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How to Know If You’re Choosing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
In a world full of personal injury ads screaming at you from social media, radio spots, TV commercials, and more, knowing if you’re choosing a personal injury lawyer that’s good for you is extremely difficult! Many of your choices for legal representation seem the same on paper, so surely the choice doesn’t matter all that much, right?
Wrong! Hiring a lawyer that’s right for your personal injury case can be very hard, but we’re here to help. Keep reading to see our top tips of how to know you’ve hired the best personal injury lawyer.
You’ve Done Your Research
The first way to know for sure if you’re hiring a personal injury attorney that’ll be best for you is to start with doing your part. From the instant you’ve been in an accident, there are steps you need to take to set yourself up for success later. First of all, take pictures, gather evidence, and talk to witnesses at the scene of the accident. If you had catastrophic injuries and were unable to do this at the accident site, take this step as soon as you’re able. From there, file all the paperwork that’s necessary, especially an accident report with the police.
After you complete this first, most immediate step, take time to examine your own case from an objective perspective. Do you have a case? Is it clear that you were injured unjustly based on the actions of another person? Do you have at least some evidence to back up your personal injury claims? If so, it’s likely that you need a lawyer, and your search for the best can begin.
You’ve Made a List of Lawyers
Start by asking friends and family if they have used a personal injury lawyer in the past and had a good experience. Write down any names you get and do some research online. Start with that list of names and include any other personal injury attorneys you come across. Include some different search queries that may pertain to your case, like a slip and falls lawyer, in order to see different lawyers in other practice areas. Add these names to the list and come back to them later.
By listing your options, it’s easier to narrow them down and keep track of the pros and cons of each.
You’ve Gotten the Answers to Your Questions
Most lawyers offer free initial consultations with potential new clients. If a lawyer does not offer them, you may want to steer clear, as this can indicate a lack of transparency in their practices. When you meet with different lawyers, ask them questions that you would want to be answered before you work with them, including:
- Would you be the one handling my case, or would it be delegated to someone else?
- How are you paid, and when does payment occur?
- How long do these types of cases usually last?
- Do you go to trial?
- Have you handled cases like this one before?
Get as much information as you can from these meetings and make notes next to each name on your list. From there, you can rank each lawyer based on their responses. Don’t forget to consider how well you got along with each lawyer. If you’re going to be working closely together, you’ll want someone you feel comfortable with.
Before or after all your meetings, you may want to consider learning more about each lawyer online. Usually, the website for the law firm has additional information about each lawyer, including where they went to law school, their awards, certifications, and organizations, as well as past case history and experience. You can even usually find reviews of lawyers on sites like Google Reviews and Yelp. Include these in your evaluations of each person on your list.
You’ve Considered Their Law Firm
Not all law firms are the same. Some are large, some are small, some do business in multiple states, some don’t. Different law firms tend to produce different kinds of lawyers. By examining a law firm, you can learn some things about each lawyer individually.
There are pros and cons to having a larger law firm. Larger law firms typically have the resources to find excellent expert witnesses, as well as legal research and additional elements that could contribute to winning your case. However, large law firms often have a higher caseload than smaller firms and may not be able to have a lot of time to dedicate to your case in particular.
When it comes to smaller firms, you can usually expect more individual attention to your case, a deeper understanding of the local sentiment, and lower fees, but these smaller firms can also have trouble with providing resources for your case.
Other than size, look at the types of cases these firms typically handle, check their track records, and learn more about the company’s history and culture online. All of these things will help you see if your personal injury lawyer is in a happy, healthy working environment that has a history of providing great legal advice.
You’ve Seen Their Work Outside of Their Firm
Other than learning about their record from publicly available documents and asking them directly about their history, you should learn more about an individual lawyer’s work in the legal realm at large. See what areas of personal injury law each candidate has practiced in before. You may want to reconsider your choices if some have never handled a car accident case, for instance. Those with no experience may have trouble navigating various negotiations with insurance companies to cover your medical bills.
Also, check and see if they go to court with their clients. If this is a concern for you, make sure that your top lawyer candidates do go to trial, as not every lawyer does.
See what other work they have produced in the form of publications, speaking engagements, and teaching positions. It’s not unusual for colleges and journals to ask highly-respected lawyers to teach, write, or speak in order to share their expertise. The Internet is a great place for information. Use it to find out as much as you can!
You’ve Got the Best Personal Injury Lawyer!
If you’ve followed the steps above and narrowed down your list, chances are you have the best personal injury lawyer for you! If you’re still not sure how to hire an attorney, choose an attorney from our team. Each of us has years of experience in various types of law, and you can’t deny that we’ve won some life-changing settlements for clients in the past.
We promise to treat your case with compassion and dedication. Schedule a free consultation using the form below, and we’ll get started!