Personal Injury lawyers seem to be everywhere. They’re in TV ads asking if you’ve been hurt in an accident and talking about the difference between car and truck accidents. Personal injury attorneys seem to dominate billboards in many cities, touting their success and saying they’ve won more than a billion dollars for clients.
They have tag lines for their firms. One firm uses, “Don’t be a Victim Twice,” another claims, “Trust Us to Fight for You,” and another says, “We’re on Your Side.”
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you might feel overwhelmed deciding which lawyer to hire. However, gathering information on attorneys, knowing what they specialize in, and then interviewing several before making a decision will help you make an informed choice
There are a couple ways to generate a list of PI attorneys. Using Google is a great place to start. You should use as many keywords as possible in your search, including personal injury, auto accident, and your location. Once you have a running list, visit many of the websites and be aware of what type of law each firm practices.
Many firms will say they are personal injury specialists, but when they list their areas of expertise, personal injury may be at the bottom of the list. Look for lawyers who specialize in only PI cases, or devote the majority of their time to personal injury.
You can also contact your city or state Bar Association and get referrals. Most Bar Associations have a specific number to call for lawyer referral services or you can fill out a form on their website.
Once you’ve reviewed websites from your Google search and looked into referrals from the Bar Association, narrow the search to five to seven firms and then get on the phone. A phone call will allow you to interview each firm and see if there is a fit between you and the lawyers that will be handling your case. During the conversation be sure to ask:
In addition, you’ll want to ask about the statute of limitations for your case as well as how long the attorney thinks it will take to resolve the matter. There are no “dumb” questions, if you need more information about the firm – ask more questions.
Once the interview stage is over, it’s time to pick your top choice. Which firm was the most responsive? Was there one firm that you felt most comfortable talking to? What is your gut telling you?
Once you’ve found a firm that you’re comfortable with and that you believe is a fit, the next step is asking them to send you a written fee agreement.
Read the agreement carefully and if you don’t understand something, ask questions. After you sign the agreement, the attorney will file your case and your legal journey will be underway.