Finding an experienced personal injury lawyer can be harder than you think. Take a look at these resources and recommendations for help.
When you are seriously hurt in a slip and fall accident, car crash or other event, it is important to have a good attorney on your side. Once you have seen a doctor for medical attention, the next step is figuring out which attorney to choose.
Well believe it when we say not all attorneys are the same.
Taking the time to comparison shop among law firms and lawyers can really pay off. Here are some resources to help you find the right personal injury lawyer for your case:
Recommendations from Family and Friends
A great place to start looking for an attorney is to ask family and friends for recommendations. They may have had a similar legal need in the past. A friend is likely to give you an honest opinion about their recommendation, and you can talk to them about the reasons they recommend the attorney.
When a friend, relative or coworker makes a recommendation, put that lawyer on the list, but don’t stop looking for others just yet. Not every attorney is a good fit for every client. Each attorney has their own style. Some attorneys specialize in handling everything while other attorneys prefer to educate their clients and make them a part of the process. Put the recommendations on a list and go from there.
Bar Referral Services
Most state bar websites have pages for attorney referrals. They categorize attorneys both by their location and their practice areas. This can be a helpful way to find the right personal injury lawyer.
In some cases, attorneys have to take affirmative steps to join a certain practice area of the bar. Some services list any lawyer in good standing while other state referral services require an attorney to prove expertise in an area in order to get their name on the list. When you use bar referral services, this often means that you find an attorney who truly specializes in the area of practice rather than just looking for any case that walks in the door.
It’s important to pay attention to how a state referral service recommends an attorney, but an attorney referral service can still be a great source.
Online Legal Services
When you are looking for an attorney, it is worth looking online. There are a lot of ways for clients to review law firms online, and these reviews may be helpful. Attorney referral websites also provide biographical information such as years of experience and notable cases.
The internet also makes it easier to search for attorneys who are near where you live. From there, you can narrow down a list of firms in your zip code to check out.
Consult With More Than One Attorney
Perhaps the most important resource is in-person conversations with prospective attorneys. The attorney should allow you to tell your story about your personal injury.
Then, there are a lot of questions to ask the attorney. These include:
- What is the law that’s important to your case?
- Do you qualify for a recovery? If so, what types of recovery can you expect?
- Are there things that stand in your way of a recovery?
- Are there things you can do to improve my case?
- How long have they been handling injury cases?
- How much experience do they have in this area of law?
- Can they tell you about the last time they tried a case?
- Do they work alone or with a team?
- Who’s going to work on your case personally? Who will you speak with when you call the office?
- What do they enjoy about this area of law?
- Do they see any big roadblocks in your case?
- Do they settle most cases? How do they decide to recommend settlement in a case? Do they look forward to trying cases?
- Do they think they’re a good fit to work with you?
- How do they bill for services? What can you expect to pay?
A personal injury attorney usually doesn’t charge for a consultation, although it may be wise to ask.
A little bit of research in the right areas can help you find the right attorney to help you handle the stress and pressure of complex litigation. Ultimately, the work of a good attorney can result in a higher settlement than you may receive otherwise.