What to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney
Going through an injury is never a pleasant experience. You have to deal with not only the pain, but the recovery, the medical bills, the loss of income, and more. During this time, you’re going to want some people you can trust by your side. This is why it’s so important that you hire a good personal injury attorney.
A good personal injury attorney can help you to get the money that you need – and deserve – all while making the entire process easier for you. But how can you tell a good personal injury attorney from a bad one? Here are a few things that you should look for when making your decision.
A Lawyer Who Focuses Only on Personal Injury Law
First of all, you should hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury. Personal injury is a complicated section of the legal code, and you’ll want someone who knows all of the ins and outs. Rather than finding an attorney who focuses on a wide range of areas, you want someone who is specifically knowledgeable about personal injury. When talking to potential lawyers, ask them what areas the focus on, and see if they list more than one.
Look for a Proven History of High Settlements and Verdicts
If you have a case with serious injuries, and the potential for a large settlement or verdict, you want a lawyer who has handled these kinds of cases before. When talking with a potential attorney, you should find out the size of the cases they have handled in the past. Do they primarily focus on small cases? Or have they taken large cases to trial, and won? Getting a lawyer who is inexperienced with the larger cases is a sure way to lower your chances of success. And while your case may not be worth millions of dollars, if it is, you’ll want someone who isn’t intimidated by this.
Does This Lawyer Have Sufficient Resources Available?
It’s not cheap to properly take a personal injury case to trial. There is a lot of paperwork and research that goes into it, and you’ll want a lawyer that has the resources available to take care of this. According to TheBarnesFirm.com “An experienced legal professional can also help you find, and afford, the medical treatments you need to fully recover from your injuries.”
When you talk to the lawyer, examine their office. Is it run down, with all of the lights off to save money? Or do they project an air of success? While looks aren’t everything, they can give you a sense to how much the lawyer is willing to spend to take your case. Without significant resources behind them, the lawyer may not take your case seriously, and you won’t get the result you’re after.
Look for a Lawyer with Published Pieces or Lectures
If this lawyer is any good, others will likely have turned to them for advice or expertise. This means written articles about personal injury law, or perhaps giving lectures on the subject. Doing this kind of work outside of their law practice shows they are knowledgeable about their area, and that others are willing to listen to their opinion. While published articles in law journals should not be a deal breaker when searching for an attorney, it can be a very good sign that you’ve found a qualified attorney.
An Attorney Who Goes to Trial When Necessary
In most cases, an attorney will try to get a settlement from the defendant. This saves a lot of time and money versus going to trial, while still getting you the money that you deserve. However, in some cases a settlement simply isn’t going to happen. In this situation, you want a lawyer who is willing to go to trial. An attorney that regularly takes their cases to trial means that they won’t just accept whatever settlement comes their way. You want to get the money you deserve, not the lowest amount the other party is offering. Ask the attorney you’re considering how often they go to trial, and what their success rate is. This will often give you a good indicator as to what kind of lawyer you’re looking at.
Available Client List
Finally, any good lawyer will let you speak to their past clients. Past clients are the best judge at how well the lawyer performed and can give you an honest opinion. If your lawyer routinely provides good service, they won’t mind if you contact some of their past clients and will even provide you with their contact information. On the other hand, if the lawyer is unwilling to give you this information, it’s a sign that they don’t want you to learn about how well they’ve performed in the past – a serious red flag.
If you can follow the advice above, you should have no trouble finding a qualified attorney to take your case. Just remember to take your time with the decision, as the difference between a good lawyer and a bad one is often quite dramatic.