Personal Injury cases, like many other areas of the law, deal with a highly personal and sensitive time in a person’s life. Cases can often be complex and can leave the client feeling stressed, especially if insurance companies are involved. If you’ve recently been hurt and have begun the search for representation in your personal injury case, you don’t want to pick just any lawyer. You’ll want someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and skilled at dealing with insurance companies. We’ve put together a few things to look for when interviewing potential lawyers. Keep in mind though that the facts of your case may mean you have other factors to consider. We encourage you to use this resource as a jumping-off point and think about what other things you might want in your representation.
You wouldn’t go to a butcher for help with your taxes. So, be sure you’re not using a divorce attorney to represent your personal injury case. Do your research and be sure the lawyer you’re interviewing has experience representing clients in personal injury cases. Additionally, be sure to ask who your lawyer has represented in the past. Was it primarily plaintiffs (those who have been injured) or insurance companies? Consider finding a lawyer who has a history of representing a mix of both as these lawyers can be a real asset. They know how to fight for their client using their knowledge of the innerworkings of the insurance companies.
It can be hard to ask friends and family for a referral to a lawyer. Does anyone ever go to a lawyer for a good reason? Nevertheless, a recommendation from a trusted source can start you down the path of finding a lawyer who is a good fit for you and your case. If you’re too uncomfortable to ask, or if your friends and family don’t have anyone to refer you to, there are credible sites on the Internet that can help you narrow things down. Sites like Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry, SuperLawyers and Avvo are directories that rate lawyers based on client and peer reviews. These reviews will be helpful in finding a top-notch, qualified attorney to represent you.
Size of the Firm
Maybe you’re thinking “bigger is better” when it comes to your personal injury case. This might not always be true as “bigger” usually means “busier”. A smaller case can get lost in the hubbub of a buzzing big-time firm and these lawyers may not have time for the back-and-forth that can sometimes occur when dealing with insurance companies. This means that you may get a smaller settlement than you’re entitled to and moving your case forward may take longer since you’re one of hundreds of cases.
So, you might want to consider a mid or smaller sized law firm with fewer attorneys and staff. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for sub-par representation. Small law firms can pack a mighty punch if they’re staffed with the right attorneys and paralegals. Be sure to ask in your consultation who will be handling your case. Will the lawyer you’re meeting with be sharing the workload with another attorney? If so, ask to meet with this attorney as well. Do they have paralegals who will assist them? If so, which parts would your primary attorney be handling and which will be delegated to other staff?
Communication is key, especially in this scenario! You will likely have thousands of questions every step of the way. You’ll want to know that the person you choose to represent you is open and available to you when you need them. In your consultation, pay attention to the way the lawyer listens to you. Do you feel as though you are being heard and understood? Does the lawyer explain things clearly, in a way you can understand (or do they use a lot of legalese?) Do you feel like this lawyer will keep you in the loop and seek your input often? It’s important to have open and clear communication as it will help both of you make decisions regarding your case.
Commitment to End Goal
In your consultation, you’ll need to give the lawyer a full history of your case to-date. This includes facts of the accident that lead to the injury and any communication you’ve had with insurance companies and other involved parties. Once you have completed treatment for your injuries the lawyer should collect and examine all of your medical records and prepare a medical summary to support your claim. The lawyer will also likely address the different ways your case could be handled and coordinate insurance benefits between multiple parties to get you the most favorable financial outcome. Pay attention here to see if the lawyer you’re interviewing is open to hearing your thoughts and preferences and if he/she is willing to keep you advised so you can actively participate in your claim.
Let us Help!
Our team of attorneys and paralegals at Ferrante, Dill & Hisle, LLC are committed to our clients reaching their goals. We operate on open communication, mutual respect and understanding. Our knowledge and expertise in the personal injury field makes us a great candidate to take on your case. Check out our website to learn more. And when you’re ready, schedule that free consultation with us by giving us a call at (410) 535-6100 or sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.