It’s bad enough when you or a loved one gets seriously hurt in any accident, whether it’s a tractor trailer wreck, automobile accident, slip or trip and fall, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or job injury. To make things worse, if you’re like many people, you don’t know where to turn to find the accident injury attorney who’s best suited not just for your case, but for you as a person.
In the end, your case is about you. Your selection of a lawyer goes a long way in dictating the outcome of a critical time in your life, for which there’s no do-over. For you, this is your only shot at recovering a settlement or a verdict that could save you from financial ruin or a lifetime of regret. The vital quality you’re looking for in the personal injury lawyer to handle it can be boiled down to a single, enormous word: trust.
You need a lawyer you can trust both professionally and personally. Let’s take a look at some things you should look for in selecting him or her.
You can evaluate whether your lawyer meets your employment qualifications to handle your case by looking at things like:
- Experience with your type of case. This includes results he’s achieved in cases like yours. While past results are never a guarantee of the outcome for your case because all cases are different, you can gain confidence in his ability by seeing a track record of results.
- Whether he is knowledgeable about your type of case. Check out the lawyer’s website to see what information he offers about your type of case. Find out what type of written materials he has about issues that concern you—and maybe even ones you didn’t even think about. See if he offers any books or reports about your case.
- A key gauge of personal and professional trust: former client reviews. It’s important to get an idea of what it’s like to work with your lawyer. Possibly one of the best ways to figure this out is see what others say about their experiences. You might get recommendations from family, friends, or co-workers. While their outcomes and their experiences are no guarantee of yours, it does give you an idea the attorney’s level of competence. You may also find useful comments by former clients on the lawyer’s website, his Google+ page, or independent websites like Avvo.com that rate lawyers based on what others say.
Personal Trust And Fit: Meeting The Lawyer
Once you get interested in a specific lawyer, you should interview him to make sure you can trust him personally and that your personalities fit. Here are things to look for there:
- It’s vital your personalities mesh. This is a relationship where communication is vital. You’ve got to be on the same page.
- Make sure he truly cares about you as a person. This can be evidenced by whether he’s giving of his time: if a lawyer seems impatient when he’s trying to get you to hire him, it’ll only get worse as time wears on. Look for genuine warmth and concern toward you.
- Is he receptive to your requests for information? Part of the lawyer’s job is to educate you about your case and the process. Gauge how informative he is about the process, so you know what to expect going forward.
- Make sure he’s clear about the fee. Ask how it’s computed, including repayment of costs for your case. We’ve heard some lawyers charge “administrative fees” on top of contingency fees, which we consider outlandish.
- Evaluate the staff. You’ll be dealing with them a lot during your case. Are they friendly? Helpful? Welcoming? It’s their job to comfort you in an uncomfortable time. If they don’t care when they want you to hire them, you can’t expect anything better when you do.
- Guaranteed outcomes. If the lawyer promises to win your case or to secure you a specific settlement amount, run. There are no guarantees in law or life.
At Holland & Usry, the only guarantees we make our injury clients is that we’ll work as hard as we can to get the best result we can, and that we will always be honest and sincere with you, even if it’s what you don’t want to hear.
If you’ve got an injury case but don’t know what to turn, call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 for a free meeting to discuss your case. If we’re not right for you, we might be able to point you in the right direction.
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