Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer
Choosing Personal Injury Lawyers:
What Criteria Should I Consider?
Yellow page ads, websites, television ads, and other advertising claims placed by many personal injury law firms emphasize catastrophic injuries and tout experience in handling these sorts of cases. It is very important to look past the advertisements to make an informed decision. In choosing personal injury lawyers, you need an experienced jury trial lawyer with a successful track-record in your kind of case. Ask how many similar cases the lawyer has actually tried in a courtroom and the results of those trials. With less than 100 civil jury trials per year in most counties in Oregon and Washington, and very few being personal injury trials, very few personal injury "trial lawyers" actually go to trial. We do. Often multiple times per year. We don't pretend to be trial lawyers on TV--We actually do it.
DeShaw Trial Lawyers know, from the extensive research we have done on the insurance industry, that unless your lawyer is known for going to trial, the insurer will pay you pennies on the dollar for your claim. The insurance industry tracks lawyers and knows who will not go to trial on your behalf. Choosing personal injury lawyers like those will often result in a lower offer for your case.
Choosing Personal Injury Lawyers with Independent Qualification
When you are looking to select and hire the right personal injury lawyer for you, there are peer reviewed sources available on the internet which all you to see how the lawyer is regarded by other lawyers. What is the lawyer's personal injury case history, and has he/she been asked to join large multi-firm litigation due to their expertise?
When choosing personal injury lawyers, consider the Avvo rating. Avvo is a public web site in which other lawyers and clients can contribute. On that site you can get an impartial rating of Dr. DeShaw along with a list of many of his publications, speaking engagements and case outcomes. A high, unpaid or "Pro" ranking, on Avvo is one of the best indicators for lawyer quality. This is because unlike other attorney ranking systems, it does not rely upon a "who do you know" rating system that is more of a popularity contest than an indication of the lawyer's quality. Also consider the lawyer's publication and speaking record. On Dr. DeShaw's Avvo profile, as well as this web site, you will notice a long list of state and national legal publications. You will also see state, national and international speaking engagements before other lawyers. All of these provide a better understanding about the professional standing various lawyers have accrued within the legal community as determined by their fellow attorneys.
What is the lawyer's experience with the medical injuries you sustained in your case? This is where DeShaw Trial Lawyers shines. Dr. DeShaw has extensive education in traumatic injuries. This allows us to better understand what is wrong with you. In the unlikely event we do not fully understand the extent of your injury, we will hire a highly qualified expert to review your records, examine you, and determine the extent of your injuries. It is because of this expertise in traumatic injuries that other law firms bring their cases to us.
Choosing Personal Injury Lawyers with Resources and Means to Try Your Case
The investigation and trying of litigation cases is costly. Unless the law firm you choose has the financial means to fully investigate your case, and take it to trial, you will not get full value for your case.
Do the lawyers' goals match your goals? Our firm has a philosophy that is different than many personal injury law firms. We would prefer you fully recover from your injuries, than to get more money for your case. At every step, our goal is to get you to the doctors most likely to help you improve, or best address the permanent injury, than to make your case seem artificially worse to the jury in hopes of a bigger financial outcome. Our first goal is to get you back to 100% if that is possible. In many of our cases the injuries are so severe, however, that is not possible. In that case, we work with you to ensure you get as much better as possible. We do not favor large medical costs if they are not necessary, and we do not encourage clients to stay off work. We believe that juries will compensate those who try their best to recover, and return to as many pre-accident activities as possible. In the event you cannot, we put our faith in a jury of your peers in order to fully compensate you for your permanent loss. Even after completion of our clients cases, we continue to maintain contact with clients when a new medical development may provide relief of ongoing pain and dysfunction.
This philosophy extends to the hiring of staff at the law firm. In addition to our goal of hiring very intelligent and talented people, DeShaw Trial Lawyers staff is also hired to compassionately assist those who have been severely injured who experience significant cognitive and physical impairments. Because our lawyers only accept a small number of cases, you will be treated with dignity rather than as just another case file.
Other sources for reference
Attorney websites can be helpful as you can seek information about a firm's prior cases and its lawyers professional standing. Or you can ask your doctor or the Brain Injury Association of Oregon if they know of our reputation. Once you have a list of potential lawyers, call the lawyers and ask for an interview. Its important that you can actually meet your lawyer rather than an assistant. Do they take the time to learn about your case, or are you interviewed by a legal assistant for 10 minutes?
When you select a personal injury lawyer, you want an attorney that is knowledgable in their field. Try to find what functions or seminars they have presented at, what their speaking engagement experience is like, and whether they are published in areas relevant to you and your case. Dr. DeShaw has spoken in a wide array of events, continuing education seminars, and is published by Trial Guides, the legal publisher for the nation's leading trial lawyers association.
It's important that you feel you can talk to your lawyer. Do you like them and are you comfortable with them? Do you trust the lawyer to guide you through this difficult process? How does your family feel about the lawyers expertise? Does the lawyer speak in terms you can understand? Do they treat you like you have value as a person? These are all things you must consider as you choose the lawyer to assist you in a case that may impact the rest of your life.
How can I get help?
For more information, please contact us or call our office at 866.THE.FIRM (866.843.3476) for a free consultation.