Personal injury (PI) practice differs from other law practice mainly because of financial requirements. In this kind of law practice, a lawyer have to spend his or her time and money getting the case ready for settlement or trial; then gets paid in a year or two, if the lawyer wins the case. Lawyers don’t necessarily get paid for all the time that they spend in the cases and have to do a lot of work. A PI lawyer usually needs to hire doctors, engineers, accident reconstruction experts, and other professionals needed to analyze critical issues and testify in court. If a lawyer happens to handle many cases, he would have a hard time managing these people and get them paid on time. Thus, a personal injury lawyer needs to generate money to have the capability of handling cases. Given the financial and personal risks involved, you must examine yourself if you can really tolerate such difficult situations before embarking on personal injury practice career.
Obtaining a favorable verdict at trial is harder for personal injury cases. Many states are implementing “tort reforms” legislation that places upper limits on the amount of claims of an injured person. Also, a lot of insurance companies and corporate defendants are less motivated to settle before trial. This means that you are most likely to go through the process of filing a lawsuit which entails expenses on filing fees, depositions, expert witnesses and other court costs for the lawyer and long wait for the court decision for the client. Sad to say, because of the long process, many clients end up settling for a fraction of what the case is really worth.
The public’s attitude towards personal injury cases is quite discouraging to law practitioners but the rewards of winning a case are enormous. Oftentimes, we heard news on insurance fraud, scams, and conspiracies involving personal injury lawyers, doctors, and their clients. But on the bright side of things, nowhere in the practice of law is there more of a David versus Goliath scenario than a person on a court battle with gigantic insurance company or corporation. PI lawyers come in different personality types, interests, aptitudes, strengths and weaknesses but practicing this profession can give you an opportunity to help other people who are wronged and truly in need. There is no better feeling in the world than having put up with all that abuse from the other side and having his or her cause validated by a jury. With this, you gain a measure of confidence and assurance that will motivate you to stay in the game for a longer time. If you can manage your practice wisely, then you will be able to experience moments of triumph constantly.
It is quite possible to be successful personal injury lawyer without handling high-risk cases. You can opt for handling routine cases that requires you to go to court once or twice a year. You can also consider working first with a lawyer or firm that handles personal injury cases before going out on your own. When you have decided to go on your own, always remember to keep the following solid foundation to achieve success in the law practice:
Commitment – You must always work hard to make your practice succeed.
Management – You must always manage wisely your time, money and people.
Adequate capital – Since personal injury law practice requires you to risk finances, you might need to gamble your own money first before reaping monetary gains. In this practice, you cannot expect to get rich but you can try investing your wealth in other ventures not connected to the practice of the law if you want to have other income.
You must have the sincere desire to do the right thing for your clients.