If Lawyers can practice any field of law, why specialize?
A person on Reddit recently asked:
“How can an attorney specialize in only one type of law like personal injury and refuse other work? I mean they are licensed by the state. What’s the point of specialization in legal practice? I understand they can suggest you use someone else, but it doesn’t seem right.”
Look, we get it. It seems odd that if a person goes to law school and passes their state’s Bar exam, they should just practice ALL law. From a business perspective alone, aren’t they turning away clients? Why would you want to give business to your “competitors”?
Like most things in life, it really isn’t that simple… and honestly, you wouldn’t want it to be.
TL;DR: By specializing in a particular area of law, lawyers can do the following for their clients:
Provide customized expert advice
Maximize the odds of a favorable outcome
Specialized lawyers provide a level of expertise that surpasses that of a general practitioner (GP). This expertise often comes from years of handling similar cases, staying updated on the latest legal developments in their field, and building a network of relevant experts and contacts to help with any case they handle.
Understanding lawyer specialization in legal practice
Think of a lawyer as a specialty mechanic. Say you have a Harley-Davidson. You want a mechanic experienced in working on motorcycles, and specifically Harley-Davidsons. Sure a John Deere mechanic has experience working on farm equipment, but that doesn’t mean you would want him working on your Harley, right?
On the same note, would you really want a lawyer who specializes in corporate law responsible for your complicated injury case?
Let’s take it one step further. Hypothetically, if you have a medical need – say a broken bone – and need to have it set, sure a Neurosurgeon could help you, but wouldn’t you rather see an Ortho Doctor?
The point is that specializing allows a lawyer to get really good in one or two fields. There are great GPs out there who may be able to give you great advice on real estate matters or estate planning. If you have a serious personal injury case, however, your needs will likely be best served by a personal injury specialist who is almost certainly better equipped to handle your case.
Real-life impact: specialization in action
Storytime! We once had a client who was referred to us after getting an initial consultation from her “family lawyer” who was a GP – handling mostly estate matters. She was happy to be working with us but admitted she felt like her family lawyer had kind of passed the buck in referring her to us.
Now, let’s be clear. Her original lawyer’s inclination to refer her to us isn’t because they were trying to “pass the buck,” quite the opposite, actually.
When lawyers refer cases outside of their specialty, it’s a sign of professionalism and client care. They recognize their limitations and prioritize the client’s best interest by directing them to someone more knowledgeable in that particular area.
In fact, according to most state bar associations’ rules of professional conduct, lawyers should not handle cases in areas where they are not competent (Rule 1.1 Competence, American Bar Association model rules of professional conduct).
What does this mean? While lawyers are licensed to practice any area of law, ethical standards encourage them to take on cases only within their areas of expertise or competence.
So what happened with our initially hesitant client? We won her case and she was awarded quite a bit more than she was expecting. Her family lawyer later told her he would have never guessed her claim had value in the ballpark of the verdict we obtained, and that this was one of many reasons he had referred her to The Biker Lawyers.
The moral of the story
It’s in the client’s best interest to work with a lawyer who specializes in the relevant area of law. Just as patients seek out medical specialists for specific health issues, clients benefit from legal specialists who have a deeper understanding of the nuances in their specific legal area.
If you go with a GP to handle your personal injury case, their lack of specialized experience may cause them to miss something that could have completely altered the direction of your case.
Got questions? We’ve got answers: Your legal specialization FAQs, simplified
Let’s recap and cover a few other questions you might have about legal specialization. In this article, we’ve answered the anonymous Redditer’s question and explored the significant advantages of lawyer specialization in the legal field. Just like a mechanic expert in Harley-Davidson motorcycles, specialized lawyers offer in-depth knowledge and expertise in their specific area of law.
Ultimately, specialization leads to more efficient and effective legal service, ensuring clients receive customized advice and a higher likelihood of favorable outcomes.
That said, there are still a few questions about legal specialization that we wanted to make sure we covered.
How do you know if you need Specialized Legal Advice?
You don’t know unless you ask! If you think you may need legal help, give a lawyer a call and ask for a free consultation. If you’re injured in Iowa or Minnesota, give us a call and talk to a personal injury specialist. We’ll be happy to give you a free case evaluation!
Why do lawyers stick to one kind of law instead of doing it all?
It’s like being really good at one sport instead of okay at many. Lawyers who focus on one area, like personal injury, get really sharp in that field. They know all the ins and outs, keep up with new rules, and have the right contacts. This means they can help you way better than someone who tries to cover everything.
If a lawyer is great at one thing, can they still handle cases in other areas of law?
Sure, they can, but it’s like asking the star catcher for the high school baseball team to play point guard for the basketball team. They might know the basics, but they won’t be as slick as someone who plays basketball all the time. Lawyers usually stick to what they know best and will often pass a case to another lawyer who’s a pro in that specific area if it’s not their thing.
