What Are Qualities to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney? What Should You Avoid When Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney?
Interviewer: What are some qualities that individuals should be looking for in an attorney to help them with their slip and fall injuries? At the same time, what are some red flags they should look out for?
Personal Injury Cases Require Specialized Experience So Only Hire a Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney
Stephen Boutros: I think what they should look for is, number one, you should never hire a personal injury lawyer that’s not board certified. That’s like hiring a family doctor to do a heart surgery. If you are not board certified, then you are mostly likely not qualified.
You should to look for someone that’s experienced, and someone that you feel comfortable with and that you trust. When you sit down with people, you get an instinct about how you feel about them. If you don’t trust them or you are unsure a lawyer is just talking too fast or talking too slick, then you should avoid that lawyer.
It Is Not Advisable to Trust a Guarantee
The other thing is that if a lawyer starts promising a result to you, a certain amount of money, then you should not retain that lawyer for your case.
When a lawyer is guaranteeing you anything, he’s guaranteeing that you are going to be taken advantage of at the end of the day. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of factors involved in these cases.
When someone is sitting in your office for the first time, you don’t know the extent of the injuries. You don’t know the history and you don’t know all the evidence. If a lawyer is telling you your case will be resolved in a certain amount of time, or guaranteeing you a certain amount of money, then that lawyer doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Slip and Fall Case Histories
Interviewer: Can you provide the details about a few slip and fall cases that you have handled?
Stephen Boutros: I had a lady name Mary, and I can use her name because she’s given me permission in the past. She is a very sweet lady. She worked in a health-care facility that had an employee break room. There was a Coke machine in the break room. The seal on the Coke machine was not good. The Coke machine would free the condenser, which caused the Coke machine to freeze up, trying to keep cold. Of course when it would freeze, it would then thaw and water would be on the floor.
Mary walked in the break room one day and fell and fractured a part of her thoracic spine. She had a herniated disc in her thoracic spine, which is a terrible place to get hurt. She fell flat on her back hard. The surgery was a complicated surgery, where they had to go in a move her lungs and get a pulmonologist.
She was in a lot of pain. She didn’t have an option. She ended having to get a pain pump even after everything was done, implanted into her hip. It was just a terrible injury. The company that had stock in the Coke machine denied that there was any wrongdoing.
I had to become an expert on Coke machines, to really understand Coke machines. I assembled paperwork and found out what happened and took witness statements. I filed the lawsuit for this lady. The defense lawyer answered the lawsuit, started to tell me what a frivolous case this was and they were never going to pay a penny. At the end of the day we recovered close to half a million dollars for Mary.
The case that I just tried where we obtained the verdict for six million, thirty seven dollars was a premises liability case also. That took place here in Houston, in Harris County.