5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer
Choosing a personal injury lawyer is not an easy task. Often, it’s a necessity that comes at a time when you’re life has been thrust into turmoil as a result of an accident, injury or death. But at such times, it’s critical to remember not to take the decision lightly. The personal injury lawyer you work with will have a significant impact on how your case proceeds – and potentially the rest of your life. Below are five suggested considerations to think about before retaining your personal injury lawyer.
1. Personal Recommendations: Ask local friends and family if they know of anyone who faced a similar situation and who they chose as their representation. If possible, speak with them about their experience as a client. Inquire as to how they were treated overall, how transparent proceedings were and how communicative the firm was. A recommendation from people you know and trust is one of the most reliable sources
2. Experience: Not all personal injury lawyers focus on the same areas of personal injury law, so it’s critical to inquire as to whether or not the firm is experienced with your specific injury. You want to clarify if they’re experienced and how experienced they are. In the initial consultation, ask questions such as:
- How long have you been in practice?
- How many personal injury claims have you settled successfully?
- Do you anticipate my case going to trial?
- Have you taken continuing education in recent years?
3. Reputation: Take a few moments to consider the firm’s overall reputation. Read reviews on third-party websites like Angie’s List, Google places, Bing and Yelp to get a better understanding of firms you cannot find a personal recommendation with. However, keep in mind, that some posts may not be real – be cautious of those that are particularly extreme.
4. Community Involvement: A firm’s involvement in the lives of its peers is a good indication of the values, ethics and benevolence of its attorneys. Do they volunteer their time? Do they support local missions financially? Likewise, investigate to see if they are active in legal organizations such as the American Bar Association, their state Bar Association, or other select representation organizations (i.e., Injured Workers Bar Association).
5. Size: Are you more comfortable with a large firm that has many partners who would share your case, or would you prefer to work closely with only one individual as is the case in a smaller office? This typically comes down to personal preference, but it’s something to consider before jumping on board. Make sure expectations about communication between you and the attorney(s) are clear.