The attorney you choose is one of the most important factors in the success or failure of your case. It is a decision you should make with care. Choosing your attorney can be intimidating for people who have never done so before. You do not want one with bad ethics or poor skills. We hope to ease those fears and provide a basic guide to finding a personal injury lawyer.
Pick An Attorney Who Focuses On Injury Law.
Attorneys, much like doctors, often concentrate their practices in specific areas of the law. If you need hip replacement surgery, you would see an orthopedic surgeon, not a cardiologist. There are a number of things to look at when hiring your injury lawyer.
But basically, if you are in an accident, you will not want to hire a lawyer who focuses on divorce. Another type of attorney may be able to help you, but he or she will not have the same experience and skills that a personal injury lawyer brings to a personal injury case. Personal injury lawyers understand the legal, procedural and evidentiary strategies that can maximize the value of your personal injury claim. They work with these issues every day. That knowledge and experience is what leads to successful results. And the area of injury law gets more sophisticated and complicated every year.
Begin Your Attorney Search By Talking To People You Trust.
Most of our clients come to us by referral from others lawyers or people who we have represented in the past. For that reason, we recommend that you begin the search by talking to your family and friends. Often an employer or a co-worker can offer good advice too. Ask if anyone can refer you to a personal injury attorney who helped them get good results, or who they have heard good things about. Or if they have an attorney who has done there work for them in the past, that lawyer will often know a trustworthy injury attorney.
Evaluating Attorney Advertising In Your Attorney Search.
If nobody you trust can recommend an attorney, you can also start by considering attorney advertisements. You have probably seen lawyer ads on television, in newspapers, or in your internet feed. Evaluate the message of the ad as a place to start. After you have identified an attorney do some research about the lawyer by asking around. The reality is insurance companies know who the good lawyers are. They include an evaluation of your attorney in deciding whether and for how much to settle a case before a trial. That decision can defiantly be based in part at least on the reputation and experience of your lawyer. The loudest lawyer or the one who advertises the most may not be your best choice. And know what to expect from the attorney when you meet with them.
You can learn a lot about a potential lawyer with a bit of internet research. Whether using Google or one of the less popular search engines like Yahoo! or Bing, you can easily search by both your location and the legal specialty you need. There are many ways to search for this information.
Basic Lawyer Search Tips:
- Search using descriptive phrases instead of a single word. “Idaho personal injury attorney” “Boise injury lawyer” or “Idaho auto crash attorney” will turn up more useful results than just “lawyer” or “Boise attorney.”
- As shown, put the phrase you search for in quotes. This will tell the search engine to look for the entire phrase as you searched for it, not the individual words in the phrase. Without quotes, your results will be greater in number but not nearly as relevant to your search. Just make sure to spell everything correctly.
- Narrow your search by including some geographical information. If you are looking in Idaho you can also narrow by City such as “Boise injury lawyer.”
Why Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney For Idaho?
“Should I even hire a lawyer, as opposed to just dealing directly with the insurance company and its adjuster?”
You should know that although the insurance adjuster may seem friendly and cooperative, he or she works for the insurance company that will pay to settle your claim. If the insurance adjuster can persuade you to settle your claim for less than it is worth, that is good for the insurance company but bad for you. Unlike a lawyer you hire, the insurance company that represents the bad guy has no legal duty or financial incentive to treat you fairly.
Case In Point
A working-class mother had a serious collision with a commercial tractor-trailer rig. She was injured and her car was so badly damaged that it was useless, both of which posted challenges for this mother of three young children. The very next day, she was visited at home by a representative from the truck driver’s insurance company. (A trick being used more and more often to pretend to be helpful.) The insurance adjuster was trained to create the illusion he was there to help her deal with the problems that the accident had caused. After learning that she had no medical insurance, he told her that he believed she would make a good recovery, based on his experience and the way she was able to get around in her home and carry one of her children. He offered her cash to repair her damaged vehicle. And $1,000 to compensate her for the trouble and pain she may have experienced. All she needed to do was accept the cash that day and sign the release, barring her from making any further financial claim.
Although tempted, she rejected the offer. She and her husband called a lawyer. Eventually the doctors found that she had severe injuries to her shoulder. She ultimately received the treatment she needed and recovered. But $1000 was not nearly enough to compensate her for the injury. With the assistance of her attorney she was fairly and fully compensated for her months of suffering and damages. As you can imagine, this client and her family were immensely pleased with their decision to retain a lawyer rather than deal directly with the insurance company.