How to Choose an Injury Lawyer

Results, Results, Results

When buying a house realtors advise that we think location, location, location.  A nice house on a quiet street in a good neighbourhood is always a better value than a house on a busy street adjacent to train tracks.  When it comes to choosing an injury lawyer think results, results, results.  You are hiring a lawyer for only one purpose – to recover money damages for the injuries you have suffered.  At the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the money damages you receive for your pain and suffering, your past and future loss of income, your future cost of care as well as all other negative effects on your life, livelihood and relationships.  Serious injuries can affect your life forever.  Don’t gamble with your future – choose a law firm with a reputation for achieving large settlements for their clients.

James H. Brown and Associates does have a reputation for results.  Our settlement results for injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents are among the largest settlements ever achieved in Alberta for various types of injuries.

Comparing results achieved by various law firms

When comparing law firms we recommend comparing the largest settlements achieved by each firm for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) claims and for Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) claims.  These claims are usually the most serious and largest claims.  Such comparison will give you a pretty good idea of the level of experience and expertise of each law firm.

At James H. Brown and Associates we invite comparison.  To our knowledge, no other law firm has achieved larger Alberta motor vehicle accident injury settlements for either TBI or SCI claims.  See the “Results section of our website.

Be careful to compare apples with apples.  For instance, do not try to compare results achieved in medical malpractice (med-mal) claims with results achieved in motor vehicle accident (MVA) claims.  MVA settlements are often limited by the amount of insurance money available.  Most Med-Mal claims have no such limiting factor.  Consequently Med-Mal settlements are often larger than MVA settlements.   Also, make sure you are comparing only results achieved in Alberta.   Results vary greatly from one province to another.

Precedent setting results

In addition to some of the largest settlements ever achieved in Alberta our professional legal team has established  precedents in cases involving traumatic brain injury, whiplash, chronic pain, TMJ injury and fibromyalgia.  We invite you to compare our experience and results with any other law firm.

Who are these guys anyway?

Due to recent changes to laws in other provinces many out-of-province injury law firms are entering Alberta.  We recommend doing a little research into the background and reputation of any law firm you are thinking of dealing with. Who are the people? How long have they practised in Alberta? What is the size of the firm?  How many of their lawyers are actually in Edmonton?   Do they practice injury law exclusively or do they practice other areas of law?  Do they only represent injured clients or do they also represent insurance companies?  Where is their office?

James H. Brown and Associates is a 16 lawyer family run Edmonton law firm dedicated to achieving maximum settlements for its injured clients.  Our founder, James H. Brown is in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1963 Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings hockey club.  James Brown’s hockey career ended when he suffered a broken neck in a head-on collision with an impaired driver in 1965.   Trent Brown, firm partner,  is also in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1993 Grey Cup Champion Edmonton Eskimo football team.  Trent’s 9 year football career with the Eskimos was cut short by multiple serious concussions.  Both James and Trent know what it is like to suffer life-changing injuries and are  committed to seeing that our injured clients get the settlements they deserve.

Beware of misleading advertising

Beware of  lawyer advertising claiming to be the Top Injury Lawyer or the Best Injury Lawyer.  The Law Society of Alberta forbids lawyers to claim they are the best or the top lawyers in their practice area. Lawyers try to get around Law Society rules by paying advertising companies for various awards like Consumers Choice Award or Top Choice Award  which give the false impression they are better than other lawyers in their practice area. These are known as vanity awards.  A quick Google search will reveal the truth about these vanity awards.

Beware of such hype.  There is no recognized or official organization that rates injury lawyers.

Structured Settlements

Warning – beware of comparing normal lump sum settlements with what are known as structured settlements.  A structured settlement is where an injured claimant agrees to resolve their claim by receiving their settlement funds in the form of periodic payments over a lengthy period of time rather than as a lump sum.  The lump sum is invested by the insurance company and the claimant receives monthly payments over the life of the structure which could be 10, 20 or 30 years depending on what was agreed to by the claimant.  The total of all the payments over the life of the structure would be the size of the structured settlement.  In the 1980’s when interest rates reached above 20%  some very large structured settlements were made due to the very high interest rates.

Such large structured settlements are no longer possible with today’s very low interest  rates.  Advertising such large structured settlements without any explanatory information is, in our opinion, very misleading..   For example, one law firm advertises having achieved  a $30 million structured settlement.  This settlement was made decades ago during the time of extremely high interest rates.  Although this sounds like a very large settlement it is misleading without further explanation.  A $4 or $5 million lump sum settlement today would equate to a structured settlement far in excess of $30 million if made at the time of very high interest rates when this $30 million structured settlement was made. Such large structured settlements are not possible with today’s low interest rates.   Don’t be fooled by such misleading settlement numbers.

To avoid confusion, ask what the largest lump sum settlements a firm has made for both TBI and SCI.  After comparing apples with apples we are confident you will choose James H. Brown and Associates.

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