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How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Founding Member of Moshes Law, P.C.
During his years of practice, Yuriy has concentrated in litigation and real estate transactions as his areas of expertise.
find a personal injury lawyer

You’re driving along, going about your daily life, when all of a sudden, you see a pair of headlights coming straight for you.  You try to get out of the way, but next thing you know, your life is drastically changed through no fault of your own.  Your life and livelihood are impacted because of an injury accident..  What do you do?  Who do you turn to?  Looking for a personal injury attorney is a start, but how do you find a personal injury lawyer?  To start, fill out a form for a free consultation with one of our team’s qualified personal injury attorneys.  We also have some tips in this article on how to find a good personal injury lawyer.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, set up a FREE consultation today.

When Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

There are a lot of things to consider after a personal injury accident.  Things may be overwhelming:  recovery, medical expenses, loss of income and quality of life, etc.  That’s why it’s a good idea to consult an injury attorney, who can then take over your case, and allow you to focus on your recovery.  

But when should you hire an attorney?  The answer is as soon as you can.  The timeline to file to take legal action after a personal injury accident starts the day the accident happens.  In New York, the statute of limitations is three years.  And it takes time to investigate and build the best case for you.  So, the sooner you can find a personal injury lawyer, the better.

Is Your Injury Legally Considered Personal Injury

An injury and its subsequent expenses is considered a personal injury.  Personal injuries may entitle people to compensation for physical injury and disability, ongoing emotional shock, and pain and suffering.  That’s especially if the injury resulted from someone being careless, reckless, or negligent.  

That’s why it’s important to find a personal injury attorney to take your case. They can help you determine and even recover your expenses.  Some of those expenses include:

  • Present medical expenses and cost of ongoing/future care
  • Income lost from not being able to return to work 
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for injuries that disfigured or disabled you

How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Finding a personal injury attorney may seem like a daunting task.  But a few well-considered steps can make sure you find the lawyer best for you.

Pick the Right Type of Attorney

How do you go about how to find a good personal injury lawyer?  It’s a good idea to go with a firm that focuses on personal injury cases rather than a general practice law firm that practices a little bit of everything. And some attorneys go even a step further and focus on a particular type of personal injury rather than several.  Most reputable law firms don’t charge for an initial consultation

Also, bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to levels of expectations from a law firm.  The saying:  “You get what you pay for” may apply.  Many larger personal injury firms survive on volume, sacrificing quality for quantity with an assembly-line mentality.  A smaller firm may be able to afford to be more thorough on a personal injury case because they don’t deal with the client volume many large firms do.  It’s also a good rule of thumb to review ratings for attorneys online and also see if they have any complaints filed against them with the New York state bar.    

Create a Large Pool of Candidates

Once you have a list of personal injury attorneys you feel meet your needs, the next step is to pick the top four or five and actually sit down to talk to them.  You may have to go in person or by phone for that initial consultation to do this, especially if the attorney asks to review any paperwork for your case.  That’s why it’s a good idea to whittle the list down to a handful to make the interview process easier.  And make sure the important parts of your case aren’t left to paralegals or lesser practicing attorneys.

Research Similar Cases to Your Own

Research personal injury cases similar to your own.  You can get an idea of the common issues and potential obstacles that come up in similar cases.  Look at how the plaintiff won or lost them.  If researching local cases, you can get an idea of the attorney handling the case and whether or not he may be someone you want to consider hiring.

Prepare Questions in Advance

You’ll want to learn as much as possible about the attorney or attorneys you’re looking to hire.  This includes preparing a list of questions to ask prospective attorneys.  Some of the more common questions include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  1. How long have you been in practice?
  2. What types of personal injury cases do you take?
  3. How much do you charge?  How do you charge for your cases?  (Some attorneys work on a contingency basis; they don’t get paid until a settlement is collected)
  4. What percentage of personal injury cases do you win?
  5. How do you handle your personal injury cases?
  6. Do you have experience dealing with insurance companies?
  7. How long could my case take?
  8. How much could I get for my claim?

Some questions can be asked about the attorney’s background.  But to find the best possible attorney, it’s a good idea to keep the majority of your questions centered on personal injury.  

Interview Your Selection of Attorneys

After you draw up your list of questions comes time to interview prospective attorney(s).  Call them up and ask to speak to the attorney, or see if you can make an appointment in person.  Make note of what their answers are and compare points when the interview process is done.  You can start by filling out the form to connect with one of our personal injury attorneys for free. 

