Five Questions to Ask When Hiring an Injury Attorney
As you look into personal injury attorneys that might be able to guide you through dealing with a case, you'll probably want to develop a way to determine which ones may be worth hiring. By asking about these five areas of concern, you can quickly narrow down who can provide the counsel you need.
What Are Your Professional Associations?
It's normal for a personal injury attorney to be a member of their state bar association, and many will also be members of a national one. Some stand out more than others, such as the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an association that only admits members who've obtained at least one judgment of at least one million dollars.
How Long Have You Practiced Law?
The experience a personal injury attorney brings to the table is important, especially if they've taken any cases to trial. One of the strongest motivators for an insurance company to settle with a plaintiff is the fear that they'll end up on the wrong end of a massive judgment by a jury or judge. Regardless of how good and scrappy a young lawyer might be, reputation plays a role in the negotiation process.
What Are Your Ratings?
The two biggest sources of dependable ratings in the legal industry are Avvo and the Martindale-Hubbell peer-review index. While it's not precisely a rating, being named a Super Lawyer is also prestigious enough to merit additional consideration when hiring an attorney.
Do You Offer Case Studies?
Taking the time to prepare case studies for review by potential clients says a lot about a firm's confidence in its work. Case studies can also inform you about how the process works, giving you a sense of how long a case might take and what sort of award you may receive. Individuals mentioned in case studies might also be made available to provide references, and it's a good idea to talk with prior clients about how the firm dealt with small matters, such as communication.
Which Experts Do You Consult With?
A personal injury attorney will forge relationships with experts in a wide range of fields in order to bolster the claims they're presenting. If an attorney can name several of their preferred expert witnesses off the top of their head, you can rest assured those relationships are solid. This list will also give you an idea of how your case will be presented.