Personal injury law is a complex area of the law and while many lawyers claim to be experts in the field, very few are actually qualified enough to handle such cases. As a practicing personal injury attorney of 18 years in Suffolk County, New York, I've seen my share of incompetent attorneys handling personal injury cases. It bothers me on a personal level to see seriously injured individuals who require experienced legal representation get just the opposite. So, I've decided to compile a list of 5 tips to help guide injury victims in their search for the right personal injury lawyer:
- Experience - Always look for an attorney that has experience handling the type of case that you have. As the saying goes, "There's no substitute for experience." Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most attorneys will tell you about there experience if asked. The internet is a great resource to read about attorneys.
- Results - Make sure the attorney you hire has a track record of successful results. Most attorneys post their results on there websites. If they haven't, take this as a red flag. They may not have a great history of winning cases, and would rather not show potential clients. Again, don't be afraid to ask an attorney about their results, and research them on the internet.
- Reputation - Make sure the attorney that you hire has positive reviews from prior clients. Google Reviews are a great place to start. Also, attorney directory websites such as Avvo and Lawyers.com can offer insightful attorney reviews. You want your personal injury attorney to be personable. Just by reading what other clients have said about an attorney can give you a good overall sense of how they are with their clients. When reviews on an attorney have comments like she/he "always kept me informed", there's a good chance that attorney is personable and committed to their clients. Additionally, the more reviews, the better! If an attorney has a plethora of reviews, it's likely they've done well for their clients to deserve this. If they have little to no reviews across the web, you may want to take this as a red flag.
- Free Consultations - Most reputable attorneys offer a free consultation. This allows you an opportunity to meet the attorney and learn about their approach. Before your consultation, jot down some questions for the attorney and ask them if they've ever handled a case like yours before. Ask them how it resolved. Make sure you're comfortable with the attorney before you hire them. Always trust your instincts.
- Beware of Pressure Tactics - Most reputable attorneys will not pressure you to hire them in any way. If you feel pressured by an attorney to retain them, place your guard up. This is a red flag that the attorney may not be so reputable or good with client relations.
When you've been injured to the point of financial upheaval, you need a qualified personal injury attorney to oversee your case. Following these 5 tips will help you find a well-qualified attorney to handle your personal injury case.