Every injury you suffer deserves serious consideration, no matter if it happened in a motor vehicle collision or because of a slip and fall. If you suffered harm because of someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you need legal services you can trust. Legal services you can count on. Legal services that can get you the answers, and compensation, you need.
Unfortunately, with thousands of lawyers to choose from, it is difficult to know which of them is most qualified to take on your case. You do not want to make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced attorney to take on your crucial legal claim.
In this blog post, we discuss what to look for in a personal injury lawyer and how to know when you have found the right attorney to handle your personal injury claim.
Do Some In-Depth Research
The first thing people tend to do when they realize they need an attorney is jump on Google and search for attorneys in their area. It’s a reasonable approach, but you will want to do additional research to make sure it is the right firm for your personal injury claim.
- Is the lawyer licensed in the state and in good standing with the state bar? You can find all of this information on the State Bar of Nevada’s website.
- What does the lawyer’s website say about the types of cases the firm handles, the results the firm has achieved for clients, and the client’s views of the services the lawyer provided? There are many jack-of-all-trade law firms that practice a broad range of practice areas, however seeking a firm that solely practices personal injury is typically a better bet.
- Will the lawyer respond when you call or email? The first test is whether the lawyer responds to your initial inquiry. Does the lawyer get back to you right away, and make it easy for you to set up a free consultation?
Discuss Your Fees Upfront and Get It in Writing
Typically, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they only receive a fee if they secure money for your claim.
You have every right to expect a reputable personal injury lawyer to discuss fees with you upfront. You should never feel uncertain about how your own lawyer gets paid. Trustworthy lawyers put fee arrangements in writing, up-front, written in plain English (no legalese!).
Look Into Their Training and if They Are the Ones Handling Your Case
Another critical aspect to discuss with a potential attorney is their level of training and whether they will be the ones working on your case. Some lawyers may agree to take your case, only to pass it off to a junior associate at the firm or even a third party legal entity to handle the claim.
When speaking with a potential lawyer in a free case consultation, ask:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How much trial experience do you have?
- What percentage of your cases involve personal injury claims?
- Will you handle my case? Or will another associate in the firm take my case?
- What are the qualifications of the lawyer handling my case?
- How will we communicate?
- How often will I get case updates?
These questions can provide you with a clear understanding of how the attorney will handle your lawsuit, and supply you with important information you need to decide whether this is the right lawyer for you.
Discuss Your Goals: Settlement versus Trial
Most personal injury cases end up settling before they head to trial. Many injured people want that outcome, so long as the settlement pays them fairly. However, some feel motivated to hold the party who hurt them accountable in a court of law.
When talking to a personal injury attorney, feel free to communicate your goals, and to ask questions aimed at understanding how the attorney approaches decisions about whether to settle a case or take it to trial.
For example, tell the lawyer how much money you hope to recover, and ask the lawyer if that’s reasonable. Or, question the lawyer about how often the lawyer goes to trial, and how the lawyer would feel if your case ended up in a courtroom.
In other words, the idea is to open a clear, frank dialogue with a potential lawyer about what you hope to accomplish through legal action, whether those goals are realistic, and how the lawyer might go about achieving them.
What to Avoid When Looking for an Attorney
In addition to your own, personal red flags, try to avoid:
- Lawyers who have numerous poor client reviews on websites like Avvo.com or negative reviews on Google or Yelp.
- Lawyers who appear that they are guessing when you ask them how they will handle your case.
- Lawyers who have minimal courtroom experience, or who seem wary about taking a case to trial.
- Lawyers who make over-the-top promises of a quick resolution, or of an amount of money you might receive, before they even know all the facts.
- Lawyers who do not put their fee agreements in writing, or do not use plain English to explain how they get paid.
Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer For You
Sure, it may be easy to call the first attorney who comes up in a Google search, however finding the right lawyer for your personal injury case takes more effort.
Do not take the task lightly. Personal injury cases often involve discussions about intimate details about your life, hopes, and finances. Take the time to find a personal injury lawyer who communicates with confidence, empathy, and sincerity; someone who you feel in your gut that you can trust.
You have important, valuable legal rights. Trust only an experienced, caring, personal injury lawyer to protect them.
For more information, contact an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer today.