I often say that lawyers are a lot like car mechanics. Some say they know what they are doing when they don’t, and then some really know what they are doing. In either situation, you don’t want to have someone do your work when they are not experienced in the right field. You don’t want a Jeep mechanic working on your Mustang, and you don’t want a general practitioner working on your personal injury case.
When you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, I suggest you look at the firm’s website. Find out how long the lawyer has been practicing. Practicing a long time is no guarantee of quality, but it is a component of quality. See if the lawyer is a member of state and national trial lawyer groups. These groups consist of lawyers involved and committed to the representation of injured people. Here you will find your best attorneys. The South Carolina Association for Justice and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice both consist of attorneys who represent injured people. Membership of this group is critical.
Consider How Long The Law Firm Has Been In Your Area
The lawyers and staff of Grimes Teich Anderson are longtime residents of Asheville and Greenville. We are part of the community. We live in the area, send our kids to the local schools and know the people. Many law firms that advertise on TV are really based in Charleston or Columbia or even out-of-state. Find out where your lawyer lives and works.
Never be afraid to ask a lawyer how they get paid. Whether it is by the hour or a contingency fee, it is always a fair question to ask how the lawyer gets paid and what other cost or associated with representation. On our personal injury cases, we charge a percentage of what you recovered and also charge for out-of-pocket expenses like medical records, filing fees. A good lawyer will explain the fee clearly, and also let the client know if it makes financial sense to hire the lawyer.
Ask about the role of staff in handling the case. How involved will the lawyer be? What duties does he or she delegate to staff? Who are the staff and how experienced are they? Delegating to staff to perform certain functions in preparing the case is not necessarily a bad thing, and often it is a sign of a successful law firm.
Interview Your Lawyer
We offer a free consultation. It’s common among many personal injury law firms. Some special cases like employment law require a consultation fee, but for injury cases, we do not. Ask the hard questions and find out how the bills will be paid while you recover, how long the case will take and his or her expectation as to value. It is often very difficult to determine value on the front end of representation, but the lawyer should be able to give you some expectations based on the severity of your injury.
Ask your friends. Good law firms have good reputations. If you have a serious legal issue, ask co-workers, family, friends and other people you know. Do your research and take advantage of the free consultation to find the lawyer that is right for you. Finding the right lawyer early in the case often spells success at the end of the case.