The Legal Awards That Really Mean Something with Lawyers

You’ve been in an accident. You know you have a case. But you also know you need to choose the right lawyer to represent you against some tough opposition. Picking that lawyer can be incredibly difficult, since so much rides on their skills. What you need, then, is a way to separate out the best lawyers from the merely good. There are lots of ways to do this, but one of them is to look at the awards each lawyer has won.

Unfortunately, lawyers don’t make this easy for you. Lawyers know that awards matter to prospective clients, so they advertise whatever awards they’ve got. If they’ve won anything in their lives, they’ll put it up on their site to make themselves look more authoritative and prestigious.

Knowing which awards really matter in the legal world can help you see through this subterfuge so that you choose a lawyer that really does stand out for their legal skills. To cut straight to it, there are three big legal awards that will prove you’re working with a great lawyer. Those are:

  • An AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • A 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo
  • Membership as a Super Lawyer

These awards prove a lot, especially when all three are present. They show they are esteemed by colleagues (Martindale-Hubbell ratings come from others in the legal field). It shows they are respected by former clients and have done a good job for them (Avvo measures how clients feel about their lawyers). Meanwhile, Super Lawyers combine both aspects and use outside, independent research, proving that a lawyer is, without a doubt, great at what they do.

Therefore, if you find a lawyer with these three awards, you can rest assured they know what they’re doing when they represent you in your case. These awards are common enough that you can probably find a lawyer that has all three in any metropolitan area, but they are rare and exclusive enough that only the highest quality lawyers ever get all three.

How do you know if your potential lawyer has these three awards? As stated before, lawyers are proud of their awards, and they tend to advertise them clearly. For example, look at the site for the well-awarded Glover Law Firm. They place their awards right up front so that their potential clients know just how good the firm is. The vast majority of law firms will follow this same pattern, or else include their awards under a tab titled “Awards” “Honors” or “Accolades.” If you don’t see these awards when scanning the home page or clicking more than two links, you can be pretty certain they don’t have the awards.

By focusing in on the awards, you can cut out the lawyers that just don’t have the experience or skill to represent you well and be sure you are truly hiring the best.

When Does an Injury Require a Lawyer?

Injury is a scary word for everyone. No matter how the sentence ends, when someone hears “I was injured in…” or “I was injured by…” they fear the worst. Injury feels so much stronger than the word “hurt.” It feels official, and it feels long term.

But when is an injury not just an unfortunate accident? When is an injury someone’s fault?

For most of us, it’s a difficult idea to define. There are obvious examples we can see easily: a car runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, that driver is guilty. Two drivers speeding and not paying attention hit each other, both are at fault.

But when it comes to the gray area in between, we can struggle to know what to do and who to assign guilt to, and that can lead to some very unfortunate consequences.

Because, if you are involved in an accident and you make the wrong call, you may end up costing yourself and others time and money. If you go forward with a lawsuit when one isn’t warranted, you’ve wasted hours and money of yours and the other party (as well as the lawyers) on a pointless case. If you don’t pursue a lawsuit when someone is guilty, you may have massive medical bills and pain and suffering that could be compensated that never will be.

Because it is difficult to make these choices, it is often wise to bring a lawyer in to consider the case for you and to give you advice. This area of law is called “personal injury” and many lawyers will hear out your situation and give you some initial advice for free. (In fact, many lawyers will take your case for free and simply take their fees from whatever you win in court, if you do win, otherwise, they too don’t get paid.)

Personal injury can cover a wide variety of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, workers’ compensation, premises liability, products liability, and medical malpractice.

Each of those areas is vast and complicated in its own right, but the general concept of each should be clear. The first two categories refer to automotive-based accidents, and can cover anything from the person hit on the bicycle by the driver going through a red, to a tipped over semi truck that causes an accident, and much in between. Workers’ compensation involves accidents on the job, while premises and product liability are about the safety of locations and objects that might have caused injury due to some form of negligence. Medical malpractice occurs when doctors and other health professionals cause injury or death by making avoidable mistakes.

With each of these, most cases fall into the gray area that is hard to decide from a layman’s perspective. If you’ve been harmed in one of these ways, or know someone who has, look for a lawyer to consider your case. Injury may be a scary word, but a scarier thought is going through life with an injury that others should have paid for.

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Personal Injury: Medical Negligence

When an individual is injured as a result of another’s negligence, they may be able to claim compensation for their suffering by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Since people sustain injuries in a variety of ways, personal injury lawsuits fall into a variety of categories. One category of essential important is medical malpractice, which is committed whenever a doctor or other medical worker fails to meet the standards of his or her field. Given the high dollar value of medical malpractice claims, it’s important for injured individuals to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help them build a legally legitimate case.

Types of medical negligence

As the Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at Abel Law Firm explain, medical malpractice can occur in a number of ways including the following:

  • Surgical errors: surgery can be as dangerous as it is beneficial when doctors and nurses are negligent. Surgical errors can increase both a patient’s hospital bills and degree of suffering, so victims are often eligible to claim compensation for such errors.
  • Misdiagnosis: covers instances in which doctors improperly diagnose their patients. This can occur when doctors fail to order the proper tests, fail to check patient history, fail to recognize obvious signs of an illness, or fail to order enough scans, bloodwork, or other tests
  • Infections spread through hospitals: infections such as tuberculosis, mycobacterium abscessus, and norovirus can occur when a hospital fails to keep its facilities as safe and sanitary as possible
  • Medication errors: covers instances in which doctors prescribe the wrong medication, use defective/contaminated equipment to administer medicine, prescribe an incorrect dosage, prescribe a medicine the patient is allergic to, etc.

This list of potential medical malpractice cases is far from comprehensive, so it’s important for individuals injured by medical care to seek an expert’s opinion as soon as possible.

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