Deciding on a personal injury attorney to advise and represent you can be a somewhat daunting task. However, it’s essential to find a suitably qualified attorney for the type of claim you have. This may impact the outcome of your claim, as well as the speed, efficiency and professionalism of the claims process.
We offer five criteria to consider – along with relevant questions to ask – when choosing a personal injury attorney.
1. Personal track record
When you contact a personal injury attorney, it’s a good idea to ask outright what familiarity the attorney has with claims similar to yours. How many claims of the type has the attorney handled, and what success rate does the attorney have?
These are good questions for determining whether an attorney has sufficient experience and expertise in the specific aspects of personal injury law that are relevant to your claim. Instead of requiring just “yes” or “no” answers, these questions require factual substantiation.
2. Specialisation in personal injury law
It’s best to find an attorney who specialises in handling personal injury claims similar to yours.
Sometimes, small legal firms may be tempted to try to “do everything”, rather than risking the loss of potential clients and the associated income. However, specialists usually trump generalists.
Even within the field of personal injury law, many specialisations exist. For example, attorneys may specialise in road accident claims, medical malpractice claims, slip and fall claims, product liability claims or other specific claim types.
Attorneys who specialise in relevant personal injury claims have in-depth knowledge of the procedures and processes associated with those claim types. They’ll be better equipped to evaluate your case and anticipate any problems or complications before they occur.
They’ll also have a better idea of the values awarded as compensation in cases comparable to yours.
3. Access to relevant resources
To be effective, attorneys need access to certain resources. This includes general resources like enough personnel for handling necessary administrative work, as well as resources related specifically to personal injury cases.
If you have a medical malpractice claim, for example, it’s useful if the attorney you contact has connections with medical professionals who can provide expert medical opinions and testimony.
There’s nothing implicitly wrong with small or even one-person legal firms, which may provide excellent legal services. However, unless you already know a particular attorney and can trust a firm to provide you with the best possible legal advice and representation, it’s safest to opt for a firm with more resources at its disposal.
4. Member of a trusted firm
Ideally, the attorney must have the support of a trusted and well-established firm. This helps ensure that the attorney will have appropriate access to support staff and other resources, so that your case gets enough personal attention and nothing is overlooked.
An attorney at a large, reputable firm will also be expected to abide by the firm’s high ethical and professional standards. Unfortunately, this form of safeguard isn’t always in place in startup and less well-known firms.
Also note that you shouldn’t trust an attorney who approaches you directly or does so via a tout. This is an unethical practice.
5. Openness and availability
From day one, your attorney should be open and sincere. The attorney needs to listen properly to you; explain processes, procedures and costs; and let you know what to expect. The attorney also shouldn’t make any promises that can’t be kept or give you false hope.
Finally, the personal injury attorney you choose or someone on their team should be readily available if you have any questions during the claims process.
Personal injury attorneys at DSC
At DSC Attorneys, our attorneys and medico-legal team specialise in handling personal injury claims. We have the necessary expertise, experience and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve – and we work on a no win, no fee basis.
Contact us for more information or to discuss your personal injury claim.