Choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer who will work well with you is an important first step in settling your claim. The right lawyer will give you peace of mind and ensure the best possible outcome.
Here are some tips to help you find a good lawyer or law firm:
- Check their website. Is there information about individual lawyers? Do they have expertise in personal injury law? Is the website clear, professional and easy to use?
- Contact them. Did you feel you were given the information you needed to get started? If you left a telephone message or sent an email inquiry, was the response prompt and professional?
- Meet them. Many firms offer a free initial consultation (up to 1/2 hour). During that first meeting, did they listen? Did you feel comfortable asking questions and were your questions answered clearly? Who did most of the talking? Were fees and expenses discussed openly? Did you feel confident that this lawyer genuinely had your best interests at heart?
- Ask tough questions. For example:
- “How much experience do you have as a personal injury lawyer?”
- “What percentage of your practice is devoted to personal injury law?”
- “Can you consult with other lawyers in your firm when necessary?”
- “Are you prepared to take this matter to trial if necessary?”
- “How many times have you appeared in court?”
- “What makes you a good negotiator? How do you reach a settlement?”
- “Do you have time to deal with my matter promptly and to follow through?”
- “Will anyone else work on my matter?”
- “What are your fees and what are my payment options?”
- Ask for their retainer agreement. Review it carefully and ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand before agreeing to its terms.
- If you have special needs, can the lawyer meet those needs?