Choosing A Personal Injury Lawyer: 5 Things To Consider

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Picking the right personal injury lawyer shouldn’t just be a matter of seeing an infomercial on late-night TV and calling the number on the screen. Choosing poorly can result in less efficient representation, a limited grasp of the case law or poor negotiation skills – all of which can result in a less-than-stellar outcome for you. Accordingly, here are 5 things to consider when making your choice of lawyer.

1. Does the Lawyer Have a Good Reputation for Doing the Right Thing?

Reputation management is important. What reputation does the personal injury lawyers have? There may be records of previous complaints at the state bar that are worth looking up. Also, check on the Google listing for their website. There could be reviews from happy (or less than happy) clients about the firm or a particular lawyer in the firm. Bear in mind that some reading between the lines may be necessary as people may be looking to avoid getting sued for leaving a negative review.

Furthermore, look at local Yelp reviews too. Some of these may generate moral or ethical questions about actions taken by someone which weren’t seen in a favorable light.

2. Relevant Trial Experience

Many personal injury cases are settled quickly or negotiated over a protracted period to a successful conclusion. Only around 5 percent of cases go to trial. It’s useful in the negotiation phase for the other side to know that you’re prepared to proceed in court if need be. They’ll be able to see if the lawyer has had limited recent trial cases decided in the courtroom and if so, feel they have the upper hand. It’s always best to hire a law firm with cases under their belt rather than all settlements.

3. Local State Lawyer

There are state laws relating to personal injury cases that make it necessary to hire a state attorney rather than one out-of-state. For instance, Horst Shewmaker serves clients in the Greater Atlanta area in Georgia. They don’t serve clients in New York where there are completely different laws covering personal injuries.

Also, for the client, it makes sense to hire a lawyer who deals with cases in one state. Certain lawyer firms may have previously represented people who had accidents on the same stretch of road that’s a bit notorious! Also, they may know what legal strategies are more successful there compared to an out-of-state attorney.

4. Value of Past Settlements

While it’s useful to know that they have relevant trial experience, you also should be convinced that they are capable of getting meaningful settlements for their clients. Not every lawyer is a savvy negotiator. It’s an acquired skill that often takes time to improve. Avoid being one of the clients that sit near the bottom of their lawyer’s learning curve.

5. Gut Reaction When Talking with Them

While you may not be meeting in person right away due to difficulty in getting around or for other reasons, you can still speak via phone or video call. See if you get a gut reaction after speaking to them. It may take a while to process what they’ve said, so give yourself a bit of time before of making a hiring decision.

Ultimately, hiring a personal injury attorney is a critical decision. They must represent your interests well and seek to obtain the best outcome for all. Follow the suggestions above to make a better selection.