7 Tips for Finding a Personal Injury Attorney

Let’s say you’ve suffered a personal injury from someone else’s negligence and you’re looking to file a claim for compensation. How do you do it?

We’ve talked before about how important it is to hire a personal injury lawyer in order to save time and money. Today, let’s talk about how you go about finding and hiring a good personal injury lawyer.

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Tip 1): Word of Mouth

Asking your friends and family is usually a pretty good way to get started in your search. Have any of them ever hired a personal injury lawyer? What was their experience like?

There are a lot of attorneys out there, and some are inevitably going to be better than others. If you start by asking people you know and trust, you may be able to find a good one – or at least be aware of someone to avoid.

2). Look for Reviews

Maybe none of your friends and family know a good personal injury attorney. What next? Try checking out the reviews online. Start with Google reviews, and then see what you can find on review sites like Yelp.

Granted, not all online reviews are created equal, but if you read through enough reviews you’re likely to have a sense of what you’re dealing with, and that should help you narrow down the list and zero in on a good choice.

This method will likely help you to find the regional paragons and standouts, like Los Angeles’s The Barnes Firm.

3). Check Their Bar Status

Now it’s time to do a little online research and investigate the bar status of a few personal injury attorneys you might be interested in hiring. You’ll want to confirm that they’re licensed and that they’re in good standing as well.

Find the bar association for the state in which the accident occurred, and look up the attorneys you’re interested in.

State bar associations have listings for all lawyers licensed to practice law in the state, and those listings cover not only the bar status but also whether any disciplinary measures have been taken against them.

Again, doing this is likely to help you find the better attorneys and avoid those with a questionable past.

4). Ask About Their Experience  

Now it’s time to take things to the next level by talking to a few attorneys. Specifically, you’ll want to ask them about their experience. Here are a few good guiding questions to ask:

  • How long have you been practicing law in this specific area?
  • How often do you handle something like my case?
  • Can I see other case results?
  • Will you personally handle this case, or will it be handled by an associate?

These are important questions to ask and get out of the way. In particular, watch out for attorney who advertise, but then farm out all of their cases to associates who handle the actual litigation for them.

5). Ask Them About Your Case

Once you have a good sense for the merits of the attorney you’re speaking with, ask them about the merits of the case you’re bringing before them. What do they think of it? Do they believe they can get you a good settlement?

You’ll also want to ask what outcome the attorney would like to see in your case, and perhaps why they feel the way they do. This can give you valuable insight into their thought process and perhaps their expertise as well.

Another thing to cover: will they be willing to take your case before a judge and jury if necessary, or do they only handle cases they believe they can settle out of court?

6). Review All Paperwork

This is a very important decision that you have to make, and whatever attorney you go with, you’ll want to make sure you review all paperwork they present you so that you are completely cognizant of what it is that you are signing onto.

A good attorney will be happy to answer as many questions as you may have about the paperwork. This is a contract between you and them, and they should be understanding of your very justifiable caution. If they aren’t, you may want to consider a different attorney.

7). Whatever You Do, Hire an Attorney

For all that you want to be cautious and not hire the wrong attorney, don’t be so cautious that you don’t hire an attorney at all. While there are fly-by-night personal injury lawyers to watch out for – much as with any profession involving potentially large sums of cash and a considerable degree of uncertainty – there are also plenty of good, decent attorneys as well.

Law firms like The Barnes Firm can help you enter the complex and risky world of personal injury lawsuits and ensure your best chance of success.

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