Finding The Right Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured by someone else’s negligence, one of the most important things you can do is find a good lawyer who is the right fit for your case.
Your injury might have been caused by a car accident, truck crash, motorcycle accident, pedestrian or bicycle accident, slip and fall, or dog bite. If someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Victims of personal injuries may be able to recover money for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Some people think that they don’t need a lawyer. They will attempt to negotiate with the insurance company on their own. This would be a huge mistake.
The way to be fully and fairly compensated for your injuries is to hire an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney. Your attorney will fight for your rights to be put whole again, as much as the law allows. You just have to know how to find the right attorney to represent you.
Being seriously injured due to someone’s negligence and carelessness can cause a lot of anxiety, stress, and fear. You may have a lot of questions about your case and what you should do.
Serious injuries can turn your family upside down, leaving you asking:
- Who will pay for your lost wages because you can’t work?
- What will you do about mounting medical bills with no way to pay them?
- How will you afford your mortgage or rent?
- How will you put food on your family’s table?
These are serious questions that need serious answers. By picking the right personal injury attorney, you can rest assured that all of your questions will be answered honestly and compassionately.
How to Find the Right Lawyer
If you want to have a great result in your personal injury case, you need to find the right personal injury attorney. Not all law firms or lawyers will be good at handling every case that knocks on their door.
Some lawyers are called generalists because they agree to handle almost every case that comes across their desk. The term “jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind.
There is nothing wrong with a law firm that handles a lot of different types of cases and multiple areas of the law. Law firms like this serve a vital role in many communities.
But with some legal issues, you don’t want to hire a jack-of-all-trades. Some cases in a particular area of the law can be very complex and difficult. And these cases might be worth a lot of money.
When someone has suffered serious injuries and has had months or even years of medical treatment, they should be fully compensated for their losses and pain and suffering.
Don’t rely upon just any lawyer to handle such a case. You want to hire a personal injury attorney who focuses their law practice on representing injured people.
For example, you don’t want a lawyer who mostly practices real estate law or wills and estates to handle your slip and fall case. You should look for a law firm that mostly handles personal injury cases.
The problem is finding which personal injury lawyer will be right for your case.
Here are some of the attributes that you should look for in a lawyer:
- Focuses their practice on your type of case, i.e., personal injury law
- Has successfully handled many cases similar to yours
- Provides a record of their successful cases
- Makes you feel comfortable
- Appears to be honest and compassionate about your situation
- Returns your phone calls in a timely manner
- Is available to answer your questions
- Appears to be organized
- Uses modern technology comfortably
Although these characteristics aren’t all necessary, if you see most of them in a lawyer you’re considering, it’s probably a good decision to hire them. Overall, you need a lawyer who is honest with you, who is available to you, and with whom you feel comfortable.
Sources for Finding Potential Personal Injury Lawyers to Hire
It is clear that you want to hire a lawyer who understands the personal injury laws in your state and has handled many types of personal injury cases. The problem comes when you start to look online to try to find a law firm to help you through this tough time. There is an overabundance of law firm advertising out there.
Thousands of law firms advertise online, and after spending just a little bit of time doing an online search and reading websites, your choices can get a little overwhelming. But there are other ways to look for and find the right personal injury lawyer for your case. The following are some good examples to use:
Referrals From Friends and Family
In many instances, you may have a friend or a family member who has gone through something similar. Call them and ask them for advice about what to do and which lawyer or law firms to contact.
For example, your cousin might have been injured in a car accident a few years ago and had a great experience with a particular personal injury lawyer. This particular lawyer may have done a good job on the case, and your cousin was very comfortable with the lawyer.
There’s nothing wrong with taking your cousin’s advice and contacting the lawyer to set up a consultation.
But even if they’re highly recommended, you should always talk to a potential lawyer before hiring them. Your lawyer should not only be experienced in your particular type of case but should also be someone you like and are comfortable with. It’s okay to pass on a lawyer who rubs you the wrong way or gives you a bad feeling in your gut.
You want a lawyer who has handled your type of case many times successfully. But you also want a lawyer who will be honest with you, return your phone calls or answer your emails, and generally make themselves available to you.