How do I know if I need a lawyer who specializes in something?
Think of it like needing a specific tool for a job. If your legal issue is pretty straightforward, a general lawyer might do just fine. But if it’s something tricky or unusual – like a complex injury case – you’ll want a lawyer who knows that stuff inside out. Best bet? Just chat with a lawyer and they’ll tell you if you need a specialist.
What should I look for when picking a lawyer who’s an expert in one area?
It’s a bit like choosing a mechanic for your dream bike. You want someone who’s not only worked on lots of bikes like yours but also knows all the tricks of the trade. Check out their experience in your specific legal area, see what other clients have said about them, and make sure you feel comfortable talking to them.
Ready for expert legal guidance?
Contact us for a specialized consultation tailored to your unique legal needs. Simply complete the quick form below to get a FREE case evaluation!
Navigating the Slippery Slope: Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents
It’s time for a few legal insights on slip and fall accidents.
Picture this: You’ve just left your favorite local shop on a warm evening, and are looking forward to the ride home. Suddenly, your foot catches on an uneven patch of pavement, and before you know it, you’re on the ground, pain shooting through your knee.
Who do you call? If you’re seriously hurt, who’s at fault?
Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
They are a leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 and older.
It’s crucial to seek medical attention and consult a lawyer in certain scenarios.
Public and Private Property Falls
When you slip and fall on someone else’s property, whether private or public, the property owner might be liable. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions for the general public. Factors like poor lighting, uneven walkways, or slippery surfaces can contribute to these accidents and play an important role in liability.
Slip & Fall Facts and Stats
In 2021, there were 44,686 fatal injuries from unintentional falls
More than 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year due to fall related injuries
“Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI)” – CDC.Gov
Seeking Medical Attention
If you experience a head injury, loss of consciousness, or persistent pain after a fall, it’s crucial to see a doctor. Even if you feel fine, some injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, might not show immediate symptoms.
Falls at home are equally concerning, especially for older adults. If you’re injured in your own home, seeking fair compensation from your insurance company can be a complex and even frustrating process.
Navigating insurance claims requires understanding policy details and negotiation skills.
Many people don’t even realize they aren’t required to accept the first settlement offer and simply assume that the insurance company has their best interest at heart.
Unfortunately, that’s not often the case. If you’re insured and have been hurt, you may need help dealing with insurance and fair compensation for your claim. Your insurance company (or the insurance company of the liable person) may owe you more money than you realize.
If you’re facing resistance from your insurance company or are offered an unfair settlement, legal assistance can make all the difference. Never underestimate the power of having a battle-hardened legal team in your corner.
With 40 years of experience, The Biker Lawyers understand the law, your rights, and exactly how to negotiate on your behalf.
When to Call a Lawyer
If your fall is due to negligence, such as unmarked hazards or poor maintenance, it’s time to consult a lawyer. A legal expert who specializes on legal insights on slip and fall accidents can help determine if you have a case and guide you through the claim process.
Slip and fall accidents are more than just minor mishaps. They can lead to long-term health issues and financial burdens. Whether the injury happened in a public space or your home, understanding the implications and knowing when to seek medical and legal help is crucial.
A Rainy Ride: Johnny’s Harrowing Encounter with Road Defects
Johnny, a devoted biker from Iowa, loves the open road. With two decades of experience on two wheels, he’s an experienced rider. Biking for John isn’t just a hobby—it’s his way of life, his passion, his freedom.
Preparing for the Romper Room Rally, John set out on one of his usual rides across the State on a warm summer day in 2022. The forecast promised nothing but clear skies, and the weather was perfect. Donning his helmet and revving his engine, he felt the familiar rush of adrenaline as he set out onto the open road.
Dark clouds loomed in the distance as he made his way down the winding rural roads he knew so well. He thought about pulling over to let the storm pass. Confident in his riding abilities from years of navigating Iowa’s unpredictable weather, John decided to push on, figuring he could beat the storm.
He had ridden safely in rain more times than he could count, and this time, he believed, wouldn’t be any different.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t outrun the storm.
A sudden, intense downpour began, reducing visibility and making the road slick.
As he cautiously navigated a turn, his headlight illuminated a large, water-filled pothole directly in his path. The sudden obstacle left him little room to maneuver, despite his quick reactions and years of experience.
His bike hit the pothole, throwing him off balance and causing him to skid across the slick road.
John learned later in the hospital that he had suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg. The medical bills started piling up during his long and painful recovery.
He was devastated. Sitting in the hospital bed, he remembered something important—this accident wasn’t just bad luck. It was the result of poor road conditions that should have been addressed.
