Finding the Best Personal Injury Attorney

Every major US city has many personal injury law firms, and Cincinnati is no exception. What can you do to make sure you are selecting the right attorney?

Confirm that their firm has worked on cases similar to yours

gavelIn law, particularly in trial law, you want to find a specialist, not a generalist. You want to select a firm that specifically focuses on personal injury law, rather than a big law firm with its fingers in a myriad of legal pies. You need that focus and personal attention to address the needs of your personal injury case.

That said, not all personal injury law firms have worked on the same types of injuries. If you were injured in a forklift accident in a warehouse, you want to make sure that attorney has not spent his or her entire career on traffic-accident cases.

If the circumstances of your own injury case are particularly unusual, you may want to search your local newspaper’s archives. There may be specific local cases that dealt with similar issues or situations. Newspaper reporting on court outcomes may list the specific attorney who represented the injured party in such cases.

There are enough qualified personal injury attorneys working to ensure that you should find a suitable match. Many firms will have experience with situations directly comparable to the details of your injury and your case.

Talk to the attorney about past cases

Just like hiring a plumber or an electrician, you want to meet the person. When this lawyer worked on comparable cases, what happened? What was the outcome of those cases? How were those situations different? How did the employers respond in the legal system? Were court appearances required? Did they settle out of court?

Hearing the attorney discuss previous cases, you will likely hear some of their legal strategy. You will also hear some of the extenuating circumstances affecting that particular case, and how it may have altered the legal approach. Did their strategy make sense to you? Did it pay off in a victory for the client?

If you have any issues with how this attorney dealt with previous cases, it is best to find out now, before you enter into an attorney-client relationship with them. If a previous case resulted in an outcome you find questionable, as a result of a move the attorney made, you do not want that outcome happening to you.

This interview can also give you a sense of the attorney’s personality and style. Does their manner put you at ease? Do you find them approachable? An attorney may opt to use humor to reduce tension and make the process more relaxed — but do you like that?

Talk about the money

It is common for a personal injury attorney to work on contingency. Yes, even the best lawyers in their field will still work in this manner. It means that they will not get paid unless you win your case. You want to ask the percentage they would take of your award settlement. You also want to find out how they charge you for any other legal fees. Find out the actual percentage number. If they charge hourly rates instead, you should know that in advance.

Look closely at the paperwork

If you accept their legal services, you will sign a document to begin their work with you. When you do that, you are entering into a contract. This is nothing to be afraid of, but you should take your time and make sure you understand the agreement.

Be sure to read that paperwork fully. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Nobody will think you are stupid for asking a question. (And if the attorney makes you feel stupid for asking it, choose a different attorney.)

Talking with the attorney about the contract will help provide a sense of the attorney’s style of communication with his clients. If you find the conversation easy to have, and that the attorney is supportive of your questions, it is an encouraging sign that you two can speak freely and easily.

Read all of it, and make sure you understand that paperwork fully. Remember that you are in control of the situation. You should only sign paperwork with which you feel completely comfortable, and only when all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Contact Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

If you are in need of assistance or have questions about a case, please contact our downtown Cincinnati law firm today to discuss your situation.