Who is the Best Personal Injury Attorney For Your Case?
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[Below is a transcription of the podcast]
This is Ann-Margaret Perkins with Perkins Law Firm and today I’ll be talking about how to decide who’s the best personal injury lawyer for your case.
Choosing a lawyer to handle your case is a very important decision obviously because that person is going to be advocating on your behalf. I think there are five main things that you need to consider when choosing the lawyer for your case. First is: are you comfortable with this attorney? This person is going to be learning things about you that are very personal, things that are in your medical records and maybe your finances. So you need to be comfortable with them and you need to feel like you can be open with them. If for some reason you don’t feel like you can or if it just doesn’t click, then you need to probably look around at some other choices.
The second thing I would tell you to consider is: does this attorney have a history of handling the specific type of personal injury case that you have. There are many types of personal injury cases out there. I think people who do the best job on any given kind of personal injury case are people who handle those on a routine basis. So for instance I do not do medical malpractice. That is a specialty in personal injury that I have not had significant experience in. And don’t handle. Now, if someone calls about a medical malpractice case I certainly can help them find some good attorneys. But lawyers still, personal injury lawyers tend to have a specific type of case or cases that they handle. Someone who tells you that they handle everything, I would be a little concerned about. If you have a car wreck case, there are insurance laws that you need to know about in order to handle that case effectively. If you have a slip and fall or trip and fall, there codes and other things that may impact that case. If you have a case involving a tractor-trailer, there are certain federal laws and regulations that apply to that case that doesn’t apply to other cases. So you need to ask the question. You know do you handle this specific type of personal injury case? How many do you handle? How long have you been handling them? And if somebody is reluctant to give you that information then that probably should give you some pause.
The third thing I would say that’s important is where is that attorney located. I feel like it can be very important for you to be able to walk into an attorney’s office and have a face to face meeting if you want it. If somebody is located 50 or 60 miles away from you that obviously can be significantly harder. And while much of what you do can be handled over the phone, there are times that you may just want or need to have a face to face with your lawyer. And so I would take that into consideration when I was choosing somebody.
The fourth thing that I think is important for you to know is what is the attorney’s level of involvement in your case. There are some law officers who have a paralegal do the intake, a paralegal or case manager work on the case with very minimal attorney involvement. There are other firms like ours who, I’m involved in the initial intake and spend usually several hours with someone as we’re discussing their case and arranging to work on it. And I have continued involvement with the case throughout. Some of that is through my paralegals but some of that is through direct client contact. You need to decide what you’re more comfortable with. I feel like your case is handled more effectively if the attorney is more intimately involved in the day to day on your case.
And finally, you need to know whether or not that person litigates cases. There are some law firms who take in cases and then refer them out from the beginning. And there are some who take in cases and refer them out only if the case goes into litigation. Insurance companies know who litigates cases and who doesn’t and it makes a difference what they will pay in a given case, based on what they know about your attorney. Your attorney doesn’t have to try every case that comes into her office. But if she is not someone who is willing and able to try that case then you deserve to know that. And I would just ask that question up front if my case, if suit has to be filed in my case, will you be handling it to its conclusion. I’m not passing judgment on attorneys who don’t handle cases through trial, but I think you deserve to know who you’re going to be working with. And will they at some point send this to another firm? So that you can make a decision about whether or not you’re comfortable with that. For instance, if they’re going to send it to another firm, what firm and are you comfortable with that firm. You need to know that on the front end because you don’t want to be two years into your case if it takes that long, and then suddenly you’re going to start with a new lawyer who you’ve never heard of. And it’s really too late to change horses in the middle of that stream. I think if you ask these questions and some of them are hard questions that you might be a little bit uncomfortable asking attorneys as you talk with them but you need to in order to make sure that you get the best personal injury lawyer for your case.
I hope this has been helpful to you. If we can ever assist you with a personal injury case we’d be happy to do that. Our website is injuryispersonal.com. Our phone number is 770-834-2083. If we can help just give us a call or go to our website and fill out a contact form or send me an email.