Choosing a lawyer to represent you in your personal injury claim is a big decision. Emily Foreman shares the following tips for selecting a personal injury lawyer:
- Response Time
How quickly did the lawyer respond to your first inquiry? This can set the tone for your relationship.
- Belief in You
When you first speak with a lawyer, do they believe you? Often a legal case can seem like an uphill battle. Your lawyer has a duty to advocate on your behalf. This starts with their belief in you, and the merits of your case.
- Expertise and Knowledge Base
Expertise in personal injury litigation is key. Does the lawyer have expertise in this area of the law? Has the lawyer been to court? Has the lawyer published articles, case commentaries, or given professional presentations in this area of the law?
Communication throughout your case is important. Your lawyer and his or her team should be accessible to you. While lawyers handle many cases at a time, you should feel comfortable checking in from time to time and requesting updates on your case. While instantaneous responses are not always possible, clear replies made within a reasonable time are necessary for a good lawyer-client relationship.
- Their Team & Resources
You will spend a lot of time interacting with your lawyer’s team members, such as legal assistants, clerks and other lawyers within the practice group. Make sure that your lawyer has adequate resources to move your case forward at an appropriate pace. It is also important that you feel comfortable dealing with the team.
- Their Focus
Listen to your lawyer’s focus. Do they appear to have your best interests in mind? Are they interested in your treatment and progress? Do they defer to the medical professionals, and encourage you to participate in appropriate rehabilitation?
- Do Your Research
Review the lawyer’s web biography. Read his or her client testimonials and articles to get a feel for their style. Ask around for recommendations.
- Listen to Your Gut
This will likely be a long term relationship. You will want to hire the personal injury lawyer who you feel most comfortable with, while taking into account the factors outlined above.