Choosing the right attorney to handle your injury case is an important decision. You shouldn’t just take anyone who claims to do injury work off the TV. Many of the best personal injury lawyers do not advertise on TV (because they do not have to). The kinds of clients who use the television to select their personal injury lawyer are often the least informed consumers.
For example, if you want to find a good plumber, you would be better off asking a neighbor who they have used to find someone who is honest and reliable. Likewise, asking real injured persons or families who have suffered a wrongful death caused by someone else’s fault are the best sources of referral to a good attorney.
With the advent of the internet, it is easier for a consumer to do real research to find the right personal injury lawyer. My law firm spends a lot of time to put content on this blog to help people get in the hands of a competent lawyer for their case. By looking at someone’s website, you get a sense of how professional they are and what kinds of cases they regularly work on.
An older method of checking on attorneys was using Martindale-Hubbell. This is a big book that you can find at the library which rated attorneys. Luckily, this system is now available online, as well. It is the primary method by which lawyers in one geographic area find other good lawyers to refer cases to in another region of the country. I happily can report that I am rated as an AV lawyer under the Martindale-Hubbell system. This means that other attorneys (not at my firm) and judges in the area believe that I possess the highest level of legal skill and ethics. This is a strong endorsement. You can only get an AV rating after having practiced for quite a number of years. It is one indication to injured people that I and my law firm know what we are doing in the area of personal injury law and trial work.
Some people hurt in a car wreck go to any lawyer that they happen to know, even one who does not specialize in personal injury and wrongful death cases. For example, a potential client might chose an attorney based upon the real estate lawyer that they used on a closing on their house. This is dangerous. There are many attorneys who will take an automobile case thinking that they can handle it and that it is easy to do. Unless the lawyer’s practice focuses on personal injury cases, there are many traps for the unwary. The potential client is the one who could potentially lose out, because the attorney who is not specialized may not know what they need to know in order to maximize the recovery. I am always amazed how specialized the field of law has become. I do not do divorce cases or collection practice. When someone has a need in those areas, I send them to a friend who focuses on that area of law. Many of my friends who have similarly focused practices are smart and do not try to do vehicular collision cases, but send those to someone like me whose practice emphasizes that work. One of the things I am proudest of in my practice is that my law partners and I get many referrals from other lawyers who recognize that we have special expertise in automobile accidents, railroad wrongful death, medical malpractice, and other areas of injury related work.