I spent some time this morning on the internet reading about other attorneys. I found the reading quite interesting. I also see why it can be quite confusing for consumers. Let me give you one example. Others will follow in future posts.
One website says you should only hire an attorney who has obtained a $1,000,000 or more settlement. Interesting concept. The theory is that insurance companies only take those law firms seriously. Let me go back into my days as an insurance adjuster and tell you that is garbage. I took attorneys seriously based on how well they represented their clients.
Here is why the amount of a settlement or jury verdict is a bad predictor of the attorney. Pretend you go to an attorney with a case where you were rear ended by a big rig. You need surgery and your medical bills are $500,000. The attorney gets you one million dollars. Is that a good settlement? What if your medical bills were $1,000,000? What if they were $100,000? As I have said before, each case is worth a different amount. Just because an attorney got a $1,000,000 settlement does not mean it was a good settlement, a fair settlement or anything else.
Also, what if the attorney got a $1,000,000 settlement on a wrongful death case but you have a whiplash injury? Does the prior settlement have any effect on how well he or she will handle your case? No.
Finally, back to my original point – insurance companies know who is good. They keep lists. Not once did my list solely reflect people who obtained large results. That was never a reflection of who was good. I took a lot of new, young attorneys very seriously because they showed a desire to learn, a desire to help their clients and a desire to get a good result. To me, when I was an adjuster, that was what was important.
So, when you are looking for an attorney, dont just hire someone because they have settled a case for $1,000,000. Look for someone who you think you will help you!