Disaster can strike in an instant, but the aftermath can last a lifetime. Catastrophic accidents often leave victims and their families reeling from the physical, emotional and financial fallout, confused about where to turn for help.
Type “personal injury lawyer” into Google and you’ll get plenty of results. But if you or someone you know has been seriously injured in an accident, don’t let the Internet’s search algorithms determine who helps you at this crucial moment in your recovery.
Here’s what to look for in a personal injury lawyer.
Nothing can replace experience—the best personal injury lawyers understand this and therefore wear their professional history on their sleeves. Go beyond what’s displayed on their site or in Google reviews and ask about previous settlements and verdicts. Specifically, ask how many million dollar settlements they’ve had.
You want a representative who is skilled at negotiations and able to fetch the highest settlement, but what’s just as important is their ability in the courtroom. With large claims, insurance companies can and will employ aggressive statistics in the courts, especially with a lawyer who has an unproven record of cases. Similarly, some lawyers will encourage their clients to settle for less than is fair simply to avoid going to court. Ensure that your personal injury lawyer has the courtroom experience should you need to rely on it.
An expert can help you navigate the murky waters of personal injury law, but there’s much, much more to recovery than the legalities. Often, personal injury lawyers and their teams don’t have the time or resources to be there to help with all of it. Catastrophic accidents change families forever and make the simplest processes difficult—the paperwork alone can be enough to overwhelm. Look for an experienced lawyer that has a dedicated and compassionate client relations team to help with everything from filling out legal and medical forms, to managing a calendar of specialist appointments.
An open and honest relationship between client and lawyer is essential. This starts with the very first conversation. Get on the phone with their offices and ask questions; interview them as you would if you were hiring them for a job. Ask for client testimonials or if they have any clients who’d be willing to speak to you about their experience. A good lawyer will have plenty of clients willing to sing their praises.
Personal Injury Specialization
Look for a lawyer who specializes in or practices exclusively in personal injury law. Your brother-in-law may be a stand up guy and a heck of a corporate lawyer, but he isn’t going to be able to help you if you’re grievously injured and fighting a stubborn insurance company for a settlement. Personal injury law is complex and the navigation of its cases is best left to those who have dedicated their careers to it.