If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you must choose your lawyer carefully. Nothing else will make as much difference in the outcome of your claim. The right personal injury lawyer will show you benefits before your claim begins, with expert advice on the right course of action. Your lawyer will also help you long after the end of your lawsuit by helping you find an appropriate way to manage your income from the lawsuit.
Here are some steps to go through in choosing the right personal injury lawyer.
The first place to start is to get recommendations from friends or family who have been through a personal injury claim. Ask people how they felt about their lawyer, how he handled their case, and the ultimate outcome of the claim. When getting recommendations, make sure you ask what type of injury or case their lawyer helped with.
Expand your search for recommendations by talking to professionals about recommendations. If you have a family lawyer, ask them if they know a personal injury lawyer they would recommend. If you are receiving specialized treatment for your injury, such as physical therapy for a spine injury or cosmetic treatment at a burn clinic, ask your therapist or clinician about personal injury lawyers. Chances are, they have worked with enough victims that they have heard which lawyers might be good and which ones might be good to avoid.
Take your recommendations and check up on the lawyers. Go to the lawyers’ websites and make sure they handle your type of injury. You should look both at the lawyer’s main content and check their verdicts and settlements page. This will tell you if a lawyer actually has good experience with your type of injury. For some specialized types of injury you may have to call the office to learn whether they can handle your case.
Read online reviews of lawyers. If you are looking at independent review sites, don’t be swayed by just one or two reviews, and don’t just look at the star ratings. Read the detailed comments to get a better idea about how your potential lawyer will handle your case.
At AccidentAttorneys.org, we have already done part of this work for you. We have selected only lawyers that have been recognized for their excellence by their peers or by independent ratings agencies.
Once you have a list of 3-5 candidates, arrange interviews. Personal injury lawyers usually offer free initial consultations, so there’s no concern about the cost of talking to multiple lawyers. Talking to lawyers in person will give you the opportunity to follow up on information you found during your research. Make sure the lawyer has the skills and experience listed on the website and is still willing to take your case. Ask about how your case will be handled and potential outcomes. Talk about fees and expenses.
During the interview, your potential lawyer will probably not only offer significant advice, but will also ask you for more detailed information. A good lawyer likely doesn’t have to take every case that comes to their office and will be careful about choosing the best cases to take. They not only want to know about your injury, but also about you. Your potential personal injury lawyer is trying to decide whether you will be a good client or not.
Make a Decision or Keep Looking
Once you have interviewed your potential lawyers, it’s time to decide which one you think will be the best for you. Make your decision based on factors such as:
Competence: Can the lawyer handle your case?
Compatibility: Can you work with this lawyer for months or years it may take for your case to resolve?
Communication: Will the lawyer keep you informed about the progress of your lawsuit? Will you keep control of the lawsuit and retain the ability to make important decisions.
However, if you don’t find any lawyer that you feel fully confident in, you should keep looking. Your personal injury claim is too important to entrust it to any lawyer that doesn’t give you full confidence. Be aware, though, your claim is governed by a statute of limitations, and if you don’t file your case in a timely manner, you may lose your right to compensation.