Month: January 2022

3 Considerations When Starting a Personal Injury Firm

The following post has helpful tips and considerations to consider when starting a personal injury law firm. For more tips, please read our post on How to Start a Law Firm.

Starting (and maintaining) a successful legal practice may be one of the most challenging feats you accomplish in your legal career. While your smashing success in law school and early in your career may have influenced your decision to step out on your own, juggling a heavy personal injury caseload while figuring out all the operational complexities that come with running a company are bound to make even the most capable PI attorney feel some amount of stress.

For those feeling brave enough to take the plunge, here are a few things to consider before putting in your notice and starting your own personal injury practice.

Understand What You’re Leaving Behind

This may seem like a no brainer. However, many attorneys who set out to build their own PI firms don’t have the experience, contacts or open network they need to be successful. Are you considering whether your current and past positions have set you up to succeed on your own?

Before starting your practice, examine your contractual obligations at your current firm. Are you able to take your current clients with you or will you have to leave them behind? Personal injury law is unique in that cases are often handled by one primary contact instead of a larger team. If you’re in the middle of a case when you decide to set off on your own, you may be under the assumption that all of your open cases can leave your firm with you. But the first rule of starting your own PI firm should be “don’t assume anything.” Read your contract closely and figure out what’s allowed. Stepping out on your own may mean starting from square one, but if you’re truly driven and ready to network your way to success, new clients will come your way.

Another important consideration to make before leaving your current firm is your experience level. Have you really gained the proper experience to step out on our own? While you can gain many of the skills you need to excel in your own practice on the job, you should have at least some comfort with things like business finances and employee management before you make the jump to self-employment.

Build a Strong Business Plan and Understand How You’ll Make and Spend Money

Starting a successful personal injury firm requires real business savvy. Before starting your firm, get a business plan in place — and not just a “mental” plan. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and map out your business growth and revenue goals, marketing channels, technology strategy and other details. Considering items like these before you throw yourself into running your own firm is critical to your success, especially in the early months.

Your firm will live and die by its budget, so getting clear on what you can expect to have coming in and going out is crucial. If you’re starting your firm with a handful of existing clients, project the revenues you’ll earn from them for the first year of business, and add in a reasonable amount of month-over-month revenue growth.

In your first months on your own, estimating overhead may actually be easier than estimating revenue. Develop a budget that includes a reasonable salary for yourself and any employees you plan to hire (Inc says your firm should be generating at least $150,000 in revenue each year per employee), legal tech costs, office space and outsourced expenses and keep things lean where you can. For example, if you’re starting out as a solo practice, you may want to consider home consults in those first few months to save money on office space.

Get Your Technology in Order

Assessing your legal technology needs and finding the right tools to address them should be one of your top considerations before starting out on your own. As you likely know, legal tech has come a long way in recent years – especially for personal injury lawyers. While personal injury law can mean dealing with never ending stacks of liability paperwork and time consuming forms, legal technology tools can greatly reduce the time spent on document preparation and management. Even so, finding the right personal injury case management software can still be confusing, especially when you’re first starting out.

Not all legal tech tools emphasize business growth and many of the options you may come across will be better suited for larger scale operations. Smokeball’s practice management software is created specifically for small law firms, and we offer a personal onboarding process through which we customize the tool to your specific needs. We also have form suites set up specifically for personal injury law, so many of the forms you use regularly are likely already in our system.

Starting a personal injury practice is no small feat, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding endeavor. Spend some time thinking through these considerations and getting a plan in order, and if you need more help, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why Is Having a Personal Injury Lawyer Important?

Being injured in an accident or other situation can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might require one or more surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical treatment to recover from the injuries. Your recovery could be lengthy, requiring you to miss time from work. The loss of income could result in a financial crisis for your family.

personal injury lawyer

California personal injury attorney cannot undo what has happened to you. However, having an experienced legal advocate on your side to provide guidance and support can reduce the stress of dealing with a personal injury claim after an injury. 

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me After an Injury?

When you hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, your attorney takes numerous steps to protect your best interest. Steps a personal injury attorney takes for you include:

  • Conducts a thorough investigation to determine how you were injured and gather evidence
  • Identify all parties liable for your damages
  • File insurance claims and handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance companies
  • Retain accident reconstructionists, investigators, and other experts, when necessary
  • Work with you and your physicians to document the extent of your injuries and damages
  • Calculate the correct value for your injury claim and negotiate a settlement for that value
  • Prepare and file a personal injury lawsuit, if the other party refuses to negotiate a fair settlement

While you focus on healing from your injuries, your accident lawyer focuses on recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. 

