Frequently, when you need an attorney, you are in the middle of a very stressful situation. This is certainly the case for injury victims and their family members. As a result, it is important to pick the right lawyer. One who will manage your case properly; not add to the difficulties you are experiencing. When you begin your search for a personal injury lawyer, it is critical to make sure you find the right law firm, and team, to help you get the best results possible in your case. Here are some of the steps you can take to make sure you find the right lawyer for you.
Identify the type of case
There are many types of legal issues, and therefore many types of attorneys. If you were hurt in a car accident, you want a lawyer experienced in car crash lawsuits. If you were hurt by a doctor, you need a medical malpractice lawyer. On the other hand, if you need a will, you want an estate lawyer, and if you are considering divorce, you need a family law attorney.
At Lowenthal & Abrams, we handle:
- Personal injury cases
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Social Security disability
Identify the location
In the United States, unless the case is federal in nature (most aren’t), you need an attorney who is licensed in the state where you need assistance. This means that if your car accident was in Pennsylvania, you need a Pennsylvania car crash lawyer. Even if you live in Tennessee, if the accident happened in Pennsylvania, you will need to file your case in Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania law will apply.
We have offices in:
- New Jersey
- New York
Our lawyers are licensed in various other states as well.
Research lawyers and firms
There are a number of ways to find attorneys. The first and best way is to talk with your family members, friends, and colleagues. Find out who they used for their legal matters. Failing this, look around online, see if you can find a firm that looks appealing to you. Also consider looking on sites such as Avvo. Some firms take the time to answer questions on Avvo, and this can give you a sense of what kind of people work at that firm. Look at the firm’s website. Does it contain useful content and suggest the law firm is professional? Or is it full of errors and suggest that the firm isn’t paying attention to detail? Lawyers need to be detail oriented, and if they show a sloppy face to the world, it makes one wonder what they are like behind closed doors.
Once you find a couple of firms that look interesting, contact the firm and ask some questions.
Make sure the lawyer is experienced in your kind of case
When you are hurt, you want to make certain that you hire a lawyer that has experience in your specific type of case. For example, if your baby was hurt during delivery, you don’t want any personal injury lawyer. You want one who is actually experienced in birth injury cases. Similarly, if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, you don’t want to hire an attorney who only has experience in minor injuries.
When you are first speaking with the firm, ask questions about how much experience it has handling your specific type of case. You also want a firm which focuses on the right kind of law for your claim. Lawyers who focus their practice in certain areas tend to be more knowledgeable and experienced than attorneys who engage in “general practice of law.” Law is simply too complex these days to retain counsel which does not focus.
Do you feel comfortable with the firm and the lawyer(s)?
It is critical that you feel comfortable with the law firm which is representing you. You are putting your lawsuit in the hands of the law firm you choose. You want to make sure that the firm is one that you feel you can trust. One you know is ethical, known for litigating cases, and known for fighting for their clients. Research the firm, do what you can to find out its reputation as well as the reputation of the lawyers who work for it. Don’t be afraid to look the lawyer up on the Disciplinary Board’s website. If the lawyer has received any kind of public censure, it will show up there.
Does the firm have the resources to handle your case?
Sometimes we hear about firms doing a bait and switch. They promise to cover expenses and then turn around and ask for money from the client. This often happens in firms that didn’t truly understand the costs involved in bringing your suit, or simply don’t have the money to cover the costs without assistance. You need a firm that isn’t going to turn around and ask for money in the middle of your case.
Did the firm offer you a fee agreement?
Law firms should provide you with a fee agreement. These fee agreements should be in plain English and the lawyer should be willing to answer any questions about the agreement. In personal injury cases, lawyers will often have you sign a contingency fee agreement. This agreement means that the firm fronts all expenses for you so you do not need to have any money up front to bring your case.
Choosing the right law firm is important. You want to make certain you can trust the firm and lawyer you choose, that they are experienced in the kind of law in which you need help, and that they will stand by your side throughout your case.
Here at Lowenthal & Abrams, we represent injury victims. We have been doing so for over forty years. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, please reach out to us today. There is no fee for a consultation, and no obligation to retain us after we talk.