How many cases do you try each year? The public often has a perception that a typical lawyer tries dozen of cases a year. Unfortunately this is simply not true. The majority of personal injury lawyers have tried less than 5 cases in the last 5 years. Simple fact is that many lawyers have advertising budgets that are so high that they simply cant afford to take the time to go represent their clients adequately by going to trial. If a settlement can be reached in a case it is always in everyone’s best interest to settle without going to trial. However, a lawyer that is willing to take a case to trial represents a bigger risk to the insurance company and can get a higher settlement than a lawyer who doesn’t try cases an a regular basis.
Do you have civil trial certifications? Many lawyers have numerous awards and plaques on the walls, internet sites, and yellow pages proclaiming that they are a member of the million-dollar club or the multi-million dollar trial attorney group or some other awards. Truth be told, most of the awards can be obtained for nothing more than paying a fee to the organization. A civil trial certification on the other hand requires that the lawyer actually pass a test and provide documentation establishing substantial experience in the area of civil trials. Examples of two of the board certification groups that are in the United States are NBOTA board and the ABOTA board. If you have been injured the outcome of your case can substantially affect the rest of your life and you need a lawyer who has the experience and the qualifications to adequately represent you.
Can the lawyer bankroll your case? Some cases take years to get to trial and cost thousands of dollars to try. Don’t hire a lawyer who can’t afford to stick it out to the end.
Does the lawyer understand medicine and your injuries well enough to handle your serious injury case? If you are hiring a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury case, a lawyer who knows the law isn’t enough. A good lawyer must understand your injuries and how those injuries will affect your life. A good injury lawyer will have medical texts in their office as well as legal texts.
Is the lawyer willing to be honest with you? Many times lawyers will promise people the moon just to get them signed up. All of the sudden six months later the lawyer will call them and say he has an offer, which isn’t anywhere near what he suggested your case was worth. Stay away from lawyers like this. A good lawyer should give you an honest assessment upfront of the case. He may not be able to give you a value initially on the case but he should never blindly make promises about the potential value of your case on the front end that he cannot keep on the back end.
Is the lawyer respected by his peers? The Kansas Association of Justice is a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the civil justice system and the legal rights of consumers and injured people. Respected personal injury lawyers are involved with this organization and others like it and will have demonstrated achievement amongst their peers by being officers in organizations like this. Super lawyers is organization that lawyers join by referral invitation of other lawyers only. It is an organization that establishes what lawyers are considered good based on the opinions of other lawyers. Search these groups for lawyers of have been involved or are members as it can be a good indicator of the quality of the lawyer you are dealing with.
Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.