When you or a loved one experiences a serious personal injury, you need to act fast and thoroughly in order to ensure that you receive a settlement that pays for your expenses. Whether you’re dealing with a vehicle-related injury as the result of an accident or a workplace injury caused by employer negligence, having a personal injury attorney on your side is essential.
So, where do you begin? How do you know if you’re selecting the right attorney? While researching, consider the following tips:
Look at the personal injury attorney’s track record of success.
First and foremost, look at what the personal injury attorney has accomplished in the past. They need to show you that they have successfully won cases and secured significant financial settlements for clients. While some information will be confidential, an attorney should be able to share clear, specific information about a variety of successful cases, the amount of money won in settlements, and a consistency of legal wins over time that include recent successes.
Read testimonials and talk to clients.
While the objective evidence of winning cases and settlements is impressive, you also need to look at the soft side of a client’s experience with an attorney. When you talk to people who worked with the personal injury attorney, did they have a good experience? Did the attorney clearly communicate with them, treat them with respect, and make them feel like their case was important? Even if a personal injury attorney appears outwardly successful, you need to confirm that clients were actually satisfied.
Make sure that the personal injury attorney doesn’t accept a fee until they win your case or receive a settlement that pleases you.
There are quite a few reasons why good personal injury attorneys don’t accept money up front or along the way. First, personal injury attorneys need to be selective and know from experience whether you have a chance of success with your case. Second, personal injury attorneys then must have the confidence from experience that they can win your case or receive a settlement based on a realistic plan. With that kind of confidence based on experience, an attorney makes sure you are successful before getting paid. A bad personal injury attorney may take any case out of desperation and not plan their strategy realistically—meaning they’re more likely to ask for money up front or get paid along the way.
Make sure the personal injury attorney approaches your situation realistically.
It might be difficult to evaluate this criterion early on, but keep a close eye on your conversations with a personal injury attorney. It’s more reassuring to hear your attorney talking about your case in calm, measured tones, evaluating your situation almost like a detective mulling over a case, and offering various ideas, plans, and options for pursuing your case. A red flag would be an excited attorney who glosses over key details and talks about going after a BIG settlement. The less practical and clinical they are, the more you should steer away from a particular attorney.
Watch and observe how the attorney listens to you.
Good personal injury attorneys want to hear as many details about your case as possible, collect all of the information, and give you advice and consultation based on what you say. In many cases, people consult attorneys who spout off advice without listening to you or letting you get a word in edgewise. When that happens, the attorney starts to plan and scheme about courses of action that may not match reality. Listening is essential. It both reassures you and also helps the attorney ground their strategy based on the details you give them.
Armed with these ways to evaluate personal injury attorneys, you should be able to quickly assess whether or not you’re dealing with someone who has the experience and people skills to help you. Remember, word of mouth and testimonials are a quick way to know if a personal injury attorney comes highly recommended, but also use the tips above to make sure that even a highly recommended attorney fits your specific needs.
Let us put these tips to the test. Call us today for a free consultation about your personal injury situation.