Hiring a Lawyer: Big Firm vs. Small Firm
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you are considering hiring a lawyer, you might be considering both large and small law firms. There are advantages and disadvantages to representation from both types of firms, and it is important to assess your individual needs and concerns when deciding what lawyer you are interested in retaining.
Pros and Cons of Big Firms vs. Small Firms
Having a direct and personal relationship with your lawyer is an essential part of any attorney-client relationship. A close relationship with your attorney is something you may not always get if you engage the services of a large law firm. Yet, while some personal injury clients enjoy the individual attention that a small law firm can provide, small firms may not always have the available resources to take on a complicated case and they may not be able to devote enough time to each individual case. Between hiring experts and investigators to review a case, conducting depositions and executing discovery, complex personal injury cases can be very expensive. Smaller law firms may not have the kind of resources required to litigate a large claim.
Hiring a large firm does not necessarily mean a larger settlement or a better result. Large firms often have bigger caseloads than small firms. On one hand, your case may get more personal attention at a smaller firm. Moreover, a small firm may spend more time working on your case and preparing the best claim they can before negotiating a settlement with an insurance company.
When deciding whether to hire a large firm or small law firm to handle your personal injury claim, you should ask yourself whether you are comfortable with the law firm handling your claim. It is worth mentioning that there are large law firms that offer personal service and there are small law firms with massive resources. While big law firms and small law firms both have their place in the justice system, client preferences may differ. It is important to note that the size of a law firm or the number of lawyers may not indicate how that particular law firm will handle your case.
When getting started, you should speak with multiple lawyers at different firms until you find your best fit. Consult with several different firms and discover what kind of law firm you may want to work with. Many attorneys are willing to meet for an initial consultation free of charge. You want to find a firm and a lawyer where there is a good personality fit.
It is important to find a law firm that you feel will give your case the personal attention it deserves. The journey to find a firm that is willing to take the time to educate you on the applicable law and how the process works is often difficult. However, the right lawyer for your claim is the individual who is willing to explain your case and the process in a way that allows you to fully understand your legal rights.
Communication With The Firm
Communication is the cornerstone of every successful attorney-client relationship. If you plan on interviewing several law firms, consider focusing a healthy portion of your conversation on how often the law firm plans on communicating with you and who in the firm will keep in touch with you. Given how important communication is to a successful personal injury claim, you will likely want to understand how often you can expect to hear directly from the lawyer in your claim.
You will also want to know how much attention the attorney plans to give to your case and how they propose to represent you. Having a firm that will dedicate the time and resources your case needs is extremely important in obtaining the result your claim deserves.
The following is a list of questions you may want to ask your potential lawyer in order to determine whether he or she will represent your interests effectively:
1. How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
2. What percentage of your cases are personal injury cases?
3. Do you normally represent plaintiffs or defendants?
4. Have you had any prior experience with this particular insurance company?
5. How often can I expect to receive updates?
6. How often will I be able to schedule a meeting for a case update?
7. Who will be directly working on my case?
8. Will I be informed if and when you want to hire experts and investigators?
9. Will I be consulted on any expert or investigator fees?
10. What do I do if I no longer want to work with your law firm and I find a lawyer I like better?
11. What are your fees?
12. How much do you anticipate this will cost our side if it evolves into a lawsuit and then goes to trial?
13. What if we don’t get the outcome we want?
14. How often do your cases go to trial?
Figuring out which firm works best for you is the first and one of the most important steps in a successful personal injury claim. Ultimately, you are the client and the lawyer is hired to service your needs. The main objective is that you feel confident and comfortable in their representation. In order to reach this objective, you need to find the right fit. Only you can judge which size firm and which attorney best suits your individual case’s needs.