As with all major decisions in life, the choice of an attorney to handle legal matters on your behalf can be very stressful. Although there are no rules to guarantee that your choice of a lawyer will be right, there are several factors that can assist you in selecting the right attorney for your case.
First of all, understand that choosing your lawyer is similar to choosing a physician or other professional who will deal with your important and intimate affairs. You need to trust your lawyer as you do other professionals in your life. Find one willing to advocate for your personal injury rights.
Next, seek out personal recommendations and testimonials of prior clients of any given attorney. The reputation and the longevity of a law firm in the legal community are also important considerations. Remember, however, that there is no substitute for the impressions that can be gained from a face-to-face meeting with a prospective lawyer. In the end, your own impressions will be your best guide when selecting the personal injury lawyer that is right for you.
Lawyers are ethically prohibited from advertising past results or guaranteeing future results. Nevertheless, it is very important to make inquiries of the prospective lawyer and others in the legal community as to the prospective lawyer’s experience in the field. Since the practice of law, similar to medicine, has evolved into a number of sub-categories, you will readily find lawyers concentrating in the fields of medical malpractice and personal injury, estates and trusts, litigation defense, business, etc. If your particular problem relates to personal injury, you will benefit from speaking with a personal injury lawyer who deals with the type ofpersonal injury you have. Also, the educational background of an attorney can be helpful and informative.
If you are an injured party pursuing a case, you will probably want to find a lawyer that will pursue the matter on a contingent fee basis. A contingent fee simply means that the lawyer does not get paid unless a recovery is made for you. In addition, you will want a lawyer who is willing to advance all costs involved in the litigation with an understanding that if a recovery is made, the lawyer will be reimbursed for the costs. If no recovery is made, you probably want a lawyer who is willing to write off those costs so that unsuccessful litigation will cost you nothing. In any event, make certain that you understand all matters involving fees and costs before you finalize your choice.
Last but not least, personal injury litigation can be a lengthy undertaking. Inquire as to how often you can expect to hear from your lawyer, as well as how soon your phone calls will be returned.
In summary, TRUST is the key word. No case is more important than your own, and no lawyer is more important than your own.