Personal injury can result from many scenarios. Consider an accident from a car, workplace injury, neglect by your landlord or businesses around you, incorrect safety from your city, or one of many other reasons. No matter the cause, it's vital that you have the best personal injury attorney representing you. Hiring the right attorney means that you have better chances that your personal injury lawsuit will succeed and you can be compensated for being unfairly injured.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, winning the lawsuit will likely be the difference between you living a reason life after the traumatic experience or your life taking a drastic turn for the worst. Given what's at stake, you might be wondering, “how can I ensure I find the best personal injury attorney in my area?
Answer: Word of mouth is the best place to start before you expand your research.
Word of mouth referral has been around for millennia, and it's not going away no matter how much the world changes. An excellent place to start looking for a top-notch injury lawyer around you is asking your friends and family. Someone in your family or your circle of friends likely knows someone who has interacted with a personal injury lawyer before, and they can refer them to you if the experience was positive.
Asking for referrals for an injury attorney from your friends and family comes with several outstanding advantages. Firstly, you can get a first-person testimony about the competency of the lawyer. Moreover, you quickly get a rough idea of how much the attorney might charge you for the services they offer. You might also get additional insights on how long your case might take and the nitty-gritty of the whole process.
Now that you have some referrals from your friends and family, your search shouldn't stop there. Move on and conduct some online research about the referrals while trying to broaden your list of candidates. Look at the reviews that the referrals have against that of the other attorneys. You shouldn't be looking for an attorney with zero negative reviews, as that is pretty unrealistic and quite suspicious. Instead, compare the ratio of positive reviews and negative reviews.
For a more professional opinion about the injury attorneys you are considering, check out your state's bar association databases. All state bar associations have a registry of the attorneys operating in their jurisdiction, including the sanctions and disciplinary measures that they have received over the years. If you see an injury lawyer with a long history of disciplinary issues, keep away from them. Checking these databases is also an excellent way to establish which attorneys are licensed and who are running a smooth con game. By the end of this online research, you should have come up with a shortlist of potential injury attorneys that you are interested in.
Go through your shortlist and examine the qualifications, experience, and specialization of each injury attorney. As mentioned earlier, the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit has the potential of altering the direction of your life in one direction or another. Therefore, no stone should be left unturned. At this point, you might want to schedule an appointment with the candidates on your shortlist. Make sure you call their office ahead to book an appointment to avoid any inconveniences. Today, nearly all attorneys have websites with their office contact information.
Having face-to-face interviews with the injury attorneys would allow you to gauge them on a more personal level. Ask them where they studied for their law degree and their experience handling personal injury cases. This should not be an interview but rather a conversation. Therefore, it's okay for you to talk about your life before the injury and how it has since changed.
You can ask the candidates about the worst personal injury case they have lost and the best they have won. Everyone has up and down moments, so don't be scared away by what you hear. You can also do the same about the best moments for you before the injury and the worst you have had since. Winning a personal injury lawsuit is about the rapport you build with your lawyer as much as it is about their qualifications and expertise.
You should also inquire if the injury lawyer has represented a client in your situation before. Although, this should not influence your decision as you might have a pretty unique injury. Once you are done with this, it's time to go with your gut and pick the attorney that you prefer from your shortlist. It's good manners to call the rest and inform them of your decision.
Obviously this article is just a small source of information for something that’s incredibly important to most people. The more research and information you have, the better the situation you will be in to find a good attorney. These resources can help.
- AllLaw – AllLaw is an industry-leading platform that matches interested persons with attorneys that suit their needs. This is a link to their article that expounds on how to find the right personal injury lawyer.
- Lawyer Monthly – Lawyer Monthly is a reputable monthly legal publication and website that contains comprehensive, insightful information on the legal sector. This article is designed to help explain some of the different types of personal injury cases that may crop up.
- American Bar Association – The American Bar Association, is the oversight body for all legal professionals in the country. The article linked is a gateway to their advice on finding a lawyer for any legal assistance.