Law Firms, like all professional organizations, have different business philosophies. They also have difference approaches in prosecuting injury claims.
The first thing an injured railroad worker should be looking for is a law firm experienced in handling claims brought under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). While many law firms claim that they are experienced in handling FELA claims, the truth is that very few are. Designations as legal counsel by major rail labor unions, honors which we hold, is proof positive that a firm has a proven track record in handling FELA claims. FELA claims are very different from non-railroad personal injury or workers compensation claim. Trusting your FELA claim to a law firm lacking the proper experience puts the injured railroad worker in extreme peril.
The second thing an injured railroad worker should be looking for a firm that is capable of presenting your case to a jury; moreover, one that prepares your case for that very possibility. Anything less puts you in a position of weakness and gives you little leverage to successfully settle your case in a fair and equitable manner.
Some Questions to Ask:
- Have you handled cases against the railroad I work for?
- Can you give me references?
- How many of your settlements are decided by a jury in an average year?
- If my case goes to trial, who will be my lawyer?
- Do you plan to take my case to trial?
- Have you ever lost an FELA case?
- How many years have you been handling FELA claims?
- Are there any hidden costs in your contract?
- Can I expect to talk to you when I call?
- Can you help me with my benefits, disability applications, etc.?
- Do I have the final word on settlement negotiations?
Some Thoughts To Consider:
- The most important aspect to consider in hiring legal representation is trust. If you hire a firm you do not fully trust, you will never be satisfied with their work. Your attorney becomes your spokesperson on all legal matters pertaining to your case, and you must be comfortable with their integrity and ability to do so.
- Communication is of the utmost importance in building the proper working relationship with your lawyer. You need to know your lawyer will take your call or call you back whenever you need them. At the Brennan Law Firm, every client has the cell phone number of an attorney working on his case.
- You should have a clear understanding about who will represent you if your case goes to trial. Unlike many firms where clients unwittingly have their files transferred to lawyers they do not know, if you hire the Brennan Law Firm, Ed, Ryan, and Susan Brennan will represent you.
- Almost every FELA contract is a percentage, plus expenses, and you will pay nothing if the firm fails to win your case. You should have a clear understanding about expenses and what they consist of.
- Many firms are negotiators and seldom, if ever, go to trial. This is a strategy that is usually faster, but almost always lessens the value of a claim. Without the threat of a law suit and jury trial, an injured person has no real credibility or leverage. In our opinion, you should not hire any firm that does not have comprehensive trial experience. We believe every case should be prepared for trial from the start.
- Remember, the law firm is working for you and you have the right to know everything about them. When interviewed, if they do not meet your expectations you should interview with other firms. Take the time to know who you’re hiring, it may be the most important decision you’ll ever make.
If you would like to interview our firm, receive a free claim evaluation, or request references, you may do so by contacting us at your convenience.