Should I Work Directly with the Insurance Company?

Working directly with an insurance company to resolve a personal injury claim can be tricky. The insurance company has one goal. It wants to pay as little as possible to resolve your injury claim if it cannot deny the claim outright. 

Therefore, the insurance company will never tell you if you accept a lower amount than your claim is worth. It will not tell you if you are entitled to additional damages that you do not know about because you did not consult with a personal injury attorney.

Insurance adjusters are highly-trained, experienced professionals. They work to protect the best interests of the insurance company. 

Claims adjusters search for information the insurance company can use to deny or undervalue your claim. They may tell you they need a written or recorded statement to process your claim or that you need to sign a medical records release form. These tactics are designed to get information the company can use to avoid paying the actual value of your claim.

A personal injury attorney protects you from these tactics. Your lawyer handles everything for you so that you are not tricked or pressured into accepting a settlement offer that does not compensate you fully for your damages.

Contact Our California Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation 

Once you sign a settlement agreement, your case is closed. You cannot demand more money, even if you discover additional damages or injuries. You give up your right to file a lawsuit too. Before you accept a settlement offer, talk with our California personal injury attorney. We provide a free case review so you can get the information you need to make an informed decision about your case. Contact our office today.

Why it’s Important to Trust Your Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, a qualified injury attorney can help you recover your losses so that you can move forward in all aspects of your life—including physical, emotional, and financial. And while there are many factors that can help you prevail in your personal injury lawsuit, client-attorney trust is a key one. Why? We asked a team of professionals to share why this trust matters so much

First of all, it’s important to remember that your lawyer’s goal is to help you. It’s a common misconception that lawyers are dishonest or don’t have your best interest at heart. Lawyers want to help and reach an outcome that works for their clients. Having a good lawyer who you can place your trust in can be a great source of relief.

Having said that, trusting your injury lawyer is important because it will put less stress on yourself. Recovering from an injury can be difficult, so let your lawyer do the work and remove a little bit of your burden by handling your legal concerns. If you trust your lawyer, you’re also more likely to share useful information that could help your case. The more information your lawyer has, the easier it will be for them to do their job and get you the best possible outcome for your case.

Overall, trusting your attorney will remove a good amount of stress from the equation, and it will also help you by giving your lawyer all the information they need to win your case.

It is important to hire a personal injury lawyer whom you can trust so that you receive the most competent and diligent representation possible with the goal of receiving the best outcome for your case via a settlement or by a trial if necessary.

Your personal injury attorney must be competent and up to date on recent changes in the law so that he or she can convince the defendant (insurer, company, individual) that your case has real value and that you must be compensated fairly for the (financial, emotional) loss they caused.

Your personal injury attorney must be diligent at every stage of your case, from collecting evidence to writing a proper demand letter, through preparing for trial. The amount of your settlement out-of-court or judgment at trial is highly dependent on how hard your attorney is willing to work to assert your rights.

Choosing a hard-working, competent, and trustworthy attorney who puts your interests ahead of taking an easy settlement will afford you the best opportunity to reach a reasonable settlement or judgment which will “make you whole” or put your back in the position you were in prior to your injuries.

We Understand What You’re Going Through

People tend to believe that attorneys – and injury attorneys in particular – are greedy and only interested in making a buck. While this may be true for some, it’s certainly not the case for most of us. Like many others, I decided to become a lawyer and focus on personal injury law because of an experience I had when I was young. I saw how insurance companies took advantage of my family after a devastating accident. I decided that I wanted to help other accident victims stand up against big, well-funded companies and assert their rights. I can empathize with what my clients are dealing with. My perspective allows me to help them more than they probably know. It’s important that clients trust that.

We Have Experience They Don’t

Clients need to trust injury lawyers because we have experience handling complex injury claims. We know how insurance companies operate and what steps must be taken to obtain compensation. Our past experiences – including those cases we’ve won and lost – will benefit our future clients. Most accident victims are unfamiliar with insurance claims and lawsuit processes. Insurance companies know this and will try to use that to their advantage. Trusting an attorney who has years of experience negotiating and litigating injury claims will only help to increase the amount of money a client gets.

Trust is key in the attorney client relationship and the success we have in advocating on a client’s behalf lies in the mutual trust for one another. Juries are intuitive to attorneys’ relationships with their client. If a client doesn’t trust his or her injury lawyer, why should the jury?

