There are plenty of attorneys out there, moreso personal injury attorneys, but of course, we never know who they are until we are in need of their services. Even among personal injury lawyers, different lawyers handle different types of case. There are those who prefer to handle catastrophic injuries, from medical malpractice to wrongful death, while others choose to handle concentrate on toxic poisoning cases. However, most of these attorneys have expertise in slips and falls, car accidents and workers compensation. All you should know while looking for a potential personal injury attorney is that they come in all shapes and sizes. They are everywhere. Below we discuss the process through which you can get a personal injury attorney.
Using your Network to Find a Personal Injury Attorney
There are different ways of getting referrals for experienced personal injury attorneys, and you can do this within your network. From the referrals you get, you should then comparison-shop and check the attorney’s rating before settling on one to represent you. But before you settle on one, ensure that you have a sit-down for a one-on-one meeting with each of the ones on the narrowed down list so that you can discuss the case with each of them before settling on who to hire.
Friends and Acquaintances
Among your friends and acquaintances, there has to be one who has been represented by an attorney before or one who knows of an attorney you can contact. If what you hear from your friends and acquaintances that have been represented in their own personal claims are good things, chances are that particular attorney may just be a good fit for you. You should, however, never make a decision on hiring that lawyer on somebody else’s recommendation because they may not be best placed to handle your case, and chances are you might get a better attorney elsewhere. You have to ensure that the lawyer’s style and personality match with yours so that you will not have unnecessary conflicts in future.
Lawyer directories such as the Nolo will guide you to getting lawyers who can effectively handle your case. For example, the Nolo has two ways of getting in touch with a lawyer. You can choose to use the “Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer” tool on the site, or to look through the comprehensive profiles for each attorney. The profiles give you information on the attorney’s experience, education, fees, and general philosophy on practicing law. On such sites, the listed attorneys usually have a valid license and are in good standing with their bar association contrary to which they cannot be featured on such directories.
You may know other lawyers, but not necessarily personal injury attorneys who could have represented you or someone you know in a different legal matter. Attorneys network among each other and refer cases one to another. Your lawyer will most probably know and recommend another lawyer who can handle your personal injury claim effectively. But just because a lawyer is the one who referred you do not take their word for it without sitting down with the referral and deciding for yourself if they are a good fit for you.
Many local bar associations have referral services where the names of attorneys are available and arranged by a legal specialty. These lawyers are supposed to be approved by the state bar association and vary in terms of quality. Some of these referral services screen the lawyers on their listing and ensure that they have a certain amount of experience and meet certain qualifications. Others list any attorney in good standing with the state bar association and who maintains liability insurance. If you opt for a referral service before settling on an attorney, find out the referral service’s criteria for including an attorney and how well they screen their attorneys.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.