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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?

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?

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.

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Attorney answers 9

Posted

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, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Posted

word "industries" should be "injuries". sorry.

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much for all the details. It makes it easy for me to see, that I have to make sure the attorney, is solid on how to approach the liability aspect of this case. ... and also illuminates why I'm seeing such a different range of responses on that aspect. It's exactly what I've been wondering.

Donna Marie Gibson

Donna Marie Gibson

Posted

I agree and also you want to look at your injuries because some injuries are unique and some attorneys are better with certain injuries, such as brain injuries as opposed to just a "simple" back injury. And some offices will do more "hand holding" and others will only contact you when they need info from you. Each practice is unique unto itself.

Asker

Posted

That was a very good point, that I've been taking into consideration since you pointed it out. Thank you.

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Posted

You're welcome. Thanks for the best answer vote.

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Posted

Let me know when you add details. I'd like to see how you follow this through. BTW, although it doesn't change my answer between personal injury plaintiffs attorneys and those that do defense work. I see you amended to mean criminal defense attorneys. Many criminal defense attorneys are excellent trial lawyers, but they are week on the specifics of personal injury cases.

Asker

Posted

I'll definitely let you know. I've really appreciated your answers. I think I've started to figure out... criminal defense uses the higher standard of proof, so even in PI case, those attorneys focus more on the proof aspect when strategizing. What's surprised me is how many criminal defense, mix it 50-50 with PI work.

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Posted

It's difficult for any attorney even those completely unqualified to walk away from a potential big payday. Because criminal lawyers for the most part know they can try the case, they take on PI cases figuring they can out "trial" the other side. Whoever, you hire, make sure they know the law of your case and a plan for proceeding before you start. Ask that they explain it to you. If they are week on specifics look for someone who isnt.

Posted

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, please mark it as the "Best Answer". The information provided herein is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should not rely upon the information provided at this site without seeking individual advice from an attorney. No attorney-client relationship can be assumed or created by this post.

Posted

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

Asker

Posted

Why?

Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

Because their commitment to only representing plainitiffs shows that they have a passion for that area of the law.

Asker

Posted

Good point!

Posted

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 educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com

Asker

Posted

Thank you :).

Asker

Posted

Interesting points that you make!

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

Any qualified attorney can adequately, even excel, at handling any matter in any jurisdiction, provided the attorney align him/her self with the "right" time; many examples to buttress this point, particularly on high profile cases. That said, the opposite clearly applies as well. It's about the facts. I've enjoyed reading this thread. Bottom line, the "best" attorney, with limited exceptions, is an attorney who exclusively handles that type of matter/litigation.

Posted

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

Posted

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 relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

That's true, knowing how it works on both sides, is very helpful I would think.

Posted

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?

Asker

Posted

Yep, having done both may be helpful. Doing both at the moment can be too much hat switching...

Posted

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.

Lars A. Lundeen

Lars A. Lundeen

Posted

Sorry, the above should read:The defense attorneys you speak of are on the criminal side of the Courthouse.

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

I think the poster means attorneys who do personal injury defense work.

Asker

Posted

Jeffery - I meant attorneys who do criminal defense work. Though it's dawning on me - criminal attorneys are used to the higher standard of proof. No wonder they focus harder on the proof available.

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