How Do You Choose a Lawyer? Can You Do It by Looking at an Ad?

How do you choose the Right Lawyer For Your Car Accident Case?

Choose a lawyer the same way you would do anything else.  Do your research.  Ask prospective lawyers about their practice.  Ask them about their experience, and what they normally find in cases such as yours.  Ask them about their staff.  Ask them how your case will be handled.  Does the firm have more than one paralegal?  Will there be a paralegal who will be focused solely on your case, or do they share files?  Does the lawyer return telephone calls on a regular basis?  Get the details about your lawyer before you hire him or her.  If it takes a few days or weeks to choose the right lawyer, it’s okay.  Just make sure you are getting the medical care you need while the case is going on.  Can the lawyer provide testimonials from former satisfied clients?  Is there anything about the lawyer on the Internet?  Does the lawyer have malpractice insurance?  These are all relevant questions you ought to know.

It is very difficult to tell one lawyer from another just by looking at Yellow Pages ads.  When I bought a house, I looked at many different houses; when I buy a car, I look at more than one car.  I would caution you against hastily calling a lawyer whose name you got out of the phone book.  At least take the time to talk to the lawyer, and find out about who he or she is prior to hiring him or her for your case.

I would caution you that trying to settle your first injury case is similar to buying your first car.  When most 18-year-olds go to buy their first car, especially a used car, they don’t go alone.  They call their dad or mom or an older friend to go with them and negotiate.  They check online to see what the car is worth.  This is how they don’t get taken for a scam.  Your case is similar.  Unless you have experience in this area, you are likely to make a mistake.

Can you settle your case without a lawyer?  Sure you can. Should you?  That is a different question entirely. If you consult with a fair, experienced, and ethical lawyer, he will tell you whether you need his help.  I have talked to some prospective clients, reviewed their cases, and after explaining all of the options, told them that I recommended that they not hire me and handle their cases on their own. The difference is that these people made an informed decision with advice from a lawyer.