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9 Costly Mistakes to Avoid WhenSelecting a Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

MISTAKE #1:  Choosing a lawyer who doesn’t haveenough expe­ri­ence.Themost important factor in choos­ing a personal injury lawyer is the depth of hisknowledge, skill, judgment and experience handling injury claims.  This includes both experience han­dlinginjury cases, and experience taking injury cases to trial.  In most cases, the money you recover for yourinjuries will come from an insur­ance company – either the other person’sinsurance company – or your own.  And oneof the reasons insur­ance companies have so much money is because they payaccident victims like you as little as possible – usually far less than youdeserve.  Ask the attorney you interview aboutcases he has tried in court and cases he has settled.  This will help you decide whether you shouldselect this lawyer to represent you.

MISTAKE #2:  Choosing a lawyer only because youlike his advertising.Don’t choose a lawyer based solely on a clever,eye-catching ad or brochure.  Any lawyercan print a color brochure or run a flashyTV commercial.  But bright, flamboyantadvertising does not mean the lawyer is qualified to represent you. After all, advertising can make almost anylawyer look like an expert.  It’s fine ifyou choose your laundry soap based on a TV commercial.  But when you have thousands of dollars – oreven millions of dollars – at stake, you must choose your lawyer carefully.  Make sure you ask questions about theattorney’s experience in handling injury claims.  I will be glad to talk with you about cases Ihave handled that are similar to your own.

MISTAKE #3:  Choosing the lawyer who promises youthe most money.Theamount of money you’re entitled to recover, called “damages,” is based on manycomponents:  (1) the length of yourrecovery from injury, (2) the dollar amount of your medical bills, (3) thedollar amount of lost wages, (4) pain and suffering, and (5) the severity ofyour injuries.  No one can tell youexactly what your case is worth until they gather all the facts.  Any lawyer who promises you a certain amountof money before he has all the facts is making a promise he can’t keep.

MISTAKE #4:  Choosing a lawyer because he expectsto settle your case.Mostinjury cases are settled without going to trial.  Even so, if you hope to get a fair settlementfor your injuries, your lawyer must be willing to take the insurance company tocourt.  Otherwise, the insurance carrier hasno reason to offer you a fair amount of money for your injuries.  Although you and I hope it won’t be necessaryto go to trial, it is important to make the insurance company aware that youare ready to do so if their offer is not fair. If you hire a “set­tling attorney” – one who settles his cases and won’t go to court – you canexpect to receive less money for your injuries than if you hire a skilled trialattor­ney.  Remember:  The most powerful weapon you can use againstthe insurance company is your willingness and ability to take your case totrial.

MISTAKE #5:  Choosing a lawyer who practices inmany different areas of the law.Themost qualified, experienced injury lawyers work exclusively with patients whohave been injured and families of patients who have died.  They don’t merely dabble in injury cases, andtake other types of cases too.  In nearlyevery case, you’ll get a better result when you hire a lawyer who limits hislaw practice to serious injuries and death.

MISTAKE #6:  Choosing a lawyer because of areferral from a friend.Whena friend refers you to a lawyer, be careful. Yes, your friend probably means well. But your friend may not be the best source for a referral.  You see, people often select a lawyer becausethey like him.  But you need a lawyer whois much more than just a nice person. You need an attorney who has the trial experience to go up againstbillion-dollar insurance companies. Insurance companies hire experienced investigators, adjusters andlawyers to work against you.  You need askilled lawyer and investigators working for you.  Your best choice is hiring an experiencedpersonal injury trial lawyer with a proven track record of success.

MISTAKE #7:  Choosing a lawyer merely because heappears successful.Ahandsome office and an expensive car don’t tell you anything about the lawyer’sexperience.  Don’t judge a lawyer byappearance alone.  Choose a lawyer bywhether he has the knowledge, skill, experience and willingness to (1) sue theother party, and (2) take your case to trial, if necessary.  That’s the best way to makesure you recover the amount of money you deserve.

MISTAKE #8:  Choosing a lawyer because of thelocation of his office.Youmay be inclined to select a lawyer who has an office near you.  But this could be a big mistake because whatyou gain in convenience you may lose in knowledge and skill.  Most of the work between a personal injurylawyer and his client can be done by mail and over the telephone. You shouldhire an experienced ­trial attorney, even if you must drive a little farther tohis office.  You may find that the extraminutes on the road will be worth thousands of extra dollars in yourpocket.  If travel is difficult for you,please let me know and I’ll do what I can to accommodate you.

MISTAKE #9:  Choosing a lawyer who you don’tcompletely trust.Nothing is more important than working with a highlyskilled injury lawyer you can depend on. After all, when you go to bed at night, you’ll sleep better knowing thatyour lawyer is looking out for your best interests and will not settle yourcase just to get your file off his desk. You want to be sure that your lawyer will represent you all the way througha trial, if that’s what it takes to collect the money you deserve.  And if you don’t trust your lawyer, both youand your lawyer are wasting precious time, when that time is needed to build acompelling case.  You’re Invited to Call or E-mail!

“If you have been injured – or ifa family member has died – as the result of any type of accidental injury,please don’t hesitate to call.  I willgladly speak with you over the telephone or in person, whichever youprefer.  And your initial visit is alwaysfree.  You’re welcome to call meanytime.  I promise I’ll do everything Ican to help you.” – Francisco G. Medina

Francisco G. MedinaLaw Offices of Francisco G. Medina   1111 North Loop West, Suite 820 • Houston, Texas 77008Telephone 713-869-7030 • Facsimile 713-869-7761 •   Law PracticeLimited to Representing VictimsWho HaveSuffered Traumatic Injuries or Families of Victims Who Have Died   Pleasecall today 713-869-7030