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How to Choose Which Type of Personal Injury Lawyer You Need

By
Daisy Rogozinsky
/
May 22, 2022
Last reviewed by
Boruch Burnham, Esq.
/
April 2, 2023

If you’ve been injured by somebody else and want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you may wonder how you can choose the right lawyer who will be able to help you receive the fairest payout for the losses you’ve suffered. In this article, we’ll offer a comprehensive guide to the steps that you can take to pick the best lawyer to represent you in your personal injury case.

1. Familiarize yourself with the different types of personal injury practice areas

Depending on the nature of your injuries and surrounding circumstances, you may want to take into consideration the different types of personal injury law that attorneys practice. Some lawyers specialize in or focus their practice on specific types of accidents and negligence. If you can find an attorney who specializes in or focuses on incidents like yours, they may be the most qualified to help you with your particular case. Some practice areas lawyers may focus on include injuries arising from:

  • Vehicular accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Recreational accidents, such as accidents that occur during activities like boating and water skiing 
  • Injuries arising from neglect or abuse at nursing homes and assisted living facilities
  • Construction accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective products
  • Dog bites

Note that most lawyers and law practices do not focus on any single type of personal injury and will practice in multiple areas.

2. Discover what cases the lawyer has worked on in the past 

Regardless of whether you’re looking at lawyers who focus on a particular type of case or those who have a broader focus, it’s important to try and determine whether the lawyer(s) you are considering have previously worked on and prevailed in cases similar to yours, so that you can gauge the likelihood of them achieving a favorable outcome in your case.

3. Read reviews and testimonials

Another important step in choosing the right personal injury lawyer is hearing from their prior clients to find out how satisfied they are. You can most likely find reviews and testimonials on the legal firm's website. You may also wish to conduct additional research beyond this. This can include independently approaching former clients of the lawyers you are considering retaining to inquire about their experiences, as well as searching for online reviews. Another alternative is to speak with friends and acquaintances who have pursued personal injury claims and ask if they would recommend the lawyer who they worked with. 

4. Review the lawyer’s credentials

Before you decide to work with any particular lawyer, it’s important to confirm that they have all of the necessary certifications and licenses for your jurisdiction. You should be able to confirm whether a lawyer is currently licensed in your jurisdiction by checking with the bar association or regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the practice of law in your state. Something else you should be aware of is that the rules of ethics regulating attorney practices and advertisements prohibit attorneys from advertising that they “specialize” in a given area of law unless they have some sort of additional certification in that area. Therefore, if an attorney advertises that they specialize in personal injury law, you should inquire if they have any sort of certification or accreditation from an organization approved by the state bar or the American Bar Association to ensure that their claim of specialization is legitimate.

5. Find out about the firm’s size, availability, and experience

Another factor worth considering is whether you want to retain a solo practitioner or work with a firm. If you decide to work with a firm, the size of the firm can also be a significant factor. You may prefer working with a larger firm because they often have more resources and can afford to have entire departments that focus on a particular practice area. On the other hand, smaller firms and solo practitioners may be able to give you more individualized attention. 

6. Conduct initial consultations 

Once you’ve considered all these factors, perhaps the most important way to determine the right fit for you is by consulting with the lawyers you have considered. This is a crucial step for a few reasons. First, law offices will be able to help you determine whether or not your case is a fit for what they do, and if not, they will likely be able to refer you to a lawyer or firm that is better suited to the circumstances of your case.

Secondly, speaking to lawyers themselves is incredibly important because how a lawyer communicates with you can make a big difference in your comfort level with them. You’ll most likely want to work with a lawyer who is respectful, communicative, and transparent with you. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you want during your consultation that will help you decide whether you want to work with a particular attorney.

And, finally, this step will help you confirm that the lawyer you are interested in is willing to take on your case. If they believe that your chances of prevailing on your claim are low or the damages you’ll receive are not worth the time and resources they will have to devote to it, they will likely decline to take on your case. 

If they do agree to take your case on, congratulations! You’ve selected an attorney, and you can get started working on your personal injury case. If not, don’t be discouraged. Finding the right lawyer to take on your personal injury case can be an involved process, but it’s worth it to help increase the chances of you getting the outcome you want.

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