You likely have many choices of which attorney to choose to represent you in your personal injury case. How do you choose, what criteria should you consider, how do you know who is the best for your case? Some tips to help you choose the right attorney for you are as follows:
- Is the attorney you are considering a top rated attorney? Does the attorney have an “AV” rating by Martindale Hubbell? This is a rating given to an attorney who is at the top of their field as RATED BY OTHER ATTORNEYS who know him or her and who say that the attorney has the highest rating for legal skills and legal ethics. You want an attorney who not only knows the mechanics of how to handle your case, but will do so ethically.
- Is the attorney you are considering an attorney who actually goes to trial and will try your case if the insurance company won’t pay a fair settlement? Some attorneys have no intention of trying your case, and will likely associate another firm to try your case in front of a jury if the case cannot be settled. Ask for actual trial results from Jury or Bench trials, and ask your attorney the last time they prepared a case for trial and what was the outcome? Even though the majority of cases are settled out of court, many cases can make it “to the courthouse steps” and settle in the week or days before trial. Ask your attorney the last time he or she “made it to the courthouse steps.”
- Ask your family and friends for a reputable attorney who has represented them in a similar case to yours. For example, if you were hit by a DUI driver, ask your friends and family which attorney they have used for a case where a person was hit by a DUI driver. Or, if you were hurt when you slipped and fell in a grocery store, ask your family and friends if they know a person who had a lawyer for a slip/trip/fall case. Were they happy with the attorney, did he/she return phone calls and generally be available to speak with the client?
- Will the attorney you are considering for your case talk to you on the phone for an initial phone call, and will the attorney meet with you in person to go over your case? Some attorneys don’t actually talk to the client on the first phone call, and some attorneys don’t meet with the client at the initial meeting. If you don’t talk to your attorney, and don’t meet with him or her in person, how do you know if you can get along with him or her, or whether you like his or her communication style? Your attorney should meet with you in person, not use a staff member as a substitute for the attorney on the first meeting, and should speak to you in terms you can understand, and not use complicated legal words that you don’t understand.
- Does the attorney you are considering have any other recognition among organizations that recognize attorney skills and excellence? For example, is the attorney you are considering a member of Super Lawyers, Georgia Legal Elite, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Top 100 Trial Lawyers? Is the attorney you are considering a member of local and state organizations which teach up to date legal skills, and updates on the ever changing law?
By doing some research on your part, and by meeting with your attorney and asking these questions of your attorney, and carefully considering the answers, you can be assured you are choosing the best attorney to handle your case.