In order to find a good attorney, there are certain things that are really indicative of someone who knows what they are doing.
- You need a specialist—you need someone who does plaintiffs personal injury every day of their life.
- You need someone with good reviews
- You need someone with trial experience. Having good trial experience means that attorney is not afraid to go to trial and it makes them better at building a case up because they understand what goes into putting a case before a jury.
What separates one law firm from another is trial experience because not many lawyers have trial experience. As a public defender I have tried more cases than 98% of attorneys out there and because I understand the end part of a case, what story is going to be told to a jury, it informs everything that leads up to that point. So if an attorney doesn't have trial experience, they really can't be excellent at all those things that lead up to it.
The leverage a trial lawyer has over an insurance company is fearlessness. You have to put yourself in the shoes of all the people in a case. An insurance company, an insurance adjuster, never wants to get tagged with that big verdict. They never want to get hit with that big number that ends up in the paper and maybe ends up costing them their job. So being a fearless trial lawyer, you always have that shadow of the big verdict hanging over the insurance adjuster's head. That is really where we get a lot of leverage at our law firm, it's our trial experience and our fearlessness in facing down those trial situations.
It is important, especially in the personal injury arena, to choose someone who is experienced in that area because there are subtleties that you are just not going to know unless you do this work every day and you understand the ins and outs, you understand the parties and you understand the motivations of everyone in a case like this. Unless you are doing this day in and day out, dealing with the courts, the adjustors, and all the parties, you really are not going to be able to the best for your client.