Choosing your personal injury lawyer can be a tough decision. Your selection could make or break the outcome of your claim in Connecticut. While law firms will have varying strengths and weaknesses, all personal injury lawyers should have some shared information in common. During a free consultation with a prospective law firm or while checking out the firm’s website, check to see if its lawyers know the following six valuable practices. If not, take your business elsewhere.
1. Great Interpersonal Communication Skills
A good attorney will know how to communicate well using both the written word and public speaking. Lawyers need to present cases in their best light to obtain the desired results. Strong communication and persuasion skills with others – especially judges and juries – can go a long way in conveying the client’s damages. Proving pain and suffering especially take good speaking skills, as it is often up to the attorney to describe exactly how great an impact the injury had on the client non-economically.
2. Research and Documentation Skills to Ensure All Details are Accounted For
Research is everything in personal injury law. The ability to research specific laws and statutes, prior comparable cases, and the elements of the case at hand is imperative for a good attorney. A lawyer should have a passion for research and learning, as well as a drive to know more about a situation. Documentation skills are also a necessity to present a clear, convincing case. A good lawyer will carefully document and organize everything, from the client’s medical records and police reports to eyewitness statements and legal documents. The ability to absorb and catalog great quantities of information is essential in preparing a strong legal strategy.
3. Persuasion and Negotiation Ability Goes a Long Way
The ability to read other people can help a personal injury claim succeed. Personal injury lawsuits are all about displaying the plaintiff’s losses in a way that the judge or jury understands and recognizes them. Being able to read a courtroom’s reaction to witnesses and other elements can inform a lawyer’s decisions moving forward. Being persuasive and winning a case has a lot to do with reading the room and reacting as appropriate.
4. Punctuality with Deadlines
Everything in law operates on a timeline. Filing deadlines, statutes of limitations, court dates – your lawyer must strictly adhere to all timeframes to avoid the courts throwing out the case. Punctuality is a must, as is knowing all corresponding deadlines for specific types of claims. In Connecticut, clients have two years from the date of injury or the date of discovery to file a claim for negligence, recklessness, or wanton conduct. The maximum limit to file is three years from the date of the wrongdoing.
5. How to Ask the Right Questions When Presented With a Personal Injury Case
Asking the right questions is an important skill that a good lawyer will use to get to the bottom of a personal injury claim. Your lawyer should know exactly what is the most important and relevant information to glean for your claim. Facts and details that others might think are insignificant may end up being the key to winning your case. Find an attorney who is willing to ask the difficult questions, to dig a little deeper, and to gather as much information as necessary to secure compensation.
6. How to Have Compassion for Others and the Ability to Empathize
Compassion isn’t something an attorney can learn in law school. It’s something that should come naturally. The best personal injury lawyers truly care about their clients and what happens to them. It’s this inner desire to help others that drives attorneys to do their very best during insurance settlement negotiations and lawsuits. Look for signs of genuine care and compassion in your prospective attorneys, such as honesty, a friendly face, and open communication. Reading past client testimonials might also give you a good idea of how the lawyer is with his or her clients.