From my first meeting with you as a potential client, as I hear your story of how you were hurt and more importantly how it is impacting your life, I ask myself “how can I best help?” I will provide honest feedback about your matter – the chances of prevailing on your case (its strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and hurdles) and a reasonable timeframe to achieve a fair result. I will answer your questions directly, not with wishy-washy lawyer mumbo jumbo. When I do not know the answer to a question, I will tell you “I don’t know”, and explain why I do not know the answer. And, if I am without ability or capacity to help, I will tell you and do my best to get you to someone who can.
I never accept more cases than I can handle. To do so would be unfair to all my clients. I strive every day to represent my clients courageously and compassionately so that they not only recover financially, but so that they can emotionally move on from the trauma that caused them to seek legal assistance in the first place.
I have handled numerous personal injury and medical malpractice cases that resulted in multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements, and countless matters in the five and six figure award range. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you deserve an experienced attorney who passionately and personally works on your matter and does not shuffle you off to a case manager like so many large law firms tend to do. When you retain The Baer Law Firm, you hire me!
The Baer Law Firm Guarantee
At The Baer Law firm, I promise that if you hire me, you get me for the life of your personal injury case. If it is in the best interest of a case to bring in another lawyer, I will associate another lawyer but only with your permission. And in those cases, I will still actively work on your case, and I will remain your point of contact. You will never hear from my office, “Your case has been referred to _____”.
I also promise that my support staff is well experienced, well trained, and well equipped to meaningfully assist. You will not get the run-around. You will get answers to your questions and will be kept well informed throughout the life cycle of your case.
Finally, I promise that you will always get my best. My best work. My best advocacy. My best counsel. I reject many more cases than I accept as I would rather deliver exceptional service and results to a few than average service and results to many.
Should you choose me as your Atlanta personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer, you can expect Courage. Compassion. Results. Call The Baer Law Firm today at 404.THE.BAER (404.843.2237) for honest advice about your legal matter.
When searching for a personal injury lawyer, you want to hire a lawyer that has the capacity to take on your case, the knowhow and experience with your type of case, and the resources to go the distance for your case. It is important to hire a lawyer that will take your case to trial if needed to obtain a fair recovery. Insurers know which personal injury lawyers are merely paper pushers, i.e., which lawyers just process the claim and then either push clients to settle or refer the case to another lawyer if it cannot be settled quickly.
Size does matter when it comes to personal injury law firms, and bigger is not always better. Taking a personal injury case to trial does not require a firm with 100 plus lawyers. An overwhelming majority of personal injury cases only have one lawyer that actually works on the case. For very large personal injury cases that do require multiple lawyers, small firms like mine will associate another lawyer to assist, sharing the case costs and workload. Even the most experienced trial lawyers associate lawyers from other firms on larger, more complex cases.
It is also important to hire a lawyer that has good support staff allowing the lawyer to focus on significant factual and legal issues while the support staff handles the more routine aspects of the case. Insurers bury claimants (and their lawyers) with paperwork, so an attorney who is not properly staffed will easily get bogged down in “urgent” lower-level tasks that must get done but have little impact on the value of the case.
When you hire a big advertising law firm, you get big overhead costs. This means that the big advertising firm will likely staff your case with their profit in mind. At the bigger personal injury law firms, one lawyer has as many as 300 to 400 open cases with several case managers assigned to assist the lawyer. A case manager’s primary job is to keep the lawyer from actually having to communicate with the client, and with that many open files, there just is not time for meaningful lawyer to client communications. At their best, case managers serve as a point of contact for the client and assist the client with treatment and initial insurance paperwork, but they often have little legal training to provide quality advice. Typically, a case manager will have anywhere from 80 to 100 open files. Accordingly, nuances about your case can easily get missed. If your case does not fit into a cookie cutter mold (and few actually do), it may not be handled in a manner that maximizes the recovery to you.
By comparison, I carry less than 50 active cases (far, far less than the average big advertising lawyer). I have an incredible legal support team that includes a full-time paralegal with over 30 years of experience in personal injury and a full-time client onboarding specialist who assists with all the paperwork necessary to get a case up and running. Thus, a quality boutique trial firm like The Baer Law Firm can devote far more time, attention, and resources to your case which is what you really want from your lawyer.
Furthermore, lawyers at big personal injury law firms are under immense pressure to meet monthly and quarterly revenue goals. The advertisements that I see about how you need a big personal injury law firm to fight the big insurance company because smaller firms have economic pressure to settle for less are so misleading. Attorneys at big law firms are under way more pressure than a successful smaller personal injury firm to settle cases because big firm personal injury lawyers have to meet an arbitrary revenue goal and answer to a supervisor that could care a less about any individual case.
