Every year, there are millions of personal injury cases and over 200,000 people a year die from personal injury accidents. Given the frequency of personal injury accidents in the US, there is no shortage of personal injury lawyers.
While there are plenty to choose from, you shouldn’t just choose any lawyer. To increase the chances of winning your case, choose a lawyer and a personal injury law firm who has experience with your particular case and a record of winning.
Keep reading to learn how to choose a personal injury law firm that’s right for your situation.
Make Sure They Specialize in Your Injury
Injuries because of car accidents and dog bites are the most common personal injury cases. But what if your injury is because of an aviation accident or airport injury? Or a maritime accident? You wouldn’t want to choose a lawyer or law firm that only specializes in car accidents or slip and falls. Rather, you want a firm that has experience with your particular type of case.
By ensuring that they specialize in your type of case, they understand the laws governing the specific industry, the ins and outs of the industry, and how to present your case successfully.
Maritime law is highly specialized, for example, and a lawyer who represents general personal injury cases likely won’t have that specialized knowledge.
Check Their Success Record
Not only should you verify their experience with cases similar to yours, but you also should check the success of your lawyer and their firm. Just because they have experience doesn’t always mean they are successful.
See how many cases they have won, what their success rate is, what kinds of settlements they get for their clients, and how many trials they have won.
Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations
It’s easy to pick a lawyer based on TV or radio ads. But do you know how effective they are? Whether they respond to their clients? Communicate effectively and timely? It’s difficult to know those things without doing a little research.
Google any potential attorneys or law firms you are considering. See what others have to say about them. Talk to your friends and family members and ask for personal recommendations. If you know someone in the legal field, as them for a recommendation.
It’s important to do your homework ahead of time and avoid just picking the first firm that pops up in your Google search or the one whose phone number you remember from their commercials.
You should also check their standing with your state bar association to make sure they are in good standing and have not been subject to any disciplinary actions or complaints.
Many people don’t spend $25 on a shirt without reading reviews, so you surely shouldn’t pick an attorney for something this important without thoroughly researching them.
Check Their Trial Experience
Besides getting fair settlements for their clients, you also want to choose an attorney that has trial experience. If your attorney can’t negotiate what you deem a fair settlement with your insurance company, the case may go to trial.
You don’t want to find out at that point that your attorney has limited or no trial experience. Make sure they can represent you in any outcome your case may have. Even if you don’t expect the case to go to trial, you don’t want to be caught in a situation where your lawyer has no litigation experience.
Once you have narrowed down the various personal injury law firms and attorneys you are considering, make appointments to meet with those on your shortlist. See if you feel comfortable with them, whether they communicate well with you, and whether they are upfront and honest about your case with you.
A good attorney will be honest about your chances. They don’t have a crystal ball to tell you how the case will turn out, but based on their experience, they can give you a good idea of whether you have a strong case or whether it will be a tough fight.
Understand Their Fee Structure
Before you sign anything and agree to work with a firm, make sure you understand their fee structure. Most personal injury firms do not take payment upfront, bill hourly, or require you to pay a retainer. Instead, they work on a contingency basis, which means they get paid when you get paid.
When your case concludes, whether that’s with a settlement or at trial, the attorney will get a percentage of your settlement.
Ready to Search for a Houston Personal Injury Law Firm?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a personal injury, these tips should get you started in finding an effective and experienced attorney for your case.
Stepp & Sullivan, P.C has over 70 combined years of experience and can handle personal injury claims, as well as claims arising from aviation, maritime, and industrial accidents. If you need a personal injury law firm that is experienced in these cases, contact us today. We can also provide a no-obligation case review.