How To Pick a Personal Injury Attorney (3 Simple Steps)
Have you experienced an injury while in a public place or on private property? Have you injured someone else due to an accident or negligence? This may sound like the beginning to a personal injury attorney advertisement. There is a very good reason for that. With the help of Dallas Horton and Associates, personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, we are going to discuss in depth the ins and outs of picking the best personal injury lawyer for you.
Step 1: Check Around Town
The first step in choosing an attorney to handle your personal injury case is to shop around. Do the research. Do lots of it. Check on the internet. Ask friends and family members. If you have worked with a lawyer before, ask them for a suggestion.
DMV.org recommends finding "a lawyer who has experience and a good record". They suggest contacting the state bar association in your area to ask for references. This is a reputable organization with plenty of great resources to help you in your search.
There are attorney referral services online as well, which do much the same job. These are very robust search engines with one specific task: sorting through lawyers. Three examples are Lawyers.com, FindLaw, and Nolo. Look at all three for the best one.
According to WikiHow, you will also want to find a lawyer with trial experience. Many attorneys do a lot of paperwork, but not all have spent time in courtrooms. This is a vital distinction. If your case goes to court, you will need an experienced litigation attorney.
Along the same lines, there is at least one non-negotiable factor. The attorney you choose must have a very deep understanding and knowledge of injury law. If they don't have experience in your specific area, they might not be right for you at all.
Finally, some quick jargon. The word tort is a technical term for any kind of wrongful infraction. Someone may have committed a unlawful act against your rights. This could be traffic related or medical or otherwise. Good attorneys know all about these torts.
Step 2: Narrow It Down
After you have selected a few attorneys or firms, you will need to contact them by phone or email. This way you can set up an interview and ask questions relating to the research you've already done.
Without a doubt, you should interview several attorneys. Only talking to one will likely not set you up for success. As with anything, you need to shop around to get the best deal for you and your situation. Pick as many as you need to feel thorough.
The firms you select should meet with you to have a consultation. Not all consultations may be free of charge. Be sure to discuss any and all necessary payments before the meeting, if any exist.
Once you are there, the lawyer should provide all costs and fees associated before you leave. If they are secretive or cagey about payments and charges, that is a big warning sign. Anything pertaining to money should be as clear as possible.
In person, you can delve into the research you've completed online and over the phone. Ask all the questions you might have about your case and their ability to handle it. Legal ramifications are legion. Make sure they know what they are doing.
Injury Claim Coach reiterates this point. "Remember, you are the client, and you will be paying the attorney’s fees. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you receive, you have good reason to eliminate that attorney from your list and move on."
This is sage advice. Don't let any attorney talk down to you or make you feel inferior. Above all, do not let any lawyer or firm make you feel as though you must go with them. That's a good sign to stay far, far away.
Second, bring as much documentation with you as you can. If you have something you think is relevant, bring it along. Otherwise, they might not be able to give a full account of their services for you. This has the potential to lead to your choosing the wrong firm.
Last, you will need to do a genuine gut check as well. In other words, do you feel comfortable with this person? Is he or she a good fit for you? Be honest with yourself. If you aren't at ease with them, you should look elsewhere.
You may end up spending a lot of time (and money) with this person and his or her firm. Comfort is key.
Step 3: Sign on the Dotted Line
Keep in mind that any contract or paperwork you sign should have the exact specifications of the expected work. Your lawyer should have listed the precise job details they will be doing so there is no confusion. Unclear expectations lead to difficulty down the road.
In a lot of ways, this is both the easiest and the hardest part of the entire process. It can be very scary to make such a big decision. Lots of money and time may ride on the law firm that you choose. That goes without saying.
Even so, if you have done your due diligence and put in the face time, you will likely make the right call. Trust in your research, references, interview time, and lastly, your judgment.
For further resources, check out this video to get a deeper look at the timeline of a personal injury case. Also, books abound on this subject. This one is available on Amazon and is very helpful in getting an in depth understanding of tort law.