Injury attorneys are often a specialized subset of attorneys at large. Injury attorneys are sometimes derided and often satirized in popular culture. While some people may call them “Ambulance Chasers”, reputable injury attorneys are important to help wrongfully injured people receive the compensation they deserve.
Choosing an injury attorney can be difficult. There are many factors that you need to consider, and some factors that you may believe to be important that are not that important. Consider all of the following:
- Specialization - The best injury attorneys are the ones that specialize in injury law specifically. This is not to say that an attorney who focuses on real estate or patent law may not do a good job for you, but it’s far more likely someone with a specialization in injury law is going to provide the best for you.
- Trust - It’s important that you trust your injury attorney to do what’s best for you. If possible look into your past. If you’ve hired an attorney for non-injury work and you trust them, it’s likely they can refer you to a reputable injury attorney. Alternately you can use your own network of family and friends for suggestions and referrals.
- Experience - Experience is an asset in many situations, but not always with injury attorneys. More experienced attorneys may be better and more practiced however there are some tradeoffs. It’s likely they have a heavier caseload and will be unable to provide quite as much personal attention as a younger attorney. It’s possible that once established they may feel comfortable in their practice and not push or risk as much as they once did. A hungry young injury attorney is likely to have more time to spend on your case and with you individually. Potentially this could provide you with a better outcome. Their experience does come down to trust once again as it’s important to get a feel for the attorney and how they will represent you. The most important factor in experience is potentially their trial experience. It’s important that if negotiations fail, your injury attorney be strong at trial.
- Education/Credentials - This is where injury attorneys are certainly different from many other attorneys. Injury law isn’t quite as detailed as many others so just choosing the attorney with the best grades from the best school may not be as useful. The most important trait in an injury attorney is their negotiation abilities. Ideally a strong injury attorney can gain everything an injured client deserves purely through their negotiations.
- Beware Flash - Many attorneys have flashy websites, offices and commercials. It’s important to remember that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good injury attorneys. Offices are aesthetic choices made by the attorneys so they feel comfortable at work. Commercials and websites are meant to display what the attorney wants you to view them as. Rather than judging their public advertising, it’s better to judge some ratings websites and reviews of the attorneys from other clients. These people have individual experience with the injury attorney and can better relate as they have been through similar situations.
Once you’ve chosen to meet with an injury attorney, make sure you judge every aspect of the consultation you have with them. Consultations should be free, with direct contact to your injury attorney and clear paths of communication. Catalogue any red flags or senses of unease with the treatment you receive. Make sure you choose the right person to defend your injury rights!