purchase, george & murphey.

purchase, george & murphey.

So, You Want an Aggressive Pennsylvania Injury Lawyer?

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So, You Want an Aggressive Pennsylvania Injury Lawyer?

What kind of Pennsylvania injury lawyer are you looking for? Maybe an aggressive one? One who will frighten the insurance company into giving you all that you hoped for and then some? To find out more, read on or contact us at 814-273-2010 or toll free at 814-273-2010.

I haven’t represented an insurance company in years, but I’ve still got a lot of old friends in the insurance industry and they often confide in me as someone who is “on the outside” but who understands the way the inside game is played. The other day, I was talking to one of those old friends. He was a highly placed insurance company executive who hired and supervised insurance defense law firms, and he said something like, “The problem is that we just can’t find lawyers who are aggressive enough, not like you were when you were on our side.”

I know he meant it as a compliment and I imagine that most people reading this would imagine that a lawyer would take it as such. But he’d inadvertently hit upon a bugaboo of mine. I think of myself as assertive, proactive, prepared, and willing to take risks on behalf of my clients. Aggression is definitely part of that profile and, as my old friend’s comment suggests, it is a tool that I am pleased to employ when necessary. However, the public perception of the best lawyers as some hybrid of pit bull and white shark has led a portion of my profession to paint themselves as bullies and their behavior has come to reflect that self-image. The problem? These “one-trick ponies” are doing terrible things to their clients and to our profession.

The “One-Trick” Pony in a Complex World

The truth is that every case is different, and the successful handling of personal injury cases in Pennsylvania requires a variety of approaches. Some cases (perhaps those with large damages and a defendant with inadequate insurance coverage) call for a hyper-aggressive approach. Other cases may require more nuance in order to achieve the best result for the client. For example, smaller cases where there is ample coverage may be best handled by careful preparation and presentation of the case to the insurance company while keeping costs at a manageable level. Still other cases — in my view the vast majority of the most substantial cases — require a lawyer who is willing to engage in the arduous work of preparing a significant case for trial, as well as a lawyer who has in the past demonstrated to the insurance companies that he will competently try the case.

All too often, the “pit bull” lawyer believes his own hype. He’s perfected the technique of looking at the camera, appearing stern, and promising that he’ll have the insurance company quaking in their boots. He’s learned to convey a tough-guy image to clients at the initial meeting. Unfortunately, he hasn’t learned how to effectively try cases (or isn’t willing to do what it takes to effectively try a case), and all the bluster either falls away in a whimper when it comes time to settle or, even worse, he continues to bluster all the way through a trial, right up to a disappointing verdict.

What the Insurance Companies Know

Do you think the insurance companies don’t know the difference between the lawyers who advertise themselves as comic book characters and the lawyers who have a history of actually trying cases competently and effectively? Do you imagine that insurance companies are bullied by advertising? Insurance companies in Pennsylvania have experience handling literally hundreds of thousands of cases. They carefully track information on lawyers who handle personal injury cases. Their decisions tend to be driven by the facts of the case and the known behavior of the lawyer. The lawyer’s advertising and “bully-boy” demeanor? These have almost no impact on an insurance company’s decision-making process, except to the extent that seasoned insurance adjustors look at these clowns and know, with some certainty, that they will flame out in front of a jury.

I recognize that aggression can be a good and necessary characteristic of a Pennsylvania injury attorney. But I think it’s a shame that aggression is the only characteristic that most people think about when looking for a lawyer. It’s like choosing a car based only on the wheel rims. Those rims might look sharp and muscular, but they are no indication whatsoever of the horse under the hood.

Unfortunately, people are continuing to choose lawyers based on the chrome wheels they’re sporting. The lawyers benefit. The insurance companies benefit (because they end up paying less). But the clients suffer (usually without even knowing it); juries are tainted by the ridiculous and distasteful advertising of these lawyers; and the profession is cheapened. So, yes, when my old friend called me an aggressive Pennsylvania injury lawyer, he hit a button and he heard about it.

Choose the Best Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer for You and Your Case

If you’d like to learn more about how to choose the best Pennsylvania injury attorney for your case, call today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced, Erie-based injury lawyers. Call locally at 814-273-2010 or toll-free at 814-273-2010, or order our free book, in which we offer tons of insider information on car accident injuries, as well as some of the best-kept secrets that apply to all injury cases, including medical malpractice, dog attacks, and premises liability cases.

Call today (814-273-2010) for your free, no-obligation consultation.