Topic: Personal Injury
It is often difficult to find the best personal injury lawyer in your geographical area. The Law Society of Alberta, unlike some other jurisdictions, does not allow lawyers to advertise specialties. This is because the Law Society of Alberta, again unlike some other jurisdictions, does not certify lawyers in a particular specialty.
Unfortunately, this can cause a problem for the general public in trying to find a lawyer with extensive experience in a particular area. As our world grows increasingly more complex the concept of a general practitioner becomes less and less relevant. Finding a lawyer with a focus on personal injury claims is even more important than other areas of law simply because a personal injury lawyer must combine expertise in the practice of law along with a respectable command of medical terminology, diagnosis, prognosis, and cost of future care requirements. Integrating these two complex disciplines is not an easy task, and we would suggest near impossible for a lawyer who does not focus exclusively in the personal injury field.
Looking for Personal Injury Lawyers in Alberta
When looking for a personal injury lawyer to assist you in your case, a very good first question you should ask a potential lawyer is, is your practice restricted to personal injury or fatal accident claims, if not, then you would have to make some additional investigations about what percentage of that lawyer’s practice is devoted to personal injury claims. You would want at least 80 percent devoted to personal injury claims.
Secondly, related to the above, you would then want to ask, for how many years that lawyer has been practicing in the personal injury area. You want a minimum of 10 years.
A third question to ask is have you taken personal injury cases or fatal accident cases to trial? This is an important question because some lawyers focus only on settling cases and therefore this reputation becomes known to the insurance industry and which greatly compromises leverage in any settlement negotiations if the insurance company knows your lawyer will never take the matter to trial. Taking the matter to trial is the only leverage you and your personal injury lawyer have against a multimillion dollar insurance company with unlimited resources. If your lawyer has not taken cases to trial you have very little leverage in negotiating a good settlement.
Another related question to trials is have you ever appealed a trial judgment to the Alberta Court of Appeal? This is a great litmus test as very few lawyers have the capability of taking a matter from trial to the Court of Appeal due to the academic complexity of an appeal. If the lawyer you’re talking to has gone to the Alberta Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada then you know you’re dealing with one of the top intellectual lawyers in the business.
Finally, the last question you should ask a potential lawyer is have you received any honours, awards, or leadership positions in any law related or personal injury related organizations. A good answer to this question is yes, I am a Q.C. or Queen’s Counsel which is an honorary title for superior performance in the legal profession as well as community involvement and leadership.
These are just some of the important questions you should ask a potential lawyer before hiring that lawyer to pursue your personal injury claim.