Tips to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer
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Personal injury lawyer advertisements are everywhere. On your way to work, you probably have seen several such advertisements on billboards or even heard some on the radio. Though you may not give them much thought on a daily basis, when you are involved in an accident, however, you may seriously consider hiring a lawyer that you have heard on a radio or seen on the billboard or television set. Unfortunately, you should be aware that many of these lawyers that you see or hear in advertisements may not be the spectacular lawyer that they claim they are. This article will give you some tips to choose a personal injury lawyer who will work diligently for you.
See THE LAWYER’S Ratings
These days, with a touch of a button, you may rate restaurants, stores, and other places where good customer service is expected. Law firms are included in the above list. Though choosing a personal injury lawyer is not the same as choosing a restaurant, you should still realize that attorneys are rated by former or current clients or even by their fellow attorneys. Below are some of the websites you may visit to see what others think about the lawyer you are planning to hire. Keep in mind that the websites below are not officially sanctioned by a state bar or by the American Bar Association.
- MartinDale.com (The Martindale-Hubble Registry) – Featuring more than 1 million lawyers, the Martindale-Hubble Registry not only gives ratings for the attorneys listed on the registry, but also short biographies of them. The registry itself is more than 100 years old, giving it higher credibility compared to other rating websites for lawyers. The Martindale-Hubble registry lists lawyers who have been vetted by other lawyers through a secure survey. The survey contains questions that can ask about the lawyer’s ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice. Once the survey is completed, the lawyer in question may receive one of the following ratings: AV preeminent, Distinguished, and Notable. The AV preeminent rating is the Martindale-Hubble Registry’s highest peer rating standard. The rating is given only to those attorneys who are known for their strong competency in the field that they practice in, their superb communication skills, and their unflinching ethical standards. The Distinguished rating is given to lawyers who have some experience in the field that they practice in and have some recognition among their peers for their professional achievement and ethical standards. The Notable rating is given to those lawyers who are known for their strong ethical standards.
- superlawyers.com (Superlawyers) – Superlawyers is another website you can use to find the best lawyers for your personal injury case. Every year, the website posts the best of the best of lawyers in their respective fields for their recognition among their peers and professional achievement. Approximately 5% of lawyers in every state are given the title of super lawyer.
- bestlawyers.com – Bestlawyers is another peer review website in which lawyers are rated. The lawyers who make the list are there because fellow lawyers nominated them.
- Google can also be a quick way to find out about the potential lawyer you plan to hire. Former and current clients can easily rate a lawyer on Google if the lawyer has their firm listed. However, be wary of a rating if the lawyer has only one or two reviews. Just because a lawyer has a one-star rating does not necessarily mean he or she is a bad lawyer if there is only one person who reviewed the lawyer.
Read More: Zinda Law Group Testimonials
Find Out How Much of the Lawyer’s Practice Depends on Referrals from Other Lawyers
Though we live in a digital age, word of mouth remains an important way for a business to thrive. The legal business is no exception. The legal community in your area is a highly knit one. Lawyers know other lawyers. They know who the good ones are and who the bad ones are. Even if a lawyer does not practice deal with personal injury cases, he or she will likely know a lawyer who does. When you are looking to find a lawyer who will represent you in a personal injury case, try to find out the lawyer that other lawyers recommend.
Do Not Trust a Lawyer Who Sends You Solicitation Letters
Some lawyers are known as ambulance chasers. The joke is that these types of lawyers chase after ambulances for the potential client inside. In reality, these lawyers have hired hands who look through police reports for accident victims. In some cases, these lawyers may find the addresses of the victims and send letters asking the victim if he or she would like to use their legal services. Though many jurisdictions prohibit this kind of behavior from attorneys, some jurisdictions do allow attorneys to solicit potential clients in this manner. You should be wary, however, if an attorney tries to solicit you to use his or her service as these lawyers may be soliciting you because their reputation is poor to attract willing clients. Remember, an accident victim is not often in the most stable state of mind. There are predatory lawyers who use this to their advantage and try to exploit accident victims.
See Whether the Lawyer Has Enough Resources for Your Case
Certain fields of legal practice do not need a team of lawyers or support staff. A basic trust document, for instance, does not need a law firm of one hundred employees to process it. A single practitioner can draft up a trust document or wills document without much trouble. However, a personal injury case is different. A personal injury case can mean long negotiations with insurers, interviews with a number of experts, hours of depositions, and countless motions. A single lawyer cannot do this by himself or herself. A team is required. If you have a personal injury case that involves multiple parties and severe injuries, you should not hire a lawyer who operates a solo law firm. He or she will likely not have the resources to provide competent representation.
See Whether the Lawyer You Decide to Hire Is a Specialist or a generalist
Some lawyers are known as general practitioners. General practitioners are lawyers who handle several types of legal cases. For instance, some lawyers not only handle trusts and estates issues, but also criminal law issues as well. Because they practice in many different legal fields, general practitioners may not be suitable for your case if it is complex. When choosing a personal injury attorney, you want someone who handles personal injury cases on a regular basis, not someone who does it from time to time. Note that the law changes over time and that a lawyer who practices in several different legal fields may not be aware of brand-new developments in personal injury law. A general practitioner will likely thus be at a disadvantage when facing opposing counsel who does personal injury law day in and day out.
Look at How Many Years the Lawyer Practiced
Though older does not necessarily wiser, it often is the case that a lawyer with many years of experience has greater advantages than a lawyer with fewer years. This is because legal experienced teaches a lawyer what issues to look for and what pitfalls lie ahead. There are certain aspects in the legal field that you cannot learn from simply reading. A young lawyer may have aced all of his classes in law school, but that does not mean anything if he or she does not know the proper courtroom procedure or how to ask the court to exclude certain evidence. A lawyer with many years will be less likely to make rookie mistakes.
How Often Has the Lawyer Gone to Trial
Though most personal injury cases settle, you do not want to hire a personal injury lawyer that is willing to settle all the time. If your case needs to go to trial, you need a lawyer who will stand up for you at trial. Therefore, when choosing a personal injury attorney, always look to see how many trials he or she has done. Though obvious, you should also look to see how many trials he or she has won. Even if a lawyer has gone to trial every other day, it would be no good if he or she loses every trial.
Ask Your Potential Lawyer Their Fee Policy
Though many personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which a system where you only pay if the lawyer wins the case. Some lawyers use a flat fee or an hourly rate. You want to make sure you know how you are going to pay the lawyer, so you do not have any surprises later down the road.
CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
The experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your personal injury claim. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we offer a No Win, No Fee Guarantee. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. Check out our podcast and blog for more helpful resources.
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