How qualified is your attorney?
When you appoint an attorney, you need to know that you are getting the best legal advice possible. In South African law there are certain time periods that have to be complied with, failing which your claim could lapse. You also only have one opportunity to claim for damages from an incident, so if your case is under-settled, you cannot sue again for the same claim. You need the benefit of experience. You need a legal team that understands what you are facing and can fight on your behalf.
Why a specialist attorney is the best choice:
- In many instances you only have one opportunity to obtain the right settlement and to take legal action within a specified time before your claim prescribes. If your attorney does not know the law, it could cost you dearly.
- The facts of your claim need to be investigated and proven. If proper trial preparation is not done, you face losing your case in court and being held liable for the other party’s legal costs.
- The value of your claim needs to be quantified and proven. Perhaps you focus on your current medical expenses and don’t think about the expenses you are going to incur in the future. Perhaps you are never able to work again? How do you calculate your loss of income? Specialised attorneys have the knowledge to appoint the correct experts to determine this.
- Legal action is expensive. If your attorney doesn’t have the necessary financial capital, this could influence the quality of experts appointed. Many experts are not prepared to provide their opinions and medico-legal reports unless payment is received. A specialised attorney will have strong relationships with the experts, have a good reputation as a respected attorney and be in a financial position to cover the necessary expenses.
- They are familiar with the type of litigation, such as personal injury, medical negligence or insurance law. These are complicated fields of law and they will therefore know the legal jargon, processes and most effective strategies to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
How can you determine if your attorney is qualified?
You should be able to find out general information about your attorney and the firm on the internet, their website or social media. If you have any questions, you can ask your attorney specifically about their qualifications, their years of experience and examples of previous similar cases that they have dealt with.
Attorneys are required to be enrolled with the Legal Practice Council (previously known as the Law Society of South Africa). The Legal Practice Council is a national, statutory body established in terms of section 4 of the Legal Practice Act, No 28 of 2014. The Legal Practice Council and its Provincial Councils regulate the affairs of and exercise jurisdiction over all legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) and candidate legal practitioners. This ensures that attorneys have to have the necessary legal degrees, have passed the requisite exams and have not been disbarred due to any unethical or criminal conduct.
Speak to a qualified attorney today
As the founder of Paul du Plessis Attorneys, Paul has more than 25 years’ experience in personal injury law and has won record-breaking settlements for his clients. Specialised claims include all forms of medical malpractice (including Retinopathy of Prematurity (blindness) and Cerebral Palsy) personal injury and insurance law. To learn more about the firm and the attorneys, click here.
If you have a medical negligence, personal injury or insurance law question, Paul du Plessis Attorneys can assist. Contact us at 012 809 1588, send an e-mail to email@example.com or click on the contact form on our website.