State Bar Associations
Every state has a bar association that lawyers will most likely be a member of. Your state’s bar association might have a referral system. You can check this system for information about a particular lawyer.
At the very least, bar associations will let a potential client know whether a particular lawyer is in good standing with the state. They will also provide information about any ethical disciplinary actions that a particular lawyer has been involved in.
Referrals From Other Lawyers
You may know a lawyer who has helped you or your family in another area of the law. Referrals from other lawyers can be a good source of information.
For example, you may have had a lawyer help you with your deceased parent’s estate. That lawyer probably shouldn’t handle your personal injury case, but they can give advice on who to contact.
In many towns and even in larger cities, most lawyers know each other—or they at least know about each other. Lawyers know which of their colleagues are good or have good reputations. They also know the lawyers who don’t have a good reputation. Just like anyone else, lawyers gossip about each other.
Lawyer Rating Services
There are several lawyer rating services that place a certain rating on specific lawyers. Depending upon the service, lawyers have to reach milestones in their careers before they can reach a particular rating with that agency. Some of the more popular attorney rating agencies are Martindale, Avvo, and Super Lawyers.
But a word of caution on using lawyer rating services. These services are worthwhile to look at regarding a particular lawyer, but don’t go by their recommendations solely. Use the lawyer rating services as just one factor out of many when you’re considering who to use.
Lawyers Who Lecture Other Lawyers
One way to determine whether a particular attorney knows a specific area of the law is whether they are asked to give lectures on that topic to other lawyers.
Every state requires lawyers to take continuing legal education courses in order to maintain their bar license. If an attorney loses their license, they will not be allowed to practice law in the state.
For example, in California, every practicing lawyer (with a few exceptions) has to take courses that provide at least 25 credits of continuing legal education every three years. This continuing education helps lawyers stay up-to-date on the changing nature of the law and new cases that courts hand down.
If a specific lawyer has a history of teaching these courses to other lawyers, you can rest assured that he or she knows the law well. It’s ideal to find a lawyer who is looked up to by their peers. Someone entrusted with teaching other lawyers about a particular area of the law or a particular type of case is usually very skilled and well-liked.
Check Reference Materials
Just as you should consider attorneys who give lectures to other lawyers, it’s a good idea to consider lawyers who have written books or articles on a specific area of law.
Another good source for reference materials is to find a lawyer who has written law review articles on specific topics and had those extensively researched articles published in law reviews or journals.
Specialized Attorney Organizations
There are many different specialized attorney organizations that lawyers sometimes belong to. For example, in most states, several organizations focus on personal injury law.
But again, just use this as one of many considerations when looking for a lawyer. Membership in a particular organization is not always a good indication that an attorney knows a particular area of the law. Some of these organizations simply require a yearly fee to be a member.
Other Things to Consider
One issue to consider is the fee arrangement that the lawyer will require.
Most personal injury cases are done on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay anything upfront to the lawyer. It also means that you don’t have to pay the lawyer an hourly rate, no matter how many hours they spend working your case.
With contingency fee agreements, the way for the lawyer to get paid is for them to win your case and get you compensation. If they do, the lawyer will get a specific percentage of the settlement or the amount won in a jury trial. If no money is won for the client, the attorney gets paid nothing for their fee, no matter how long the case took.
A contingency fee gives the lawyer an incentive to win as much for the client as possible since their fee will increase if their client gets more money. It also allows the client, who might not have enough savings to pay for a lawyer, to get excellent representation without having to spend a dime upfront.
Some law firms might charge a higher percentage than others as a contingency fee. Again, this should just be one consideration out of many in choosing the right lawyer for your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today for Help With Your Injury Case
You may recover compensation for your injuries if you have suffered a serious personal injury. If the injury was caused by someone being negligent or careless and causing an accident, you need an aggressive legal team on your side fighting for your rights.
Whether you suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, a slip or fall, an animal attack, or another unexpected injury, you do not have to go through it alone. Contact an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer for a free consultation today.
The at-fault person will have an insurance company with a small army of adjusters, investigators, and lawyers, all fighting to pay you as little money as possible. You deserve your own team with the knowledge and resources to take on any size defendant.