In the past few days, I have met with a number of catastrophically injured victims and their revelations of the attorney selection process was mind boggling to me. One of the victims, a well-educated professional, was approached and informed by an out-of-state attorney unfamiliar with Pennsylvania laws relating to Pennsylvania car accidents. The victim was informed erroneously that she could recover benefits from the defendant’s homeowner’s policy, as well as from the defendant’s car insurance policy. Not only that, the soliciting attorney offered to accept the case at a greatly reduced fee due to the nature of the catastrophic injuries involved. The same attorney was not even licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and mentioned that he would try to settle the case or refer it to a friend.
As my client had never had experience with a catastrophic injury or car accident lawyer and had never been involved in an accident in over six decades, she was naïve as to the realities of the situation and was being erroneously led down a primrose path by a lawyer interested in signing up her case by providing false and inaccurate information.
There is a well-known Latin statement “caveat emptor” which translated into English means “let the buyer beware.” The selection of a good and experienced Pennsylvania injury lawyer involves due diligence to find someone with the experience and knowledge necessary to successfully resolve the client’s problem. When a victim has suffered catastrophic injuries, loss of earning capacity, loss of life’s enjoyment and pleasures, and is saddled with medical bills and household expenses due to a catastrophic accident, selecting the right attorney may be one of the most important decisions of her lifetime. After all, the victim or client only gets “one bite at the apple.”
There are many independent review processes that are good places to start to help a client come up with a short list of candidates to consider. The avvo.com directory as well as lawyers.com directory are good places to start, and a careful search of the Internet will reveal much information on attorneys and law firms including articles they have written or news items. Don’t let a hungry lawyer overanxious for business take advantage of you, and you should never feel rushed or pressured to hire an attorney. I recommend speaking to a number of attorneys to determine if you have a comfortable fit. When you meet with an attorney during an initial consultation, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the lawyer’s experience, ask questions as to who will be handling your case, and what you can expect in terms of interactions and communications. Don’t be afraid to ask for references.
For over 32 years, the skilled catastrophic injury and Philadelphia car accident lawyers of Reiff and Bily have been committed to representing catastrophically injured victims and their families. We always offer a free, no obligation consultation and a zero recovery no fee guarantee. For more information, contact us toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.