Review all Paperwork

While you can talk over the phone, it’s best usually to meet in person to discuss your claim.  You may need to bring all your paperwork including any police reports, medical bills and documents, documents relating to income loss, and any documents related to the insurance company.  Your attorney may ask to review your paperwork to get an idea of the scope of your case.

Where to Find a Personal Injury Attorney

There are several ways to find a personal injury attorney.  The most common ones are:

  1. Word of mouth
  2. Attorney directories
  3. Referral services

The following few points are more in depth on where you can find a personal injury attorney.

Ask Friends and Family

Talk with friends and family who may have used a lawyer in the past.  If they give that attorney good reviews, put them on your list for consideration.  But don’t rely solely on their word alone.  Different attorneys work with different people in different ways.  You will still want to get firsthand information about how the attorney operates and handles personal injury cases.

Ask Lawyers You Already Know

Chances are you may already know an attorney.  They’re a good starting point.  If they don’t practice personal injury law, ask them to recommend an attorney, or more than one, to talk to about taking your case.  As with friends & family, be sure to also talk to the attorney candidates yourself.

find a personal injury attorney

Use Lawyer Directories

The Internet is a good resource to search for and research prospective personal injury attorneys.  Websites like Nolo and AllLaw offer free legal information and the ability to search for attorneys in your area.  Nolo also verifies attorneys in their directory are in good standing with their respective State Bars.

Referral Services

Attorney referral services are another good resource.  Such services are approved by a state’s respective bar association.  However, some may vary in their diligence in screening attorneys and their screening methods of lawyers they refer to other referral services to help find personal injury lawyer.  So, be sure to ask a referral service what their criteria and evaluation methods are for selecting attorneys.

Tips on Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Consider an attorney’s background when trying to find a personal injury lawyer.  It takes time and effort to become a fully credentialed attorney.  

  • Graduation with a law degree from an American Bar Association accredited school
  • Have knowledge of current laws and legal cases that could affect future personal injury cases
  • Specialization in personal injury – board certifications let a person see the attorney has extensive experience with personal injury law

These, plus researching a lawyer’s success rate, are good tips to find personal injury lawyers.

Make Sure to Discuss Fees Before Signing 

A good attorney will not come cheap.  But personal injury attorneys differ in how they collect their fees.  That’s why it’s important to ask about their fee schedule up front.  Some attorneys charge per hour for their services, but many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee.  That means they get paid a percentage of any settlement you win, but not until after you accept a settlement or win your case in court.  Also, make sure any fee agreement is put down in writing.

Ask If They Will Handle Your Case Personally 

Find out if the attorney you interview will actually be the one handling your case.  Larger firms that advertise may feature their “star” attorney.  However it’s no guarantee that they’ll be your attorney for your case.  Often, cases may be farmed out to other associates, or even paralegals, to handle.

Look for Experience

Attorneys have wide varieties of experience.  Many have practiced for years and even specialize in one particular area of personal injury law or take clients in different areas of personal injury who suffered extreme trauma.  Attorneys in town will often know which other attorneys may be best suited for a particular type of personal injury case, and thereby refer those types of cases to that respective lawyer.

Where NOT to Look for an Injury Lawyer

We’ve talked about where to find an attorney, but where should you NOT look or what should you NOT consider when you find a personal injury lawyer?

  1. Don’t neglect to do your homework on attorneys; remember to do your due diligence with lawyers on your list.
  2. Don’t rely on attorney advertisements; some ads may be mostly flash and little substance.
  3. Be wary of ads that advertise a low fee for a certain type of case; your case may be more involved than the “simple” cases those ads refer to.
  4. Don’t accept a fee agreement or retainer without knowing exactly what is covered in the agreement (i.e. what services you can expect).

Remember, a little research and due diligence will save potential headaches down the road and maximize your chances of getting the best settlement possible.

Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney

We’ve given you an extensive list of tips and to-do lists for finding the best personal injury attorney.  You can get started by filling out the form for a free consultation with one of our own qualified personal injury attorneys.  We do promise a contingency fee agreement. 

Also, everything will be spelled out about our hands-on approach throughout your entire personal injury case to get the best settlement for you.

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