“He left a voice message yelling at me!” That’s how one injured worker’s story began. “He acted like a jerk.” The worker continued to describe how he suffered a bad lifting injury to his lower back at work. He required surgery. He now suffers chronic pain and limitations. He could not return to work.
Why did his lawyer leave a nasty voice message for him? It comes down to this — The lawyer wanted him to accept a quick settlement. The problem — That settlement was totally unfair and would have left the disabled worker in worse shape a year or two from now.
The guy needed a lawyer who would prepare his case. He needed a lawyer who would discuss how Alabama work comp benefits are calculated, who would develop the medical evidence, and who would prepare the case for the best possible trial. He needed a lawyer in his corner!
I know the abusive lawyer he described. Yes, he’s a loud and overbearing local attorney. I’ve heard several horror stories about that Huntsville lawyer and how he tries to bully his clients into quick (and low) settlements.
Maybe you are asking — Are most lawyers like that abusive one bullying his clients? No, they are not. But, the abusive lawyers seem to be the few (very few) loud ones who more frequently pitch themselves from television and billboards. Because of that, they are the ones more frequently seen in mass advertisements. In every profession, the few blowhards take up most of the oxygen in the room while accomplishing very little.
Clients who have suffered through an abusive lawyer sometimes assume most lawyers are like that. They are not. For every screaming or abusive lawyer who will not work their cases, there are many, many more lawyers who quietly and methodically prepare their clients’ cases to try and obtain good results — Attorneys who do a good job case-by-case for their clients.
While the story I just related was a recent one involving a Huntsville accident, it’s not the only one. These stories are rare but they seem to involve the same, few attorneys who treat their clients badly. We recently resolved another case where the prior attorneys actually fired a disabled client when she would not settle for pennies on the dollar. The lady suffered a horrible spine injury and could not work. She needed the work comp benefits provided by Alabama law. To make matters worse, those lawyers then filed papers seeking attorneys’ fees for their “work.” What work? They took no depositions, talked to no doctors, hired no experts and really did nothing but try to make a cheap and quick settlement out of a serious injury case. A couple phone calls do not justify that behavior.
If you are looking for an attorney to handle your accident and injury claim, research your options. My first advice — Avoid the lawyers who claim they can handle or fix any problem if you call. False bravado is just that — False. Too often, the client pays the price later. Then, research your options. Talk to people you trust. Read everything you can. Look for attorneys who really work their cases. Look for attorneys who really answer questions. Look for attorneys with some real trial experience. If you are seriously hurt in a car accident or work-related accident, that trial experience and skill can make a huge difference in your case.
From its office in Huntsville, the Blackwell Law Firm handles serious accident and injury cases across Alabama. We are happy to answer your personal injury law questions. Consultations are always confidential and free.