So How Can You Find a Good Personal Injury or Wrongful death Lawyer?
The “perfect” personal injury and wrongful death attorney is someone who is experienced, has a good reputation, and someone who you can trust. The problem is with more than 1,000,000 lawyers in the United States and 200,000 in California, how can you find such an attorney? What resources are available and which ones can you trust?
Based upon our 25 years of dealing with lawyers and practicing law, here are three good tips that you can use to help find the “perfect” lawyer for you. Remember, after finding a lawyer, make sure to properly interview the lawyer using the suggestions and questions found in our free report entitled, “Nine Questions You Need to Ask Every Lawyer You Interview”. These questions will absolutely help you narrow the selection process.
Tip #1:- Get a Personal Referral From a Qualified Source
Personal referrals are a good first start. 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 above qualifications and then some.
If you have friends or family who were VERY SATISFIED with their experience with a personal injury lawyer, 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 personal injury lawyers in town. Good lawyers know who they would hire if they needed the “best” personal injury attorney in their area and most lawyers would be happy to share these names with you.
Friends at work and even company supervisors or executives may also be able to provide you with one or more names. People you respect and look up to may also be able to share one or more names. (note that this approach will work for almost any type of legal matter)
Tip #2- Martindale-Hubbell and the AAJ
If you are unable to get a personal referral using the above method, then go to Martindale-Hubbell (www.martindale.com) or the American Association for Justice (www.atla.org) web sites and do a search for an “AV” rated personal injury or wrongful death attorney in your area. An “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.
[Hint- Please keep in mind that new lawyers (practicing less than 10 years) may not yet be “AV” rated. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t work hard or know what they are doing. We know many new lawyers who are excellent litigators and very good at representing their clients. Whether or not an attorney has a prestigious “AV” rating is simply something to think about and take in to consideration when looking for competent counsel.]
Tip #3- Contact Your Local Bar Organization and Ask For the Names of the Past 2 Presidents
Another good way to find an excellent personal injury or wrongful death lawyer is to contact your local bar association (the local lawyer organization) and for the names and numbers of the current and past two presidents. Call each of them and ask whether or not they handle personal injury or wrongful death cases. In Orange County two of the larger local bar associations include the Orange County Bar Association and the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.
If they handle personal injury and wrongful death cases, then set up an appointment and use the “9 Questions” report to interview the lawyers. If they don’t handle this type of case, ask them to make a recommendation. Keep in mind that you may not be able to speak directly with the attorney but his or her secretary should be able to share the information with you.
We hope you have found the above three tips useful. We truly believe that using one or all of the above techniques will allow you to find an excellent personal injury or wrongful death lawyer to help you with your legal matter.
One final note. Please keep in mind that we’ve been helping victims of personal injury and wrongful death since 1986. Chances are, we can help you too!
Please feel free to contact us with your questions, needs or comments. We’re standing by to help.
“Information is the currency of democracy”
– Thomas Jefferson, Third US President, Architect and Author (1743-1826)