After an accident or injury, it's important to choose a personal injury attorney that's a good fit for you. At first glance, one personal injury law firm may look as good as the next, but law firms are very different. Here are a few tips to make sure you choose the right firm for your specific situation.
What Is a Personal Injury Law Firm?
Different types of attorneys specialize in different types of cases. A personal injury law firm is a law firm that specializes in cases involving personal injury. A top-notch firm will have a strong track record of success in similar cases.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Personal Injury Law Firm Attorneys
You want to find a firm that is successful, experienced, and that others recommend.
Success Rate: What's it Mean?
It can be very difficult to find clear success rate data for attorneys. Trial wins are countable, but most cases settle out of court. Whether a settlement is a "win" or not can depend on a lot of factors. For instance, plaintiffs may receive compensation for their claims in a settlement, but find the amount they received to be less than what they'd hoped for or needed. Look for trial wins, settlement rates and, if possible, what percentage of the sought sum clients actually receive.
Trial Experience: How Much is Enough?
You need an attorney or firm who can and will take your case to court if necessary. An attorney with experience with cases similar to yours is even better. Ask about their case history when you interview them. An attorney who always settles and has little trial experience may be taking sub-par settlements. While settling is often preferable to going to trial, you need to know your legal team is prepared to do what it takes to meet your needs. When it comes to trial experience in a personal injury attorney, the more the better. Trial experience is extremely important for a number of reasons; even if you don’t want to go to trial, having an attorney with trial experience is a great benefit for your case.
Client Reviews: What Are Other People Saying?
For background on a personal injury attorney, your state’s bar association website is a great resource. They will keep a list of all licensed attorneys and important information about each. You can also see if a lawyer has had any sanctions or disciplinary action taken against them.
Next turn to review websites. Yes, look at Yelp and Google, but also look at specialized attorney review websites-there are many.
Referrals: Do Others Reccommend?
Talk with your friends, family, and neighbors, about attorneys they have worked with in the past. Questions to ask include: Did your lawyer listen to you? How helpful were they? Are you satisfied with the outcome? What did you think about the negotiation experience? How was the trial? Receiving guidance from someone you trust can significantly ease the attorney selection process. Of course, weigh any recommendations against the above factors as well, but many times nothing means more than a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member.
Lawyers vs. Attorneys: What's the Difference?
People use the words "attorney" and "lawyer" interchangeably. Most lawyers are attorneys, but the slight differences between them can matter. A lawyer is a person who has studied the law in law school and can give advice and information about it to others.
An attorney represents another person, often in court. An attorney has passed the requirements to serve at the bar (by state rules) and has taken an oath. An attorney-at-law represents people in court. An attorney-in-fact, however, is rarely a lawyer.
Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm Lawyers and Attorneys
Experience definitely counts. In the practice of law, different skills can be split and practiced by different people at the same firm. Sometimes, a law firm will have trial specialists who are excellent in court and different attorneys who are more well suited for negotiations and settlements.
Types of Cases a Law Firm Should Take
Each personal injury case is unique. Injury cases are grouped by the way that the law treats them. Here are common types of cases handled by most personal injury attorneys.
Personal injury cases, also called torts, include a wide range of bodily and psychological harms that can occur through negligence or malice.
Motor or Aviation Accidents
Automobile accidents make up a large number of personal injury cases. Within this specialty, some lawyers focus on motorcycle, truck, plane, or boat accidents. You want to work with an attorney who has a positive track-record with cases like yours.
Slip and Fall
If you’ve been injured as a result of a fall, proving that the property owner is at fault can be difficult. Oftentimes, fault can be shared. Certain attorneys specialize in cases involving slip and falls.
Product liability cases are a unique type of case. These cases involve strict liability and all you need to prove is that you were damaged/hurt by the product. Reputable attorneys who specialize in product liability cases are usually well versed in manufacturing and safety regulation.
If injuries result in death, the claim moves to another specialty — wrongful death. This is a broad category that can include negligence, medical malpractice, and/or murder.
Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Law Firm: What Else to Look For?
You want to work with a professional law firm. Awards and certifications along with peer and client reviews can be good indicators.
Degree of Colleague Recognition: What Do Colleagues Say?
What other attorneys say can give you a different view than what clients say. If peers at the local bar association give your attorney an award for skill or service, this can be a solid indicator that you’re on the right track.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm
A reputable personal injury law firm will have experience in the type of personal injury you have experienced. Their clients and peers will speak well of them, and their successes will create a notable track record.
Contact Us For a Free Initial Consultation
In almost all the types of cases that we handle, contingent-fee representation is available. This means that we only get paid if and when you do. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to you for an initial consultation; we are here to help you.
Call our office at 303-991-2233 or use our online contact form to get in touch with us today.
What Our Clients
My car accident left me shattered, physically and mentally. Stuart’s offer of help came soon after I was released from intensive care, and he’s been on my side since. When you’re involved in a big accident, there are so many things you need to concentrate on, and it’s been a great comfort to know I don’t need to spend untold hours dealing with insurance companies or hospital billing departments. Thanks Stuart!Mann & Maximon Client
Josh has represented me on numerous occasions over the past 9 years. He is a fearless, tireless, and focused representative. I add integrity and fairness to the recipe and I feel I have the best legal representation in Colorado. Trust in your attorney is key to believing you are getting the best possible legal representation… Josh has all of my trust.Mann & Maximon Client
After my auto accident, I had to have my hip replaced. The insurance company said that my need for a hip replacement was not accident related. Stuart believed in me and my case and we were able to obtain the maximum amount available. His hard work helped change my life.Mann & Maximon Client