The Attorney Should Take the Time to Learn What You are Going Through
I was working on a case the other day and as I was building the settlement proposal/demand for the client, I began to think about my process for making these things. First, there is a lot of gathering of information from the beginning of my relationship with clients. I spend time with each client every month and we talk about what they are going through and we discuss how their injuries have impacted their lives and what the medical treatment process is like as well as how they are healing. I find that this part of the process helps me to relate to my clients and get to understand how their injuries have impacted them. Each injury is different and if your attorney doesn’t take the time to understand what you are going through, how can they advocate on your behalf?
The Attorney Should Put Together the Demand
Second, I take the time to build the settlement proposal/demand myself. To do this I go through all medical records myself so I can see first hand what the doctors are saying. Many attorneys/firms use paralegal or nurse summaries to aid them in constructing proposals on behalf of their clients but I have found that there is no substitute for reviewing those records myself because I have not had a case where I haven’t found something that is not contained in the summaries I use myself. Additionally, taking this approach allows me to fully picture how I would present the client’s case in trial. I firmly believe that if I am preparing for trial from the time I take a case, I can speak more authoritatively about my clients harms and losses in convincing the insurer to compensate him or her.
Ask the Attorney How Much Your Case is Worth
Third, while I am giving you suggestions for evaluating a possible attorney’s compatibility with you, it’s pretty easy to say you do this or do that to get compensation for your clients. Here is a suggestion for how to evaluate an attorney when you are looking for representation: When you meet with him or her, ask them how much your case is worth. If they give you a dollar amount or range, you should leave the office. If an attorney can give you a range without knowing your losses, then they are lumping you in with every other person that they have represented who has had similar injuries. The thing is though, in my career I’ve never had two clients with the same damages, and when I’m asked that question I simply say that without knowing a lot more, it would be impossible for me to say. Be wary of an attorney that gives you an answer otherwise.