Once you have been in some sort of accident where you sustained an injury, finding the right injury lawyer for your case is the most important decision you will make. With all the television commercials and internet sites, you can become overwhelmed. But the right lawyer for you means finding one that you know will make your case a priority.
Television Commercials. It goes without saying that many personal injury attorneys advertise on television. The goal here is to get the word out to as many potential clients as possible. The more cases they sign up, then the more money the lawyer makes. Then, your case is put through sort of a legal “assembly-line” where it gets pieced together by the attorney’s staff rather than by the attorney. That is because these lawyers tend to count on the volume of cases they can settle rather than maximizing the value of each case. This may not be true of all lawyers that advertise on TV. But being in the profession for as long as I have, it is easy to conclude that volume cases bring in volume fees. However, what gets lost in the process is the individual and unique needs of your particular case.
Internet. Doing an internet search for an attorney is very practical. You give yourself the opportunity to visit several lawyers websites at your leisure and can also read reviews and client testimonials that other clients have posted. Some reviews are good and some may be bad. But you can at least hear about what previous clients have said about the particular lawyer’s services.
Word of Mouth. Sometime your can get a lawyer referral from a close friend or family member. This can be a very reliable way to find a good lawyer because you have some insight to the lawyer’s services from someone you can trust.
Lawyer Referral Services and Yellow Pages. There are many lawyer referral services out there. Sometimes your local bar association maintains a list of lawyers in all different practice areas. However, these services normally cannot monitor the experience and qualifications of the attorney. That is a judgment call you are left to make on your own.
Online Legal Forums. There are many online legal forums like Avvo, Thumbtack and Lawyer.com, that feature attorneys in different specialties. You can post a question and get responses from many attorneys. But if you are using these sites to get information on how to handle the case yourself, you are making a huge mistake. These forums work best when you use them to evaluate which attorney you would like to contact for a more detailed consultation. Some of these forums also have features to rate the attorney. The problem here is that the ratings can be manipulated to give you a false sense of the lawyer’s true qualifications. The key to using these forums is to contact the attorney that gives you the best response to your question. If a lawyer is willing to take the time to write a meaningful response, then that is a good sign that the lawyer will take a special interest in your case.
When it comes down to it, the right lawyer for you is a lawyer that you can personally talk to and trust. Shopping for a lawyer is a personal matter. You wouldn’t shop at a department store for an engagement ring anymore than you would take your legal matter to a “cookie-cutter” law firm. If you have a new personal injury case and you cannot speak with the lawyer personally, then you can probably assume that your case is not going to get the personal attention that is needs. And that is the most important part of finding the right lawyer.