Choosing A Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re facing a particularly serious or complicated injury claim, you’ll probably need a personal injury lawyer’s advice. You shouldn’t turn to just any lawyer for help; look for someone who has experience representing the injured, known as plaintiffs.
Learn More From Smiley Law Firm’s Injury Blog
Finding an Attorney
There are several ways to start your search for an experienced plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer:
- Ask friends and acquaintances,
- use directories, like Nolo’s Lawyer Directory,
- ask other lawyers you or friends may know,
- use a referral service, and
- most state bar associations have attorney referral services.
Once you have gathered your list of referrals, be sure to comparison shop. Get the names of more than one lawyer and meet with each of them to discuss your claim before you decide to hire someone.
When assessing the attorneys on your list, don’t just look for the attorney with the most education, go for track record instead. The best research includes inquiries about your personal injury attorney’s experience and track record of fair settlements for their clients.
Meeting with the Attorney
What Should I Bring?
To find out whether a lawyer is right for you, sit down with the lawyer to discuss your claim and possible ways of handling it. Bring copies of all your documents, so the attorney can fully discuss your case.
Some important documents you may want to bring include:
- police reports,
- medical records and bills,
- income loss information, and
- all correspondence with the insurance company.
Most lawyers do not charge anything for an initial consultation, but before you meet with a lawyer, find out whether he or she will charge you for the first interview. Here at the Smiley Law Firm, we do not charge for personal injury initial consultations.
What Questions Should I Ask?
After you describe the basics about your case, there are a few basic details you’ll want to find out about the lawyer:
- How long has the lawyer been in practice?
- Roughly what percentage of the lawyer’s practice involves personal injury cases?
- Does the lawyer most often represent plaintiffs or defendants? You do not want to be represented by someone who has experience with personal injury cases but who has primarily been a lawyer for defendants. Their way of thinking may be too closely tied to the attitudes of insurance companies and they might not fight as hard — consciously or unconsciously — for your claim.
- Would the lawyer personally handle your case or pass it along to another — perhaps less experienced — lawyer in the office? It’s normal for more than one attorney in an office to work on the same case, and to have less experienced attorneys handle routine tasks. Find out which lawyer would have responsibility for the case and which lawyer you would be dealing with directly. If there is to be another lawyer directly involved, ask to meet that lawyer, too. Many times it is better to have more than one attorney work a case. We employ a team approach for that very reason. More heads are better than one for seeing the big picture of a case.
- How much experience with Car Insurance Companies?
- Strong knowledge of the law?
- Thorough Understanding of Accident related injuries?
- The extent of their court experience?
Choosing a personal injury attorney can mark a pivotal step in your case, so contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Smiley Law Firm today to learn more.
Please leave a comment below if you have had any issues with choosing a personal injury attorney. All attorneys and law firms are not the same. There are many good firms out there and some bad ones who tend to give us all a bad name.
Here at Smiley Law Firm, we want to change the way people think about attorneys in a good way.
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