Consider the following questions to answer to learn how to compare personal injury lawyers in New York to represent you when you’re injured in an accident.
Choose a Law Firm That Practices Exclusively in Personal Injury
Many law firms represent clients in accidents and other areas such as immigration or criminal law, and possibly other areas.
Each of these practice areas have become extremely complicated in the last 30 years and continues to become more complicated. It’s difficult to become proficient in just one area of practice. It’s just not possible to be equally proficient when practicing more than one area of law and dividing your time between subject areas.
Additionally, it’s distracting when a lawyer divides time between personal injury cases and other types of cases.
Even our personal injury case management software was specifically designed only for personal injury cases by an extremely large personal injury law firm.
We only represent people injured in accidents.
Is Your Personal Injury Lawyer Highly Experienced?
Choose a personal injury lawyer with at least 8-10 years of experience exclusively in personal injury.
The knowledge needed to handle personal injury cases is not learned in law school. This knowledge comes from working with personal injury cases over several years.
We have far more than 10 years of experience exclusively in personal injury.
Has the Personal Injury Lawyer Represented Other Lawyers?
One indication of a good lawyer is when the personal injury lawyer has represented other lawyers who were injured in an accident. We have represented lawyers injured in accidents.
One lawyer came to us when her 20-year-old son who was not married and had no children was killed in a motorcycle accident. She knew that most lawyers settle cases like that for less than $200,000. We settled the case for $500,000.
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How Do Personal Injury Lawyers on TV Compare to Other Personal Injury Lawyers?
Someone asked on Quora, “How do I hire an accident lawyer?” I thought I would write about this because part of one of the answers given is simply wrong.
The answer was, “Ask friends to recommend a good one. Most of those lawyers on tv do not handle your case themselves, they give them to inexperienced associates who work for low salaries.”
While asking friends to recommend a good lawyer is a good idea, the other part of the answer was incorrect saying that most lawyers on tv give cases to inexperienced associates. I was one of those inexperienced associates at one of the largest personal injury law firms in New York, and they advertised on TV.
When I started at that law firm, I was an inexperienced associate. But I was closely watched and tutored while working on cases together with a supervising attorney. That law firm was and still is today one of the top personal injury law firms in New York.
The advantage that clients of the large law firm had was there were many other personal injury lawyers in the law firm that we could discuss case problems with.
The disadvantage that clients of the large law firm had was that they could never speak with their lawyers.
We take pride in personal service and not one of our clients ever has difficulty reaching a senior partner.
Should You Use a Solo Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are many advantages that a law firm with more than one lawyer has over a solo law firm with one lawyer practicing alone.
The biggest advantage is that there is always another personal injury lawyer around to discuss issues. There are always decisions to be made, and it’s often advantageous to discuss ideas with someone else. While a solo lawyer can always call a friend, it’s not the same as when you’re working with other lawyers.
Your case may move faster in the court system when there is more than one lawyer available to work on your case. It’s less likely that court appearances will have to be adjourned because of conflicts such as when a lawyer has a court appearance in the Bronx and Nassau County at the same time. We have 12 lawyers available for court appearances.
A law firm with partners will likely have more money to invest in your personal injury case. The old adage, “it takes money to make money” applies to personal injury.
When there is enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, it makes sense to spend money on your case. Insurance companies frequently try to save money, while we like to spend money on experts. Where it makes sense, we spend $30,000-$40,000 on a case, and this has given us million-dollar verdicts.
Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Only Represents Plaintiffs
Insurance companies with attorneys on staff will frequently hire outside attorneys, and many insurance companies don’t even have attorneys on staff.
Some personal injury law firms represent injured plaintiffs but also work for insurance companies, representing defendants.
We never work for insurance companies. We only represent people injured in accidents.
What You Should Know about Results Shown by Personal Injury Lawyers
Settlement and verdict results posted on personal injury attorney websites don’t demonstrate competence without knowing more.
Anyone can settle a case for $10 million when it was worth $15 million. It’s important to know the facts of the case when looking at case results.
Possibly, better indicators are cases where a lawyer obtained the entire insurance policy for a difficult case such as where the client ran a red light, a stop sign, or was drunk. Many lawyers won’t take those cases because they don’t know how to get money on them. This is where experience becomes important.
