Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 19, 2020

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When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Colorado and are looking for a competent and experienced Colorado car accident attorney, it’s important not to confuse reputation with name recognition. Some ways to do that are to look at the firm’s record, their reputation with insurance carriers and most importantly – its ethics, honesty and tough mindedness when it comes to representing your best interests.

Why a firm’s record really matters

Jim Chalat, a Colorado attorney with over 30 years of experience whose firm focuses its practice in personal injury law, says that it’s important to look at a firm’s record before settling on a firm for representation. He told us, “In a strong case involving substantial damages, I think a firm that has a published record of seven, and in our case, eight-figure verdicts and settlements, is going to be taken more seriously. But don’t confuse reputation with name-recognition. Law firms with a high television advertising budget need to turn cases quickly and therefore don’t go to court and they tend to delegate a lot of the work to non-professionals.”

Insurance companies know which firms settle quickly

Law firms who operate primarily by name recognition for a business model tend to settle cases more quickly – but for less. They simply have to take on more cases to do that. It’s different – and insurance companies know that. Chalat explained, “Believe me, the insurance claims adjusters watch. They get up in the morning and see the advertisements over coffee just like everyone else. They know which lawyers have got a high overhead practice and which require a lot of cash at a high velocity in order to run that business. They know that those lawyers will settle cases for less. That’s just the way that business model works.”

Ethics, honesty & tough-mindedness

Chalat says that smaller firms such as his that have lawyers who know their way around a court-room, have been to trial, who handle fewer cases and who handle more serious cases such as those involving catastrophic injury are simply treated differently. However, he also pointed out:

It doesn’t mean that our cases always pay more or that we always win. It just means that we bring something intangible to the table with regard to the threat that we can reasonably pose to an insurance company by handling the case.

It varies from case to case, but I think we bring a reputation of ethics, honesty and tough-mindedness which is generated by the business model we run. It’s simply a different model than what is run by law firms with high advertising budgets.

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.