If you or a loved one is injured in an accident and need to bring a lawsuit, you need a qualified and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who will give you the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve under the law. But it can feel overwhelming to find the right personal injury attorney for you and your particular case.
The difference between the right lawyer and the wrong lawyer could mean the difference between being fairly compensated for your injuries and getting nothing. With a little effort, guidance, and research you can find the best legal representation for your specific case in your geographic area. These are some considerations to keep in mind in searching for a personal injury attorney.
Experience in the Area of Law Relevant to Your Case
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when looking for legal representation in a personal injury matter is whether a law firm or solo practitioner specializes in personal injury cases, and, even better, specializes in cases involving the specific kind of accident that led to your injuries. Personal injury attorneys focus their practice on an area of the law known as tort law, which concerns cases where individuals seek compensation for injuries sustained due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inaction of another party or parties.
Beyond engagement tort law practice generally, it is best if you can find an attorney with experience in cases involving similar kinds of accidents to your own and in representing plaintiffs who suffered similar injuries. This level of expertise is advantageous in myriad ways, and can increase your chances of success in recovering fair compensation, and recovering faster. Visit the websites of each law firm or practitioner you are considering to research the areas of law the firm practices.
Research an Attorney or Law Firm’s Reputation
Do not overlook the traditional word-of-mouth referral. It is always reassuring to hear about the real experiences of individuals who have hired a certain lawyer or firm. Ask your personal connections, friends, or family for recommendations, or about what positive, or negative, experiences they may have had with personal injury lawyers in your area. You might even use this strategy as a jump-off point to get you started on your search and get a list of potential options.
It is easier than ever to find a wealth of information and reviews on a potential attorney or law firm for your personal injury case. From a simple search engine query to looking up a firm or attorney on any online attorney databases, you have many ways to research the lawyers or firms you are considering, and can read a broad range of client reviews.
Take some time to go over this information. Be wary of firms or attorneys with little to no information readily available or limited online presence. While this is not an outright indication of a negative reputation, it could mean a lawyer has few connections in your community or limited experience in the area of the law you are researching. If nothing else, an attorney or firm’s lack of online information leaves you with little way to tell whether they could be the right fit for you.
Proximity to You
Look for a lawyer or law firm that is within a reasonable distance to where you live. There likely will be circumstances where you need to meet with your attorney, drop off paperwork, or be involved in some other way that requires you to visit the law office in person. An attorney or firm being local is also an indication of experience, in that they deal with the kinds of cases that arise in your community.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation to Discuss Your Case
Once you have narrowed down your personal injury lawyer choices to a few options, you should schedule initial consultations. Most personal injury lawyers will offer a free first-time consultation to discuss your case. This first meeting is not only an opportunity for you to get a feel for the law firm but also a chance to get an idea of the strength of your case and the kind of results you can expect.
An initial consultation allows the attorney to hear the basic facts of your case and, based on that, advise you how you can proceed. This session is also a chance for you to ask any questions you may have about the lawyer, their experience, background, and education. You can probe their insights into your case and see if they may have any predictions about how much you can recover from a court judgment or settlement.
No lawyer can predict how much compensation you will ultimately receive, but an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can give you a good expectation based on the facts surrounding your case, and help you evaluate whether the case is worth your time.
Ease of Access and Open Communication
Having an easy and open line of communication with a personal injury attorney is immensely important. While an attorney cannot be readily available at all times to every client, you should expect a law firm or attorney will be prompt in responding to the needs of their clients and have a support team in place to help handle client concerns or questions. If it is taking too long for a law firm to return a phone call for an initial consultation, this may be a red flag in terms of the quality of communication you can expect if you retain them.
Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
Trust your first impressions of a law firm or attorney. You must not only feel the law firm or attorney is competent to represent you, but even more that they will zealously fight for your interests and legal rights. Your best bet is to find a personal injury attorney you trust and feel confident about their ability to succeed in your case.