When you’re looking for a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer, you don’t want to go and just hire the last name you remember from a TV commercial or the first name that comes up on Google. There are many, many variables in a personal injury case and you want to make sure that you hire a lawyer that has experience with your specific situation.
It’s also important to find an attorney that you feel comfortable working with. The last thing you want is an attorney that makes an already stressful situation even worse for you.
Finding An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
There are many specialties and subspecialties within the practice of law. For example, within personal injury law, you’ll find lawyers that specialize in workplace injuries, others that specialize in representing insurance companies, and others that work representing personal injury claimants—known as plaintiffs.
As you narrow down the list of lawyers to consider, you should make sure that possible candidates have experience working with plaintiffs (as opposed to insurance companies) and are knowledgeable about your type of injury as well as the circumstances that caused it.
Generally, the best way to find an experienced plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer is to talk to several and compare. Tell each of them about your case and evaluate both what they say about the case and how comfortable you feel discussing things with them.
Ask Friends And Acquaintances
Friends and coworkers that have been involved in personal injury cases are usually happy to refer you to a lawyer that got good results for them. It’s still important, though, that you meet with anyone they recommend before making any decisions. Different people will respond in different ways to any given lawyer’s style or personality.
An attorney’s workload is constantly changing, too. Your friend may recommend someone that worked out well for them but is too busy now to take on new cases. Be sure to keep options open and don’t say no to one attorney just because a friend recommends another.
Talk To Lawyers You Already Know
You may already know one or more lawyers, either because they have represented you in the past or you just happen to have a friend that practices law. Unless that lawyer specializes specifically in personal injury cases, he or she is probably not going to be the right one to represent you, but they will most certainly know someone that will fit the bill.
Again, a referral from another lawyer should be taken as a recommendation for a possible candidate. Don’t make any big decisions without first meeting this new attorney and discussing the details of your case.
Directories And Referral Services
There are also, of course, directories of lawyers online and local bar associations often maintain referral services as well.
Using either of these methods will require you to be alert and do your homework. It will be up to you to decide if a lawyer is competent in the area where you need representation and has the experience you’re looking for. You should, at the least, look for reviews and testimonials—both good and bad—from past clients.
Choosing The Right Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
The first step to choosing the right personal injury lawyer for you is to meet with one and go over the details of your case. Most personal injury lawyers don’t charge for the initial consultation. If you do happen to run into an attorney that wants to charge you for this, you’re better off going somewhere else.
You should bring all of the documentation you have with you. Take police reports, medical bills, correspondence with insurance companies, etc. Then, once you’ve given your prospective attorney an overview of your case and let them look over some of the documentation, there are a few things you should be sure to consider before you leave.
You should ask the lawyer about various aspects of his or her experience. Think about things like:
- How long have they been practicing law?
- How many of their cases are personal injury cases?
- Do they usually represent plaintiffs or defendants?
- Do they have any past experience with the insurance company?
In general, you’ll want someone who has some years of experience, works on all or nearly all personal injury cases, represents plaintiffs and has experience in cases against various insurance companies.
Who Will Work On Your Case?
It’s worthwhile to ask exactly who will be working on your case and how things will be handled internally.
In most firms, it’s a team effort. The most routine tasks are often handled by less experienced attorneys and paralegals. Doing things this way will usually work out to be cheaper for you than if senior partners are handling everything themselves, especially if you’re paying by the hour. It will also, of course, get things done much faster if there are a few people working together rather than one person with limited time.
As you’re talking, think about things like how well the lawyer is able to explain things to you, how much he or she seems to be listening to you, and their attitude toward controlling the case or working in a more collaborative manner.
It’s important to remember that while your lawyer can (and should) make all sorts of recommendations, all the final decisions are up to you. It will be more difficult for you to make good decisions if you don’t understand what your attorney is saying, if you feel intimidated by their attitude, or if they aren’t taking your input into account. Your personal injury lawyer should be helping to reduce the stress of the situation, not make it worse.
Solnick & Associates Is Here To Help
At Solnick & Associates, our team deals exclusively with Pennsylvania personal injury cases. Everything we do is geared towards protecting our clients’ rights and achieving the best possible results for each individual case as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have the knowledge and experience that you’ll want on your side.
The initial consultation is always free and confidential. Contact us online or call (877) 415-6495 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to go over the details of your case and discuss what we can do to help you.