When clients walk in our door for the first time, they are usually nervous and don’t know what to expect. They may not know if they really need an attorney and most don’t have any idea how to choose the right attorney for them. While it’s important to have an attorney on your side, particularly in more serious personal injury cases, it’s more important to have the right attorney on your side. These cases can be emotional, complex and time-consuming. You want an attorney who will be by your side at each step of the way. Here are 3 tips to consider when choosing your attorney.
1. Experience matters. Many people think all attorneys are the same, but what they don’t realize is that attorneys focus on certain practice areas. Think of it like doctors – you wouldn’t want a pediatrician handling your brain surgery. And you wouldn’t want a brain surgeon as your psychiatrist. While they are all doctors, they have different levels of experience in different types of medicine. Attorneys are the same way – some focus on estate planning, others on car accidents, others on criminal defense. Make sure your attorney is experienced in personal injury in your location. Maryland’s personal injury laws may be much different from North Carolina’s – so consider where the attorney has been practicing, how long, and in what area of the law.
2. Consider personalities. After considering and evaluating the attorney’s experience, you will then want to consider personalities. Does your personality mesh with the attorney’s personality? What about the personalities of the office staff? These are important to consider as well since it’s likely you’ll be in communication with multiple people from the office. Do you feel intimidated or belittled, or do you feel welcomed, understood, and listened to? These cases can take a long time, so you’ll want someone that you can get along with to be on your side. If not, it can make a difficult process even more difficult.
3. Find out how the firm will communicate with you. Law firms are set up different ways. In some, you’ll have contact primarily via letters and emails. Others may communicate more via phone or even texting. Additionally, law firms vary as far as who handles most communications with clients. With some firms, you may hear case updates directly from the attorney; in others, you’ll hear more from the paralegal. If you have a preference regarding the type of communication methods and/or the people you will be talking with, find out up front how that firm handles client communications.
Finding the right attorney can be challenging. These are just a few tips to keep in mind. If you or a loved one are facing a personal injury issue, we’d love to be the right attorney for you. Give us a call today for your free consultation.