How Do I Decide Which Personal Injury Lawyer To Hire?

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Hiring a lawyer to represent you in a legal matter is a very important decision that should not be made without due consideration.  Here are 4 factors you should consider before hiring an attorney:

  1. Experience. There are many situations where we freely commit our trust to someone without concerning ourselves with their experience. When was the last time you checked the credentials of your mechanic before entrusting your car to his or her care?  Have you ever vetted the pilot that’s flying the plane you are in?  What about the burger joint you visit every Friday, how much do you know about the cook?  The reality is that in many of these situations we accept or believe that some other person, organization, regulatory body or agency is scrutinizing these people.  We also often don’t have any real power in deciding these matters.  You could choose another airline, but again they will decide who flies the plane.  You could go to another burger joint, but they will decide who prepares your meal.  This is NOT the case in selecting a lawyer.  When you interview or research a lawyer you want to know if they are up to the task.  Does the lawyer have expertise in personal injury law?  Do they specialize in that area or are they more of a general practice attorney?  How long have they been practicing?  How many similar types of claims have they handled?  For example, in our firm we have several attorneys that focus only on personal injury cases.  They have collective handled several thousand personal injury cases and devote their careers to this area of law.
  2. Will to Fight. The reality is that most car accident or personal injury cases will settle before trial.  Some will settle without having to file a law suit while others will often settle after the law suit is filed and litigation is pursued.  In the personal injury world attorneys that are willing to fight for their clients’ rights will get the best settlement for their clients.  Insurance companies know which attorneys or law firms are willing and prepared to take their fight all the way to court and which attorneys or law firms will buckle under the pressure and will accept a lower settlement if only to avoid going to trial.  When making your decision to hire a personal injury attorney make sure s/he is willing to take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
  3. Resources. Similar to the will to fight, the attorney or firm you hire should have the resources to back up their fighting words.  Going to trial is time consuming and expensive.  There are filing dues, expert costs, depositions, trial exhibits, and trial fees to name a few.  Furthermore, more complicated trials will often require several attorneys or support staff to diligently prepare the case.  Smaller firms or solo practitioners may not always have the financial resources or staff support to adequately represent your interests.  Make sure the attorney you hire can devote the necessary time and money to fully prosecute your claim.
  4. Knowledge. In the injury world we often see people leave money on the table.  The reason is simple – lack of comprehensive review of your situation.  Many years ago our firm only focused on personal injury matters.  Over time we recognized that often our clients could benefit from other related specialties.  Many times car accident victims may be eligible to receive benefits from worker’s compensation or social security disability.  Therefore, we grew our practice to include attorneys focusing on those areas.  This way, when we review a client’s case we make sure all of their potential benefits are considered.

Make sure you consider all of the above in making your decision about which lawyer/firm to hire to best represent all of your interests.

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