Which tend to be stronger at Personal Injury 1) attorney's who focus 100% on PI, or 2) attorney's who also do defense work?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Schenectady, NY

I'm noticing each type has a very different approach to my case. 100% PIs are consistently of one approach. Defense attorneys who do PI are consistently of a different approach.

So in your experience, which type tends to have more wins in general?

Additional information

Also, how much of your practice is PI, or defense?

EDIT: I should be clearer. By defense, I mean criminal defense (such as of reckless or drunk drivers). I only met with one malpractice defense attorney, & it's true, they had an entirely different approach too. The case is complicated, so I'll add details & ask about it, in a separate question.

Interesting answers!!! Giving me ideas of what to ask those I talk with.

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Jeffrey Bruce Gold

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Who's best really means who's best for you. I think pure plaintiff's attorneys have bigger wins and more flameouts than plaintiff's attorneys with substantial defense experience. Attorneys with a defense background appear to me to be more cautious and a bit better on the law, but again that's just my observation. I've seen lots of pure plaintiff's lawyers unable to recognize a case that's weak on the law. As a defense attorney, I've seen a ton of truly ridiculous cases doomed from the complaint i.e. cases where the the risk was clearly assumed by the plaintiff; cases where the slip and fall was during the middle of the storm, cases on really attenuated theories of liability, and it seems to me that these cases are brought almost exclusively by pure plaintiff's attorneys. On the other hand, I've seen pure plaintiff's lawyers take a case with minor industries and get big settlements by forcing trials. Whoever you higher, I think it important that the attorney at least be able to recognize the weaknesses in your case as well as the strength.

    If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore,... more
  2. Mark Michael Campanella

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    Answered . You're going to get a million opinions as to which is better, and I don't think any one is right. For my two cents, attorneys who also do defense work bring a unique perspective to the table in that they know the system very well from the other side. That said, many attorneys who do exclusively PI work are excellent and have never done any defense work.

    If you find this answer useful, please mark it as "Helpful". Likewise, if you believe it is the most responsive,... more
  3. Jeffrey Mark Adams

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    Answered . From time to time someone posts a question that is not unique, challenging and thought provoking. I'd like to mark your question as "best question".

    There is no right or wrong answer. Each attorney and each firm offers something different. That is why I always say, find the attorney whom you are most comfortable with and confident in; and qualified. I firmly believe that your attorney must do substantially all, if not all, plaintiff's work now.

    Having done defense work in the best, and on occasion now when there is no insurance coverage or a coverage issue, there can be an advantage to knowing both sides of the litigation. That said, some of the finest and best lawyers I know never did a stitch of defense work in their careers. The bottom line, you need an attorney who is devoted to plaintiff's work and the rights of injured consumers, period.

    I look forward to reading what my colleagues think. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  4. Scott Douglas Camassar

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Interesting question. My first job was 7.5 years doing all plaintiff's work at a leading PI firm. Then I went to a different firm where I did about 97% insurance defense work. For the last 4.5 years I'm doing all plaintiff's work again, with a partner who has only done plaintiff's work. I think my plaintiff lawyer experience made me a better defense lawyer, and my defense experience made me a smarter plaintiff's lawyer. But a thorough and experienced lawyer should be able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of a case no matter which side.

  5. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Answered . Best bet is to get a lawyer who focuses his or her practice entirely on plaintiff's work. Find a personal injury lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30% with no costs deducted, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement, not your lawyer. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  6. Ori Samuel Blumenfeld

    Contributor Level 6

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    Answered . From my experience, I would probably want to hire an attorney that focuses 100% on PI but you are going to get opinions from near and far on this one and its hard to imagine there is a right answer to this one. Good luck!

    Legal disclaimer: This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client... more
  7. James Joseph Cupero

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    Answered . There is an old adage that it is not a good idea to carry water buckets on both shoulders. In my view it is an inherent conflict to do both. Would you want an attorney to negotiate a settlement with an adjuster who also sends him work and expect to maximize your recovery?

  8. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Many different opinions, but, I generally think an attorney who focuses 100% of his practice on Plaintiff's PI.

  9. Lars A. Lundeen

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    Answered . If you needed brain surgery, would you go to a podiatrist? I think not. There is something to be said for people who concentrate in certain areas of the law. A personal injury claim is a civil matter . The defense attorney's you speak of our on the criminal side of the Courthouse. Personal injury attorneys are generally more adept at recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of their personal injury cases, generally have good relations with local treating doctors, have access to helpful medical experts and can better develop evidence to support the theory of the personal injury case. People who dabble in personal injury cases do so at their peril these days.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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