Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York personal injury trial law. 6 of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. 5 of our attorneys have been included in Super Lawyers® in the New York Metropolitan Area as published in the Magazine Section of the New York Times. Our firm is listed in Best Lawyers® in the State of New York and is listed among the Best Law Firms in the New York Metro area by US News & World Report.
Choosing The Best Personal Injury Lawyers To Represent You
An accident is among the most traumatic and life-altering experiences an individual can endure. If that accident also results in a serious injury or the death of a loved one, the physical, emotional and financial stress that is caused can be catastrophic. If an accident results in an inability to work, the burden can be unbearable. That is why it is critical to not only choose a law firm who understands the effects of an accident, but who also has the experience to help an accident victim receive compensation for everything that they have suffered, including the physical, emotional and financial damages.
There is no magic formula or guide to determine who are the best attorneys to handle your case. However, certain truths, as well as some common sense, will allow an injured person to make a reasonable and informed decision.
What Is A Personal Injury Attorney?
It is something that makes sense when you think about it, but the best personal injury attorneys in New York focus on personal injury litigation. Within that area of law, many personal injury lawyers focus their practice even further (i.e. medical malpractice). It is surprising nonetheless when an injured person contacts an attorney who is a general practitioner or whose focus is on a different area of law.
Would you hire a general surgeon to perform brain surgery? Or would you seek the services of a neurosurgeon who performs brain surgery on a weekly basis? Obviously, you would consult with the brain surgeon. Similar to medical professionals, there are different areas of the law and many kinds of professional legal representatives.
General practitioners are lawyers that clients normally will retain for preparing legal forms for real estate matters, divorces, bankruptcy, wills, trusts, etc. The general practitioner is a very valuable attorney in our justice system. However, a general practitioner often lacks the experience and resources necessary to properly handle complex personal injury litigation matters.
So using the medical example, clearly a general surgeon knows how to perform a surgical procedure, but would you want a general surgeon who mainly performs abdominal procedures such as a gallbladder removal performing a complicated brain surgery for the removal of a cancerous tumor? Or would you want a neurosurgeon who has done hundreds of brain tumor removal operations throughout his/her career?
Despite what many people may believe, personal injury law in New York is a very complex area of law and those attorneys who practice in this area know how to litigate these cases to achieve the maximum results for their clients. These attorneys are professionals in dealing with insurance companies and insurance claims. They possess an intimate knowledge of the handling and adjusting of medical bills. Unlike many general practitioners, personal injury attorneys know the courts. They know the judges and the judges know them. They have spoken with jurors and had trials in virtually every courthouse in New York.
Not All Personal Injury Law Firms Are Created Equal
As with any profession, some personal injury attorneys are better than others. If you have suffered a personal injury in New York, how can you decide which attorney is best for you? There are a number of factors to consider when making a decision:
- Trial Experience - Will the attorney be prepared and able to try my case if it has to be tried? Has the attorney tried many cases? Many attorneys hold themselves out as trial attorneys, yet they do not regularly try cases themselves and will often ask other lawyers to try their cases for them. A client should know who will be handling and trying their case and have the confidence that the attorney will be the best attorney for their case.
- Resources - Will the attorney be willing and able to hire the best professionals and conduct the most detailed investigation for my case? Litigation costs can be extensive, but this is your only opportunity to hold a party responsible for the accident and your injuries. Will your attorney be willing to do what it takes to ensure that your case is properly prepared? It is axiomatic, but defense attorneys and their insurance companies have extensive resources they will utilize to defend their clients. In choosing an attorney, you must feel that your attorney believes in your case and will expend the resources necessary so that the case is properly prepared.
- Experience With The Type Of Case - Does the attorney have experience with my specific type of case? For example, if you believe that you have a case of medical malpractice against a medical professional, you should find out if the attorney has litigated medical malpractice cases before or has the ability and resources to litigate your case. Medical malpractice cases are very different than car accident cases. Often, law firms will have attorneys whose focus is on different types of cases. A top law firm specializing in personal injury in New York will usually have an attorney who regularly handles your type of case.
- Results - What is this attorney's track record with my type of case? Do not be afraid to ask if the attorney has handled this type of case before and what happened in those cases. Although past results are not a guarantee of success, most reputable attorneys are willing and able to share their past experiences in similar cases to make you feel comfortable that you are making the right decision in choosing them.
- Staff - How strong and experienced is the support staff? Top attorneys will hire the best people to assist them in case preparation. As a client, you will often have contact with the support staff as much, if not more, than the attorney. Are they friendly and knowledgeable? Will they be able to effectively answer your questions if your attorney is not available?
- Responsiveness - If I have a question or problem, will someone get back to me as soon as possible? Among the biggest complaints from clients is that the attorney is never available and nobody gets back to them. Simply stated, in this day and age, this is unacceptable. You are the client. If an attorney is unavailable because they are in court or in a deposition, someone should be able to advise you of that and get a message to them. At the very least, a staff member should be available to assist you if the attorney is not able to.
- Understanding - Will this attorney actually care about me and my family, or am I just another case to him/her? Personal injury attorneys are often consulted after a terrible accident or tragedy. Pain and emotions are often raw; for many victims, the physical/emotional impact never goes away. You will be living with this for the rest of your life. Additionally, you will be dealing with this attorney and law firm for the next several years. They will be an integral part of your life. A client dealing with a personal injury in New York should feel comfortable that the attorney and their staff respect his or her injuries and what he or she is going through.
- Honesty And Integrity - Is this a lawyer and law firm I can trust to tell me the truth and represent me in an honest and professional manner? Lawyers are most frequently evaluated and respected by other attorneys based upon their ethical standards. An attorney's "reputation" in the community is among his/her most prized assets. You should be comfortable that an attorney is not just selling themselves or their law firm. Very few cases are perfect and your attorney should be able to recognize the weaknesses in your case and be honest enough to tell you about those weaknesses and the plans for dealing with them. Remember the old expression, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
- Research The Law Firm - There are websites and resources available to the public concerning the ability and ethical standards of individual attorneys and law firms. Utilize these resources. Law firms and attorneys are both peer and client reviewed in many instances. Is this lawyer/law firm consistently rated highly by Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers®, AVVO, Martindale-Hubbell, etc.? Are multiple lawyers at this firm highly rated? Attorneys are also rated, as seen on Martindale-Hubbell, for their ethical standards. A few minutes of research will quickly reveal those attorneys and law firms who are respected throughout the legal community.
Why Should I Hire Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool And The Law Office Of William A. Gallina, LLP?
At the outset, we strongly encourage you to ask each and every one of the above questions about our office so that you may feel comfortable as to why you should hire us.
All of our attorneys are extremely experienced and well-versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to your future, as well as the future of your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to best concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed due to another’s negligence.
How Do I Schedule A Personal Injury Consultation?
If you or someone you love has suffered a personal injury in New York, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free consultation with our New York personal injury lawyers, call our Manhattan office at 212.406.1700, our Bronx office at 718.892.0400 or contact us online. We will review your case and discuss your legal options with you. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool And The Law Office Of William A. Gallina, LLP take all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our services are free of charge unless there is a monetary recovery. Our law firm is proud to serve the New York City area, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, as well as the surrounding counties and New Jersey. We offer legal services in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.