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Personal Injury Law – Experience

One of the questions that people seeking to retain a personal injury lawyer should be asking is how much trial experience the lawyer has. While most people do not want to have their claim litigated at a trial, where a judge or a jury will make a decision for them as to their compensation for their injuries, sometimes this is a necessary evil in the claims process. This occurs for a number of reasons but primarily in situations where liability is at issue, or where the parties just cannot find a middle ground in order to settle the claim. More about our Car Accident Attorneys in San Antonio here
When it comes to deciding whether to settle or not, there is no right or wrong answer. Every accident victim will have his/her own reasons for either settling, or persevering through to a trial. What you should expect from your lawyer, however, is good advice as to the range that your claim may be compensated in court and your chances of success. Armed with this knowledge, a claimant can make a rational decision, realizing that there is no guarantee either way. In certain circumstances, however, the claimant and the defendant are just so far apart in how they view the compensation for the claim, that the only fair way to determine what the claim is really worth is through the trial process. If that does happen, you will want to have retained a lawyer who knows his/her way around the courtroom, and knows how to handle the intense stress and long hours of conducting a trial. So, trial experience is a necessity.

Another reason to retain a lawyer who has recent trial experience is that your lawyer will have credibility when negotiating with the defendant’s lawyer, especially when it is necessary to threaten a trial if the matter does not settle. If the defendants know that you have retained a lawyer who has not gone to trial for many years, then it is likely that they will use this information to their advantage in driving a very hard bargain during the settlement process. If, however, the defendant knows that you have an experienced trial lawyer who will go to trial if the settlement is not reasonable, then the bargaining dynamic will have shifted very much in favor of the accident victim. In other words, the defendant knows that your legal counsel will back up his/her words with actions. Finally, it is only through many trials that legal counsel gets a true appreciation of the risks and the potential benefits of going to trial in order to resolve a claim. There are some claims that are well-suited for the trial process and will likely do better in front of a jury. Often, it is only through many trials that a lawyer will be able to truly understand these concepts. If you are looking to retain a lawyer, ask him/her how many trials he or she has done, and how long ago. The answer may surprise you.

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