Many people think of personal injury cases as involving a simple car accident with no dispute as to whom is at fault. They think there is a quick and easy formula that can be applied to every case that will determine how much the case is worth. The truth, however, is that taking this simplistic, shortcut to the case will only result in a smaller settlement or trial verdict for the case. This blog is intended to answer common questions that the public has regarding personal injury cases and the lawyers who handle them.
Personal injury cases involve much more than simple car accidents
Unfortunately, car accidents are a very common occurrence. We see them all the time on the freeway and pulled over to the side of the road on surface streets. Just because a lawyer can handle a simple car accident case does not mean he or she is equipped to handle significant injuries resulting from truck accidents, commercial vehicle accidents, dog bites, defective products, or any other type of negligence. We routinely hear from people whose lawyer settled a very significant injury case for pennies on the dollar, simply because the lawyer did not understand the extent of the injuries or how to maximize the recovery.
What type of cases does the firm take?
Everyone knows the stigma attached to personal injury attorneys: We are all ambulance chasers who only care about making money off of your injuries. Insurance companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to push this stigma on the public, and they have been very effective in doing so. Thankfully, most lawyers do not fit that description. When researching a law firm to handle your case, you need to consider what type of cases they typically handle. Do they only do run-of-the-mill fender benders? Or do they handle significant, serious injury cases? You should focus your search on law firms that handle serious cases that can make a difference in our community. Why? Because firms that focus on those cases are not dependent on quickly settling your case just to make a few dollars. Instead, we can look to the big picture, and counsel you that it may not be in your best interests to take a quick settlement—and thus forgo the quick attorney’s fees—because your injuries will take longer to heal, and your medical bills will continue to pile up. The worst thing any accident victim can do is rush to a settlement if he or she is still treating. You only get one bite at the apple, and if your lawyer talks you in to settling too quickly, you will not receive compensation for your future care needs.
Just because a lawyer has been practicing for a certain number of years does NOT mean he or she is experienced in personal injury
There are two types of personal injury lawyers: Those who try cases to a jury, and those who do not. Again, there is nothing wrong with a lawyer who does not like to go to court, but by choosing a personal injury attorney who does not have trial experience, you are starting the case off at a major disadvantage. First, the insurance companies all know the lawyers who are willing to go to trial and those who are not. Why would they offer top dollar for your injuries if they know that there is no risk of going to court? Second, a critical mistake that many attorneys make is that they do not prepare the case for trial, but rather prepare it for settlement. That strategy is fine if the case settles, but if it does not, many significant facts and issues could be missed. Third, personal injury law is one area that many lawyers do not spend all of their time working in. Much like other professions, the legal industry is filled with attorneys who do not focus their practice on any one particular area of the law, but rather “dabble” in whatever type of case comes through their door. There is nothing wrong with that type of practice, but you need to decide if that is the type of lawyer you want representing you and your injuries. If it is not, it is crucially important that you find someone who has experience and success. But what type of experience should you look for? They may also do criminal cases, bankruptcy claims, or even divorce cases. Simply because a lawyer has been licensed for a long time does not mean that he or she has any real experience that will help you in your case.
Who is Snyder & Wenner?
At Snyder & Wenner, we have dedicated our careers to helping members of our community hold accountable those who have harmed them. We do not take small cases. We focus our practice on only the most serious, significant injuries so we can help families in need and make a difference in our community. For over 34 years, we have worked tirelessly to protect our community, one case at a time. To that end, we have collected over $100 million for our clients and their families. If you have a serious personal injury claim, we would appreciate the opportunity to help you. Please contact us today, and we would be happy to talk to you about your case and walk you through the important steps.