their damages they suffered from their accident. This article seeks to explore the 7 red flags to watch for when hiring a personal injury lawyer in 2021. A lot has changed during the practice of personal injury law from just a couple of years ago. Here we go.
1. Your Car Accident Lawyer Has Zero To Little Civil Trial Experience.
Insurance companies track who goes to trial and who does not. They know that the attorneys who have never gone into trial are the ones they can get to cave. They know that these personal injury lawyers are afraid of facing juries. They usually identify them as mill-law-firm, one that spends more time advertising then practicing law. If your case has any complexities to it, they know that they can take advantage of those complexities.
The first question is how many civil jury trials have you first-chaired? If you do not see any trial experience, then that personal injury lawyer might be leaving money on the table. No, not many attorneys go to trial anymore. However, if you have practiced personal injury law over 10 years and have never gone to trial that is a red flag.
Again, a client’s losses might not fully be fully captured by this law firm. Further, it is you who might get full compensation for your injuries if you hire an attorney with less than two jury trials, who has been practicing more than 10 years.
2. They Have More People Marketing Their Services Than Attorneys Handling Cases.
Another big question you need to ask is: how many lawyers do you have and how much staff do you have. If they have three lawyers and 30 staff, that means this is a mill law firm. The staff does the majority of the work. When I worked for an insurance company as a defense attorney, I do not have enough fingers and toes to count how many times that a client met their attorney for the first time 20 minutes before client’s deposition. Those cases were my favorite, because I know I could low-ball the attorney and they would take the deal. I could beat up on the client and give them a taste about what this life was about, their attorney could squeeze them to take less compensation than their case was worth.
These type of personal injury lawyers move volume, hoping to get the one case that they can make a lot of money with little to no work. Even, when they get the big result sometimes it was just going to happen regardless due to having a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury.
3. What Law School They Graduated From Matters.
There are plenty of attorneys who have forged great careers even though they did not graduate from a top law school. Many personal injury lawyers did not go to great schools and they are in this field, because they could not get hired by a big firm. Someone who attended a lower rank law school might not have the ability to be creative and think outside the box. There is a reason why most members of the Supreme Court of The United States of America have graduated from top 20 law schools. Click Here To Get The Latest Rankings Of The Best Law Schools.
4. You Never Speak To An Attorney During The Intake Process.
If you never speak to an attorney during the intake process, that means once the attorney reviews your file you can get fired as a client. The non-attorney intake person has one job: to sign you up. Now, they will screen you out if your personal injuries are more than two years old. They will screen you out if you tell them it is your fault for your accident injuries. Further, they will screen you out if you have a large gap in your medical care. Short of not passing one of those red flags, they will sign you up.
The intake specialist does hundreds of personal injury claims for their law firm, but they are not an attorney. They will not be able to give you the precise information that you need. If you ask how many trials they have been in or what law school they went to, they will not be able to tell you. They one job to do, and that is to sign you as a client.
Now, if you are cut loose later, that can irreparably damage your personal injury claim. Moreover, it will make it harder for another personal injury lawyer to accept you as a client, because you have been dropped before. Moreover, the insurance company will sense weakness in your claim and make it harder for you to recover your losses.
5. The Personal Injury Lawyer Automatically Sends You to a chiropractor without discussing your car accident injuries.
This is a big red flag, if you are on Medicaid it is better for you to go see a medical doctor and be referred to physical therapy then it is for you to see a chiropractor on a lien bases. You are going to get better care and be able to keep more money if you get medical treatment than if you get chiropractic care. Further, any good personal injury lawyer knows that juries do not like chiropractic care, but they respect doctors. On the other hand, the amount of money you get to keep is almost 70% more from my experience, treating with a medical doctor and physical therapist.
Plus, your injuries might not be right for chiropractic care. If you spend two months going to a chiropractor and later go to a doctor who diagnose your problem as something completely different than the chiropractor there are going to be issues. This is a big red flag. Any personal injury law firm that automatically sends you to a chiropractor is a law firm to be avoided, in my professional opinion.
6. They Have A Ton Of Reviews On One Site But On The Other Sites They Have Very Little Reviews And The Reviews They Have Tell A Different Story.
I have seen tons of personal injury lawyers have hundreds, even thousands, of five star reviews on Google only to have 10 reviews with a three star average on Yelp or Avvo. This looks to me like review stuffing. I would be very skeptical if they have amazing reviews on one platform and sub-par customer satisfaction on another website.
What you want to see is a common theme across the board. So if they have hundreds of five star reviews on one platform and mediocre client scores on a different service, this is a red flag for that personal injury law firm.
7. Do You And The Personal Injury Lawyer Have Chemistry?
It is tough to advocate or defend someone you do not like. Chemistry comes through at trial, mediation, and arbitration. People can tell if you and your lawyer like each other. If there is no chemistry, being a professional can only get you so far. The lack of chemistry can cause you to not get the financial compensation that your personal injury claim is worth. The only way you know if you have chemistry is to meet the lawyer up front. Talk to them. If they like you and you like them, then this is a good fit. If you do not like the person or you sense something is wrong, you need to jump ship and get a new accident law firm to represent you.
The personal injury lawyer is going to have a number of different cases during their career, but hopefully this is your only case. It is important that you believe in this person before they file your personal injury lawsuit.
Those were the seven red flags to look out for when hiring a personal injury lawyer.