If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision that was the fault of another person, then you are probably considering action to get compensation for your losses. There are many attorneys in your area who advertise on television and online and they all flash their credentials at you: the schools they attended, the years they have practiced, the huge settlements they have scored for their clients.
How can you cut through all this clutter?
In many cases, you won’t bother. “I’ll go with Lawyer X,” you say, “because when my friend Joe had his car accident, he hired X.” It’s only a couple months later that Joe reminds you how much he hated working with Lawyer X. “The guy never told me what was happening with my case, never returned my phone calls. He got me enough money, I guess, but I never thought he was working for me.”
If you want the lawyer who’s the best fit for you, you’re going to have to do some work. Certainly you can ask your friends if they have had particularly good experiences with specific personal injury lawyers (and it’s crucial to learn which lawyers to avoid). Look at the lawyers who advertise in your area, then turn on the computer and do some research:
Don’t Hire Lawyer X
- Look for a lawyer with experience in your case area. An attorney who specializes in dog-bite cases may not be the best motorcycle accident lawyer for you.
- See whether former clients have been willing to recommend this lawyer on his law firm website.
- Look at professional evaluation websites, such as Martindale-Hubble and AVVO, to see what other attorneys and former clients have to say about the lawyer you’re considering.
- Order promotional materials from the attorney’s law firm, if available. Many lawyers make a booklet or DVD to give to prospective clients for free. Reading or examining these materials will give you a good sense of the law firm’s commitment and attitude.
- Talk with your lawyer candidate on the phone. You will learn whether she is a clear and effective communicator.
- Meet with your lawyer candidate. Almost every personal injury attorney will offer a free initial consultation where you can get to know the attorney and get her first impression of your case. This is a no-obligation meeting; you are still free after the meeting to find a lawyer who better suits your personal style. You should come prepared with a list of questions not only about your case but also about the lawyer and her firm. Your lawyer candidate should tell you about her fees at this meeting. She should be frank in discussing any weaknesses she sees in your case. She should use the occasion to convince you that her firm would be a great fit for your needs.