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Providing wealth of information, creative solutions and leadership on issues related to brain injury since 1985
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Copyright © 1998 Head Injury Hotline
Lawyer Finder Checklist

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Getting the Most out of your injury Claim 
 
     Accidents happen. The fact that accidents happen is one of those inescapable facts of life. Physical injuries, and wage losses are twin consequences of serious accidents. Leading causes of accidents include motor vehicle collisions, followed by on-the-job injuries, recreational and sports injuries, and criminal assaults. In legal terms such injuries are known as personal injuries. Because such injuries are inevitable, a system of laws and procedures have evolved to provide compensation to injured persons for losses or damages from such injuries. This specialized area of law is known as personal injury law or tort law. See listings on our page of a Few Good Lawyers
     A process known as an injury claim is the first step toward receiving compensation or money for personal injuries. To receive money or compensation for personal injuries three things must be in place. First of all, such injuries must have resulted from the negligence or wrong doing of another. Secondly, the person responsible for the injuries must have insurance or assets that can be seized to pay for such damages. Sometimes, the at-fault party does not have insurance, or has coverage which is insufficient. In such instances, the insurance company of the injured party might provide coverage. 
     The proper and timely filing of such claims in a court of law protects the rights of the injured party to collect money for such injuries. However, most injury claims are resolved out-of-court through a complex, mysterious process of evidence gathering, analysis, and settlement negotiations. It is when this settlement process breaks down that a claim proceeds to the next step, mediation, arbitration or trial. 
     The proper filing and representation of a personal injury claim is best served by attorneys possessing special expertise and training in such cases. Personal injury law, like other areas of law has become increasingly specialized. The proper handling of such cases requires a high degree of skill and diligence. 
     The importance of choosing the right attorney in a brain injury case cannot be overstated. Head injury, toxic exposure, whiplash or other insults that result in injury to the brain greatly increases the complexity of an already very complex personal injury claim. In such cases the right attorney can mean the difference between a fair settlement and one which is wholly inadequate. In real terms, the difference between such attorneys can add up to a win or a loss for you. 
     For more information about head injury, and personal injury lawyers, call us at: 206-621-8558.   To check out your lawyer, or to file a complaint contact:   your local Bar association or contact the American Bar Association, 750 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago IL 60611, telephone : 312-988-5000; internet: http://www.abanet.org; email: info@abanet.org 


 Lawyer Finder Checklist

Instructions:   Below is a list of minimum qualifications for lawyers in cases involving brain injury. Place check a mark next to each item that applies to your lawyer. If your lawyer does not meet these minimum qualifications, keep looking, your case is in jeopardy. Next, circle number 3 for to each item that meets your expectations or criteria exceptionally well. Circle number 2 for item that was adequately met. Circle number 1 for each item that was inadequately met. 

Rate each quality that applies
low
ok
good
  Legal training, and experience in cases like mine.
1
2
3
  TBI expertise of attorney and staff, the more the better.
1
2
3
  Knowledge of TBI resources - professional and community
1
2
3
  Capabilities and focus match your legal goals.
1
2
3
  Enthusiasm for your case.
1
2
3
  Approach to case -- settle, or sue.
1
2
3
  Action plan - collect records, consult experts, do nothing.
1
2
3
  Qualifications, size and role of staff in my case.
1
2
3
  Estimated settlement value of my case.
1
2
3
  Time line to settlement.
1
2
3
  Number of cases similar to mine previously settled.
1
2
3
  Strengths and weaknesses of my case.
1
2
3
  How will costs and fees be handled. 
1
2
3
  Referrals to former clients.
1
2
3
  Add scores of  each column      
Total score  -- add total scores from each column.  

Head Injury Hotline Client Satisfaction Scale

SPECIAL NOTE:   Evaluate your lawyer every few months HIGH SCORES equal good, low scores mean trouble.... Call us when troubling patterns develop 206-621-8558.

Check each quality that applies 
low
ok
good
  Lawyer's performance matched your expectations.
1
2
3
  Responsiveness, and accountability of lawyer and staff.
1
2
3
  Adherence to time line and action plan.
1
2
3
  Collaboration with client - openness to client input.
1
2
3
  Enthusiasm for your case.
1
2
3
  Knowledge of case and applicable case law.
1
2
3
  Contacts you every few months with updates on your case.
1
2
3
  Knowledge of, and referrals to rehab and other professionals.
1
2
3
  Demeanor, bearing, attitude, and appearance.
1
2
3
  Location and appearance of office.
1
2
3
  Courteous and knowledgeable office and legal staff. 
1
2
3
  Other, specify
1
2
3
  Total points       
    Totals  qualities  

Evaluation: First multiply the number of items you selected by 3. This number represents an ideal score for you. Next add up all of your actual scores. Now divide the second number by the first to come up with a percentage. If it is less than 60%, your lawyer does not meet the minimum qualifications for brain injury cases, and you would be well advised to keep looking.  A score of 60% to 79% is acceptable. And, a score of 80%  to 100% is excellent. 

For referrals to doctors, lawyers, support groups, and more call Head Injury Hotline 206-621-8558

 

 
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Copyright © 1998 Head Injury Hotline