Finding an experienced and trustworthy personal injury attorney may be challenging, but finding one will make the difference between the success and failure of your claim.
Referring yourself or getting referrals from other lawyers is an effective way to start. Most attorneys know of others who specialize in personal injury claims.
1. Look for Experience
Experience is of the utmost importance when selecting a personal injury lawyer, and inexperienced lawyers may not be able to represent your best interests. When interviewing prospective lawyers, ask how many years they’ve been practicing law and what percentage of their law firm’s practice involves personal injury cases. Furthermore, examine if they belong to any professional organizations dedicated to this area as this could indicate their commitment to staying up-to-date on current developments within this niche area of law.
An important consideration when hiring an attorney is their track record of success. Ask for proof by asking how many high verdicts or settlements they’ve won; also visit their website to read what previous clients are saying about working with the lawyer.
If possible, contact past clients directly to gain more insight into their experiences with you and how helpful your attorney has been in their time of need. This is an ideal way of gathering first-hand accounts about how it feels to work with an attorney and their capabilities in terms of helping people with legal matters.
Once you’ve located an experienced personal injury attorney, be sure that they are readily available to answer your queries and keep you updated on the status of your case. Avoid attorneys who make you feel as though you’re bothering them by demanding updates about it.
2. Look for Reputation
Many of the same legal marketing strategies used by all firms–building a strong online presence, optimizing SEO performance, managing reviews effectively, and sharing testimonials–are beneficial for personal injury law practices as well. But personal injury firms may require additional consideration in their digital marketing practices specific to their practice area.
Example: While business clients might prefer discussing golf with their attorney, potential personal injury clients need assurances that the lawyer they hire is compassionate and caring towards them and their situation.
An effective personal injury law firm will often enjoy an excellent standing in their community. This is particularly true for law firms with local roots; referrals can come from fellow attorneys as well as local businesspeople alike. A strong personal injury attorney’s reputation can also be gauged online via client reviews and rating services.
When interviewing potential personal injury attorneys, inquire into their past client’s experiences. Investigate whether their cases were successfully resolved either through court action or settlement out-of-court settlement, as well as how long it took for results to come in. Be suspicious of lawyers claiming never to have lost a case, even the best attorneys do sometimes lose cases; also inquire into any policy regarding expense reimbursement should a loss occur.
3. Look for Personality
Personal injury law can be both challenging and rewarding. It requires empathy with clients’ situations as well as the strength to aggressively represent them when necessary. Newcomers to this practice area may make costly errors or fall prey to greed when first beginning practice; to avoid this mistake, newbies should seek out experienced mentors and learn from their mistakes; trial lawyers associations provide excellent avenues for this purpose.
Personality is also a critical factor. Since you will spend so much time with your attorney throughout your case, choosing one who you get along with is vitally important. This includes their communication style, whether or not they provide updates about the status of your case, and overall demeanor.
As part of your research into potential personal injury lawyers, it can also be useful to seek referrals from friends or coworkers with similar experiences. This will help narrow down your choices and ensure that you select an attorney that best meets your needs – but be sure to interview several candidates before making your choice.
4. Look for Costs
Attorneys typically charge contingency fees on severe personal injury cases. Their lawyers typically collect one-third of any eventual settlement or judgment plus office expenses as their fee. When interviewing attorneys for representation in such matters, inquire as to their fees and whether case expenses will also be charged; some firms require clients who lose the case to reimburse all expenses related to it while others may advance costs associated with preparation but deduct them from any settlement award they might eventually receive.
Before hiring an attorney, ask him or her if they have ever tried a case in court. Insurance companies know which attorneys attempt to bring cases to trial and which don’t, so if an insurance company believes your lawyer will fear going before a judge they are more likely to offer fair settlement offers.