During the course of life, most of us will be involved in a situation in which we will need an attorney.
Throughout the course of your legal problems, you will have to make some tough decisions – If you were involved in an accident then you have to choose between bringing criminal damages or press with a plaintiff case, if you have a small business and you were involved in a deal, then you have to decide whether to sign it or let it pass.
Selecting the right attorney for a particular case can make all the difference in the world in terms of a successful outcome. Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney under consideration hard questions about that attorney’s level of experience with the type of case you have. Ask about how long that attorney has been practicing law.
There are no clear-cut answers in many of these dilemmas, and getting the right lawyer is crucial to you.
The number one criterion has to do with a lawyer’s legal ability: someone who lays the law down for you, presents you with options, explain the ramifications of each decision you make and give you recommendations on the best course of action. In this day and age of complicated legal matters, many lawyers are increasingly specialized and you stand to get better information from someone with a practice focus in a particular area of the law than a generalist who deals with a broad spectrum of legal issues.
Building rapport is also very important: your relationship with your lawyer can make or break your case. You need a lawyer who gives you candid advice and council you can trust, someone with enough perspective to step back from an issue and look at it from all perspectives.
First, you need to ask for referrals from previous clients. Ask around about good attorneys in the network. Once you get a few names, check their educational background, their qualifications and their professional track record with your state’s bar association.
After you receive your referrals, don’t shy away from setting up interviews with attorneys in the network. Most don’t mind receiving enquiries about what they do and how able there are. Ask tough questions: How long have they been in practice? How satisfied are their previous clients? How many legal problems of interest to you have they taken recently?
The bottom line is that YOU are the one with the legal issue that needs to be dealt with, meaning YOU are the one in control. Don't be intimidated by an attorney. Hire a lawyer just as you would any other service provider.
Some specifics in Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney...
There are many things to keep in mind when choosing a personal injury attorney, not the least of which is to be sure that the personal injury attorney has your best interest at heart. It's important to keep in mind that there are many personal injury attorney scams out there – unaccredited lawyers and other schemers who try to extort large amounts of money from people or companies to make themselves rich.
If you've been injured in an accident, on the job, or by a negligent healthcare provider, your first step should be to do some research and find a responsibly, well-respected personal injury attorney. A good attorney will listen to your story and will set realists expectations for the amount of money you may be able to collect.
A so-called “ambulance chaser,” the type of personal injury attorney who advertises on the back of buses, may not be a responsible attorney. Many of these lawyers are out to collect as much money as possible and will charge exorbitant fees even if they lose your case. This type of personal injury attorney often takes advantage of disadvantaged and poorly educated citizens.
Regardless of how you find your personal injury attorney, make sure that he or she puts you at ease and listens to your needs. Before doing anything, your personal injury attorney should listen carefully to your account of what happened, taking detailed notes and then suggesting a course of action. Sometimes a law suit is not the appropriate response to an injury, and your personal injury attorney should not only be able to admit that to you, but also be able to suggest alternative solutions.