What should I look for when selecting a personal injury lawyer?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
When you search for "Orlando personal injury lawyer," Google returns 1,720,000 results. With all those pages to wade through, how do you decide which law firm is right for you? It's important to make the right decision to ensure you get the results you need. But how do you know what the right decision is?

Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations. If they don't, choose someone else. When you meet with them, you'll explain your situation and they'll ask you questions trying to determine the best way to handle it. But they aren't the only ones who should be asking questions. There are some things you need to find out from them, too.

Respect — There are plenty of websites where you can look at the ratings of lawyers, but don't stop there. Ask friends and coworkers if they've ever been represented by a personal injury lawyer. Ask about their attorney and what they thought of him or her.

If you have a friend who's a lawyer in another area of practice, ask if there's someone they would recommend. A well-respected lawyer will have the respect of his or her peers, too.

And be wary of an attorney who reaches out to you after an accident. They may not have as much experience as other personal injury attorneys, which is why they have to solicit clients — they don't have enough of a reputation to get clients to come to them.

Experience — When you watch TV, you're inundated with ads for personal injury lawyers. They may be flashy or have a funny commercial, but the reality is, lawyers make a lot of promises in those ads. While those claims may not be untrue, that doesn't mean they're the best lawyer.

You need someone with experience, preferably experience in cases similar to yours. If you were injured in a car accident, you need someone who's handled that before. Were you injured by a faulty product? If the lawyer hasn't handled a case like that before, hit the road and keep looking.

Don't just ask how long they've been practicing law, ask how many cases they've handled that were similar to yours.

Capable — It doesn't do you any good to have a lawyer with 20 years of experience if he or she can't get you a settlement. Ask the lawyer what the results were of the cases that were similar to yours.

Many personal injury cases are settled out of court — your lawyer discusses the case with the defendant's lawyer and maybe the insurance company, offers are made and discussed and your lawyer brings you a number you're both happy with. Fantastic! But sometimes, to get the results you want, they have to go to court. That means you'll want to know that they can handle a trial, so ask about that, too. How many times have they successfully argued a case in front of a judge?

Trustworthy — Having a lawyer you can trust is important. Don't just go by the testimonials on their website. Those are valuable, but they may not tell the whole story. Do a search on the attorney on sites like Angie's List to see if there is any negative feedback, too. You have to take all testimonials with a grain of salt, since they may be based on the person's satisfaction with the outcome, and their expectations may have been unrealistic, but a high number of complaints is a red flag.

Personality — You don't need to want to have a drink with your attorney, but you do need someone who's going to handle the case the way you want them to. Ask them what they'll do or are willing to do if you decide to reject an offer they think is fair or if you want to accept an offer they think is too low to avoid a day in court. Make sure they're someone you can work with, but more importantly, someone who can work with you.

You also need to know if there are other lawyers or personnel you'll be dealing with. You don't want to go with a firm based on one person's experience and personality only to be turned over to another.

If you're looking for an experienced, capable, respected and trustworthy Orlando personal injury attorney, call the Draper Law Office at 866.767.4711 or Contact Us for a free consultation. We have several lawyers on staff to ensure there's an attorney who's right for you. You'll get the individual attention you need because we know that your satisfaction is the best measure of success. Better yet, there's zero risk. If we don't get you a settlement, you'll pay nothing.
Draper Law Office

12/17/2013

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