Interview with: Darcy Merkur, Personal Injury Alliance lawyer
Published in: The Toronto Metro Newspaper June 4, 2014 issue
Q When evaluating a personal injury lawyer, what credentials are important?
A First, look for the “CS” designation after their name, which means they’re a certified specialist in civil litigation. The designation is granted to lawyers who have proven to be competent and experienced trial lawyers.
Second, is the lawyer recognized as an expert in personal injury — and on the peer-voted lists published by Lexpert and Best Lawyers in Canada?
Third, is the lawyer with one of the top 10 personal injury law firms in Canada? The list is published by Canadian Lawyer magazine. Only about a dozen lawyers in Ontario have all of these credentials, and the vast majority are from law firms of the Personal Injury Alliance. A listing of these lawyers can be found at pialaw.ca/credentials.
Q Why are credentials so important?
A They’re important because they validate a lawyer’s expertise in personal injury cases. These types of cases can be complex, time-consuming, and expensive, sometimes costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lawyer and firm must be able to accept the financial risks. Personal injury law firms only get paid when the case is resolved favourably.
Q Should someone who has had a catastrophic injury compare lawyers’ credentials?
A Absolutely. Anyone can call themselves a personal injury lawyer, but credentials and objective endorsements make the case best. Accident victims are under an enormous amount of pressure, and the last thing they need is a bad experience with a lawyer. Remember also that a client can change their lawyer at any time if they’re not happy with their legal representation.
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