Not all lawyers are the same in the eyes of insurance companies. Truthfully, not all lawyers have the same level of skill and expertise.At Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys, our entire law firm practices only personal injury law. It is the ONLY type of case we handle. Focusing on one specific area of the law has allowed us to become the very best at what we do—representing injured clients.
The insurance companies know us. They know we excel at trying cases. They know we excel at negotiating settlements. They also know we will stop at nothing short of getting the best results for our clients. This gives our clients an immediate advantage over the person who hires a general practice lawyer who practices a little of everything.
Here are 3 simple questions you should ask a lawyer before hiring him to represent you in your personal injury suit. It truly pays to ask these questions because it will ultimately affect how much you are compensated for your injury.
1. What percentage of your law practice is devoted to personal injury cases?
2. How many injury lawsuits have you tried in court or do you settle every case out of court?
3. Do you have the financial resources to take on my case?
Let’s address each question.
1. What percentage of your law practice is devoted to personal injury cases?
You should not allow your divorce lawyer to handle your personal injury lawsuit any more than you would allow your dermatologist to perform your open heart surgery.
When you need a personal injury lawyer, you need a lawyer who is the best at personal injury law. But, the overwhelming majority of lawyers from Baton Rouge to Slidell are “general practitioners” with no special training and little experience in personal injury law. We call them “Dabblers”. They dabble in personal injury law. They do a little of this and little of that, including personal injury practice. A jack of all trades and master of none. Nearly all claim they are personal injury lawyers. Fact is, most are not. They simply do not have the personal injury training, skills, and experience to properly represent personal injury clients at the high level needed to win your case at trial or negotiate the very best settlement.
Ask the lawyer what percentage of his/her practice is devoted strictly to personal injury cases. Look up the lawyer on the internet. Is the lawyer advertising for divorces, custody, and criminal cases, too? If yes, then his practice is not 100% devoted to personal injury. It is highly likely that the lawyer does not have the skills and experience necessary to take on the army of insurance lawyers who specialize in defending personal injury suits.
At Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys our practice is 100% devoted to personal injury cases and representing clients who have been injured in accidents.
We know that an injured person is automatically at a disadvantage when he or she hires a lawyer who does not specialize in personal injury cases and practice personal injury every day. Why? Because insurance companies track lawyers and their areas of practice. The insurance company knows if your lawyer is truly a personal injury lawyer who knows personal injury laws.
The insurance companies know which lawyers simply dabble in personal injury law. They know which lawyers take a quick, low-ball settlement check and which lawyers have the skills to take them to court and try the case. That knowledge makes a HUGE difference as to: (1) how much money the insurance company will assign to your case in the very beginning and (2) how willing they are to try to settle for an appropriate amount to avoid confronting your lawyer in the courtroom.
If your lawyer’s primary practice area is divorce or criminal law, the insurance company will know it and they will lowball your case from beginning to the very end. The insurance companies know that a divorce or criminal lawyer probably does not have the skills to take the insurance company to trial and win.
The insurance companies spend 100s of millions a year training their army of lawyers to defend their cases and deny claims like yours. The insurance lawyers are very good at what they do because it is all they do—defend the insurance company. Likewise, your lawyer must be very good at personal injury because it is all that he does. Your lawyer must be equally as good as the insurance lawyer, if not better.
It takes a specialist in any legal field – whether personal injury lawsuits, divorce, or bankruptcy — to really know that field backwards and forwards, to practice at the highest skill level – and to get you the best results.
At Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys, all we do is personal injury. We tirelessly train to be the very best personal injury lawyers from Baton Rouge to Hammond to Covington to Slidell.
2. How many injury lawsuits has the lawyer tried in court or does he settle every case out of court?
One of the first questions an insurance adjuster asks when a serious injury claim comes in is: “Who is representing the injured plaintiff?” The insurance company wants to know who they are up against. They want to know if they are up against an experienced personal injury lawyer or are they facing a divorce/criminal lawyer who takes a few injury cases on the side. It really matters.
When you hire a lawyer who always settles cases and rarely goes to trial, be prepared to take home a substantially reduced settlement amount on your case.
If your lawyer does not have a proven track record of winning at trial, then the insurance company knows that your lawyer will likely settle your case for far less than it is worth to avoid going to trial.
Although the large majority of cases settle out of court, there is only one way to get top dollar for your case in a settlement. The insurance company absolutely must know that your lawyer is ready, willing and able to try your case in the courtroom.
I know several lawyers who routinely tell new clients that they try cases in court all the time. Yet, they fail to disclose to the new client that they are not trying personal injury cases. They are trying DWI cases, divorces, custody cases, and criminal cases. Cases that are often far less complex than personal injury cases.
The insurance companies know every personal injury attorney in your area. They know who actually goes into court to try injury cases. They also know which attorneys do not or cannot try cases in the courtroom. Every insurance company uses this information to their advantage to evaluate their risk of paying your claim.
When the insurance company knows your attorney is skilled at preparing a case for trial, it gets their attention and they are far more willing to settle your case for an appropriate amount. They do not want to fight a skilled personal injury lawyer in the courtroom.
On the other hand, when the insurance company knows your lawyer will nearly always settle to avoid trial or that she only handles a few injury cases a year, the insurance company does not fear taking the case to trial or making lowball offers. Why? Because the insurance company knows your lawyer probably does not possess the skill or desire to fight it out in the courtroom. Instead, the insurance company counts on that lawyer talking you in to accepting a lowball settlement offer.
3. Does the lawyer have the financial resources to take on my case?
Lawsuits involving serious personal injuries can be very expensive to take to court. A typical case can involve 3-6 doctors and require 2-4 expert witnesses such as engineers and accident reconstructionists to support your case. Each one of these often charge $5,000 or more just to evaluate your case and write a report. They will again charge $1,000s to appear for trial and testify.
When a lawyer wants your case, ask who he regularly hires as an accident reconstructionist or biomechanics specialist or traffic engineering expert. If the lawyer cannot quickly name 1 or 2 in each field, then you are probably talking with a lawyer who has little personal injury experience. In this case, chances are also likely that the lawyer does not retain top experts to counter the insurance experts.
Herrin Kervin routinely hires the best engineers, accident reconstructionists, and accountants from around America to assist us in obtaining the highest settlements and jury awards possible for you.
When a lawyer lacks the finances to fund a case properly, corners are often cut at the expense of the client’s case. Often, a client is pressured into taking a lower settlement amount because the lawyer cannot afford or refuses to spend the money to hire the necessary experts.
Do not short-change your case. It pays to hire a lawyer who has the financial resources to take a case all the way to trial, if necessary.
Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys practices only personal injury law. It is the ONLY type of case we handle. We represent clients in what we do best—helping the injured person obtain compensation from insurance companies that refuse to pay.
The insurance companies know us and know we excel at trying cases and negotiating settlements. They also know we will stop at nothing short of getting the best results for our clients. We provide our clients an advantage over the person who hires a general practice lawyer who dabbles in a little of everything.
Call us. We are happy to give you the best personal injury representation from Baton Rouge to Hammond to Covington to Slidell.