There are different reasons why you may find yourself needing a personal injury lawyer, and if that’s the case, it’s important you know exactly what you’re looking for. Choosing the wrong lawyer could be the difference between you winning a case or losing significantly. However, you can’t just pull up a Google search and pick the first one that comes to the top. Instead, you need to find the time to vet all these professionals, and that means having a conversation with all of them to ensure they are who you think they are. Check out the following tips for choosing a personal injury lawyer.
Ask for referrals.
The best way to find a lawyer you trust is to choose one who has been referred by someone you know. If you find yourself in need, reach out to your family and friends and ask them for professionals they’ve worked with and been satisfied with in the past. These referrals can provide you with a nice list of people to start with. Then, you can talk with those people on the list and help you determine which one to choose.
Do your research.
With a list of candidates, you should then do some research on each of them. A quick internet search will let you know what their specialties are, where they graduated from law school, what states they’re legally allowed to work in, and even some basic reviews. This research will help you weed out any candidates that simply may not meet any of your requirements.
Have a conversation with your top choices.
Once you have a list of people to choose from, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with every single one of them. While doing this, it’s necessary that you ask them a specific list of questions:
• Who will work on my case?
When it comes to signing new clients, many lawyers send their top execs to do the closing. However, when it comes to getting the work done, it’s the lowly associates that do it all, and they simply don’t have the experience. Knowing who will run point on your case is important, so ask.
• What will I get if I win?
The purpose of a personal injury case is to get something out of it, so it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you will get. According to The Barnes Firm, personal injury attorneys, “While each case is different, it’s important for clients to know what a successful case will win them. In some cases, the result simply isn’t worth the time or effort, and knowing this upfront will help clients make better decision and keep surprises from popping up in the end.”
• How much will it cost?
Chances are you’re not made of money, but you need to know what you will be paying your attorney in fees. Sometimes this fee will come out of your winning earnings should you win, but if you don’t, it’s up to you to pay that bill.
• What is your experience in this arena?
When choosing a lawyer, you want someone who has experience. Feel free to ask your lawyer about their experience, including how many court appearances they’ve had, how many cases they’ve won, and what their experience has been. You can even ask for references so you can speak with other people who have worked with this law firm in the past.
Think about location.
You will spend a good deal of time communicating with your lawyer, and this may mean in-person meetings. When choosing the right personal injury lawyer, be sure to look for someone who has the right location, whether that’s close to home or close to work. If you pick someone who’s office is too far away, your time will be spent commuting, and that’s not ideal.
Go with your gut.
Once you’ve talked with different options, you need to weigh the list of pros and cons of each one. Then, refer to your gut instinct to help you make the right choice. Sometimes just meeting with someone will give you a good or a bad vibe, and you need to trust this to help you make your final decision.
While you may hope to never need a personal injury lawyer, it’s important you know what to look for just in case you do. After all, making the right choice can play a big role in the outcome of your case, so don’t jinx it by choosing poorly.