At some point in your life, you may be forced to hire a personal injury lawyer. Most of us don’t like this idea. We obviously don’t want to be hurt, and we don’t want to go through the complexities of filing a lawsuit, but this may be your only option for getting the compensation you deserve after a serious injury as a result of someone else’s neglect.

Your choice of personal injury lawyer can have a massive impact on your potential success and ultimate payoff, so it’s an important decision you need to take seriously. But what steps can you take to end up with a better lawyer?

Why Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer Is Important

Your personal injury lawyer will affect you in several ways:

  •         Case complexity. A good lawyer can make a complex case seem simple or a simple case seem complex. Good lawyers are good communicators who can help you make sense of a complicated situation; they can also weed out irrelevant information and focus on what matters most, while helping you concentrate on the most impactful decisions you can make.
  •         Success results. It should go without saying that a better personal injury lawyer will almost guarantee you better chances of success. They’ll fight harder, use better strategies, and ultimately make it easier to win.
  •         Potential payout. In a personal injury case, you have to think about more than just winning or losing. You have to consider the potential payout. And a good lawyer will work with you to get the biggest possible payout, whether it’s pushing for a larger settlement or moving to a full trial.
  •         Overall experience. The subject experience of working with a personal injury lawyer also matters. A good lawyer who’s a good fit for you, personally, will communicate with you openly, express sympathy, and make you feel more comfortable with the entire situation.

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

What strategies can you use to choose the right personal injury lawyer for your case?

  1.       Talk to a few lawyers. First, make sure you talk to several lawyers, if possible. Many plaintiffs go with the first lawyer they speak with because they don’t want to go through multiple conversations and discovery sessions. However, most personal injury lawyers offer initial consultations for free, so it’s a good idea to talk to a few different people before making your final decision.
  2.       Pay attention to areas of specialty. Some lawyers specialize in concentrated areas. They may have previous experience with cases like yours. It’s generally better to work with someone who has specific experience in this area, rather than a generalist who may be encountering a case like this for the first time.
  3.       Examine their success rate. Your lawyer should be open about their rate of success. How often do they win personal injury cases? What’s the average value of the settlement their clients receive? This isn’t the only factor worth considering when evaluating the skill or aptitude of a lawyer, but it can help you make an educated decision.
  4.       Read reviews and testimonials. What have the experiences of other clients been like? Do people tend to leave 5-star reviews on every available review channel? Are there glowing testimonials that praise this lawyer? If there are any bad reviews for this lawyer, what do they have to say about this person? Is it an acceptable weakness?
  5.       Ask lots of questions. When talking to a personal injury lawyer for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Learn more about your specific case and about personal injury law in general. Ask about their past experience and their current sentiments about your case. It’s the only way to get a clearer picture of who this person is and how they can help you.
  6.       Get a feel for their strategy. You might not get far in an initial consultation but listen to this lawyer’s strategic recommendations. Are they going to try and settle out of court as quickly and cleanly as possible? Do they think it’s worth fighting a long battle over this?
  7.       Trust your feelings. Finally, trust your feelings. If this person is easy to communicate with, if they seem transparent and honest, if they express sympathy and seem to understand you, and if they seem like a true authority on the subject, then consider moving forward.

It’s true that some lawyers are better than others, with better credentials, more experience, and more robust practical skills. But determining the right lawyer for you isn’t always a matter of rooting out the “best.” Consider experience and skill, but also the fit and personal connection with you and your case. You’ll end up with a much better experience overall.