There are dozens of law firms in Ontario that actively promote themselves as exceptional personal injury law firms willing and able to effectively help those that have been injured, but not all personal injury lawyers are created equal. The search for the best personal injury lawyer for you is an important endeavour.
Rather than listening to the noise from the mass marketing law firms you should consider the following 6 tips for finding a qualified Trauma Lawyer to assist you, especially if you have been injured in a way that has resulted in a prolonged stay at a hospital.
1. Credentials Matter
The Law Society of Ontario restricts lawyers from promoting themselves as superior to other lawyers, but the Law Society of Ontario does “certify” lawyers as Specialists in certain areas. When it comes to helping accident victims, the applicable Specialist Certification is Civil Litigation. With that in mind you may wish to check that the lawyer you are considered hiring is in fact a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. In addition, there a number of peer reviewed legal publications that help validate the personal injury lawyer’s experience and reputation. Those include Lexpert, Best Lawyers in Canada and Martindale Hubble. All of those publications include lists of lawyers with impressive peer reviewed reputations in the applicable area of plaintiff’s personal injury law.
The number one complaint by clients is that their lawyer does not return their calls or communicate about their case. When hiring a personal injury lawyer you will have limited opportunity to assess the lawyer’s responsiveness, but you may get an impression early on about whether or not the lawyer is easy to reach and is responsive. It is important to evaluate as best as possible the lawyer’s availability to answer your questions in a timely and understandable way. Client testimonials can be helpful in that regard, and many law firms and lawyers have a host of testimonials that can be reviewed on their website about these kinds of issues. Moreover, the lawyer you are considering hiring should be willing to give you some names of clients (with the client’s permission of course) that you can contact to vouch for their responsiveness and quality of services.
3. Firm Reputation and Resources
Personal injury claims involve fighting with insurance companies. Insurance companies are enormous and have the funds to take on any fight they want without reservation. It is important that the law firm that you hire is in a position to fight back with resources that can be dedicated to doing so. Most firms promote themselves as firms that ‘only get paid if we win’ and therefore it is crucial that you evaluate the resources that they have available to ensure that you do in fact win without having to compromise your claim for the purpose of resolution. Resolving a million dollar case for half a million is not a win in my books, but may be seen as a win in the context of ‘only pay if we win’. Notably, the Canadian Lawyer’s Magazine has produced a list of the top 10 law firms in Canada with expertise in Personal Injury Law.
4. Who Are You Really Hiring?
Lawsuits take years to resolve. If you are hiring somebody who is at the tail end of their career, it is quite likely that they will not be around to complete the resolution of your claim. In addition, many personal injury law firms, especially those with “figure heads,” send their “A team” to meet with you and then pass your file off to a more junior lawyer. Be sure that when you are hiring a lawyer that you are actually getting that lawyer.
5. Experience Matters
You should find out whether your lawyer has had experience with similar types of claims by not only asking them that simple question (which would invoke a simple ‘yes’ response), but by asking to speak with former clients or reviewing testimonials from clients who have been through similar experiences. Most lawyers will have former clients that have permitted them to give out their name in these circumstances.
6. Compensation Predictions
Trauma Lawyers should not guess on how much compensation you deserve when they first meet with you. The compensation you deserve is directly related to your recovery from your injuries. So the right answer to the question about how much money your case is worth is no one knows yet. It will depend on how your condition hopefully improves. Be skeptical when a lawyer can tell you the value of your case from the outset.
At Thomson Rogers we have spent decades assisting thousands of injured Ontario motorists. Hopefully these tips will help you find your way into the hands of the right lawyer for you.
Thomson Rogers offers free consultations so please feel free to reach out to us at any time. We are here to help.
Darcy Merkur is a highly regarded Ontario trauma lawyer helping accident victims such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, who have sustained catastrophic injuries.
Darcy is the first lawyer in Canada to be qualified as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist by the Brain Injury Association of America. In addition, Darcy has been recognized as a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario, is listed in peer-reviewed publications – Lexpert® and The Best Lawyers™ in Canada, is ranked AV pre-eminent in Martindale-Hubbell ® and is a partner at Thomson Rogers, one of Canada’s Top 10 Personal Injury Law Firms as selected by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Darcy can be reached at 416-868-3176 or by EMAIL.
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