Q:

What is the most important factor to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis?

A:

  • Trust is perhaps the most important part of the puzzle when working with a lawyer on a case of this magnitude. Even in smaller cases there must be a strong connection and level of trust between a client and their lawyer.
    • Trust that the lawyer is not only actually working on the case, as opposed to doing little or even nothing to ensure that the case moves along
    • Trust that the lawyer is making decisions and advocating for your best interests at all times during the case

Q:

Is it important whether or not this lawyer has relevant experience in the subject of my case case?

A:

  • Yes. Experience in handling complex legal issues goes a very long way to ensuring that a case is not only properly handled, but that it does not go stale and end up sitting in a “to-do” bin that never gets done. Some lawyers will take cases on because they think there is a lot of money to be made, but they don’t realize how to effectively handle the case, and nothing ever ends up getting done to handle the case.
  • Insurance companies never make fair offers to the people they are liable to unless they are forced to do so by a competent attorney. A competent attorney will know exactly what sort of things must be presented to an insurance company and how to do so in a manner that best advances the interests of their client. Simply, you must apply pressure in the right way in order to get the best results in a case.
    • In order to apply pressure to the insurance in the right way, experience comes in to play. A personal injury lawyer experienced in handling cases such as yours should know what type of things will pressure an insurance company into action, and when and how to best present those things to maximize the impact they have on the decision-makers who are in charge of your file.

Q:

Should I consider who will be handling my file before I sign a contract?

A:

  • Yes. Depending on the firm, some cases are delegated to less experienced associates to handle. Other firms may have staff members who supervise portions of a case.
  • It is important to know from the beginning who is going to be doing the work on your case. That way you know who is responsible for certain parts and you can be confident that your case is getting the time and attention that it deserves.
    • At our firm there are specific portions of your case that are handled directly by me; and other portions that are delegated to my assistants, and even certain tasks that are on my clients to complete.

Q:

What communication and involvement should I expect in my case?

A:

  • There are things other than money that determine the outcome of your case. Specifically, the time it takes to resolve the case, and the physical recovery you are able to experience are a couple that comes to mind, as well as your level of involvement in the process.
    • One of the main complaints that lawyers in Missouri get is that their clients feel that they never know what is going on with their case.
      This can be for a variety of reasons, but the worst is when their lawyer doesn’t contact them with updates because even the lawyer has no idea!
      Setting clear expectations regarding communication is key at the beginning of representation and throughout the process of the case.
    • Our firm contacts our clients at least one time per month to update our clients and to obtain updates from them about their treatment, condition, etc.

Q:

Should I ask about my compensation and how my attorney will be paid?

A:

  • Yes. The money you get at the end is an important aspect of the outcome
    • Don’t feel selfish in feeling that way. You are going through a great deal of suffering as a result of this injury, and you deserve to be compensated to the highest level possible.
    • It is important to understand how your financial recovery is going to be divided. There are attorney fees, medical expenses, costs of litigation, etc. that will be taken from the recovery. It is extremely important to know and understand how that process will take place before you sign any contract with an injury lawyer – hint; it is certainly something that you are agreeing to in the contract to hire the lawyer.

In Summary

  • Hiring a trustworthy lawyer who is competent and honest with you about what will be done on your case is no easy task. Among the sea of lawyers, it is quite a daunting task to find the very best one for your situation. Serious cases require serious lawyers. Not just ones who talk serious, but those with the experience to take action, and the expertise to get results.
  • Not only is every case different, but so is every lawyer. In your search to find the best personal injury lawyer in St. Louis keep these things in mind, but don’t be afraid to consider and ask about other things that matter most to you. At the end of the day it is your concerns and your case that matters the most.