Good lawyers vs great lawyers: it’s lack of Board Certified experience that could be standing between clients and successfully recovering adequate financial compensation for injuries sustained in an accident!
When a victim sustains injuries due to an accident caused by the negligent behavior of another, it’s can be one of the most unsettling, scary, and emotionally taxing experiences they’ll ever experience. The emotional side of coming to harm in an accident can be exhausting, leaving victims with mental scars such as PTSD and flashbacks on top of their physical injuries. What’s worse, being injured can keep victims out of work long term, and wreak havoc financially if their injuries render them unable to return to work at all such as in cases of Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury.
When a victim’s accident or injury was the fault of another person, they must begin the process of seeking out an experienced Board Certified civil trial lawyer to navigate the legal system on their behalf. Retaining a Personal Injury lawyer with successful outcomes and years of trial experience (where cases were seen to verdict) is the first step to successfully recovering financial compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering. In the case of wrongful death, it would be the decedent’s family who seeks out this legal representation on their behalf.
An experienced Personal Injury lawyer is key
In our weekly ongoing “Hiring a Lawyer 101” series, we continue to look closely at the specialty known as Personal Injury Law and what it means when a lawyer is considered a “Board Certified” civil trial lawyer, as opposed to simply passing the Bar Exam.
Now, we must look at why a lawyer’s experience is another key factor in being able obtain the highest amount of compensation on behalf of their client.
Contingency 101: what clients need to know about the practice and what it means for clients, financially
First, it’s important to define the word “contingent” in the context of Personal Injury, because it can differ in its use outside the area of law:
“In a contingent fee arrangement, the client pays no fee if her claim is not successful, but if her claim is successful, she pays the lawyer a set share of the judgment or settlement amount.”
Exemplary experience and superior success rate
When a victim retains an experienced Board Certified civil trial lawyer, they will already have vast experience with similar cases, and will have seen them through to verdict or settlement successfully; that’s what a potential client who believes they may have a case should look for when doing their research. Sites such as Avvo and Birdeye offer client reviews on Board Certified lawyers and are a good place to begin the search for legal representation.
For one, when we talk experience, we mean the lawyer has “been there, done that” and can handle any curveball thrown at them (the legal system is never straightforward) throughout the duration of the case. Board Certified lawyers want the tough cases because they know they can make a difference in their clients’ lives. Mediation? They’ve arranged them. Arbitration? They know this option can hurt the client and will not engage in this type of Alternative Dispute Resolution. If the case goes to trial? They’re prepared. They’ve seen similar cases to verdict and the client can rest assured they’ve got it under control from preparation to negotiation.
For these reasons (and many others) a lawyer’s experience in their chosen profession of Personal Injury law matters. Knowing they have a Board Certified civil trial lawyer on their legal team means a client has someone who not only exceeded the expectations necessary to perform their profession successfully, but that they’ve maintained a level of successful results and high standards throughout their career, consistently.
A “Board Certified” accident lawyer doesn’t only means better, it means more trustworthy
Board Certified lawyers are leaps and bounds above their uncertified peers. Their conduct, know-how, and success are unmatched in their chosen specialty.
Sustaining life threatening injuries is emotional, Board Certified lawyers have compassion
During a time of pain and injury, or following wrongful death when a family is mourning the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or neglect, the emotional and financial strain that arises can be as devastating as the physical injuries. A Board Certified lawyer is able to separate the facts from the emotions that often run high following a serious accident. It’s the accident lawyer’s job to provide a clear headed, objective perspective on the case based on prior experience and knowledge of the law.
One example being the offer of a settlement: when financial strain arises, and clients are stricken with anxiety about the future, they may want to make a snap judgement and accept any amount of money on the spot. An experienced accident lawyer, however, can tell a client from experience if it’s a better idea to go to trial and recover more money using that route.
This decision making process will always vary from case to case, and only a Board Certified civil trial lawyer can offer the best, most unbiased advice on a client’s individual Personal Injury claim when it comes to the amount of compensation able to be successfully recovered on their behalf.
Laws, statues, procedures
Statutes of Limitations, laws, and legal procedure all vary from state to state. This is why a lawyer with experience is key. Every lawyer practicing Personal Injury law should be well versed in the laws, statutes, and legal procedure for the state in which they practice with no exceptions. An experienced lawyer also has an experienced legal team (paralegals, legal assistants, younger lawyers learning the ropes) that work hard to prepare a clients case for a successful outcome.
When a client can trust the entire law firm as a whole, and are given peace of mind, all they have to focus on is recovering from their accident on the medical and emotional side, and that should come as a relief to those who have experienced and continue to experience physical and emotional pain following an accident.
Legalese, stacks of paperwork, and obtaining medical records can be confusing
An experienced lawyer knows how to stay calm under pressure, no matter what paperwork or confusing motions are thrown at them. That’s their job and they’ve spent years during and following law school preparing for the most complex cases; at least Board Certified lawyers have.
Great lawyers build their career around what it means to truly be successful: success can be found in staying rational, unbiased, calm, and willing to learn from mistakes (lawyers are human beings too) when things go awry. A lawyer’s conduct during stressful situations is important: a loud, angry, or overly aggressive lawyer that muscles his or her way into a situation without thinking won’t win the case and can end up hurting the client!
A Board Certified civil trial lawyer that conducts themselves with pride in their chosen specialty, makes sure their client’s best interest is always first, and their focus on the facts of the case is a lawyer with a high success rate whether with high dollar verdicts or fair settlements. It’s what separates “good” from “great” and “passed the Bar Exam” from “Board Certified”.
Silly commercials, TV shows, and movies portray actors playing pretend, not real, hardworking lawyers
The lawyers presented to us on TV commercials, primetime dramas, and in movies are just that–made for TV and movies. A lawyer’s knowledge of their chosen profession and high standards set for themselves, as well as their years of experience is what got them where they are.
In the end, it’s all about ethics
Last but certainly not least, is ethics. Every lawyer is required to practice ethically, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to take advantage of a plaintiff without experienced counsel on their side. This is why a Board Certified civil trial lawyer is expected to maintain a superior level of ethics on top of their exemplary conduct.
Protecting the client and having their best interest should be an accident lawyer’s #1 priority. When a person who has become injured in an accident retains a Board Certified civil trial lawyer, they’re often scared, in pain, and looking for someone to fight for their rights both on the justice side and the financial side. A Board Certified civil trial lawyer values compassion and empathy, and always fights passionately to recover the compensation the client deserves, never fearing trial or going in the trenches.