When you have a personal injury claim, it is usually in your best interests to seek legal representation to get the best possible outcome for your case. But how do you find the right lawyer? There are thousands of attorneys in Phoenix practicing in all areas of the law, but they won’t all have the expertise you need. Doing your homework can make a huge difference for your case. If you’re one of the many people who don’t have experience in seeking out an attorney, follow these tips to get started.
Reach out to your family and friends. If you know someone who has had a personal injury case, they may be able to recommend an attorney. Similarly, if you know any lawyers, ask if they can give you the names of personal injury attorneys they know. Lawyers very commonly refer clients to one another, because the practice of law is highly specialized. You can also consult local referral services, but be aware that many referral services do not prescreen attorneys beyond making sure they are licensed to practice, or only list attorneys who pay to be listed. Be sure in every case that the attorneys and firms who are recommended to you specialize in personal injury law—this is easy to check by consulting the attorney’s website or a quick call to their office.
Narrowing Your List
Once you’ve established a list of potential candidates, start checking some more detailed information. All of the attorneys on your list should be in good standing with the bar association, which you can find out by searching the State Bar of Arizona website. Ideally, they should also specialize not just in personal injury law, but in the exact area of law that pertains to your case—if you have a medical malpractice case, you probably don’t want to hire someone whose experience is solely in products liability cases. In addition, you’ll want to look for a lawyer who represents plaintiffs (those making the claims) rather than someone who has specialized in defense work.
Once you have your list down to the final three or four candidates, make appointments to meet each of them to discuss your case. An initial consultation should be free; most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay legal fees up front. Instead, your lawyer is paid with a percentage of the settlement or judgment amount they obtain in your case. If a lawyer demands a fee just to discuss your case, look elsewhere.
During this initial consultation, make sure you are comfortable not just with the lawyer you’re considering hiring, but with overall professionalism and courtesy of the staff and any other associates you may be working with. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good personality fit. You want to be confident that your lawyer is handling your claim exactly the way you want it to be handled, and that they won’t hesitate to act assertively on your behalf, whether in settlement negotiations or in court. Make sure you understand the terms of the proposed fee structure and that you know what expenses will be your responsibility during the legal process. By the time you have interviewed all of your short list candidates, you will probably have determined the best attorney for your case.
We look forward to putting our firm’s expertise to work for you. For a free consultation with the experienced personal injury attorneys of Hodes, Milman & Liebeck, contact us online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976.