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How to Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

25th February 2010
By Jason Lundberg in Accident claims
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How to hire a personal injury attorney.

In every city and every state there are many, many personal injury attorneys. How do you know you are going to retain someone who may best represent you?

There are many attorneys who will do whatever they can just to sign a client. Just because an attorney has the ability to sympathize with you does not mean that that attorney will be the best representative for you.

Be aware of the attorney who makes false promises.

There is generally no adequate way an attorney may predict the outcome of any single personal injury case, especially when a the personal injury case is in its infancy. A lot of people will contact an attorney shortly following an accident and one of the first questions they want answered is "how much is my claim worth?"

Some attorneys will answer this question with a number they think may make you happy, but beware. These attorneys may not know how much your medical bills are, what your lost wages will be, the scope of your injury or whether or not you may have a permanent injury. An attorney who assigns a dollar amount to a case without having any of this information is not telling you the truth and is simply making an uneducated guess.

Ask your attorney about their courtroom experience.

There are personal injury attorneys who are not trial attorneys, meaning some attorneys who practice personal injury never had a trial.

Ask your attorney about their trial experience. For personal injury attorneys, trial experience matters. Many insurance companies are aware if an attorney has been to trial or not. Any attorney may threaten to take the parties to court and all the way to trial. However, if your attorney does not have trial experience, then it is simply an empty threat that in many cases will be brushed aside by the opposing parties.
The importance of having a trial lawyer can make all the difference to your case.

Meet with the attorneys.

Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation. As a potential client, you should take advantage of the consultation. It does not cost you anything but your time. During this meeting you can ask as many questions of your attorney as you like. Here you can learn if she or he has any trial experience or whether they have been subject to any disciplinary matters with the State Bar in the jurisdiction where they practice.

Remember just because you meet with the attorney does not mean that you are under any obligation to hire that individual. Just consider an interview for the position.
Make sure the attorney is licensed to practice in the state where your personal injury occurred.

I live and practice law in California. I have gotten telephone calls from clients who have lived in California but were injured in another jurisdiction. I never take those cases because I do not believe that I could adequately represent someone in that situation.

It is not because I would not advocate for them. It is because I do not believe that I would be an effective advocate. While there are many laws and legal theories that are constant, the finer points may be different from state to state. Beware of the attorney who will accept such a claim and ask yourself if they will be able to adequately represent you.

Determine who will actually be handling your case
In many personal injury law firms, you may meet with the individual who has his name on the door. However, that does not mean that he or she will be the attorney assigned to your matter. In the initial stages of your case, an attorney may not even be handling your matter; it may be passed to a legal assistant or a paralegal.

Ask who will be handling your case and ask to meet that person yourself.

Determine how effective of a communicator your attorney is.
In your initial meeting you must gage how effective your personal injury attorney is at communicating. One of the biggest client complaints is the lack of communication from their attorney. Does the attorney speak in terms you understand? Do you think he or she is talking down to you? How quick was someone from the office to get back to you if you left a message?

This is very important as at the initial meeting the attorney may be on his or her best behavior. If they are arrogant or condescending to you at that point, what will happen at a later date? Make sure that the attorney you do hire is an effective communicator.

These tips can be used to help you find a personal injury attorney who properly and zealously advocate for you.

For more information visit Allegiance Law The San Francisco Personal Injury Attorneys.
This article is free for republishing
About the Author
Occupation: Attorney
Jason Lundberg primarily represents clients in personal injury matters and employment law and California Labor Code violations. He takes pleasure in helping his clients maneuver through, what sometimes could be considered, a
confusing and overwhelming legal system. “One of the most satisfying days I can have is a day where I can see justice served for one of my clients,” says Jason.

Allegiance Law offers free legal advice for your injury claims. Get free legal advice from our Injury Lawyers today. Content by Jason Lundberg
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