I'm a New Yorker, I grew up there. I served in Vietnam, and when I got out, I moved to California. I like California a whole lot better than New York. I attended U.C. Davis, and McGeorge School of Law, and started my personal injury law practice in 1982.
A good personal injury lawyer needs to stay up to date with the latest developments in the legal, medical and psychological fields. We are well trained on the legal issues, but personal injury cases involve so much more than just the law. My philosophy is to only take a case if it helps the client, and the client is better off with me than without me.
When I talk to a client, I'm not just listening for the legal issues involved, I also want to know exactly how the client is injured, which doctors they are seeing, and whether they've got the best doctors to treat their condition.
I want to know how my clients are doing emotionally, how their family is handling things, and I like to direct my clients to resources, like support groups, that can help them. I'm constantly reading about recovering from injuries, and sometimes I'll recommend articles, book or movies to clients to help them with the issues involved in their healing.
During my life I've had a couple serious injuries. Those experiences changed me, and put me in a better position to understand the challenges my clients face and have to work through.
Our philosophy is to only take a case if it is helps the client. We make sure we can add value so the client feels satisfied having had our help.
It doesn't make sense to hire an attorney on smaller legal claims, so if someone's case is too small, we'll tell them. We make sure our client nets more money than we do after medical expenses are paid. It's a matter of principal, because we're there to help the client.
Serious personal injury cases last a long time. It's important for an injured person to feel comfortable with me and the people that work in my office. Clients need to like us and vice versa. When we meet with clients, we have a conversation. We find out where they grew up, what they like to do, and get to know them. We know that we will be working with these folks for 3-4 years. If there's no compatibility at the beginning, then that person would be better off not hiring our firm.
When people have severe injuries, or undergo surgeries, their bodies may take time to stabilize and for the case to get to court. Clients need to feel at home with my staff and in my office. Serious personal injuries are a major, life-changing experience, and we work to help our clients do their best to adapt and "turn lemons into lemonade." We want to help our clients to bring about positive changes in their lives and not be overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of their serious injury.
Since the CA legislature has appealed the rule that insurance companies can be sued for bad faith, insurance companies hold onto their money as long as they can. It's important to hire an attorney that can go the distance so the injured person is properly compensated.
Insurance adjusters can seem very nice, but they are not actually in control of what an injured person is paid. The insurance company's computer sets the limits and tells them how much money they can offer on cases. The insurance company holds onto its money until someone like our firm forces them to disgorge it. The costs in taking a serious personal injury case to trial can be pretty substantial. It's not unusual for us to have six figures into a case by the time we go to trial.
We don't have to sell ourselves as "fierce and aggressive" we are first-class advocates for our clients and our results speak for themselves. Go to our website at www.AutoAccident.com and look at our verdicts and settlements, and be very wary of any attorney who doesn't provide you with that kind of information.
We also encourage people to look at the AVVO ratings for attorneys in their area. Don't just ask family and friends for recommendations, because ending up with a good wills and trusts attorney isn't what you need for effective representation in a serious personal injury case. The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith works exclusively on serious personal injury cases.
People should also ask potential attorneys if they can contact their former clients. We are happy to have potential clients talk to our former clients they are our best advertisement.
Edward A. Smith has also written an article that explains how best to choose an attorney called "The Seven Mistakes in selecting a Personal Injury Lawyer" which he will forward to consumers on request.
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