You have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness. The medical bills are piling up and so are your monthly bills due to work loss. You know you need an attorney to help you, but how to pick the right one? Well first, you need to find a few attorneys who specialize in your type of case. From Auto Accidents to Medical Malpractice, attorneys, just like doctors, concentrate their practice in specific areas. You’ll need to find the best attorney for your case.
What kind of case do I have?
There are many ways to find an attorney. But before you begin, you may need to narrow down the type of case you have:
- Slip and Fall – You were injured on someone else’s property.
- Auto Accident – You were injured in a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accident.
- Medical Malpractice – You were injured due to a doctor’s negligence.
- Dog Bite – You were bitten by someone else’s dog.
- Negligent Security – You were injured because an establishment failed to provide adequate security.
- Product Liability – You were injured by a defective product.
- Drug Claim – You were injured by taking a medication.
- Nursing Home – You or a loved one was injured while living in a nursing home.
- Wrongful Death – A loved one was killed by the indifference or negligence of someone else.
- Assault, Battery, and Sexual Assault – You were injured in a criminal act.
Once you have narrowed down what category your case may fall in, you can start looking for an attorney whose specific skills and experience will benefit you.
How do I find an attorney?
Some of the best resources for finding an attorney are your family, friends, and co-workers. If you personally know someone who has hired an attorney in the past and had a good experience, you may want to start with that attorney. An attorney in any specialization can refer you to the correct type of attorney from the very beginning of your case. Ethical, hardworking, experienced attorneys usually only refer to other attorneys who will provide the same level of service they do, as their reputation is on the line. Other resources include:
- The Bar Association
- Your county Bar Association. https://www.hg.org/bar-associations-north-carolina.asp
- State Bar Association. https://www.ncbar.gov
- The American Bar Association. https://www.americanbar.org/aba.html
- National Websites
- Internet Searches.
- “Medical Malpractice Attorney”
- “Auto Accident Attorney”
- “Slip and Fall Attorney”
While you are busy on the internet, don’t forget to check out their Google reviews. However you go about finding an attorney, choose more than one to contact.
How do I decide which attorney is right for me and my case?
Deciding which attorney to choose can feel very daunting. But with a little work and thought you will find the right attorney for you. Once you have narrowed it down to a handful, you can contact them to set initial appointments. Almost all personal injury attorneys will offer you a free consultation. Take advantage of that fact and schedule some appointments with attorneys you liked when you saw them online or when you talked to their office on the phone. Go armed with a pad, pen, and a list of questions, such as:
- How many cases has the attorney handled that are similar to yours?
- How many years of experience do they have with your particular type of case?
- What percentage of their “caseload” is dedicated to your particular type of case?
- Where did they go to college and law school?
- Do they carry Malpractice Insurance?
- Do they outsource any of their legal work?
- Do they involve attorneys outside of their law firm to get the job done?
- How often can you expect their office to call you to give you updates?
- How often do they go to “trial”?
- What are the terms of their contract?
- How will my case work?
- What would be your plan for my case?
If an attorney balks at answering any of these questions promptly, you may want to reconsider. All of the above questions are easily answered by an attorney who takes their work seriously and cares about educating their clients. Giving you a prompt, accurate answer that is professional and courteous will tell you whether or not the attorney is hard working, understanding, forthright, ethical, compassionate, and honest.
How do I choose whom I want to represent me?
Deciding on one attorney out of the several you met with may seem difficult, but now it is time to ask yourself some questions:
- Does the attorney seem to have enough experience to handle my case?
- Was the attorney prompt and courteous to me when I questioned them?
- Did I meet with the attorney, or did they send someone else to meet me at my appointment?
- Is the attorney someone I feel comfortable with?
- Do I feel confident in their skill to handle my case?
- Where they able to answer all of my questions?
- Did the attorney treat me with respect and compassion?
- Did the attorney’s plan for your case make sense?
- Did you understand how your case will progress?
Once you have asked yourself these questions about each attorney you met with, you will find the one that will be the best fit for you. Once you have gone through the process of locating, interviewing, and contemplating a few attorneys, you will get a good feel for what is right for you. Don’t delay too long, as having an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured can help you get the best results. And remember; never talk to an insurance company until you have consulted with an attorney.