What Personal Injury Lawyers Can Learn From Their First 40 Years In the Field
Lessons From A Personal Injury Lawyer
Wolff and Wolff has been a trusted legal company when it comes to different cases. These cases may range from personal injury, which touches more specific areas such as a vaping lawsuit, car, truck, motorcycle, and bicycle accident, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, and a whole lot more. Wolff & Wolff Trial Lawyers have a combined 90 years of experience practicing personal injury law, and in those years of professional practice come the lessons brought about by experiences. Here are some of the 40 most valuable lessons learned from being in practice in the field of personal injury law.
Medical Records Are Hard To Obtain
You never get the full medical record the first time you request it. There are parts of the record that are not exactly those that you can obtain. For this, you will need to get emails, phone records from consults, phone messages, and other items that can help you to obtain these from time to time.
Some Defense Lawyers Have Never Seen A Discovery Request
It is true! Some defense lawyers have never seen a discovery request that can not be objected to. These lawyers run up the bill and will exasperate you. You have to keep your head down and your eye on the ball. The louder the defense screams, the warmer you are getting to hit a bullseye.
Prepare every case for trial. Excellent preparation sets the case up for a maximum settlement.
You Can Have Bad Clients, Too
A client who has been through several lawyers will probably be a client you wish you did not have.
Client Control Is The Key
Client control is very important. There can be many Indians but only one chief. Should you let your client take control, there is always the possibility that the outcome will not go well.
Do Not Just Wing A Deposition
Preparing for a deposition with a good development of rules and principles will pay off better than showing for the deposition and winging it.
Keep The Five-Minute Rule In Mind
When the jury asks for liability exhibits and buzzes with a verdict within 5 minutes of receiving the exhibits, take whatever offer is on the table. It is a defense verdict.
Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Social Media
Defendants sometimes put really damaging information on Facebook and other social media sites. Perform social media due diligence as soon as the case is in your office.
A Lay Witness Can Be Of Help
One good lay witness is better than any five family members.
If you act like you know what you are doing, the court will probably let you get away with it.
Be Nice To Assistants
When you need a doctor on your side, be really accommodating and nice to the doctor’s assistant.
Do Not Go With Your First Drafts
If the opening statement you give is your first draft, it is way too long and way too confusing.
Start working on your opening, your closing, and your voir dire when you start learning about your case.
Do Not Trust Mediators
A good mediator is hard to come by. Most mediators do not work the case among the parties as they should
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
Show up to court early and make friends with the court clerk. This can save you a lot of time.
See The Scene For Yourself
Visit the scene of the Result occurrence. Google Maps is great, but there is nothing like being at the scene to understand the mechanism of the event, causing the injury.
Do Not Use The Term “Accident”
Never call what happened to your client in an accident. It is a crash, a wreck, an event caused by a negligent act.
Be Wary Of The Foreseeability Card
Most judges forget about foreseeability. Do not let that occur to you. Foreseeability is a great set up for your case.
Stop Being Cheap
Spend money on good exhibits. There is no time to be cheap.
A Co-Counsel Can Always Be Of Help To You
If you do not know how to work your case properly, there is no harm in getting a co-counsel. It is fun, and you will learn a lot.
Bond With Your Client
On a wrongful death case or any case, go to your clients’ home. You will get ideas, you will bond with your client, and you will gain your client’s trust.
Never Stop Ammending Until You Are Satisfied
Keep amending your interrogatory answers after you constantly review them to make sure your file is current and up to date.
Keep On Digging
If you get shut down in looking for something, you need to come after it from another direction. If you keep digging from above, below and from the side, you will find what you are looking for.
There Is Nothing Wrong With Getting Along With The Other Counsel
It is okay to trust the opposing counsel until you catch them lying, then you should never trust OP again.
Order An X-Ray For Broken Bones
An x-ray of a broken leg tells the story better than the medical record that says the leg is broken.
Take Your Time To Hit The Books
There are a lot of good books out there. Read them. Anything by Friedman, Malone, Keenan, Koskoff, Rowley, Ball, Spence, Mitnik, or Moe Levine is worth reading and learning from. However, do not forget that you still have to think about your case. None of this is painted by numbers of one size fits all.
Utilize Up To Date
Up to date is the best place to learn about medical issues.
Channel Your Inner Creative
Be creative in your research. Different databases will give you different articles.
Do not forget to use listservers. If you have a question, most of the time, there will be someone that can attend to your case. It is better to ask a question than guess and be wrong.
Whatever Happens, You Should Not Stop Getting A Case
The longer you go without trying a case, the harder it will be to go back to the courtroom.
Focus Groups Are Important
Learn how to do a focus group properly or hire someone to run a focus group for you. It will give you a lot of information about your case that you had not thought about.
It Helps To Make A List
Make a list of the 20 ways you will lose your case. Figure out how to neutralize or put to your advantage of those 20 ways.
Have Time For Yourself
Make sure that you make time for your family, recreation, vacations, rest, and exercise. If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be worth a damn.
It Is Important For You To Have Fun While Working
If you are not having fun at this, there are other professions out there that may be more suited for you.
Nothing Beats Hardwork And Patience
Shortcuts will never work out.
Treat Others Well
Treat people the same way that you want to be treated.
Do Not Be Afraid To Learn More
Keep going to practice seminars and never stop learning.
Always Keep Your Word
If you do what you say that you are going to do, you will be respected.
For anyone out there who takes an interest in personal injury law, these are the things that you should keep in mind. Throughout the years in the industry, these are what the lawyers at Wolff & Wolff have learned, and up until today, make sure that all of these would be applicable to every case.