How to Choose a Personal Injury Attorney
Whether you settle your case or take it to trial, your choice of representation will dictate how much compensation you receive. Choosing the first attorney who takes your case is simply not enough to achieve the results you deserve. You must take into consideration things like experience, fields of specialization, past results, and even the size of the firm.
The Right Experience
This is pretty self-explanatory but worth mentioning. Do not just choose an attorney with the most years of experience; choose one who has the most relevant experience. Choosing an attorney with 30 years of experience primarily in Corporate Law to represent your Personal Injury case clearly is not the best choice. Use the attorney’s or law firm’s website to research whether they have experience handling cases similar to yours. You can also use their website to reveal whether they have trial experience. While many cases settle, choosing a respected trial lawyer not only increases your chances of a favorable outcome if your case does end up going to court, but also encourages the opposing party to offer a fair settlement to avoid the courtroom altogether.
Playing the Fields
As mentioned above, years of experience is only helpful if it is relevant to your case. Some law firms will advertise they take cases in many fields which essentially means they specialize in none. Choosing a firm that specializes in a certain field means you are not getting the player but the entire team. Attorneys in a firm are invaluable resources to each other and collaboration between knowledgeable attorneys leads to better results and helps expedite the road to recovery. Specializing in a certain field enables attorneys to estimate your case value based on personal knowledge, pursue the best course of action to get your full recovery, and can avoid endless negotiations with uncooperative opposition. They will also have the groundwork laid out for you even before walking in the door since they will already have the resources and legal knowledge relevant to your case.
Results are usually listed on an attorney’s or law firm’s website. If they are not listed, this could be an indication that they have none worth listing. Results pages may demonstrate how many cases a firm has taken and the financial successes of those cases. Looking at listed results will also help you form an idea of how much you may be due, and help you realize the law firm that encourages you to settle for a fraction of what you think you deserve is probably not the right law firm for you. This is not to say settling is never a good idea, but choosing a law firm that does not prepare their cases for trial will settle for lower amounts in order to avoid the litigation process. Successful litigation firms receive both higher settlements as well as higher verdicts. While settling your case may be the smartest move, settling for a law firm never is.