Tips for Choosing the Right
Personal Injury Lawyer
1. Do not hire a brand-new attorney. Some are great, but do you want to entrust your case to a lawyer with little or no experience? Make sure the lawyer you are considering as your lawyer has been in practice for a while. After all, practice makes perfect, or at least it makes for a better likelihood of success.
2. Make sure your lawyer or firm has been recognized by his or her peers as someone worthy of your consideration. Although the various lawyer ratings organizations are by no means fool proof, organizations such as Martindale Hubbell, Super Lawyers, BestLawyers and AVVO do provide some additional information to consumers such as peer review, and ethical ratings. Yelp and Google ratings are often based on anonymous reviews, or unknown reviewers. Don’t be fooled by “influencers” who review law firms and lawyers.
3. Is your lawyer associated with a law firm that has been around for a while? There is much to be said about the solidity of a law firm. Is their name on their building? How long has the firm been in existence? What ties to the community do the lawyers and the law firm have? Will the firm be in existence for the foreseeable future?
4. Don’t pick your lawyer based solely on a TV commercial. Find a good lawyer by doing your homework. Look online, call and talk to a few lawyers. A personal referral is sometimes helpful, but you need to make sure that the lawyer your brother-in-law suggests is an injury lawyer, or you may find yourself being referred by that lawyer to someone you know nothing about.
5. Do not pick a lawyer based upon who your medical provider refers you to. If your doctor gives you a lawyer’s card and tells you that this is the lawyer for you, run!! Do you want a lawyer who is concerned with keeping his referring doctor friend happy, or keeping you happy!
6. Make sure your lawyer or firm you hire has mediated some cases, tried some cases, and arbitrated some cases. If your case doesn’t settle, one of these methods will be necessary to bring your case to a conclusion. While you’re at it, make sure your potential lawyer has been to an Appellate Court or even a higher court. If the answer to these questions is “No”, you better keep looking.
7. Do not hire a lawyer with no support staff. What happens if the lawyer you hire is out of the office for an emergency? You want to be able to reach somebody and have your concerns addressed.
8. Do not hire an injury attorney who will not put the terms of your agreement into writing. If you hire an attorney, you must have a written retainer agreement that spells out the fees and costs and terms to end the relationship. If the attorney says you do not need a written agreement, do not hire him or her.