First, forget the lawyer who handled your divorce or wrote your will. The jack-of-all-trades is often the master of none. Personal injury law is too complex and evolving to leave to a generalist. You need an attorney who handles major personal injury cases exclusively. (Many responsible general practice attorneys recognize this and will not try to handle a major injury or death case.) Having an attorney who is on top of personal injury law is essential to ensure that you are properly represented. For example, under Colorado law, if your own insurance company unreasonably denies or delays payment due under first-party insurance, such as uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you are entitled to two times the benefits denied or delayed, plus attorney fees and court costs. A generalist might not know of this or other developments. Do not go to a generalist.
Second, beware of the high-volume personal injury “turn’em and burn’em” attorneys who spend a fortune on advertising, especially if your case involves major injuries or death of a loved one. Their business model is to turn a large number of cases in a short amount of time. Such firms often are handling hundreds or thousands of cases and operate based upon numbers and quotas, and must continually feed the overhead advertising monster. These high-volume firms have so many cases that you often get assigned a younger attorney, and your case does not get attention or even supervision from the senior attorneys. The truth is that many of these high-volume firms are often not geared toward devoting the time, resources, and creativity necessary to maximize recovery in the major injury or death case. Do not become a number in a mill.
Third, get someone who is experienced in handling major injury and death cases. There are many inexperienced attorneys out there who have never successfully handled a million dollar or multi-million dollar case. While many attorneys may say they handle trucking cases, for example, or serious injury and death cases, the truth is that if they have handled such cases at all, they have done so by treating them just like their other cases, to the determent of the client. Trucking cases are not like auto accident claims and cannot be handled like auto accident claims; accidents involving serious injury or death are not like garden-variety injury claims. Do not pay the price of someone learning at your expense.
Fourth, go where the attorney who will actually be representing you has the reputation and credentials that document his or her ability to handle major injury and death cases successfully. When selecting a personal injury lawyer, look for an attorney that is highly respected in the legal community. Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO, and National Trial Lawyers, the American Society of Legal Advocates, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and other organizations, all provide a means by which to identify the best lawyers in Colorado and other states. Everyone offers a contingent percentage fee. It costs no more to get an attorney who has the credentials of achievement and recognition, and will often pay dividends in terms of the amount you recover.
William Babich, is founder of THE LAW FIRM OF WILLIAM BABICH, LLC, “voice for the injured,” in Denver, Colorado. For over thirty years, his firm has done nothing but relentlessly seek justice for those individuals who, through the carelessness of others, have suffered major injury or death of a family member or who have been wronged by an insurance company. Because collisions involving trucks and commercial vehicles often result in major injuries or death, Mr. Babich is experienced in trucking litigation and has served on the national advisory board of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA) since its inception. Also, in addition to being selected by Super Lawyers and recognized by other organizations as a top trial lawyer, he is among an elite group of trial lawyers in the country privileged to attend the Trial Lawyers College and train under Gerry Spence. THE BABICH LAW FIRM remains dedicated to “seeking justice for people whose lives will never be the same again.”
Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.
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