A personal injury lawyer can be your best line of defense if you suffered injuries due to the willful ignorance, incompetence, clumsiness, or disregard of another individual – but how should you choose between the wide array of accident attorneys? The following five tips can help you make a well-thought-out, rewarding decision about who might be the best attorney for you:
- Make a list of possibilities
- Research each law firm you are considering
- Take advantage of free consultations
- Ask important questions
- Consider your unique needs
Make a List of Possibilities
You can begin by searching online for a list of personal injury lawyers near you. In Lafayette alone, there are hundreds of lawyers who represent clients after car accidents, falls, and other injury incidents.
For example, you can search “Lafayette personal injury lawyer” to get started. The website for each firm should include the basic information you need, such as the following:
- The location of the practice
- The type of attorney (A real estate lawyer will likely not have the necessary knowledge of personal injury law or negotiations with insurance companies you seek.)
- The focus of the practice (If you were injured in a car crash, you will want a car accident lawyer as opposed to an attorney who specializes in defective products.)
- Reviews of testimonials from previous clients
- Other information about their practice and approach
Not everyone is comfortable combing through a lot of information online. Alternatives to beginning with a web search include asking friends and family or soliciting recommendations on social media.
Either way, the goal is to make a list of two to 10 possibilities you can investigate further.
Do Your Research About Each Law Firm on Your List
Once you have your initial list, it is time to start filtering them down to the ones that best fit your needs using these steps:
- Search Google for reviews to identify the lawyer with the most positive reviews and strongest reputation.
- Revisit websites to determine if each practice has significant experience in their specific field and focus – as an auto accident lawyer in Lafayette, for example.
- Check your state’s bar website to find out if they have a disciplinary record or formal complaints and transgressions filed against them.
- Search each attorney’s record of settlements and awards. You want a lawyer with a winning record, including both settlement agreements and verdicts.
- Ensure the firm has trial experience in the event your case goes to court.
- Ask around to see if anyone can offer details of their personal experience with any of the firms on your list.
This process should allow you to get to know the firms on your list further. You may be able to eliminate one or more while taking these steps. By the end, you should have a list of fewer than five contenders.
Take Advantage of Firms Providing Free Case Consultations
Most Louisiana personal injury law firms offer free consultations for accident victims. These are discussions with a team member that focus on:
- What happened to you
- Who caused you harm
- When the incident occurred
- Your injuries
- What the firm may be able to do to help you
- Other details about the firm’s services
These consultations are confidential, and there is no obligation to enlist that firm’s help. This makes them a perfect way to get to know a firm better and evaluate if it is a good fit for you. Things you can learn about your case during a free case review include:
- The potential strength of your claim
- The deadline for filing a lawsuit
- How the firm might approach your case
Make Sure You Ask the Important Questions
Before you begin your free case assessments with the firms on your list, it is crucial that you have a list of questions to ask. This will allow you to learn as much as possible about your case and legal options while also evaluating the firm. Some questions to ask include the following:
- What is the statute of limitations for this type of case? In Louisiana, it is usually One year under CC Art. 3492, but there are exceptions
- Have they taken on cases like yours in the past? How often have they gone to trial? What were the outcomes of these cases?
- Will you be working with one attorney or with a team?
- How soon can you expect the case to resolve?
- How do they charge clients? Do they charge an hourly rate or a contingency fee? What percentage should you expect?
- How does the firm communicate with clients?
- What level of involvement will be expected from you as the client? Will they handle everything, or will you need to take a hands-on approach?
Arriving at a Decision About Which Firm to Hire
Once you learn as much as possible about each firm, it is time to make a decision. You may need to follow your intuition if one does not stand out from the rest. Consider:
- How would you judge the demeanor of each attorney?
- Do they seem trustworthy?
- Do they seem dedicated to helping you win the case?
- Do they seem compassionate?
- Do your communication styles agree?
- How do you feel about their fee level?
Finding the best personal injury lawyer in Lafayette may seem like a difficult task. Still, if you follow the above advice, you can narrow down the list to a few qualified and dedicated firms. Then, you can choose who you trust to fight on your behalf.
Talk to a Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Team Member Today for Free
A Louisiana personal injury attorney from our firm may be able to develop a case and help you seek the compensation you need to pay your accident-related bills and cover financial losses. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we have the resources and experience accident victims look for after suffering injuries at someone else’s hand.
Our firm provides free case reviews and handles each case based on contingency. We also have a proven track record of financial recovery outside of court and at trial. Call our Lafayette office today at (337) 777-7777 for your free initial consultation with our team.