Why is it important to know how well an attorney performs in trial?
Because the insurance companies certainly do. The reality is that the only personal injury and medical malpractice cases pursued are those where there is insurance coverage, absent an individual having substantial personal assets.
Insurance companies are aware of the fact that of the over 2,000 attorneys in a community like Tucson, less than five percent have actual, significant courtroom experience. And of that five percent, even less have consistent, successful jury trial outcomes. When a lawyer doesn’t have a proven track record, insurance companies know they can get away with undervaluing an injured person’s claim.
When insurance companies know that a personal injury lawyer is willing to take a case to trial, and has proven time and time again that he or she can obtain excellent results, they are far more likely to pay full value for injuries. This is a basic economic principal involving a risk/exposure analysis.
How do you find out about a lawyer’s track record?
It’s simple. Ask the attorney to show you. There are two ways jury trial results are recorded. The first is a Minute Entry, a document generated by a judge at the conclusion of a trial. A lawyer should have a compilation of minute entries to prove his or her record.
Perhaps a more valuable method of documenting trial results is through the Trial Reporter, a publication that summarizes the history of each trial, along with strategies employed, witness testimony, closing arguments and trial results. Pre-trial negotiations are also included.
By requesting and reviewing these historical accounts, you should easily be able to form an opinion about the skill level of an attorney, which will assist you in making a wise choice when hiring an attorney to represent you in a serious personal injury case due to an auto accident or medical malpractice in the Tucson area.