Tips for Choosing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

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    August 12 2019

    If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you may be thinking about looking for legal representation.  

    There is no shortage of personal injury lawyers in the world.  You can’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or pass a billboard without hearing an ad for one.

    With so many options out there, how do you know which one is best?  How exactly do you choose the best attorney for you? 

    Here are some tips for selecting the right personal injury attorney for you.

    An injured person lies in the street after being hit by a car.
    Tips for Choosing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

    Do Your Research

    Personal Injury is a very specific area area of law that requires unique skills.  Successfully handling a personal injury case requires very different skills than other areas of law. 

    Look for a personal injury lawyer or law firm that has:

    • A thorough understanding of personal injury law, including negligence and other intentional torts – Personal injury law encompasses many different practice areas.  Be sure that your attorney has experience dealing with your type of case, whether it involves: medical malpractice, catastrophic injuries, a commercial truck accident, or wrongful death.
    • Good negotiation skills – Your attorney will be negotiating on your behalf with the other party, through their attorney and/or insurance company.  Make sure you look for an attorney who has the reputation of being a good negotiator.
    • Trial experience – While many cases settle out of court, some cases will require going to trial.  Make sure you are working with an attorney that has not afraid to go to trial.
    • Years of experience – Experience matters in the legal world.  Look for an attorney or firm that has plenty of experience under their belt.  You don’t want to be your attorney’s first case out of law school!
    • A winning record – Look for a trial lawyer who wins his or her cases.  
    • An extensive network of medical professionals and expert witnesses – A good personal injury lawyer will be able to help you with all aspects of your injury.  This includes helping you get proper medical treatment and seen by the right specialists if needed.
    • Familiarity with the local court rules and procedures – Your attorney needs to be licensed to practice law in the state where you were injured.  He or she should also be familiar with the local court rules and procedures where your lawsuit will be filed.  Every court has its own unique rules.
    • Clean disciplinary record – You can search an attorney’s name with your state bar association and see if they have ever had any complaints filed against them.  In Nevada, you can go to the Nevada State Bar’s website, type in the attorney’s name, and find out if they have had any disciplinary actions filed against them.
    • A good reputation – Check Yelp, Google, and Facebook for reviews.  What do the law firm’s former clients have to say about them?  Do they say that they had trouble reaching their lawyer or that no one returned their calls?  Look for an attorney who has a track record of success and happy, satisfied clients. There are also specific lawyer review websites like Avvo and Martindale that allow you to look up attorneys and see how they are rated by their peers and past clients.

    Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family, and coworkers if they know any good lawyers.  It’s always good to start your search from a personal referral. If a friend or family member had a good experience with an attorney, chances are they will do a good job for you too.

    Your state’s bar association is also a great source for finding the right attorney.  In Nevada, our state bar association’s website has an extensive Lawyer Referral Services section.  Nevada’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service is a free public service of the State Bar of Nevada.  Each year, LRIS refers over 15,000 people to attorneys. The site also offers informative videos on the small claims process with its Understanding Small Claims video series.

    Meet With Your Top Choices

    Once you’ve narrowed down the field, it’s time to speak with and meet with your top choices.  Check out their websites and call them and ask any questions that you may have.

    This is a great time to see how responsive the law firm is.  When you contact the firm, do they get back to you right away?  If you need to speak to an attorney, can you get one on the phone?  Is the firm able to answer all of your questions or get back to you with the answers within a reasonable amount of time?

    Most personal injury firms will offer free initial consultations.  At this consultation, you should come up with a list of questions, prepare your contact information, and bring copies of your important documents.  

    Make sure that you are 100% honest with the attorneys at these consultations.  Anything that you tell the attorney will be protected by the attorney-client relationship.

    For more tips on meeting with a personal injury lawyer for the first time, see our blog: “How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With a Lawyer.”

    Make Your Decision

    Once you’ve decided who is the best personal injury lawyer for you, it’s time to sign an agreement.  Most personal injury lawyers will offer to take your case on a contingency fee basis.

    In a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer will not require an up-front fee.  Instead, he or she will collect his or her fee only after you have won your case or received a favorable settlement.

    The exact amount of the contingency fee will depend on your individual arrangement with the law firm.  The use of contingency fees is governed by your state bar association.

    Contingency fee agreements are typically used in cases where an injured person is seeking compensation for some type of injury, such as a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or medical malpractice case.

    A personal injury lawyer who takes a case on a contingency fee basis will typically receive a different fee based upon how far the case progresses.  If your case is settled outside of court, you will typically pay a lesser percentage than if the attorney has to take your case all the way to trial or through the appeals process.

    Make sure you understand exactly how your attorney’s fees work and feel comfortable paying that amount.

    Once you are 100% sure that you want to go ahead and hire a law firm read a copy of their fee agreement.  Read this document carefully and don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any questions. 

    Once you have read the agreement carefully and are comfortable with all terms, both you and the attorney should sign it.  Make sure that you receive a copy of the signed fee agreement for your records.

    Lawyer and client shaking hands.
    Make sure to read, sign, and get a copy of the fee agreement.

    Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers

    If you or a loved one has been injured by another party, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights.  Our lawyers are experienced at handling all types of personal injury claims.

    If you are looking for a law firm with experienced Personal Injury Lawyers, contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today.  Our phone number is (702) 857-6000. We offer Free Consultations.  Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley.

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