You only have one chance to win your case. Having the right lawyer protect your rights is critical to your success.
In personal injury and wrongful death cases, choosing an experienced lawyer who has an excellent reputation, will make the other side’s insurance company and defense attorney think twice about how they handle your claim. Getting the right lawyer to protect your legal interest will help you maximize the value of your case and get the results you are also entitled to.
In personal injury cases, injured consumers need an experienced attorney who has a strong passion for your case, your legal rights, and who specializes in representing people and families involved in personal injury and wrongful death. This means an attorney who is experienced and has a good reputation for strong settlements and high jury verdicts. We’re talking about a personal injury and wrongful death trial attorney who enjoys practicing law and enjoys taking cases to trial.
Why is this so important? Because skill, ability and reputation for trying cases are critically important when it comes to investigating, litigating, settling or trying a personal injury case. Successful trial attorneys carefully balance and implement focus, expertise, perseverance, native ability and an affinity for negotiation and litigation that frankly, not every lawyer can muster.
It’s important to understand that the lawyer you eventually hire to handle your case is actually working for you… not the other way around. Your best interest should always come first.
So, what’s the best way to find a good lawyer? Well, here are our favorite 3 ways…
Approach No. 1- Personal Referrals From Qualified Sources
First of all, keep in mind that the right lawyer for you is someone who not only can provide you with the correct answers to all 9 of these questions. It is also someone you are comfortable with and who you can trust. If the attorney has made a good first impression with you, there’s a pretty good chance that he or she will also make a good first impression with the other side (insurance companies and defense attorneys) and if necessary, also to a judge and jury.
How do you find this attorney? What resources are available?
The first thing we recommend that you do is look for an attorney who is recognized as being one of the “experts” in your town or area. Someone who meets all of the qualifications described in this book, and then some.
If you have friends or family who you respect and who are very satisfied with experiences they had with a personal injury attorney, you may want to start there. If you know a good lawyer who handles other types of legal matters (for example, estate planning or criminal defense), ask him or her for the names and numbers of the top 2 or 3 lawyers in town who handle the type of law that you need help with. In personal injury and wrongful death cases, good lawyers know who they would hire if they needed the “best” personal injury lawyer in their area and most lawyers would be happy to share these names with you.
Friends at work and even company supervisors or bosses may also be able to provide you with one or more names. Personal referrals are a great way to go. We have an excellent database with the names of highly rated personal injury and wrongful death attorneys all across the United States. Feel free to contact us if you would like the names of a couple of lawyers in your area to interview.
Approach No. 2- Visit These Websites
If you are unable to get a personal referral from a trusted friend or professional acquaintance, go to the Martindale-Hubbell (martindale.com), American Association for Justice (justice.org), The National Trial Lawyers (thenationaltriallawyers.com) or AVVO (avvo.com) web sites and do a search for the type of lawyer you need. The above sites primarily are focused on personal injury and wrongful death.
Hint- at the Martindale site, limit your search to “AV” rated lawyers. As mentioned below, a top “AV” rating is a good indicator of the lawyer’s ability, reputation and ethics. It identifies a lawyer and firm as having (1) very high to preeminent legal ability and (2) the highest level of expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence.
Did someone you trust in Approach No. 1 give you a couple of names? If so, then you may also want to use the above web sites to research each lawyer and find out what their independent ratings are.
Approach No. 3- Contact Your Local Attorney Organization (Bar)
Another good way to find an experienced lawyer is to contact the local bar association (the local lawyer organization) in the town or area were you need legal help. This is a great way to find a lawyer in another state.
Call the bar association and ask for the names and numbers of the past two presidents of that organization. Next, contact the law offices of these individuals and ask the question, “Do you handle personal injury cases (or whatever type of legal matter you need help with)?” If not ask, “Who would you hire to represent your family in a personal injury case?”
These lawyers are extremely busy. While you may not be able to speak with the attorney directly, his or her secretary or assistant should be able to share the names and numbers of outstanding personal injury lawyers with you who practice in your home town. Again, this is a great way to find a top-notch lawyer in another county or state.
Related Post: “Nine Questions You Should Always Ask Every Lawyer You Interview in a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case”
1. Just because someone “knows” and shares the name of a lawyer with you doesn’t mean that lawyer is any good at practicing law or trying cases. Use the above steps to investigate further.
2. Regardless of who is recommended to you, make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer and able to “connect” with him or her. Some lawyers have dynamic personalities and are exciting to be around. Others have the personality of a wet dish rag. Following these tips to make sure you find the right lawyer to help you with your case.