When you need to find an injury lawyer, you need to ask lots of questions. You might meet with more than one attorney before you feel comfortable with your choice of lawyer. When you arrive in his (or her) office, you look around, look at the diplomas on the wall, look at how the office is run, and look at the furnishings. What does this tell you? Does a messy office reveal a lawyer who can handle your case? Does a clean office mean your lawyer has no other clients? You don't know from the looks of it. Use your gut instinct to tell yourself whether you can put your trust and your case in his or her hands. At the same time you are deciding whether this lawyer is the right one for you, the lawyer is also looking at you to see if you are the right client for him. Here's what a lawyer, practicing in New York will look for in a client. 1. Honesty. The client must be straightforward and honest about what happened to them. They must let the attorney decide what facts and information are important. We don't want a client who is selective about what they say. We also need to know a client's past history; were there any skeletons in the closet? Any convictions? Any prior lawsuits? We need to know in order to better help you. 2. Presentation. How does the client present themselves when they talk to you? Are they quiet? Are they loud? Are they well dressed? Do they look at you when they respond? Are they comfortable telling what happened? This is very important, because your lawyer is looking to see what type of witness you will make if your case has merit and ultimately goes to trial. 3. A Desire To Seek Help- Not Vengenance There are some clients who come into a lawyer's office so outraged that they were harmed by someone else that all they want is revenge. That's a normal, healthy feeling. There are other clients who come to us asking for help because they can't pay their medical bills or their mortgage because they can't work from their injuries. A client who seeks revenge is volatile and unpredictable on the witness stand. That doesn't mean they don't have a valid case. It simply means that it's going to be tougher to help this type of client, because no matter what the lawyer does, it probably will never be enough. A client who genuinely seeks help and compensation to right a wrong is the perfect type of client a lawyer seeks. 4. A Desire To Get Better, and Improve Themselves. There are some clients who want to 'milk the system'. They're waiting for their payday and will simply sit home and wait until their settlement comes. For those folks, they live for their lawsuit. For many others, the lawsuit is a means of support to pay their expenses, to be able to afford surgery to correct their problem, and as compensation for their suffering. The client who is doing everything possible to get their life back to normal, is the ideal type of client. Some people want to return to work, even if they're in pain. Others are content to stay at home and watch TV while recuperating. As with all types of cases, each one is different, and each case has it's ups and downs. Next time you're deciding upon what lawyer to use, keep in mind that your lawyer is deciding whether he'll choose you too.
Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer