Matthew Minner | August 6, 2021 | Personal Injury
There can be many definitions of the “best” injury lawyer, depending on the client. Ultimately, choosing the best personal injury lawyer comes down to the right fit for your needs and your case. The best lawyer will fulfill your expectations for your representation and accomplish your legal goals.
Here are a few of the ways that you can choose the best injury lawyer to help you with your accident.
You Should Talk to Multiple Lawyers
When it comes to finding the best lawyer, many sources recommend reading online reviews and exploring disciplinary actions taken against prospective lawyers, if any. These resources can be helpful but only after you have met with and talked to a few lawyers.
In other words, rather than using public records to screen lawyers, you should talk to lawyers first. An in-person meeting with a lawyer can help you decide whether a particular firm is likely to be a good fit. They can help you do the following.
Most lawyers offer a free consultation. You can use this time to interview the lawyer and see them in action. If you want aggressive representation, a meeting will tell you much more about the lawyer’s demeanor than an online review. Conversely, if you want to work with someone who is engaging and easy to talk to, an in-person meeting is your best option.
Learn Your Likes and Dislikes
Most people will go through life without ever hiring a lawyer. When you start looking, you might not even know what characteristics you want in a lawyer.
By meeting with a few lawyers, you will get a feel for what you like and dislike about each one. You might even change your expectations for your representation.
Gauge the Lawyer’s Communication Skills
A lawyer’s communication skills can make or break a case. The most intelligent lawyer in the world cannot win a case if they cannot communicate with their clients, a claims adjuster, a judge, or a jury.
During a consultation, you can measure a lawyer’s communication and logic skills. If you have difficulty understanding the lawyer or you feel like their communication style is off-putting, consider talking with a few more lawyers.
If the lawyer has trouble communicating with you, they will probably have trouble persuading a claims adjuster or jury to give you compensation for your injuries.
You also need a lawyer who is willing to listen to your story and fully understand your goals. If you speak to a lawyer that talks over you, ignores your questions, or makes you feel like you will not get personalized attention, you should probably keep looking.
Get Multiple Opinions
Getting a second opinion never hurts a case. Whether you were injured due to a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another act of negligence, reasonable minds can differ about the likelihood of success in a case and the value of a claim.
Just like you might speak to a few doctors before undergoing major surgery, you should speak to a few lawyers before hiring one to take your case. This will help you to set your expectations appropriately.
More importantly, it will help you to choose a lawyer whose approach matches your goals. A lawyer’s role is to represent your interests and advocate your legal position. To do that effectively, you and your lawyer need to be on the same page.
By talking to a few lawyers, you can make sure that you find one that shares your understanding of your case.
Most injury lawyers charge a contingent fee. This means that you only pay for legal services if the lawyer wins or settles your case. The lawyer deducts your legal fees from your settlement or damage award.
Lawyers charge different percentages for their contingent fees. Lawyers also differ on which costs you will have to reimburse and how those costs will be collected from you. By consulting a few different lawyers, you can choose one that charges fees with which you are comfortable.
You Should Conduct Due Diligence
After you find a lawyer you can work with, check into the lawyer’s reputation and history to make sure that they will handle your case in the way you expect. Some steps you can take include:
Reviewing Disciplinary Records
Ideally, the lawyer you hire will have no disciplinary complaints. But occasionally, unhappy clients or vengeful clients file frivolous complaints. To find out whether the lawyer you want to hire has disciplinary complaints on their record, contact the Kentucky State Bar’s Office of Bar Counsel. These lawyers investigate complaints and bring disciplinary actions against lawyers.
Reading Online Reviews
Online reviews can provide you with opinions from former clients. But bear in mind that online reviews can provide a skewed picture of a lawyer’s services.
Former clients are more likely to post a negative online review than a positive online review. Also, opposing parties and lawyers can file fake reviews to drag down a good lawyer’s reputation.
Talking to Friends and Relatives
If you know anyone that has settled an injury case, talk to them about their lawyers. If they had particularly good lawyers, consider adding them to the list of lawyers under consideration.
If they had bad lawyers, find out what the lawyers did that hindered the case. This will help you to judge whether the lawyers on your shortlist can provide the representation you expect.
Then, You Should Hire a Lawyer
Once you have confidence in your choice, contact the lawyer’s office to go through the final steps of hiring the firm.
Kentucky requires lawyers to provide written contingent fee agreements. You will probably need to have a copy of the fee agreement sent to you so you can review it. If you have any questions, you should contact the law firm before signing anything to make sure you fully understand the terms of the agreement.
You will also need to provide the lawyer any documents that are relevant to your case. Your lawyer will need copies of your medical bills and wage statements to prove your damages. Your lawyer will also need to sign a HIPAA authorization to obtain copies of your medical records from your doctors.
Once you complete each of these steps, your lawyer can begin working on your case and securing the best possible outcome based on your goals.