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Gary Shipman
Gary Shipman
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Who/What is your Personal Injury Attorney?

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“You Deserve the Best”

“We’ll Fight for You”

As consumers, we are constantly hearing/seeing television and radio ads from law firms, seeking to have those injured in a car accident, on the job, as the result of medical negligence, or in a nursing home, call their offices.

Those solicitations use persuasive, but often deceptive, “come ons” in an attempt to convince you to make that call. There is nothing wrong with lawyer advertising. Many times, it is the only way that a consumer has the opportunity to know that there are lawyers that can protect their legal rights. But as a consumer, it is important for you to be informed. Just like there is a difference between the quality of a car, there is a difference between the quality of a lawyer.

First, ask appropriate questions. How many cases have you actually tried in court? What is the percentage of cases that your firm handles that are settled? Are you or members of your firm rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory? If you were injured, who would you hire? There are many law firms out there that advertise for cases that won’t be able to provide you with impressive answers to those questions.

There are firms that advertise for cases that have never actually tried a case to verdict, or have tried very few. Insurance companies know that; other attorneys know that; judges know that. The ability to successfully resolve a case is dependent upon numerous factors, not the least of which is the experience of the lawyer handling the case. Lawyers who don’t try cases aren’t viewed as a threat to the insurance companies. On the other hand, lawyers with substantial courtroom experience are viewed as a threat, at least in those cases where liability is clear and the client has substantial damages. Settlement of a case is better than litigation of a case 10 out of 10 times – because the result is certain. Having said that, the best way to maximize recovery in any case is to insure that you have the best lawyer that you can find.

Second, access other resources that are available to you. Do a Google search on the lawyer that you’ve spoken to. Go to websites like www.lawyers.com, www.bestlawyers.com, www.superlawyers.com and find lawyers in your area that other lawyers rank as being the best.

Third, once you’ve chosen a lawyer, stay informed. The law firm that is working on your case should provide you with a “warm and fuzzy” feeling that they are acting in your best interest. There should be a strategy that the law firm has for resolving your case, and you should understand what that strategy is. Patience will be your best virtue. Cases don’t always move along at the pace that clients believe that they should, for legitimate reasons. But if you don’t have answers to your questions, keep asking them until you do.

Finally, when it comes time for you to make a decision about resolving your case, make sure that you are armed with all of the pertinent information. What is the settlement value of my case vs. other cases like mine? What is the jury value of my case? How long will it take to get my case to trial? What are the costs and expenses that I will be charged if my case goes to trial? What are the strengths and weaknesses, both factually and legally, with my case? Knowledge is power, and you, as the client, has to be empowered to make the decision about whether to settle your case. It’s your case, not your lawyers.

Our firm is consistently, year in and year out, rated as exceptional by our peers. We have substantial trial experience, and therefore, we believe that we’re able to maximize the settlement value of the cases that we handle, because insurance companies know what we’re capable of doing in the courtroom. Being a trial lawyer is hard work; but that’s what we are – trial lawyers. That’s not necessarily what other lawyers are, and you should know the difference.