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When you’re involved in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you can seek damages or compensation for your financial losses. This process starts with hiring a personal injury attorney, and that can be a complex undertaking in itself. You’ll want to make sure you hire the most capable lawyer for handling the case you’re pursuing.
Ask People in Your Community for Recommendations
You can start searching for a personal injury lawyer by asking your friends, co-workers, and relatives about their experiences. Find out if anyone you know has had to pursue a personal injury claim and ask them which attorneys they hired. You might be surprised to find that some of the people in your network have had to pursue this type of legal dispute. You can rely on their experiences to help you develop a list of attorneys to consider hiring. You’ll also find out about lawyers in your community that you might not want to consider hiring. If you don’t know many people who have pursued personal injury claims, ask your social media followers. Just be sure to stress that you’re looking for lawyers in your geographic area. Ideally, you should generate a list of 10 or more lawyers to consider. From there, you can follow additional steps to evaluate the attorneys and shorten your list.
Look for Specialized Experience
Although most people think of auto accidents when they think of personal injury claims, there are many more types of accidents in which this type of claim becomes necessary. If you’re injured as the result of a slip and fall, defective product, or medical malpractice, you will probably need to seek damages through this legal process. In doing so, be sure your lawyer has the specific type of personal injury experience that will apply to your case. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, in Gloversville, New York, Gloversville lawyers at Belluck & Fox LLP may be able to provide free legal resources. Looking for a lawyer with specialized experience can help improve your chances for a better outcome in settlement negotiations or via a civil lawsuit.
Check Past Client Reviews
Now that you have narrowed your list of choices down to those with the specific experience you need, you can concentrate on the skills and reputation of each lawyer. Start by looking for online reviews for each attorney. You can check individual attorney websites, but be aware that an attorney is unlikely to publicly post less favorable reviews. You’ll get a more unbiased sample of client reviews by going to third-party websites, such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google searches. You can also read comments and replies on each law firm’s social media posts for a broader range of opinions.
Research Each Attorney’s Professional History
Another way to narrow your search for personal injury lawyers is to check professional legal websites. One great source to consult is the website for the New York State Bar Association. By contacting the state’s bar association, you can learn about disciplinary action that has been taken against a specific attorney. This can include license suspensions and legal malpractice claims filed by past clients. You can also inquire about any awards and positive recognition the attorney has received. Find out if an attorney belongs to other professional associations and consult those websites as well. Peer reviews carry more weight than client reviews so try to find out what the attorney’s colleagues say about them.
Schedule Initial Consultations
By this time, you should have narrowed your choice down to two or three attorneys. Since an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer is free of charge, you can consult with each of them. During the interview, try to evaluate their knowledge, demeanor, and communication skills. Ask about their average workload versus the current number of cases they’re handling. You can measure an attorney’s success rate by asking how many times they have settled a case or obtained favorable lawsuit outcomes. Pay attention to your instincts. If you don’t feel a connection with an attorney, they may not be the right person to handle your case. You’ll have to share personal and private details with the lawyer you hire, so you should feel as though you can trust them.
Taking the time to go through this process will help you hire the best attorney for your case. Since your financial future is at stake, you’ll want to hire a lawyer with the experience and legal knowledge necessary for proving your claim. This requires an evaluation process that should never be rushed.