Water pooling on the roadways and other road defects might seem like minor inconveniences to drivers of larger automobiles, but they can pose significant dangers to motorcyclists. They can induce loss of control or cause a dangerous imbalance, especially if the water is deep enough to affect the rotation or angle of the motorcycle wheels.
Even shallow water can reduce tire traction, potentially causing skids and accidents. These hazardous conditions should not exist on our roadways, as entities responsible for road maintenance are tasked with ensuring their safety.
The Risk of Water Pooling on Roadways
Under ideal conditions, water should never be allowed to pool on the roadways.
But due to various factors, this issue can occur, putting motorcyclists at an elevated risk of serious injury.
Some of these factors include:
Large potholes that collect water
Poorly engineered roadways resulting in low-lying areas susceptible to flooding
Inadequate preparation for inclement weather
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these.
Large Potholes That Collect Water
Potholes form due to a combination of water, weather, and wear and tear. When water seeps into cracks in the pavement, it can erode the road base. This issue is often made worse by cold weather conditions, as the water can freeze, expand, and cause the asphalt to crack.
Over time, repeated freeze-thaw cycles and the impact of vehicles passing over the weakened area can create large potholes.
When these potholes collect water, they become especially dangerous for motorcyclists. The water can obscure the depth and size of the pothole, making it more likely that motorcyclists will hit them unknowingly.
A sudden encounter with a pothole can cause a motorcyclist to lose control, leading to serious accidents.
Poorly Engineered Roadways Resulting in Low-Lying Areas Susceptible to Flooding
“What the road looks like to you vs. what the road feels like to your motorcycle.”
Poorly engineered or constructed roadways can create low-lying areas that collect water. These can occur due to improper road grading, inadequate drainage, or a lack of maintenance.
Water naturally moves to the lowest point due to gravity, so any depressions or dips in the road will collect water, especially during heavy rain.
These low-lying areas are hazardous for motorcyclists as they can lead to hydroplaning, where a layer of water comes between the road and the tire, reducing traction and control.
Additionally, if these areas are large or deep enough, they can result in a motorcyclist hitting a body of water at speed, leading to potential loss of control and accidents.
Inadequate Preparation for Inclement Weather
Inadequate preparation for inclement weather, such as not properly clearing drainage channels or failing to maintain the road surface, can result in water pooling on the roads. Rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation can quickly overwhelm under-maintained drainage systems, leading to standing water on the roadways.
This standing water poses significant risks to motorcyclists. In addition to the issues mentioned above like hydroplaning and obscured road defects, heavy rain can reduce visibility, making it harder for motorcyclists to see and avoid water hazards. In extreme cases, water can even cause a motorcycle’s engine to stall if it gets too deep.
Each of these issues represents a clear danger to motorcyclists, reinforcing the importance of maintaining and properly engineering our roadways.
At The Biker Lawyers, our legal team understands the dangers posed by these conditions and is committed to helping motorcyclists recover damages if they suffer accidents due to water pooling on roadways. One question we’ve been asked is who do you hold responsible if you have been injured as a result of roadway defects?
“But you can’t sue the Government… can you?”
It is true that the government is immune from many types of roadway liability. Many of the types of roadway issues we have been discussing, however, are caused by private contractors hired by the government. To the extent your crash was caused by the inadequate work of a private contractor, your chances of recovery are much better than if the government is responsible.
However, successfully bringing a claim against these entities can be complex.
Government entities often have certain immunities or protections from lawsuits, and proving liability can involve demonstrating negligence in the maintenance of the road or failure to adequately address a known problem.
Documentation of the condition of the road, witness testimony, accident reports, and other forms of evidence can all play a crucial role in these cases.
Also, timeframes known as “statutes of limitations” often apply to these claims, meaning there’s a limited period after the accident during which a lawsuit can be filed.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by hitting pooled water on the roadway, you need to understand your legal rights and evaluate if you have a solid case.
We know how you feel. The responsible parties must be held accountable. The problem is that each case is unique and present their own challenges to consider. Once we evaluate your case, our road defect attorneys at The Biker Lawyers can help let you know your options. That may include sitting down to develop a legal strategy aimed at helping you recover damages associated with your injuries.
Discussing the specifics of your accident with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers can be the first step toward ensuring justice and fair compensation.
To set up a consultation, call our offices at (877) 209-9452 or click here for a free case evaluation.
So whatever happened to John?
John decided to fight.
With the help of the Biker Lawyers, he was able to pursue a case against those responsible for the road’s upkeep. It was a tough battle, but his determination and the skilled advocacy of his attorneys gave him hope.
John’s story serves as a stark reminder of the real-life consequences of ignored road defects and the importance of holding those responsible accountable.
Don’t Let Water Pooling Injuries Sink You
Injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents due to water pooling can result in substantial medical bills, making you feel like you’re drowning in debt.