Finding a good personal injury lawyer shouldn’t be a hassle.
After you’ve had an accident, the last thing you want to do is spend weeks searching for a decent lawyer. You’ll want to put your injuries behind you, get compensated for the trouble, and move on with your life. That’s a completely normal feeling.
But you can’t rush through these things, or else you won’t get what you deserve from your injury. You do have to put effort into finding a good lawyer. Today, we’re going to discuss the 5 key steps that you need to take when searching for a personal injury attorney.
Follow them and you won’t have to worry about how reputable or experienced your lawyer is. You’ll be sure of it.
1. Background and Experience
As someone who’s suffered a personal injury, you’re likely in a very specific situation and your legal matters should be treated with specificity. Hiring a lawyer that doesn’t specialize in personal injury law would be a huge mistake, so you’ve got to do your due diligence during your search and refrain from contacting other types of attorneys.
Finding someone that works for you shouldn’t be too hard with a well-worded Google search. There are only a couple of things that you need to think about here; specialty and experience. If you want a lawyer close to your home, then add your location to your search or perform your search on Google maps.
The top search results will be the first ones to check out. Any good personal injury lawyer will let you know what their educational background is and how much experience they have. You can narrow down your candidates by looking at these things.
Your next big requirement from your personal injury lawyer is a solid reputation. There are dozens of personal injury lawyers all over town that all claim to have a great reputation, but can that really be true? Probably not.
You don’t have to take the lawyer’s word for it, though. Most firms will have an entire section on their website dedicated to their amazing testimonials and if they don’t, it should probably be alarming. However, they’re likely cherrypicking the best comments for the site, so there’s no reason to live and die by this.
Instead, take a peek on review sites like Google or Yelp to get an idea of what you’re getting into. Specifically, look at the star rating, the number of ratings, and the comments.
For example, an experienced lawyer that has a 4.3-star rating on 1,000 reviews is better than a newer lawyer that has a 5.0 rating on 15 reviews. Use this philosophy and the general tone of the comments to determine which lawyer to call up.
3. Having a Meeting
Once you’ve decided on a few specific attorneys, you’ll want to go in for a face-to-face consultation. Here is where you’ll be able to ask all the questions burning in your mind, so spend some time writing down all of the things you need to know.
Here are a few examples of what you might want to get to the bottom of:
- Are you experienced as lead counsel on any cases that have gone to the jury?
- What is your contingency percentage?
- How long will my case take?
- Will you be the one handling my case?
- Do you think my case will go to trial?
- What percentage of cases settle?
- Have you had cases like this one?
You can use some of these to start, but come up with as many questions as you feel are necessary to feel good about the attorney. The more info you have early on, the better you can feel going into this process.
4. Clarity and Confidence
How they answer a few of those earlier questions should give you a good idea of the person you’ll be dealing with and their confidence level. Having quality experience and a strong educational background is only half the battle of being a great personal injury attorney.
They should also be clear about what they expect to happen and confident that they can handle your case. They shouldn’t make any empty promises or be overconfident, though, so if they start promising that you’ll win or that you should expect a certain dollar amount, run the other way.
The best a lawyer should be able to do before they really start digging into your incident is look at the facts and infer from experience what could happen. No promises should be made because not even an experienced lawyer can predict what will happen in court.
5. Asking Around
So far, we’ve discussed how you can find a good lawyer through online search only. Google makes it easy to find the best businesses near you and allows you to filter out the lawyers that you shouldn’t be dealing with. However, there are other ways to attack this problem.
We still see a lot of referrals from friends and family members of new customers. If you know someone that’s gone through a similar situation to you, then it makes sense to ask them who their lawyer was.
You also have access to lawyer directories, where you can view profiles of attorneys, including information on education, experience, and fees. It’s a good way to have some knowledge of how they operate before you meet up with them.
Lastly, you can get lawyer referrals from your local bar association. All you have to do is call and ask for a few names in a certain specialization and they’ll choose some for you. It’s important to note that bar associations won’t go as far as screening candidates for you, so you’ll be at the mercy of whoever they choose.
You Need a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
If you don’t hire a good personal injury lawyer, you’re not giving yourself the best chance to settle your case. To get a personal injury lawyer that you can trust in Pharr, contact the Law Offices of Arturo Martinez PC. Arturo specializes in personal injury law and we’ll give you a free case evaluation over the phone.