The best personal injury lawyer in California almost certainly does not have any of these character profiles or tendencies. Consequently, these are probably not your ten best reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer or what you should be looking for in a good personal injury attorney. They’re reasons to fire a personal injury attorney. Here are our best ten.
1. He’s sleeping with the party that hit your car.
2. He told you to confess to being at fault even though you weren’t.
3. He’s not an attorney. He just plays one on TV.
4. His office is at the race track.
5. His phone has been disconnected.
6. He’s on a list of convicted sex offenders.
7. His picture is on the wall at the post office.
8. He keeps asking you for a loan.
9. His breath smells like gin.
10. He keeps asking you where the courthouse is.
If you’ve been the victim of a car, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian, bicycle, or auto accident, lost a loved one in a wrongful death or been the victim of a dog bite or animal attack, you can visit our website at http://www.SebastianGibsonLaw.com for more information and call us at any of the numbers easily found on our website.
At the law firm of Sebastian Gibson, we don’t seek to take cases from other attorneys. If you’re having difficulties with your current personal injury attorney, the first thing you should do is request a meeting and let him or her know your concerns. Ask to see your file. You may find out that he or she is actually doing a good job. Or you may not.
On the other hand, if your attorney refuses to meet with you much less return your phone calls, and if you’ve lost all trust in your personal injury lawyer, you may have no alternative but to change attorneys.
If you’re already in litigation, don’t fire your attorney until you’ve lined up a replacement lawyer. You may have difficulty finding a lawyer who will take your case once it’s in litigation. Many attorneys won’t take cases that have already been filed in court. Our firm feels the same way. The reason for this reluctance is that no attorney wants a case that has been mishandled, especially if it has been mishandled in the litigation phase.
If your claim hasn’t yet gone into litigation and its become clear to you that you can no longer continue with your current lawyer, you may want to consider this fact. If your attorney quits, he or she isn’t entitled to any portion of the attorney fees from your settlement. Consequently, it will be easier for you to find another lawyer if that lawyer doesn’t have to eventually split his or her fee with your former attorney.
On the other hand, if you fire your current attorney, any new lawyers you contact will weigh whether or not your case has sufficient value to make it worthwhile for them to become involved if they have to eventually split their fee with your former attorney.
What this means is that it will be beneficial to your ability to find a new lawyer if you can convince your current attorney to quit. An attorney formally quits by sending you a letter that he is declining to represent you any further. If you are in litigation, an attorney can withdraw only by filing a substitution of attorney replacing himself or herself with you or with your new attorney.
Having made a mistake with the first attorney you hired, you now need to know how to avoid making the same mistake twice. You can’t afford to hire a second bad attorney for your case. But what makes a good attorney from a bad one?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not his or her skills in the courtroom. It’s his or her personal communication skills. A good attorney returns every client’s phone calls as soon as he or she is able to. A bad attorney ignores his clients’ calls when he or she thinks they don’t need to talk to him or her. An attorney with good communication skills, both in how he talks and listens to you, and how he or she can write, will likely be just as good in court as he or she is in his office and on the phone.
A good attorney is meticulous and organized. A good attorney can still have an office that’s messy, but your file had better be well organized or it will be very unlikely he or she can prepare a thorough and complete evaluation of your case with copies of all the medical bills and records, wage loss documentation, vehicle damage photos and estimates, witness statements (if necessary), the police report and police photos (if any) and a well-written demand letter from four to twenty pages in length, the length of which depends mostly upon the volume of medical records and the severity of your injuries. A bad attorney almost certainly won’t be conscientious or sufficiently organized to prepare anything close to a good demand package for the insurance company and as a result, the settlement offer the insurance company makes on your case will reflect this.
A good personal injury attorney will be experienced in negotiating personal injury settlements. He or she will also be good at negotiating the medical liens and any amounts that have to be paid out of your settlement for your medical treatment. A bad attorney will recommend that you take the first or second offer an insurance adjuster makes on your case and will also think that you have to pay your medical liens and any medical bill balances dollar for dollar, when in reality, they can often be reduced substantially.
A bad attorney screams and yells at insurance adjusters, putting themselves on the adjuster’s mental list of attorneys they least want to talk to. A good attorney is respectful, even when disagreeing with an insurance adjuster’s evaluation of a case, and persuasive in presenting your claim because he knows all of the details having written a thorough demand letter to get the best settlement possible.
A bad attorney leaves all of the above to his or her staff of secretaries, clerks and paralegals while he or she does other things. A good attorney does virtually all of the legal work himself, leaving just some of the typing to his secretaries and just the research to his law clerks or paralegals (and many good attorneys won’t even delegate the research) while preparing the demand package letter and talking with the insurance adjusters himself or herself.
Most of all, a good attorney is personable. He or she has a sense of humor and is able to make you feel comfortable and even smile. You can relate to him or her just as he or she can relate to you. He neither brags nor needs to. He or she has a quiet confidence and a winning personality. Most of all, you feel like he or she could be someone you’d want to call your friend.
At the law offices of Sebastian Gibson we return every client’s phone call as soon as it comes in, or if we are in court, as soon as we return to the office. There are no secretaries writing demand letters, returning the calls made by clients wanting to speak to the attorney and no staff member talks to an insurance company adjuster in place of Sebastian Gibson.
Attorney Sebastian Gibson has obtained millions of dollars in settlements and multiple million dollar settlements and has over thirty years of experience.
We believe that you hired an attorney for your personal injury case for that attorney’s expertise, not for him or her to shove the work off onto inexperienced and untrained in the law staff members.
Most of all, we like our clients and we hope they truly like us. We hope that you will feel the same way about your attorney.
We invite you to visit our website at http://www.SebastianGibsonLaw.com and call us if you’ve been seriously injured in a personal injury auto, pedestrian, bicycle, car, truck or motorcycle accident or if you’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death or if you or a family member has been bitten or attacked by a dog or other animal and need to retain an attorney.