As a Dallas personal injury attorney since 1994, I have listened to my clients over the years and learned what they expect from their attorney. Here are a few things that a personal injury attorney should recognize as their role in representing a client.
Good Communication. When a client hires an attorney to present them in their personal injury case, they give up a certain level of control. That is hard for a client to do. Therefore, it is important that the client knows that the attorney is looking out for the client’s best interests. This requires that the attorney maintain good communication with the client and keep them updated of the progress of the case. Additionally, the attorney needs to make sure the client is comfortable with the attorney’s plan is representing the client. All cases are different and so are all clients. But they all have one thing in common: they do not want to be kept in the dark once they hire an attorney.
Collection of Evidence. Witnesses memories tend to fade or they move away. The attorney should contact the witnesses early on and try to secure their version of the accident so that their testimony may be used in the future if necessary. Photographs should be secured as soon as possible. If there are any visible injuries, then those injuries should be preserved before they heal. If there is any vehicle or property damage involved in the case, the attorney should get photographs before the damages are repaired. Photographs of the accident scene should also be taken before the area is changed or altered.
Continuous Progress. Nothing can be more harmful to a personal injury case than delay. The attorney should keep track of the client’s medical treatment and continuously request medical records and bills as they become available. Then the case should be submitted to the insurance company as soon as all the necessary evidence is collected so that the case may be submitted to the insurance company for possible settlement. If the case cannot be settled, then the attorney and client should consider filing a lawsuit as soon as possible. If there is unnecessary delay in pursuing the client’s case, then the insurance adjuster may get the impression that the attorney is not serious or aggressive. That can certainly hurt the value of the case should the opportunity to settle arise.
Sound Legal Advice. A personal injury attorney needs to make sure that the client has reasonable expectations. It is not uncommon for clients to take their cases very personally. It is the attorney’s responsibility to make sure that the client is grounded in reality about the strengths and weaknesses of their case. The attorney cannot let the client’s emotions effect their sense of logic and reason. The attorney should be prepared to answer the client’s questions and provide sound advise to the client about what the client can expect as a fair resolution of the case.