Choosing an attorney can be daunting. There are probably hundreds of attorneys near you with different specialties and experiences and many of them will want to work with you, but which attorney is the right fit to represent you and your case? If you want to file a claim for compensation for a recent injury, it is important to find the right attorney who will help file your claim correctly within the time limit.
When thinking about hiring an attorney, these very important factors will help you to vet a personal injury attorney:
Lawyers you already know:
You might already know an attorney in your circle of friends or family, or because they have previously worked with you on a legal matter. If this person is a personal injury attorney, you can reach out to them to see if they have experience working on cases similar to yours. If the lawyer you know is not a personal injury attorney, you can ask them for referrals. A referral from an attorney is an excellent way to find an experienced and trustworthy professional to handle your case.
Ask friends and family:
You might want to ask your friends and family if they have a personal injury attorney they know and trust. Maybe someone in your social circles can recommend a lawyer based on their own experience.
Searching for attorneys online is a great way to find out more information. There are many online directories that share the names and specialties of attorneys in your area. You can also directly visit the websites of attorneys near you, and view their ratings on Google and read the reviews of previous clients.
Make a list of criteria:
After doing some initial research, you are ready to make a list of criteria that are important to you in a personal injury attorney. Here are a few criteria your list might include:
Years of experience
Law firm size
Previous client experiences
How the firm handles case fees
Review track record and credentials:
Track record and credentials can give you an idea of how an attorney will handle your case. If an attorney has experienced success with cases like yours previously, that can speak to their ability to handle your case successfully.
Consider the size of the law firm:
The size of the law firm will not necessarily affect its ability to handle your case, however, some people have different experiences with large vs small law firms.
Often, larger law firms will have more than one attorney and multiple staff members working on a case. When meeting with an attorney from a larger firm, be sure to ask who will be primarily handling your case. If multiple attorneys will be working on your case, be sure to meet with each one in order to thoroughly vet them.
Additionally, sometimes a large firm of busy lawyers can allow cases to slip through the cracks. This might require more attention on your part to ensure your case is receiving proper care and consideration. Most importantly, make sure your case is not being handed over to incompetent attorneys or staff. You might need to ask the primary attorney how work on your case will be distributed among partners, attorneys, and paralegals.
Compile a list of lawyers who match your needs:
Once you know what criteria matter to you when vetting a personal injury attorney, make a list of candidates that match your needs. This is a great time to narrow your choices and select a handful to consult with. This can start with a phone call or an in-person meeting.
Remember that an attorney needs to choose you back:
Not every attorney will want to take your case for a number of reasons. Maybe this is not a case they feel very comfortable with based on their experience, maybe they are busy and do not have time to take on a new case, or maybe they simply did not respond to your email or call (this one is not a good sign!). This is why it is important to have more than one candidate who meets your criteria.
What to consider after meeting with an attorney:
After meeting with an attorney, you can evaluate if they are the right fit by reviewing your criteria and the new information you learned from the meeting.
Consider your settlement goal:
When meeting with an attorney, they will typically give you an initial assessment of how much your case is worth and the result you can reasonably expect. You can assess whether this aligns with your settlement goal to cover the expenses from your injury. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and follow up with questions when discussing this matter with a potential attorney.
A lawyer’s communication style is a very important factor. You might want to consider the following questions when thinking about the line of communication:
How well did you communicate with the attorney?
Did he or she listen to you fully?
Did he or she explain things well?
Was the attorney receptive to questions?
What are your initial impressions of the attorney, their communication style, and personality?
Understanding what is going on in your case is pivotal to the success of your claim. If an attorney is able to clearly explain details and updates of your case, it will affect your ability to make good decisions about the trajectory of your case.
If you are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney, please call 877-227-3404.