How To Choose A Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an auto accident or any other incident due to the negligence of another individual, you may hire the services of a personal injury attorney for legal representation and to get the most for your insurance claim. While it is possible to negotiate a settlement without the aid of a personal injury attorney, it is recommended to have such aid because many insurance companies will offer lower settlement amounts to persons that do not have a personal injury attorney.

First, make the effort to find a good personal injury attorney. You can search online and in local directories but keep in mind that attorneys depend on referrals for a bulk of their business. Because of this, you should check with loved ones and colleagues, even lawyers you’ve worked with in the past to make referrals. Another valuable option is to use the referral service of a local bar association. Be sure to inquire about the screening process of the referral service because some services are less discriminatory than others when it comes to qualifications and levels of expertise.

Once you’ve come across a particular attorney of interest, schedule an initial consultation. Most personal injury attorneys offer initial consultation free of charge, but be sure to ask about any fees prior to meeting with any attorney, just in case. In general, an attorney that will charge for an initial consultation will typically charge a retainer fee as well, and is usually not worth meeting, as we’ll cover further down the line when speaking of red flags to look out for.

In the first meeting with a personal injury attorney, you should be prepared to present all necessary documentation, including the official police report and any correspondence with the insurance company. In addition to the documentation and discussion of details, you want to ask some key general questions, to help determine if the attorney is right for you. Such questions include:

  • How long have you been in practice?
  • What is your experience as a trial attorney?
  • Do you anticipate my case going to trial?
  • Do you charge a retainer fee?

It is ideal to be represented by an attorney with consistent experience in representing injured persons, not by one who usually represents insurance companies. Also, you probably would want to avoid one that asks for payment up front, in the form of a retainer fee or the rejection of a contingency fee. Lastly, another red flag is if an attorney refuses to honor your wishes, or refuses to sign a retainer agreement in the first place. Such an agreement is the written financial agreement between client and attorney, including points such as rendered services, legal fees and related expenses. If you are seeking a personal injury attorney or some helpful information, visit

Leave a Reply