Recently I’ve had many clients coming to me because they were unhappy with their legal representation. When I inquired how they found their lawyer, it was troublesome hearing their stories. Some were contacted while still recovering in the hospital bed, some were walked by their doctors to a nearby law office, and some were given business cards by workers at hospitals.
There are ethical laws prohibiting lawyers or their agents from soliciting clients while in the hospital. I recommend that all people stay away from these predatory lawyers. There are many ways to find a good personal injury attorney. However, the worst way to find an attorney is when the attorney finds you, lying in the hospital, handing you a retainer to sign, and promising a large settlement.
You should also be careful of unions who endorse certain personal injury lawyers on their members. If attorneys are paying monies to the union for each personal injury case signed up, this is not ethical. You have to decide for yourself whether the attorney is honest and experienced, not your union.
I have also had clients who came to me because there lawyer immediately referred them out to another law firm. I explained that these types of law firms advertise they practice personal injury litigation, but in reality refer all their cases to other law firms for a percentage of the fee. These attorneys are like brokers or telemarketers who pay large sums of money on full page advertising in different media to entice clients. They advertise large verdicts even though many have never tried a case.
To avoid these brokers, always make sure the lawyer has a website that shows when they graduated from law school, the partners and employees of the firm, and their actual trial experience. As a general rule, if the lawyer has not been practicing for at least 10 years in personal injury law and has not tried at least 10 cases to verdict, you are better off finding a more experienced personal injury attorney. With a less experienced personal injury attorney, you risk the lawyer settling the case for much less than it’s worth, referring the case to a more experienced lawyer you never chose, or dropping the case after years have passed. Also check that the firm has a New York phone number and New York office location on their advertising for any case you intend to bring in New York State.
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer is just as important as choosing the right doctor if injured in an accident. Many law firms will not take a case once another lawyer has handled the matter for a significant period of time, so it is especially important to initially choose carefully. Look for the best in all respects and not just the most convenient.
At BBNR, you can call anytime for a free consultation. We speak Polish, Russian, and Spanish, and never refer cases out. We also handle all our own appeals.