When choosing a law firm, it is important to ask about the background and experience of the specific lawyer that will be assigned to your case. While many of the big firms have some excellent lawyers, they also have many lawyers who have only been out of law school a year or two and who graduated from inferior law schools. These lawyers are “supervised” by more experienced attorneys but given the sheer volume (300+) of cases they and the “supervising lawyer” are responsible for, it is unlikely that meaningful supervision on your case will occur unless and until there is an emergency. You do not want your personal injury case to be in “emergency” status before an experienced lawyer takes a hard look at it.
With all this in mind, below are my top 5 things to avoid when choosing a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer and law firm.
1. Avoid hiring a personal injury or medical malpractice law firm without speaking with the lawyer who will be handling your case
– Many firms use “investigators” to sign up clients. You need to speak with the lawyer actually handling your case. You need to make sure the lawyer has a gameplan for your case and has the facts he or she needs to pursue the case. You need to make sure you not only trust the lawyer to properly pursue the case, but there is a connection there. There is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting, even if it is a virtual meeting.
– My Firm’s policy (pre-pandemic) was to meet personally with every client before accepting the representation. Obviously, we have changed that policy, but I do speak with every client either by phone or by Zoom before going forward.
2. Avoid hiring a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer who does not have experience trying cases
– Unless your case is very minor, you do not want your lawyer’s first time at trial to be your case. Additionally, some lawyers have a reputation of not going to Court. Most personal injury cases do settle, but you want the lawyer you hire for your personal injury case to have a decent amount of courtroom experience. In addition, medical malpractice cases are much more likely to be tried. Reputation is everything. If the insurer believes that the lawyer is not going to or is unable to effectively try your case, that will impact the offers you receive.
– Pre-pandemic, I would typically average one jury trial per year. My standard practice is to gather sufficient facts and evidence needed to prove the case on the front end, so trial is not necessary. That being said, in situations where the defense is unreasonable, I will file suit, take your case to court, and fight to recover the full amount that the law allows.
3. Avoid hiring a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer who does not “litigate”
– In addition to not trying cases, some personal injury or medical malpractice lawyers do not even file lawsuits. In fact, some bigger firms have separate “pre-suit” and “litigation” departments and attorneys. Thus, if you are with an attorney who does not “litigate,” the case will be “referred to litigation” if it cannot be settled pre-suit. The litigation departments in such firms are often overwhelmed with lawsuits. I hear complaints all the time of people who tell me their case has been “referred to litigation” and they never hear from their new lawyer, and that their former lawyer doesn’t know anything other than their case is with “litigation.”
– Furthermore, if you hire a personal injury or medical malpractice attorney who does not file suit, it is in his or her best interest to settle your case for less than the case’s value either to meet his or her “quota” or to avoid sharing their fee with “litigation.”
4. Avoid hiring a lawyer for your personal injury case that does not focus on personal injury
– Personal injury cases require a significant amount of work to get up and running: investigating the scene, hiring experts, sending proper notifications, handling insurance paperwork, contacting witnesses, recommending good treating providers. All of this upfront legwork requires a lawyer and staff who know what they are doing and have a dedicated process for doing it the right way. Trying to prove a personal injury case that has not been set up properly is like building a house on an improper foundation. The case, like the house, will collapse.
– Furthermore, lawyers that do not focus on personal injury may not know the lay of the land well enough to get you to a doctor who can help you get better and accurately document your injuries in a detailed manner to prove the case. There are some doctors who understandably do not want to get involved. Unfortunately, if you are treated by one of those doctors, it may be harder to prove your case. Or a lawyer may refer you to a “marketing doctor” who just wants to run up a large bill that eats up all the recovery money awarded to you.
– Additionally, lawyers who do not focus on personal injury can rarely dedicate the time required to adequately build a personal injury case. At a minimum, proving a personal injury case requires gathering all the records and bills which is not as easy as it seems. It also requires dedicated review and analysis of those records and bills. Lawyers with other areas of focus rarely make time for this work and do not have staff with sufficient experience to assist with the heavy lifting. As a result, your case can sit causing deadlines to be missed which often prejudices your case.
5. Avoid hiring a lawyer who has too many cases already
– This is the most common mistake made, and the blame lies solely with the lawyer for taking on more cases than he or she can handle. In my opinion, most all personal injury lawyers at the big personal injury firms have too many cases. No one lawyer can effectively manage hundreds of cases, regardless of the size and quality of the staff. There are too many opportunities for an important case specific or client specific detail to get overlooked and absolutely no ability for a lawyer with that heavy of a case load to properly communicate with hundreds of clients.
– Furthermore, the stress of this sort of case load is overwhelming. Thus, when and if you are able to speak to your lawyer, the lawyer is likely to be short and unable to focus his or her attention on your concern.
The Baer Law Firm has the capacity to take on your case, the knowhow and experience with your type of case, and the resources to go the distance for your case. When you retain The Baer Law Firm, you hire me! Call The Baer Law Firm today at 404.THE.BAER (404.843.2237) for honest advice about your legal matter.