Three Best Rated® sits down with three award-winning personal injury lawyers to understand where clients go wrong when picking a personal injury lawyer
TORONTO, March 29, 2019 /CNW/ -- Unfortunately, accidents happen to even the most careful person. It can be especially distressing when a person experiences a debilitating injury through no fault of their own. Insurance companies can deny claims, which will leave the injured person to deal with their medical bills and other expenses alone. Luckily, personal injury lawyers exist for the sole reason of representing people who have been injured and need fair compensation. However, finding a lawyer can be a particularly daunting task. That's why Three Best Rated® sat down with three award-winning personal injury lawyers to learn four mistakes everyone should avoid before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
1. Not Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
When dealing with a personal injury case, it's best to hire a personal injury lawyer. "People often make the mistake of thinking that a full-service law firm can handle your case like a focused personal-injury-only firm can," says James H. Brown of James H. Brown & Associates. "However, there are nuances to this type of law that can be overlooked if you aren't doing it every day, year-round." Law is vast and complicated; it's impossible to assume one lawyer will know all there is to know about any case. This is why many lawyers will specialize in a field. By focusing on just one area of law, they can gain an intimate knowledge of that particular field, and better serve their clients. "Personal injury lawyers specialize in helping clients who have been hurt through the negligence of others, whether it be from a car accident, slip and fall, product liability, dog bite or nursing home abuse," explains Patrica Sim of Grillo Barristers. If a client is dealing with a personal injury case and doesn't hire a personal injury lawyer, in the end, they are doing themselves a disservice. In addition, personal injury lawyers have seen a variety of cases and understand how it personally affects a client. "Many people also suffer the after-effects of injuries, including the psychological and emotional effects," says Steven Polak of Learners Lawyers. "Understanding all of the effects of an injury is an important part of representing an injured person." By having more experience with these effects, personal injury lawyers are better able to help their clients and be more sympathetic.
2. Not Doing Homework on The Lawyer
Nobody likes doing homework, or most work actually. However, with something as important as hiring a lawyer, it is vital to do research on their potential lawyer. "They should see how long the law firm has been in business, whether they specialize in personal injury, what experience they have with the particular type of accident and injury suffered, and what online reviews the firm has from previous clients," Sim explains. As with most things, experience is vitally important in law and the more experience a law firm has with particular cases, the better the advice and representation they provide will be. A client should look at the law firm as a whole, and not just a particular lawyer. The lawyer will be able to pull on the collective knowledge from their colleagues to give a client the best representation and advice. On this note, it is important that a client looks at how the firm is perceived by the community and other lawyers. "If the law firm has a bad reputation, then you may not want that taint to possibly impact on your case," Polak says. It is acceptable for clients to call other practices to ask about the reputation of the law firm they are considering.
3. Not Factoring Geography
Law is a nationwide practice and as such, some firms will have nationwide offices. "However, there is a benefit to having a lawyer who practices in the geographic region where the case happened and has experience in the area," Brown explains. These local lawyers will be able to pull from experience with the local laws that affect the area, since they consistently deal with cases that have to contend with these laws. "Often, we see people go with national ... groups that don't specialize in Edmonton, or Northern Alberta [where James H. Brown & Associates is located], and these cases can be undervalued by those groups," Brown adds. By going with a nationwide firm instead of a local one, clients risk getting a smaller settlement due to all the factors discussed.
4. Not Hiring a Lawyer They Trust
One of the most important things a client needs to think about before they hire a lawyer is trust. "They need to trust and feel comfortable with the law firm they choose," Sim says. The client needs to trust that the lawyer has the client's best interest in mind and genuinely cares about their case. After all, if the lawyer doesn't care about the case, they won't put all their effort into getting a high settlement. "If you're meeting with your lawyer and they're going over things quickly, or aren't thorough, that's likely an indication of how they will be treating your case," says Brown. When the client comes in for a meeting, their lawyer should take the time to explain everything regarding the case and give thoughtful advice. If the lawyer does not do this, they are laying a poor foundation of trust and the client may want to think about finding a different law firm. "You want a lawyer that is best suited to you and who understands what you are going through," Polak says.
About James H. Brown
James H. Brown suffered a broken neck due to a head-on collision with a drunk driver. His struggle back to health gave him perspective on just how devastating an injury can be. Brown used this experience as his driving force into personal injury law. He opened James H. Brown & Associates to give people who were injured like him a fighting chance for fair compensation. His team has over a dozen lawyers with over 200 years of combined experience and specialize in personal injury. They work with their clients to ensure nothing is overlooked. They pride themselves in building trial-ready cases as they know they need to be fully prepared to take the case as far as they can in order to get the maximum settlement. James H. Brown & Associates has been recognized for his excellence and was named one of the top three personal injury lawyers in Edmonton, Alberta, for 2019 by Three Best Rated®.
About Patrica Sim
Patrica is a lawyer at Grillo Barristers. Prior to joining Grillo Barristers, she worked exclusively in insurance defense litigation which has served her well with helping her clients. Grillo Barristers was founded by Sal Grillo. He immigrated from Italy when he was 13 years old and has worked hard to build a successful business in Canada. Grillo Barristers has been in business for 35 years now. Their lawyers are committed to their clients and pride themselves on keeping their clients informed every step of the way. They have over 80 staff members, which allows them to assign teams of up to six staff to each of their clients to ensure the process flows smoothly and not a single detail is overlooked. Many of their lawyers started their careers working for insurance companies and have intimate knowledge of defense strategies which can benefit their clients greatly. Three Best Rated® has recognized their excellence and named Grillo Barristers one of the top three personal injury lawyers in Toronto, Ontario, for 2019.
About Steven Polak
Steven Polak is a personal injury lawyer for Learners LLP. He is passionate about assisting personal injury victims to ensure they are receiving a fair settlement. He also helps with clients who have been unfairly denied disability benefits. He is part of a team of over 100 lawyers and personally specializes in personal injury to better serve his clients. He has the unique perspective of previously working for insurance company defendants. This experience helps him to have an intimate knowledge of personal injury cases and potential tactics the defendants might use against the case. A client of Steven Polak can expect experience, respect and compassion. He has represented clients in all levels of court, so his clients know he can push the case as far as it needs to go. Steven Polak has been recognized for his excellence and was named one of the top three personal injury lawyers in Pickering, Ontario, for 2019 by Three Best Rated®.
James H. Brown
James H. Brown is the owner and lawyer for James H. Brown & Associates
Patrica Sim is a lawyer for Grillo Barristers. She is located front, 5th from the left.
Steven Polak is a lawyer for Learners Lawyers
SOURCE Three Best Rated