Going to court over personal injuries can be a stressful process for most. You’ll be put into the spotlight of litigation, which is almost always taxing in all ways imaginable. That being said, your choice of a lawyer can have a significant impact on how stressful your court proceedings will be. If you’re facing a personal injury trial, you’ll need to find the right lawyer to assist you. Here are six tips you can use to find a good personal injury lawyer in your area.
USE A SPECIALIST
One of the more widespread misconceptions about lawyers is that everyone does everything. In reality, lawyers often niche down on specific types of law, where they specialize and become experts in their fields. Although a corporate lawyer could essentially represent you in a personal injury trial, the chances are that you’d be far better off having a specialized personal injury lawyer by your side. The experience and knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years can prove to be essential for the outcome of your case. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
DO A BRIEF BACKGROUND CHECK
Once you’ve built a shortlist of personal injury lawyers in your area, it’s time to do some research and see what you can find out about each candidate. First thing first, visit the LSO directory and run a check to see whether your potential lawyer has a history of disciplinary actions being taken against them. You also perform this check by calling the LSO using their toll-free line.
If your candidates show spotless records, start looking into their success rate and potential testimonials from previous clients. In case you get injured in an accident, you’ll definitely want a proven lawyer at your side. Most law firms will have these readily available, and most should be easy to cross-reference if you want to take an extra step.
DISCUSS FEES WITH YOUR TOP PICKS
It’s no secret that litigation is rarely cheap. Because of that, you’ll need to find out what your top picks are charging for their services. The initial impulse is often to go with the cheapest lawyer on the list, but that’s not necessarily the best course of action.
The cost of legal representation is a factor, but you can’t judge a lawyer or a law firm solely on their fees. Instead, you need to take the quality of service into consideration, along with a number of other things, before you discard a lawyer for being too pricey.
FIND SOMEONE YOU CLICK WITH
Another thing to remember is that lawyers are people with unique personalities and personality traits. You won’t get along with everyone. Although experience and track record take precedent over most other factors, you should try and find someone you click with. Establishing solid communication with your lawyer is a great way to leave no stone unturned when it comes to building a strong case. Lawyers who can’t communicate with their clients are often finding themselves with incomplete information, which can affect the outcome of the trial.
REFERRALS ARE GREAT BUT DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF
Word of mouth is the best advertisement. However, it’s important not to limit yourself to lawyers your friends and family recommend. Although these options almost always feel safe because they come from trusted sources, there is no guarantee that they are the best fit for your particular case.
The best thing to do is take all of the referrals and place them in the same pot with lawyers you’ve found on your own. That way, you’re not limiting yourself but rather expanding your pool of potential counselors.
MAKE A SHORTLIST AND CONDUCT INTERVIEWS
Once you’ve selected a few lawyers who meet your criteria, it’s time to conduct interviews with each one. Try to have these consultations in person as it’s important to gauge the other party face to face. In most cases, such consultations will be free.
When you’re done, take a day or two to make the final decision. It’s always a good idea to follow your gut feeling in these matters. If you have a good feeling about a lawyer, act on it. As long as you have all the facts, there is a good chance that you’ll make the right decision.
GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME
Choosing a lawyer can take time, especially if you’re detail-oriented and want to cover all of your bases. Because of that, it’s a good idea to give yourself enough time to approach this process with as much care as you need to. Naturally, this isn’t always possible as sometimes legal matters require urgency, but try to set aside a few days to sort this out.