Is It Worth Getting a Good Lawyer?

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Firm News

Yes. An attorney increases the settlement value of a car crash claim. Basically, the settlement value is like a new car’s sticker price. An attorney evaluates the facts and the law to determine the settlement value. Without such an evaluation, it’s like calculating a car’s price without taking into account the fact that it has air conditioning or an engine. The tricky bit is finding a good lawyer. Kentucky has one of the most lawyers per person of any state in the country.

Any one of the zillions of lawyers in Kentucky could probably handle a basic car crash claim. However, most of these claims aren’t “basic.” Common insurance company defenses include comparative fault and assumption of the risk. Additionally, many car crash claims involve a vicarious liability theory. Hopefully, this blog will help accident victims select the right Lexington personal injury attorney to represent them in court.

Finding a “Good” Lawyer

We’ll resist the temptation to say finding a “Goode” lawyer. At first, all attorneys look alike. They all have the same basic qualifications and the same basic skills. But a closer inspection reveals some critical differences, in areas like:

  • Experience: Years of experience is important. There are many things that an attorney only learns from the school of hard knocks. However, years of experience could also be deceptive. Many lawyers handle injury cases for years and hardly ever try any of them. Instead, they look for a quick settlement and an easy way out. So, during your initial consultation, ask an attorney about his/her trial experience.
  • Accessibility: You can generally research this quality yourself. It shouldn’t take more than about fifteen minutes, door to door, to reach your lawyer’s office. Little annoyances, like poor parking and no elevators, make a big difference. Moreover, your lawyer’s firm shouldn’t be too big. Large firm lawyers often over-delegate work to non-attorney legal assistants.
  • Dedication: You can generally research this one yourself too. Many lawyers only handle a few injury cases on the side, mostly for family and friends. Such undedicated lawyers generally cannot evaluate cases as well. Furthermore, these attorneys are much more likely to look for an easy way out.
  • Vision: As you meet with a prospective lawyer, the attorney should have a clear vision for your case. This vision includes an outline of your legal claim and anticipation of likely insurance company defenses. If the attorney doesn’t have such a vision, it’s usually best to keep looking.

These overall qualities are important to look for in a Lexington personal injury attorney. Other qualities are equally as important in specific areas.

Building a Case

Diligence is usually the key word in this area. During an investigation, an attorney cannot rely on a police officer or a private investigator to handle the entire job. Attorneys must be willing to turn over every stone and collect as much evidence as possible. 

You can never have too much proof. It’s much easier to cut some evidence from a case plan than it is to go back to square one and add evidence later. Ove time, physical evidence disappears and witness memories fade. So, he who hesitates is lost.

Attorneys must also diligently research the law. Lawyers cannot assume that the same laws which were in force three or four years ago are still good today. The law changes too fast. The same thing holds true for court cases. Yesterday’s key precedent is often today’s trivia.

Generally, you can tell if someone is working hard or going through the motions. If your attorney falls into that second category, it’s usually a good idea to change horses as quickly as possible.

Resolving a Case

The qualities in this area go back to experience. Attorneys need negotiating skills and advocacy skills to successfully resolve cases. The more cases they’ve won, the more likely it is that they have the required qualities.

During settlement negotiations, attorneys must know when to stand firm and when to compromise. Otherwise, your settlement will be unnecessarily delayed or it may be less than maximum compensation.

Even though most car crash claims settle out of court, attorneys must be effective legal advocates. Insurance companies keep close track of such things. They know which lawyers are skilled courtroom advocates and which ones are posers. Generally, insurance companies are only afraid of skilled courtroom advocates. Therefore, only such people get really good settlement offers.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act.