Scale and federal courtThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims in Fort Worth, Texas. The previous article provided an overview of what to expect when litigating a UM/UIM claim. It also emphasized the importance of retaining counsel with the appropriate experience to represent your interests. In this post, we will address how your choice of counsel may impact the outcome of your UM/UIM case. If you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact an attorney immediately.

Victims should hire a Fort Worth law firm with sufficient financial resources to handle their case

Commonly, personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that the law firm does not get paid unless and until the victim recovers damages, either through a settlement or trial. The attorney’s fees and the costs and expenses of investigating the accident, hiring experts, etc. are incurred by the law firm throughout the process. These are reimbursed by the client after damages have been awarded. One can imagine that during especially complicated matters, the fees and expenses can become significant over the course of the representation. It is not unusual for the law firm’s fees to reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If a law firm does not have the financial resources to incur the potentially high costs of your case, it may not be able to engage the appropriate experts or conduct as thorough of an investigation on your behalf. It may also be tempted to recommend a settlement, simply to recoup its fees more quickly than if the case proceeded to trial. Injury victims should consider these factors when selecting a law firm in Fort Worth or other Texas areas.

Fort Worth victims should retain a law firm that is willing to handle a case through trial if needed

Accident victims should also be cautious about hiring a law firm that limits their engagement to the settlement negotiations with the insurance company. If the parties are not able to reach a settlement and the case must proceed through the litigation process, the firm will withdraw from the representation. “Settlement-only” firms may be prompted to suggest that a victim accept a quick settlement for an amount that is lower than a possible recovery at trial. As we have discussed previously, settlement with an insurance company is never a certainty. A firm that is only interested in settling a case may not be willing to spend the time, effort or money for settlement discussions that a litigation firm would to prepare for litigation. This may result in the loss of invaluable evidence and reduce a victim’s potential damage recovery. In addition, hiring a new law firm could result in delays, inefficiencies, and higher legal fees. Given the potential negative impact on your case, we highly recommend hiring a firm that is willing to handle the case through trial should one become necessary.

We recommend selecting a firm with the financial resources and willingness to vigorously represent your interests in all phases of your case, from settlement discussions through trial. It is also important that a firm employs multiple attorneys, an on-staff investigator, and that the attorneys are board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. These suggestions apply regardless of whether you were interested in Fort Worth, Dallas, or any part of the DFW area.

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