If you or someone you know has been hurt – in a car accident, at work or elsewhere – you may need the counsel and expertise of a personal injury lawyer.
How should you go about evaluating someone to represent you?
Finding the right attorney is essential if you hope to secure compensation for what happened and ensure your rights are being protected.
If it’s time to hire a lawyer, consider this checklist:
- Think third-party credibility. Lots of lawyers will tell you they are experienced and can get you a big settlement. Is anyone else saying that about them? The legal profession has a variety of accrediting organizations that review the expertise and performance of lawyers and then recognize those who meet or exceed certain criteria. These organizations serve as a report card of sorts, and they should be part of your evaluation process.
- Relevant experience is important. If you were to break your ankle, it wouldn’t make much sense to see a cardiologist. Likewise, it is important to find a lawyer that has specific, relevant experience to assess your particular situation. What types of cases do they handle? How long have they been practicing that type of law?
- It’s all about results. In fact, they’re just as important as experience. Ask the attorney you are evaluating if they can point to specific cases where they got results similar to what you seek. Ask friends and family members for referrals to attorneys who have helped them in the past. A good lawyer will have satisfied clients who can’t help but tell you what a great experience they had.
- What’s the fee arrangement? Most personal injury lawyers work on what is called contingency. That means they are only paid for representing you if they secure a judgment or settlement in your favor. They then take a percentage of what they recover for you. Before hiring an attorney, find out how they will bill you.
- The one-on-one interaction is important, too. Assess the quality of service from your attorney and your level of comfort with them. Does someone return emails and phone calls promptly? Are they keeping you updated on the process and mapping out what might be next? Ongoing diligence and communication demonstrate they are committed to getting you the best possible result as you pursue justice for what happened.
If you have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Jack Goodrich and Associates is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm. We offer a no-cost personal consultation concerning your case and will advise you on how we might be able to secure a fair settlement for you. Call 412-261-GOOD (412-261-4663).