It’s not easy to know how to choose a personal injury lawyer but if you ask the following questions then you may well be on the way to finding the best possible personal injury lawyer to represent you:
- Is the personal injury lawyer you are considering an expert in personal injury law with a substantial amount of experience?
- Is the personal injury lawyer an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law? Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law have at least 5 years’ experience working as a personal injury lawyer and have undertaken additional assessment set by the Queensland Law Society to assess their legal and practical skills and knowledge in relation to personal injury law. If you have someone that is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, then you can feel very confident that they know what they are doing.
- Is the person that you are seeing going to be the person that handles your matter throughout the course of your claim? In some firms, you are seen initially by a very experienced personal injury lawyer but your claim is then handed off to a junior lawyer as soon as you leave the office. In other firms, they have teams of people looking after your claim and you always seem to be speaking to somebody different, which makes it difficult to establish any rapport with your lawyer and can also lead to frustration when having to explain your situation over and over again to a number of different people.
- Do you feel as if you are going to receive the personal attention and service that you deserve or are you just going to be a number in the crowd?
- Do you feel that the personal injury law firm or personal injury lawyer you are considering is going to fight as hard as possible to earn you the maximum amount of compensation or do you feel as if they are probably going to be more interested in settling your claim as quickly as possible so as to achieve their key performance indicators (budgets, number of conferences set down, number of claims settled etc for the purpose of bonuses and other incentives, etc) in order to keep their supervisors or shareholders happy?
- How much do they charge? The hourly rate that they charge is normally the best indicator to compare one personal injury lawyer to the next. Having said that, you need to make sure that you don’t simply go for the cheapest lawyer around that perhaps dabbles in personal injury law. Some practitioners that do not practice personal injury law on a full-time basis may charge a lower hourly rate in order to secure your business but then, through no fault of their own, are not able to represent your interests as well as a personal injury expert would. Engaging a personal injury specialist may cost slightly more but they are likely to achieve a significantly better outcome for you, which means that it is well worth paying more for their expertise. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Once you have considered all of these questions, you will be in a much better position to decide which personal injury law firm or personal injury lawyer would be best for you. You can also take some comfort in the fact that if you sign up with one personal injury law firm and then decide, at some point in the future, that they are not doing the best possible job that they can, you can always change to another personal injury law firm.
Ordinarily, this won’t cost you anything as your new personal injury lawyer will come to an arrangement with the original personal injury law firm to cover any costs that they have incurred and to pay their fees upon settlement of your personal injury claim.