I am convinced, successful personal injury attorneys all have something in common. A normal human being cannot become an attorney, it takes a special breed. A normal human being possess traits of love, kindness, respect, etc. Some attorneys possess none of that.
I have worked with many attorneys over the past 17 years. Most of them have been personal injury attorneys. I would rate all of them successful in there field. However, being successful was not good enough for most of them, they all want to be on top, the best.
Definition of a psychopath
Individuals who are arrogant and self-centered, and feel privileged and entitled. They have a grandiose, exaggerated sense of self-importance and they are primarily motivated by self-serving goals. They seek power over others and will manipulate, exploit, deceive, con, or otherwise take advantage of others, in order to inflict harm or to achieve their goals. They are callous and have little empathy for others’ needs or feelings unless they coincide with their own. They show disregard for the rights, property, or safety of others and experience little or no remorse or guilt if they cause any harm or injury to others. They may act aggressively or sadistically toward others in pursuit of their personal agendas and appear to derive pleasure or satisfaction from humiliating, demeaning dominating, or hurting others. They also have the capacity for superficial charm and ingratiation when it suits their purposes. They profess and demonstrate minimal investment in conventional moral principles and they tend to disavow responsibility for their actions and to blame others for their own failures and shortcomings.
I know many attorneys who fit this definition perfectly. Interestingly enough, I know some attorneys who come nowhere close yet are still very successful. CEO’s fit that definition perfectly in a study, the second was attorneys.
Attorneys are always right
Many clients of attorneys don’t see this side of them unless you are directly arguing with them. Most people who see this are the poor souls who work for them. I had to deal with this on a daily basis for a few years at one law firm i worked at. I’m not sure what goes through their head, but i assume they think they have some higher power, some higher knowledge over the common man.
My argument was about a statue in a state for which the attorney didn’t even practice, I was right of course and he was wrong. However, he just would let up. It was a case we should have never taken, but he said take it. We ended up dropping that case.
How does that help you, the client
If an attorney truly believes he is right, he will never stop fighting. And they all think they are right. That’s good for you , the client, because he does not want to be beat.
Attorneys don’t like to lose, something about winning or beating someone else really excites them. They love to win, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The problem is when they want to win at all cost, no matter what.
I’ve seen female attorneys fight much harder than males
This has been my personal experience, i’m not sure if this is the norm. I know a female attorney who will go to the ends of the earth to win her case, she fights hard. And i know some who just do enough to scrape by.
Personal Injury Attorneys are lazy
Not all of them, just some of them i know. They will take your personal injury case. Tell you to treat with a doctor. When you are finished they send out a letter to the insurance company and collect there fee with may be as high as 45%. Not all cases settle this easily, it might even require them to make a few phone calls.
Most of the work done on a personal injury case is done by a case manager in a large firm. In smaller firms the attorney may do all the work. Does that mean small firms are better? Not necessarily, but i hold small firms in a higher light than large mega firms.
They charge too much
Some attorneys have recognized that they charge too much. I have seen some personal injury attorneys lower there percentage to 25% on a car accident case. However, the majority of them would charge as much as they could get away with and not feel bad about it.
If you can get a personal injury attorney fee to 33.3% that would be a normal fee. Anything more and you are paying for there advertising. If, by chance, your personal injury case needs to go to court, there fee will go up. Usually 5-7 more percent.
This fee goes up because it’s a lot of work to go to court. They actually earn their money if they go to court, rather than just settle.
Insurance companies may take you more serious with an attorney involved
Insurance companies may take you more serious if you have an attorney involved, but you may be the joke of the day depending on who that attorney is. If your attorney has a bad reputation with the insurance company, you may be headed for trouble.
How having an attorney can backfire on you
This is a sad but true story, i cannot remember the clients name nor would i publish it. She had a settlement offer from the insurance company. The offer, in my opinion was fare. The attorney talked her into hiring him. He then settled the case a week later for the amount they offered her and took his cut.
Now, this is something that i believe rarely happens. If an attorney is stupid enough to do this he would not get to much repeat business. Clients have more power than they think they do to with an attorney. I never advocate calling the state bar for minimal things, but for a serious issue, i would call them immediately.
Attorneys rely on your ignorance
They want you to know nothing about the personal injury process. The less you know, the better for them. You may be treated a lot different if you have been through the process of a personal injury case before. However, if you know absolutely nothing about the process, and have the wrong attorney, you could be in trouble.
The truth is, a educated american can settle there own case without the use of a personal injury attorney. The issue comes in with medical care. A lot of doctors who treat these injuries want some assurance they will be paid in the end. An attorney guarantees this, not you.
What if you have to hire a personal injury attorney?
Personal injury lawyers do serve a purpose, and when you need one, the right one can be invaluable. Attorneys are like any other profession, you have good ones and you have ones you would not send your worst enemy to.
Remember, they will rely on your ignorance. If you come across as not knowing anything about the process, they will say what you want to hear just to get your case.
- read reviews
- Find someone who has had first hand experience
- research complaints
Yea, it’s a lot of work. Do you want a good attorney, or do you want on who might take advantage of you.
Ask questions, if they don’t answer them, find someone else. Some attorneys don’t like answering questions, they think they shouldn’t have to. Skip them and find someone you feel comfortable with that answers all your questions.
Read the contract carefully. Just don’t look at the percentage, on the second page you might see where the fee goes up and they will charge you if you fire them. Read everything and ask questions, don’t be stupid.
Just because they advertise a lot, doesn’t mean they are good
You may have to advertise a lot because you get no repeat business. If you don’t get repeat business or word of mouth referrals, you are not doing something right. Many people look at these attorneys as almost movie stars, they see them on TV all day.
Advertising on TV doesn’t make you a good attorney, it makes you a good businessman. A lot of big firms have criteria for which they take cases, if you don’t fall into that criteria, they won’t take your case.
Communication with your attorney
Communication has always been the number one complaint of all law firms. However, in the attorney’s defense, if you are calling them for every little issue it leaves little time for them to do there work. Give them space and call for the really important issues.
Most law firms wont answer calls from existing clients, only from new clients. I’ve seen this happen, and it is bad practice. Have you called a firm and the first thing they ask you is are you an existing client or a new client? It might be they need to know where to route the call, or they may need to know which phone call to answer.
Do Attorneys exhibit psychopath behavior
I think it depends on the attorney. I have a good friend who is an attorney and he exhibits all of this type of behavior. And i love arguing with him all the time. He has no grounds for argument but still does it, and it amuses me so much. One reason it amuses me is because it’s actually so ridiculous it makes it funny.
I feel sorry for people who have to work with someone like this. Anyway, what turned out to be short post turned into some long drawn out monstrosity. Ask questions about your attorney and play it safe