These five “do’s and don’ts” are from a lecture that attorney Andy Siegel gave at an annual conference of the Brain Injury Association of New York, but they apply to any type of accident/injury case.
What to Avoid When Hiring a Lawyer:
- Never hire a lawyer without interviewing at least two — all personal injury lawyers are not created equal. There are differences in legal abilities, just like there are differences in the skills of doctors and people in other professions.
- Never hire a lawyer who does not take all the time that is required to discuss with you your case and your legal rights. If the prospective lawyer picks up their cell phone while you’re there or allows for other interruptions — run for the hills.
- Never hire a lawyer who promises you terrific results or who spends interview time telling you how great your case is or how great a lawyer they are.
- Never hire a lawyer with little or no experience in successfully handling your exact type of case, no matter whose relative or friend the lawyer may be. This is especially true with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Lastly, never hire a lawyer who is unable to talk with you in a language you can clearly and easily understand, or treat you with the respect and dignity to which you are entitled.
What to Do When Hiring a Lawyer:
- Ask the prospective lawyer about their prior trial results in your type of case, and how many jury verdicts that lawyer achieved on behalf of injured victims just like you. Don’t be shy. It’s within your rights to ask. You must hire a lawyer knowing they can successfully go the distance at trial, meaning one who is not afraid to take a jury verdict in the interests of justice.
- You must hire a lawyer who can advise their client not to take the money being offered — even if it’s a substantial amount — if that sum does not fairly compensate the victim. To this end, a good question to ask the prospective lawyer is: What is the largest offer of money you ever advised a client not to take, and what sum of money did the jury award?
- Ask the prospective lawyer if they have been selected as a Super Lawyer or whether or not they have any literature that was published concerning their jury verdicts in your type of case and your kind of injury, especially TBI. All trial lawyers are egomaniacs, so they will have these publications readily available if in fact they exist.
- Make sure the lawyer you meet with will be the lawyer who will actually handle your case. Not some inexperienced underling who is unfamiliar with the complexity of the liability and injury issues specific to you.
- Choose a lawyer you are comfortable with, who you connect with, and who you believe will do the best job for you and your family.
Siegel & Coonerty: Proven Excellence
Andy Siegel and Sean Coonerty have been named New York Super Lawyers for their representation of injury victims, putting them among the top 5% of lawyers in the personal injury field. They have recovered numerous multi-million dollar verdicts for clients, and are committed to securing the highest possible amount for survivors of TBI and other serious injuries. With extensive knowledge and understanding of the New York Courts, they know how to maximize their clients’ recovery.