Whether it’s an auto accident or an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be looking for a personal injury attorney. You’ve probably seen ads all over the TV and local billboards, but how can you find an attorney that will really work for you? Here are four things you should consider when choosing a lawyer.
Get Input From Friends and Family
No matter how many online reviews you read, nothing will give you more insight than speaking with people who have used an attorney. People who have good experiences are less likely to leave reviews on sites like Yelp, so get the low-down from friends and family. Ask about how quickly their calls were returned, how easy it was to see an attorney, not just a legal assistant, and how they felt about the outcomes. If you don’t have friends or family with any experience consider asking a neighbor. Your doctor or a religious figure like a pastor may see injured people and hear about their experiences which they can share with you.
Research Attorneys Online
Once you have a few recommendations from people you know, do some online research. Check out their business websites like www.fasigbrooks.com/orlando/ to see what the office has to say about itself, like how long they’ve been in business and if they have a personal injury focus that fits your needs. Also, review current licenses and check for any censures the practice may have. Start with the American Bar Association website which can guide you to state resources. Look for specialty certifications that can be issued by the state or other bodies. Finally, get an idea of the fee that you will be charged. Most personal injury attorneys’ fees are based on a percentage of your settlement and can range from 28% to 40% of your award.
Ask the Pertinent Questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, meet with a couple of attorneys. You wouldn’t buy the first car you look at or hire the first contractor to build a home. Get a feel for the person you’ll be working with and make sure you’re compatible. Then get to the important questions. Besides discussing fees you should find out if the attorney you meet for a consultation will be the attorney actually handling your case. Also, ask about her experience and background. You can read more here about their expertise. Find out what percentage of cases go to court versus being settled. Most will be settled but it’s good to know that your attorney will go to court for you if necessary.
Avoid These Red Flags
If an attorney doesn’t offer you a legal agreement establishing his fees, run, don’t walk, away. Attorneys who make promises before they’ve even had a chance to review your case are another red flag. Finally, trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling that you’re being hustled or that the lawyer is grasping and guessing at answers to your questions, trust your instincts.
This may seem extensive, but with the help of family, even if you’re unable to take all these steps yourself, you can still find a good attorney with a few hours of time invested. Isn’t it worth it to make sure you get proper representation?
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