Having been in the position of having to select a lawyer, I thought the following may be of benefit to persons facing an injury claim. Because an injured person ordinarily only gets one chance to make an insurance claim settlement, choosing the right lawyer is important.
First and foremost, never select a personal injury lawyer based on an advertisement. While many very good injury lawyers advertise, it is best that you do not make any assumptions about the lawyer’s abilities, either positive or negative, based on an advertisement. Instead, before you call a lawyer, do a thorough review of the lawyer’s website. You can gain important information from a website, including the specific types of cases that lawyer or law firm handles, whether or not the firm offers free consultations, the lawyer’s background, etc. Overall, a website can give you a good sense of whether that particular lawyer is a good fit.
Upon meeting with a personal injury lawyer, try and gain some insight into the lawyer’s track record. The lawyer should have a good amount of experience in cases that are similar to your case. For instance, if you have suffered a blow to the head and have been diagnosed with a concussion, you will do best with a lawyer who has had experience with brain injury cases. The lawyer with specific experience in your type of case is better able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of your case and is generally in a better position to formulate a successful legal strategy. Please take note – if you are initially meeting with a paralegal or someone else who will not be in charge of your case, you are probably in the wrong office.
Because injury lawyers get very busy, it is important that the lawyer you are working you hire has a capable and responsive staff. First, a paralegal or other assistant that is working directly on your case can help facilitate communications and keep the case moving in a positive direction. Secondly, it has been my experience that behind every good lawyer stands an excellent administrative staff. Because so much of the work connected with an injury claim is detail oriented, it is important that your lawyer is able to rely upon his or her staff to make sure the case preparation is flawless.