Your mail box, your TV, and your phone book are full of advertising by law firms – all claiming to be the best firm to handle your personal injury or wrongful death claim. In the “old days,” such promotion did not exist as law firms were not legally allowed to advertise their services to injury or wrongful death victims or their families. As a result, clients found their way to a good firm simply by word of mouth from other satisfied clients.
In more recent times, because marketing to injury victims is now allowed, virtually all firms engage in some kind of advertising, whether they want to or not, in order to stay competitive, and make sure that prospective clients are aware of options beyond just those firms who have decided to make the most “noise.” The end result is that prospective clients can become overwhelmed and find it difficult to decide which firm is really the best fit for their particular case. This article is intended to provide some helpful steps for wading through that attorney selection process.
- Ask people you know and respect whether they have a law firm that they trust who has helped them with a similar situation in the past. That way, you have a first-hand reference of who to contact or who to avoid for an initial consultation.
- Review the websites of legal firms you believe might be a good fit. Take a look at the attorney profiles listed and the information about their education and experience level in handling the kind of claim presented. Has the firm been around a long time, often a sure sign of success, or is it new or has it changed names or locations frequently, which can be indicative of instability.
- Give some thought to whether you desire a large firm atmosphere that may have greater resources or whether you prefer the more personalized attention that a smaller firm can often bring. In other words, will your case be handled by one particular attorney or will it be shuffled among many, and does that matter to you? Where an attorney works (large or small firm) is a matter of personal preference, and there can be great and not so great attorneys in both firm environments.
With the information and choices made in steps 1 through 3 you now have a short list of potential personal injury law firms capable of representing you with your claim.
Next month Personal Injury Attorney Jean J.Brown will continue her discussion, in Part 2 of Selecting the Right Attorney for Your Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case. Jean will provide insights regarding how to gauge prospective attorneys, including identifying key qualities and potential limitations, plus information regarding retainer agreements, contingency fees and out-of-pocket-costs.