Insurance companies want to control the entire case process for a personal injury claim. One thing that may prompt an insurer to make a higher settlement offer is the law firm you hire.
Insurers don't feel pressured by inexperienced attorneys or those who never take cases to trial, so just hiring the biggest law firm around won't cut it. You still want the insurance company to perceive the risk of a trial even if you're planning to settle. This is why you need to know how to choose the right personal injury lawyers for your claim.
Online searches can help you create a shortlist of attorneys. However, you'll need to get some answers during initial consultations to find the right firm for your case.
Look for Real Personal Injury Experience
You want an attorney who has actual experience with your type of case. This makes it more likely they're someone the insurance company has heard of, and it also helps avoid any errors being made during your claim.
When you go for a consultation with a prospective attorney, ask them how long they've been practicing personal injury law and what percentage of their cases are usually personal injury claims. Find out if they normally represent claimants — what you are — or if they usually represent defendants such as insurance companies.
A very experienced lawyer whose cases normally involve them representing insurance companies is not an ideal choice. Since they are used to taking the insurer's side, and they may not fight hard enough for you.
Check the Lines of Communication
It's important that you and the personal injury attorneys you hire communicate well with each other. Does the attorney listen to you? Are they willing to approach the case following your wishes? Do they explain things well? Do you feel as if the attorney will keep you informed and consider your input before making major decisions in the case?
How much an attorney is willing to listen to and understand you will affect how much you're able to help them. It will also play a role in the decisions you make because you are relying on the attorney's explanations to make those choices.
Confirm You Have a Shared Approach
After you've explained your case, the attorney will tell you how much they feel your case is worth and how difficult it may be to get the insurance company to make an offer in that range. Here, you should discuss how the attorney would approach your case. If you're not comfortable with their preferred approach and they seem reluctant to consider other avenues, it's time to meet with the next attorney on your list.
Your attorney will have a direct influence on the outcome of your personal injury case. Before you decide to work with a law firm, take the time to ensure you've found the right one.