The reason you trust your injury attorney is because we’re passionate about helping the underdog. Any injury lawyer will tell you they became a lawyer to fight for justice. The insurance company is the Goliath, the injured party is David, your injury lawyer should be your slingshot.

The reason you trust your injury attorney is because they have your best interest at heart! When we say “we don’t get paid if you don’t get paid,” we mean it. We’re one of the few industries where your success is directly connected to what the firm recovers.

While it matters how experienced and knowledgeable the injury attorney is, that won’t mean a thing if no personal connection has been established. Injury cases are, by nature, extremely personal. You’ll be telling your attorney intimate details about your life in preparation for your case. It’s vital to establish trust and rapport with your attorney so that you feel comfortable sharing your life details.

7 Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you are close to has ever been hit by a car, you know how disoriented one can become when it happens to them. If you’ve been hurt or injured by the negligence of another person, company, or driver; it is possible to seek compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses. You don’t have to call a personal injury lawyer after car accidents, but these are some reasons why you should.

Federal Lawyer Guy - Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Law Firm - We  Protect Your Rights

They Are Professional and Objective

Car accidents and personal injuries cause a lot of pain and emotional upheaval. This trauma may make it difficult to make objective decisions as far as your accident/injury is concerned. A personal injury attorney will file personal injury claims on your behalf. They will also help bring knowledge, skill, and experience into your case; and this will help you get the settlement you deserve.

They Know How to Negotiate

After an accident has occurred, and personal injury claims have been filed, the offending party’s insurance representative handles these cases daily and can be very persuasive when it comes to bargaining for lower compensation. Negotiating with insurance companies can be very challenging and they have techniques on persuading you to accept their first offer. This is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you through this period. Hiring a personal injury lawyer after you’ve been injured often leads to heftier compensation.

Do You Need to Pay a Retainer For Our Personal Injury Lawyers? | D. Miller  & Associates

They Can Help You Get Medical Attention

Putting your personal injury attorney’s name as one of your emergency contacts will ensure that they are one of the first ones to be called when something happens to you. If they get this call early enough, they may be able to help you get treatment. The quality of treatment you receive at this point speaks to whether you will have a speedy recovery or not. If your attorney is familiar with medical malpractice and personal injury, they can also ensure that you are receiving proper care. While you are recuperating, your injury lawyer could be filing personal injury claims against whoever ran you over or is at fault for the injuries you suffered.

They Help You Make Better Decisions

If you aren’t a lawyer, filing a personal injury claim may seem like a long and complicated legal process. Sometimes, the offending party owns up to their mistake and is willing to compensate you. In such cases, if the compensation amount is adequate for your injuries, it would be unnecessary to take court action. A qualified personal injury lawyer will analyze your unique situation and inform you of the options that are available to you. They can also provide counsel on the best route of action, depending on the severity of your situation.

They Can Provide You With Legal Coverage

Often, the offending parties contest personal injury claims, and this prompts you to take court action. The other party will have a lawyer, and you not having one will probably turn the odds against you. Having the support of a personal injury lawyer will help level the playing field. An experienced lawyer will give you adequate legal representation after car accidents. They will gather all the evidence you need to win your court case.

Is It Worth It To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer In Illinois? | Willens  Injury Law Offices

They Can Help You Get Faster Compensation

If you don’t have a lawyer, you will have to wait until you have recovered sufficiently before going to seek compensation. This implies that it will take you much longer to get your settlement. You should call a personal injury lawyer immediately after your accident. This way, they can file personal injury claims on your behalf while you are recuperating. A qualified personal injury lawyer has vast experience with similar cases to yours and the legalities involved with those cases, hence they can side-step all setbacks and help you get compensated as fast as possible.

They Give You Peace of Mind

Sometimes, accidents may result in fatalities. Other times, they may cause post-traumatic stress and intense emotional trauma. Following up on personal injury claims at such a time may be very stressful. You should hire a personal injury lawyer after you’ve been injured. Experienced lawyers will handle all the complicated aspects of your claim, giving you the peace of mind you need to put all your focus on getting better.

Final Words

Accidents are a side effect of life. They happen. If you are injured in a car accident, or if you are injured due to the negligence of someone else, you should promptly seek legal help for compensation. Unfortunately; you can’t rely on other’s driving as attentively or as carefully as you are. Road accidents have led to the death of around 40,100 people in 2017. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice and is for general use only. You should always seek advice from an attorney for legal matters.

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