Thats a good question. The first thing I would find out if whether your lawyer concentrates in injury cases or does lots of other things like real estate, criminal law, etc. The laws are so complicated today, its hard for an attorney to do to many things. He or she should be able available to answer your questions and also give advice / explain the legal process in simple terms that you can understand.
You also can search the interent for information about the lawyer and possilby cases that he or she has handled, as well as check his or her ratings on AVVO and Martindale Hubbel rating services.
Listening to 'other people' sometimes is good but only if those people have the knowledge or experience with your lawyer. I usually find however is that most people dont have that.
Almost as important, you have to be comfortable with the attorney. If that is not the case, you do have the right to change lawyers but it is best to do so early since decisions made early in litigation can seriously affect the outcome.
Best of luck to you.
I am licensed to practice law only in Illinois. Any advice that I render is for general information purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Also it is very important to keep in mind that all legal claims have statues of limitation to file that cannot be missed. A local attorney should be consulted to learn the time limits applicable to a particular claim.
Sit down with your counsel and address your concerns. A "good lawyer" is impossible to define. Professional, responsive, intelligent, battling, etc. are all great qualities, but a "good lawyer" is in the eye of the beholder.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
Check avvo, yelp, the state bar assn for discipline history. Do they only handle injury cases? Have they been in practice long enough to gain experience. Are they members of state or national assns of trial attys or consumer attys. For example in calif, we have the CAOC, Consumer Attorneys of California. this is a plaintiff atty assn. It puts out a monthly magazine, runs cont ed programs and offers members ways to network and share info on important issues we all deal with in our cases, as well as info about specific defense attorneys, experts, judges etc. Members of these groups tend to be better informed, and have helpful resources available.
We are all unique, the lawyer who is great for one client or case has the wrong personality or experience for others.
Ask you lawyer and search online for info on what he concentrates on. We cannot say we are specialists, but if this is not someone focused on injury law, for example, that's a red flag.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.
I would also note that whether it was proper for your attorney to file suit 6 months after the injury depends upon a variety of factors, i.e. when you completed treatment, when settlement negotiations were entered into and when it was determined that the case would not settle, etc. Some cases are ripe for suit immediately. For others, those factors can play an important role in determining when suit will be filed. If there is a 6 month period where nothing is being done on the case, I would say that is unreasonable.
Experience in the legal area that a client is looking for is important. Find a personal injury attorney in your local area that is experienced in personal injury, and get a free consultation from that attorney. Do you feel comfortable with that attorney and do you trust that attorney to handle your case for you? Check out Avvo.com as this forum has many very good attorneys that you can choose from. You can check out reviews from prior clients, endorsements from other attorneys, the number of years that an attorney has been in practice, and whether or not that particular attorney is in good standing with the Bar Association when you use Avvo.com.
Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in 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. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Experience is a great indicator. In Quincy, Illinois, The Law Office of Stephen P. Rapp is a LOCAL law firm. Hiring a firm with a lawyer who practices AND lives where the accident occurred can be beneficial. Oftentimes, a lawyer who lives in the community where the accident occurred has knowledge that others may not have based on experience and knowledge of the community. In my practice, I can often visualize a particular intersection and have had experience in representing injured people at that very intersection. One indicator in my opinion is whether or not the law firm or lawyer handles the property damage part of your claim at no cost. At our firm, a firm concentrating in personal injury law, we handle the property damage so the insurance company doesn't confuse our clients and to insure our clients recover all of what they are entitled to receive. Ask the lawyer if they concentrate in personal injury law and whether they handle the property damage at no cost.
Ask questions and see if you get direct answers. Has the lawyer taken the time to know your story? Is the lawyer treating you like a list of facts on a yellow legal pad? Or is the lawyer taking the time to learn how your injury really affects you and your life? Then TRUST YOUR GUT. You can usually change lawyers without any financial penalty. The new lawyer can work a deal with the old lawyer. You are not married to your lawyer. If you have an uneasy feeling and it is not resolved, get out of Dodge and get another lawyer. Ask around. Be proactive. You are the consumer!
Every case is different. There may be a good reason why she filed already. It is possible that the other insurance company is what is known as a substandard company and always requires a trial.
There are a number of possible reasons. Talk to her and ask.
Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. 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. Padove strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Burtonap@aol.com (219) 836 2200
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.