Before venturing out to find the best lawyer to handle your car accident case, you may want to consider whether you really need a lawyer. If you haven’t considered whether you actually need a lawyer, you should read I Had a Car Accident, But Do I Really Need a Lawyer? If you’ve already determined that hiring a lawyer is in your best interest, this article provides some tips on finding the best lawyer for you and your case.
Okay, so you know you need a lawyer, but now you’re worried about being able to find the best one. Yes, finding the right lawyer is important. However, don’t beat yourself up with worry. With a little time, research, and due diligence on your part, you can find not just the right lawyer, but the best lawyer for your car accident case.
First, start with selecting your candidates. You can begin generating a list of lawyers you may want to hire by performing a Google search, paying attention to online or television ads, going through the phonebook, or asking family and friends for recommendations. AlabamaLawyers.org has an online directory of lawyers that you can peruse. You can filter your search for a lawyer on AlabamaLawyers.org by practice area, city, and fee arrangement.
Your second step after generating a list of potentially hirable lawyers will be to research their backgrounds. Your objective is to hire a lawyer who has the right credentials, professionalism, and expertise in the legalities concerning your case. So, at a minimum, you’ll want to find out the lawyer’s educational background, licensure status, professional track record, practice areas, and years of experience. A lawyer’s profile on the AlabamaLawyers.org online directory includes his or her biography, educational background, practice areas, bar admissions, and organization memberships. Most lawyers today have websites that include the same information.
After gathering background information on your candidate-lawyers, the third and perhaps most important step is interviewing the lawyers. During this stage, your goal is to determine whether the lawyer has adequate expertise to handle your case and the personality to meet your communication needs as a client. This is where taking advantage of those free or nominal fee consultations comes into play. Ask the lawyers why they decided to practice in the particular area of law, whether they have ever tried a case, how often they settle cases, what their success rates for both trials and settlements have been, and so on. Know enough to be dangerous. Prepare a few test questions on the law concerning your case. An experienced lawyer should be able to reasonably discuss and explain the law.
To get an idea of what type of attorney-client communication to expect, during your consultation, ask the lawyers how clients are provided with updates on their cases, whether there are other firm employees who are available to answer questions on a daily basis, and whether you can be provided with references from former clients. Pay attention to how you are treated during the consultation as this will likely show you how you can expect to be treated once you officially become a client. Last, but not least, do you feel like you mesh well with the lawyer? What is your gut telling you? When all else fails, listening to your gut will often keep you from making a decision you’ll regret.
If you would like an additional resource for information on finding the right lawyer, consider visiting Findlaw.com’s webpage, Choosing the Right Lawyer, which provides guidance on interview questions to ask a lawyer and other hiring tools. If you have more questions on how to find the best lawyer for you or need another legal question answered, I’m a call away at 833-528-7846 or you can click the link below.