May 30, 2019
In 2018, the Internet can answer any question we throw at it; sometimes doing its job too well. Typing a broad question into Google oftentimes loads an overwhelming amount of results, making it hard to distinguish the reliable information from the junk. Identifying the best resources is even more intimidating when you aren’t sure what to look for. Chances are, if you are running a search for a personal injury attorney, you or someone close to you is suffering, which can make the process much more stressful. While it can be tempting to just click the first name at the top of the search results, you are cautioned not to do this. Just because a firm has the largest television or internet presence does not mean they are the right fit for you. This article provides information to help ensure you are doing your due diligence when searching for a personal injury attorney.
If you know someone who has worked with a personal injury attorney, this is where you should begin. Bonus points if you have friends who are attorneys in the same area. Ask trusted friends about their experiences with their personal injury attorneys and if they were satisfied. However, you should not stop after receiving a good recommendation from a friend; research the attorney on your own, paying attention to the next few topics.
Websites such as Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry, and Best Lawyers are all established peer review websites and can help direct you to a reputable attorney in any part of the United States. Five percent of the lawyers in each state are recognized by Super Lawyers based first and foremost on the opinion of their peers.
It should go without saying you want an attorney who is experienced in his or her field. When searching for a personal injury attorney check their website for how long they have been practicing in personal injury law.
An attorney’s record of performance speaks for itself. Attorneys will sometimes list their case results on their webpage. However, this can arguably create unrealistic expectations in the mind of a potential client (thinking a case is worth much more than it realistically is) and some lawyers choose not to do so. Remember: just because an attorney’s website does not contain a laundry list of case results is not indicative of their success.
The Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum website lists member attorneys in all 50 states who have received at least a one-million-dollar verdict for a client. As mentioned previously, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and Best Lawyers are all based on peer review. It is an honor for an attorney to be recognized by her peers as one of “the best” in her area of practice. One last thing to consider is whether the attorney is recognized by any organizations for client service. After all, the practice of law is a service to you, the client, and you want an attorney who has a proven track record of client satisfaction.
Many attorneys display client testimonials on their websites. Of course, take these with a grain of salt because no one is going to publish bad reviews on their own webpage. If an attorney appears on Google Reviews take the time to read both the good and bad paying attention to ones that repeat the same complaints or praises. Upon request, your attorney should also be able to provide you with at least one previous client who will give a good review.
How long have you been practicing as a personal injury plaintiff attorney and what other types of law do you specialize in?
Where do most of your referrals come from?
Do I have to pay a retainer?
What is your fee?
If my case goes to trial and we lose, will I have to pay for costs?
Who will I be dealing with when I call to check in on my case?
What is my role in the case?
It should not be impossible to get ahold of the attorney who is working on your case or someone in the office who can give you information when you call. If you are unable to get anyone to call you back this is a red flag. All attorneys are busy. But the best attorneys generally make time for their clients.
About Brian G, Miller: Brian G. Miller is a graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and practices law in his Columbus, OH office, mostly focusing on civil litigation and concentrating in plaintiff personal injury cases arising from roadway accidents, construction accidents, workplace and premises accidents, and other civil litigation. For more information about the firm visit https://www.bgmillerlaw.com/