What Kind of Lawyer Are You Hiring? Trial Experience Matters!

lawyer shaking hands with client

When you are hiring a lawyer, trial experience matters more than you might think! Any claim might end up going to trial, so you need to know if the attorney you hire can take your case to court for litigation.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking every personal injury attorney can go to trial, either. Many attorneys and law firms refuse to go to trial and will only work on cases that can reach a settlement in a conference room, not a courtroom. For this reason, it is likely that many personal injury lawyers in your area have literally never tried a case, even if they have worked on thousands of cases. Insurance companies know which lawyers haven’t been to trial, so you should, too.

Why is Trial Experience So Important?

Real-world experience is always important in all applications, including trial experience. No matter how much an attorney studies the law, talks with clients, and negotiates with opposing parties, none of it will add up to even a minute of experience gained through the unique trial process. As mentioned, every case has a chance of ending up in trial if the opposing party won’t cooperate or offer a fair settlement amount, so in this way, trial experience is important in every case.

If you choose a personal injury lawyer with real courtroom experience, you can appreciate their:

  1. Familiarity with courtroom procedures: A lawyer with trial experience understands the intricacies of courtroom procedures, including the rules of evidence, the process of selecting a jury, and the proper way to present arguments.
  2. Negotiation leverage: Insurance companies are sometimes more likely to offer a fair settlement when they know the opposing lawyer is willing and able to take the case to trial, and that they can back up their words with a history of courtroom victories.
  3. Thorough case preparation: Trial-experienced lawyers know how to thoroughly prepare cases. They know how to gather and present evidence, secure expert witnesses, and build a compelling narrative that shows the client’s side clearly.
  4. Confidence and strategy: Having been through it all before, experienced trial lawyers possess the confidence and strategic insight needed to handle unexpected developments in the courtroom, such as cross-examining witnesses, objecting to inadmissible evidence, and adapting persuasive arguments to what the current judge and jury want to hear.
  5. Client assurance: Clients often feel more assured knowing their lawyer has successfully handled trials in the past, so the entire process feels like less “work” overall.

What to Ask an Attorney About Trial Experience

You should feel free to ask about an attorney's trial experience before hiring them because it can be a direct gauge that shows the lawyer's ability to effectively handle your case, negotiate settlements, and provide confident representation in court. Understanding an attorney's track record with trials can offer valuable insights into their experience, preparedness, and strategic approach, all of which are obviously important to you, the client. By asking about trial experience, you can make an informed decision about who is representing you.

Ask any lawyer you may hire a few questions about trial experience first, such as:

  • Have you ever tried a jury trial?
  • How many have you tried?
  • Have you had any significant jury verdicts?
  • How many cases have you won versus how many have you lost?

If you have a serious case, you need a serious lawyer who is willing to take the case to a jury trial if necessary. If the attorney you are thinking of hiring won’t even answer or humor your questions, they might be a bad fit for you. Make sure you get a chance to ask the right questions before signing an attorney contract.

At The Hamilton Firm LLC, our Chattanooga personal injury attorneys welcome all questions from prospective clients, especially those about our trial experience. We are known throughout Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama for our impressive history of trial results for a variety of injury cases that went to court, including many that involved truck accidents and catastrophic injuries. Call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online if you need a law firm with significant trial experience to handle your case.