Choosing the right lawyer is one of the most important steps you can take to help your personal injury case. Narrowing down your options and finally deciding which attorney to hire can seem daunting.
However, it doesn’t have to be if you do a little research and adequately prepare before meeting with each firm. Here are five tips to keep in mind to help you choose the right personal injury lawyer.
Research and Meet with Multiple Attorneys
Start by researching firms you are interested in meeting. Look at their websites and read online reviews. Many firms have a testimonials page as well. Here you can see what prior clients have said about their services. If the firm has a case results page, this information is also helpful to see what types of cases they primarily handle.
Have a List of Questions Prepared for Your Initial Consultations
Your initial consultation with each firm is the opportunity to ask questions in order to compare answers when you are narrowing down your options. Having a list ready before your visit will also help you stay focused. It’s easy to forget things when speaking with an attorney in person, especially if you are nervous or in pain.
When preparing your list of questions, be sure to see if the firm has a frequently asked questions page or a section on a practice page. This information may help you answer some of your questions ahead of time.
Pick an Attorney Who Has Experience with Similar Cases
When choosing an attorney, you want someone with experience handling similar cases to yours. If you seek representation for a defective product, don’t choose an attorney that primarily handles car accident cases. Personal injury is a broad area. Look for a lawyer who has a successful record of settlements and trials that have similar circumstances to yours.
Talk About Fees and Costs
Be sure one of the questions you ask or research you do is about the attorney’s fees and costs. Most personal injury firms work on a contingency basis. That means you won’t pay an hourly rate or advance costs upfront. However, not all firms follow this billing model, so it’s essential to verify their billing structure.
Even with contingency fees, percentages aren’t the same between firms. There may be one percentage if your case settles out of litigation and a higher rate if the lawyer takes your case to trial. It’s always better to confirm the fee arrangement, so there are no surprises.
Pay Attention to Communication and Personality
You should also pay attention to the attorney’s personality and communication style. Do you feel comfortable with this person? You will be talking to them a lot. If you don’t feel comfortable, it may not be the right fit, no matter how skilled they are.
Verify that the attorney you are meeting with is the person who will actually be handling your case. If the firm passes your case to a junior attorney, you want to make sure this is someone you also feel comfortable with.
Hiring the right personal injury lawyer to assist with your claim is one of the best things you can do to maximize your potential compensation. As you meet with attorneys and narrow down options, remember you don’t need to choose one overnight.
It’s best to meet with multiple firms and find the attorney you feel most comfortable with and who has the necessary skills and experience to represent you best.