When you bring a personal injury case, you rely on your personal injury attorney to advocate for you. Ultimately, they prepare written documents and argue in court on your behalf. They negotiate for the right settlement offer. How do you know which attorney is the right attorney for you? Here’s what it takes to be a good personal injury attorney:
Much of what your personal injury lawyer does on your behalf happens in writing. The first documents are called pleadings. Your pleadings carefully list what happened, and they detail all of the different ways that you’re entitled to damages. Later on the case, your attorney may need to prepare and respond to motions, draft a trial brief and prepare jury instructions.
All of this work must be done carefully. Written errors can significantly damage your case. A good personal injury attorney is a good writer. They know how to comply with requirements and tell your story in a compelling way using written words.
Comfort in court
A good personal injury attorney is also a confident trial lawyer. They should be comfortable inside a courtroom and in front of a jury. Ultimately, lawyers are storytellers. A good attorney can tell your story to the jury in a compelling way.
Along with comfort in the courtroom, the right attorney knows the rules of evidence. These are the rules that govern what evidence comes in at trial. A good attorney knows what questions to ask in order to lay a foundation to admit certain types of evidence. They know how to take advantage of technology in order to present your case in a way that the jury can follow.
All of these skills together are called trial advocacy skills. These are the combination of skills that your attorney uses in order to present your case successfully in court. A good attorney continues to improve their skills as they work to represent clients in the best way possible.
Knowing the rules
Along with knowing the rules for admitting evidence in court, a good personal injury attorney knows the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules. These rules govern how to bring a case from the initial pleadings through appeal. They govern where a person has jurisdiction to file their case. They tell a person how they can build their case using discovery. The rules set out guidelines for filing pre-trial motions and bringing appeals. Your attorney should have experience with these rules in order to know how to use them for your benefit.
Many of the qualities that make a person a good personal injury attorney include good trial advocacy skills and preparing legal documents. These things help your attorney speak to the jury, the courts and the other party. However, your attorney also needs to maintain good communication with you.
A good personal injury attorney helps you understand what happens at every step as the case moves forward. They respond to emails and phone calls within a reasonable amount of time. They give you the confidence to know what you need to do for the case and how to accomplish it. The right personal injury attorney works for you and with you. They want you to understand the process and feel up to speed on your case.
Sensitivity to client needs
Finally, a good personal injury attorney works with you to set realistic expectations. They keep in mind that you’re in the driver’s seat and that the litigation is meant to help you rebuild your life. That means, they speak with you about what you hope to accomplish. Then, you work together to create a plan that helps you pursue your goals. In the end, a good personal injury attorney remembers that they’re working to help each deserving client achieve justice in their case.