If you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligent actions of another, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages. The financial hardships associated with costly medical bills and lost wages can often be crippling. A personal injury settlement can help you and your family stay afloat during this difficult time.
Due to the high stakes associated with these cases, choosing the right personal injury lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make. When you work with an experienced attorney, your chances of maximizing your compensation are much higher than when you have subpar legal representation.
There are several characteristics that all good personal injury lawyers possess. When looking for an attorney to represent you, make sure you evaluate the following items. If you’re not confident that a lawyer possesses all of these traits, keep searching until you find someone qualified to provide you with the high-quality representation you deserve.
Knowledge of State and Federal Laws Associated with Your Case
There are specific laws that govern all types of personal injury cases. In some instances, such as with car crashes or slip and fall injuries, state laws primarily impact your claim. In other instances, such as with large truck wrecks, there are also federal laws which may apply to your case.
It’s crucial that you work with a lawyer who knows all of the laws associated with your case. These laws may impact filing deadlines, procedural aspects of your claim, and many other issues that impact your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. During your consultation, ask the attorney about their knowledge of all applicable laws.
Knowledge of the Medical Issues Impacting Your Case
Achieving a successful outcome to a personal injury lawsuit involves more than simply proving the other party caused your injury. There are often complex medical issues which impact the value of your compensation. In some instances, such as when a serious brain injury occurs, your compensation may need to cover the costs of future procedures as well as ongoing rehabilitation.
It’s important that your lawyer has a sophisticated understanding of the medical issues associated with your injuries. In addition, your attorney should have a network of medical experts who can testify on your behalf, if necessary, in order to demonstrate the true value of your damages.
Strong Negotiation Skills
The first step in the personal injury process is to try and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Unfortunately, the insurance company isn’t on your side, and they will often go to great lengths to reduce the amount of money they must pay on your claim. Your lawyer must possess strong negotiating skills in order to ensure your settlement offer reflects the true value of your damages.
Settling your case is always the primary goal, since it will ensure you receive the money to which you’re entitled in the fastest possible timeframe. In some instances, it’s possible to reach a fair settlement at the negotiating table. Often, the success of the negotiating process will hinge on the abilities of your lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
Extensive Litigation Experience
In the event that a settlement isn’t in your best interest, your case will most likely go to trial. There are no guarantees in a court case, and it’s crucial that your attorney has the extensive litigation experience necessary to achieve a successful outcome in trial. Some of the skills a lawyer must possess to be successful in court include:
- Understanding how to optimize the jury selection process
- The ability to effectively interrogate witnesses
- Knowing how to leverage the technical aspects of the trial process to your advantage
- The ability to effectively connect with a jury and make them see your version of what happened
Strong Communication Skills
Strong communication skills are crucial to providing quality legal representation. These skills impact every aspect of your case, including:
- Your lawyer’s ability to keep you up to date on any new developments in your case
- The negotiation process with the insurance company
- Connecting with a jury and demonstrating the extent to which the injury has impacted your life
You should be able to get a good feel for your lawyer’s communication skills during your consultation. If you feel the attorney hasn’t clearly explained your legal options and the next steps in the process, it is likely that communication may be problematic in the future as well. On the other hand, if you leave the consultation with a clear understanding of your case, it’s likely that your lawyer possesses the communication skills necessary to provide the quality representation you deserve.
Specialization in the Field of Personal Injury Law
Most lawyers choose to focus their practice on specific areas of law. Personal injury cases are very different than criminal defense cases, family law cases, bankruptcy cases and commercial litigation cases. Your lawyer should make personal injury law the primary focus of their practice.
There are some attorneys who have a more general practice that touches on several different areas of law. While it’s fine to work with one of these lawyers (as long as personal injury cases are part of what they handle), you’re usually better off with someone who focuses on personal injury cases exclusively. This specialization will give you the greatest chances of a successful outcome.
Extensive Experience Handling Cases Similar to Yours
Personal injury is a broad area of law that covers many different types of cases. Even when an attorney specializes in personal injury law, they may not have much experience handling your specific type of case. This is often true with medical malpractice or product liability cases. Some lawyers handle these cases on a regular basis, while other may lack the resources necessary to successfully navigate these claims.
During your consultation, ask your attorney about their experience with cases similar to yours. If the lawyer hasn’t handled a significant amount of similar cases, you should look for someone with more relevant experience.
Proven Track Record of Success
All claims are unique and past results don’t guarantee a successful outcome to your case. However, they can give you a sense of how well a lawyer has done with cases for other clients. Ideally, you should choose to work with an attorney who has consistently achieved successful verdicts and settlements for other clients. You should pay close attention to the outcomes achieved in cases similar to yours, since these will be the most relevant to your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Bridgeport Personal Injury Lawyer
Jim Miron is a personal injury lawyer with over 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims in the Bridgeport area. In addition, Jim is a partner at Zeisler & Zeisler, P.C., a leading law firm in Connecticut. He is able to utilize the vast resources of a large law firm while providing the highly personalized care you deserve.
Please contact Jim Miron, Attorney at Law using the form on this page or call 203-339-5991 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford and the surrounding areas of Connecticut.