Hiring the right person to handle your legal case is a daunting task. Whether you have been injured in a car accident or are having trouble after a hip replacement surgery, you want to ensure that the lawyer is the best for the job. DallasInjury.org has all details about personal injury lawyers.
Anyone can make a slick and professional website, so how do you know who’s really qualified? And where should you begin the search?
Keith M. Fletcher, a partner with Simmons and Fletcher in Houston, Texas, said, “There are so many personal injury lawyers advertising everywhere from TV to online now, and there is very little regulation. The best way to find a personal injury lawyer is to talk to people you trust who have had a positive experience…”
His recommendation? Ask a pastor or someone else centrally located in your community. “They know a lot of people and are trusted with personal information, so they will hear about good and bad experiences when people are going through legal challenges.”
Sean M. Cleary, an attorney in Miami, Florida, said, “Usually, people get sent to the right lawyer when they go to someone they trust… Get a word-of-mouth referral from a trusted professional like an accountant, medical professional, or even a neighbor, someone who’s had personal experience with their attorney and highly recommends them because that attorney communicated with them, was accessible and did a great job. You can also do some more research, check out the reviews for the lawyer online, see what pops up about the firm and the attorney, and read what others say.”
Says George Lorenzo of Lorenzo & Lorenzo, a law firm in Tampa, Florida, “After you’ve done some research and have a few lawyers you’d like to contact, try a simple phone call. Yes, you can usually submit your case via websites these days, but when you call their offices, you’ll see how they operate and if the office is a good fit for you. For instance, at our firm, every employee speaks Spanish and thus our Hispanic clientele feels right at home.”
Make sure to discuss fees before signing
Says Neal Davis of the Neal Davis Law firm in Houston, Texas, “It’s always important to ask about fees upfront. Transparency is crucial in any significant financial transaction, and that includes your lawyer. Always get any fee agreement in writing.”
Personal injury attorneys normally work on contingency, receiving approximately a third of the eventual settlement or judgment, plus office expenses. Regardless, clarify what the lawyer means when he or she says “no fee if no recovery.” Make sure you understand the attorney’s fees from the start.
Research attorneys online
Research different attorneys online. Make sure they are licensed and in good standing in the state where the accident occurred.
Every state has its own local bar association, and all attorneys are registered in their databases. You can check their bar status and whether they have been sanctioned or if any disciplinary measures have been leveled against them.
Stephanie Hoffer, a partner with Hoffer & Sheremet, a law firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said, “Do not choose an attorney based on verdict numbers listed on a website. Every case is different, and the amount of damages in your case depends on many factors. Spend some time talking to the attorney before you hire him or her. You two will be spending a lot of time together – make sure you like each other!”