We have obtained the entire insurance policy in many cases where our client ran a red light, or stop sign, or was drunk. If you have a serious injury, we will take your case when other lawyers won’t.
Is the Personal Injury Lawyer Willing to Take Your Case Immediately?
Many personal injury lawyers will ask you to get medical treatment before they will agree to take your case. We see this a lot. If the personal injury lawyer isn’t sure if he or she wants your case, call us.
In one example, our client injured her back in a car accident. She went to see a personal injury lawyer in the Bronx and was told to go for treatment at a medical clinic and to come back to the lawyer in a few weeks. She wasn’t happy with the personal injury lawyer or the medical clinic he sent her to, and she called us.
Our client had been seeing an orthopedic surgeon for her back injury prior to her car accident, so we sent her back to her orthopedic surgeon. We settled her case for $750,000.
Reviews/Testimonials from Previous Personal Injury Clients
Probably the most important thing to look for in reviews or testimonials from previous clients is how they felt about the way they were treated by the lawyer.
See some of our personal injury reviews.
Besides looking at reviews and testimonials, ask the personal injury lawyer if you can speak with any previous clients directly.
How Easy Will It Be to Speak with Your Personal Injury Lawyer?
It’s usually easy to speak with a personal injury lawyer when looking for a free consultation. If you have trouble getting a personal injury lawyer on the phone for a free consultation, that’s the first sign of problems!
Most personal injury lawyers will be very responsive the first time you call. But how easy will it be to speak with your personal injury lawyer (not a paralegal or secretary) on the phone after you sign the retainer? This is the single biggest complaint we hear about other personal injury lawyers.
Our clients can speak directly with us seven days/nights at our personal phone numbers, so you don’t have to go through a secretary or paralegal. On rare occasions, you may have to leave a voicemail, and we’ll call you back immediately. Listen to two voicemail messages (on our home page) from clients who were surprised we didn’t answer the phone.
Everyone has many questions that arise during their case, and you won’t think of them all at once. This is to be expected, and we don’t mind how many times you call.
Personal injury cases make a lot of money for personal injury lawyers. This makes you as important to us as a large corporation is to a corporate law firm. Do you think a large corporation will have trouble getting its lawyer on the phone?
Will Your Personal Injury Lawyer Make You Work on Your Own Case?
We hear all the time from clients who switch to us that their previous lawyer made them “do all the work” including getting medical records and sometimes even paying for medical reports.
We don’t do that. Our goal is to remove the burdens, uncertainty, frustrations, and anxiety you may have. We don’t want to burden you with what we should be doing.
One of our current clients had a lawyer who made him get his medical records and other things and then wanted to settle his case for $7,500. When we got the case, we found that there were a lot of medical records missing and we are now demanding the entire insurance policy of $100,000.
Has Your Lawyer had a Disciplinary Action?
Has the personal injury lawyer ever been disciplined by the New York State Bar? We have not.
You can find out if a personal injury lawyer has been disciplined at the New York State Court Attorney Search page or Avvo where you can see Attorney Philip L. Franckel, Esq.’s profile. From here, you can search for any attorney in New York, and the profile will indicate if there is a disciplinary action or not. The Resume/License section will give the status of the lawyer. You can see my profile says Currently registered and We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Has the Lawyer Ever Served as an Officer of One of the 2 NYS Personal Injury Bar Associations?
Attorney Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is a former Member of the Board Of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Has the Lawyer Ever Been Sued for Malpractice?
It’s not easy to find out if a lawyer has ever been sued for malpractice. However, you can search for the lawyer’s name on the New York State Court website for lawsuits in Supreme Court against the lawyer. It’s not easy because you will have to search every county. It’s easier to search elaw.com where you will also have to search every county and year with a free account.
We can state in writing, which we are doing right here, that we have never been sued for malpractice. It would be unethical, and we would be disciplined if we stated that it was not true.
A caveat is that even the best lawyers could have had a malpractice claim because anyone can make a mistake. The biggest questions when a lawyer has a malpractice claim are what was the reason for the claim, does the lawyer have malpractice insurance to protect their clients, and does the lawyer have multiple malpractice claims?
We have malpractice insurance to protect our clients.
What Questions Should I ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Now that you know how to compare one personal injury lawyer with another, read the questions to ask before hiring a personal injury lawyer and making your decision.
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Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.