How to Choose a Lawyer for your Slip & Fall Accident
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Hiring an attorney is a must if you want to get the most money possible after a slip and fall. To win your injury case, consult with the best attorney possible.
When it comes to cases involving injuries, there is no lack of legal representation. You can find commercials for them anywhere, from television to bus stops to websites.
With so many options, choosing the right one for your trip and fall case can be difficult.
When conducting an online search, should you go with the first result? What about the one suggested by a coworker or the one with an office conveniently located near your home?
Your injury claim’s success will depend on how hard and diligent your attorney is willing to work on your behalf. If you hire the wrong lawyer, you may reduce the amount you are awarded for your injuries.
When looking for a lawyer to represent you after a slip and fall, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, you can do a few things to ensure you hire an honest lawyer to defend your interests. You need to follow these steps to get compensated fairly for your slip and fall injuries.
NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN
GET IN TOUCH WITH A REPUTABLE PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER.
Confidence in the lawyer you’re considering hiring is crucial. To have faith in a lawyer means to have faith that they will do a good job.
They must believe they will treat you with integrity and respect your privacy.
Don’t waste your time with a potential slip and fall attorney if you don’t feel comfortable with them. Choosing a dishonest lawyer to represent you could be disastrous for your case.
If you are looking for legal representation, it is in your best interest to verify the attorney’s good standing with the state and local bar associations in your area.
DO YOU KNOW ANY LAWYERS?
Selecting from a select group of attorneys is preferable. You can expand your list of potential slip and fall attorneys by tapping into your social network.
A good place to begin is with a lawyer you’ve worked with in the past on a different civil case, such as a divorce, bankruptcy, or contract dispute.
Request a referral to a reliable slip and fall attorney if you had a good experience with them. They will probably be able to suggest at least one other attorney who shares your values and goals as a legal representative.
Inquire among your social circle and place of employment to see if anyone has experience hiring a personal injury attorney. Perhaps they made use of one that they found to their satisfaction.
Your friends and family may not have hired a personal injury lawyer, but they may have needed a lawyer for something else. You could inquire with them about contacting that lawyer for a referral.
REVIEW COMPARISONS OF LAWYERS
Once you’ve located a personal injury lawyer who interests you, it’s time to check how well their peers regard them.
The lawyer’s reputation and practice areas are detailed in online dating directories. Ratings of attorneys are generally objective assessments of their standing and competence in the field.
The following are some potential references:
Specifically, Avvo Reviews. A lawyer’s credentials, including their law school and contact information, can be found on Avvo. That information is also included if the state bar association has ever disciplined the lawyer.
Superb attorneys In addition to providing contact details, education history, and a brief biography, this Thomson Reuters service also lists an attorney’s areas of practice and any awards they may have received.
WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA FOR LAWYERS
Checking out lawyers’ online profiles is fine. Get details on where they’re based, the kinds of injuries they specialize in, and how they handle personal injury cases.
Both of these sites feature feedback from satisfied customers. However, you shouldn’t base your hiring decisions solely on these ratings. An attorney may have solicited or paid for reviews from friends and family.
COMPARISON OF SLIP AND FALL LAWYERS
Reduce your initial list of potential professionals (such as lawyers) to three or four after you’ve gotten recommendations and checked ratings. You can narrow your search by comparing the various specialists you’ve located.
You’ll want to focus on several factors when evaluating potential legal representation. Before making a final call, remember the few factors that shouldn’t weigh too heavily.
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
An attorney who has passed the state bar exam is the obvious choice. However, their class standings or law school attendance are not particularly relevant.
Finally, you need a lawyer who is skilled in negotiations and has a track record of winning large settlements. These qualities are more important in a lawyer than whether or not they attended an Ivy League school and finished at the top of their class.
COURT APPEARANCE IN OFFICE
Some legal practices are located in sleek, contemporary towers. Some people work in older buildings with basement offices. But it won’t matter how fancy their office is if they can’t win your case.
The most important factor in choosing a lawyer is not how nice his or her office is decorated. Outward appearances are not always indicative of inner qualities. You shouldn’t assume that a lawyer who has a fancy office is the best choice for your case.
Looking at a lawyer’s track record and financial stability is more important than their credentials and where they work.
EXPERTISE IN THE LAW
Your shortlist of lawyers could include brand new practitioners or veterans of the field with decades of experience handling cases like yours. Each option has some redeeming qualities.
A lawyer with less experience may be more willing to take on new cases and devote the necessary time and resources to your claim. Those who recently graduated from law school are eager to establish themselves as competent practitioners. Their dedication positively affects their customers.
However, a more seasoned attorney may be too swamped with other cases to take on yours. That’s not good news at all. However, a good working relationship with insurance adjusters is another benefit of an attorney’s experience. That’s a good development.
Seasoned attorneys may have a stellar reputation for winning large settlements or cases in court.
STABILITY IN FINANCES
Cases involving serious injuries from a fall, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a spinal cord injury, can be extremely challenging and costly (SCI).
Taking on clients like these can be very costly for the attorney. They will need to prepay expert witnesses like doctors and actuaries.
Although the attorney will get reimbursed for these expenses if they successfully settle the case, they must pay for them upfront.
A lawyer lacking the funds to hire credible experts cannot effectively represent a client in a serious injury case.
BOOK A COST CONSULTATION
There should be no more than two or three lawyers left on your list at this point. Getting together with them is the following step. The best way to learn about a lawyer, their practice, and how they will handle your case is to schedule a consultation with them.
Most places won’t charge you anything for the first meeting. You should bring any paperwork you have that pertains to your claim to the meeting.
Make a note of everything you want to ask or address before your consultation to be well-prepared. Make sure there’s room on the list for you to write down the solutions. Here are some questions that can help you get going.
Jot down any notes about your slip and fall claim that you think are particularly important to make at the meeting.
DO YOU HAVE BAD RECOGNITION IN THE FIELD OF PERSONAL INJURY LAW?
To earn board certification, an attorney must have substantial trial experience and a high score on the state bar exam. To be a personal injury trial law specialist, a lawyer must pass a board certification exam.
Hiring a non-board-certified lawyer is fine, but having that certification will give you more peace of mind.
IN YOUR PRACTICE, HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU DEALT WITH SLIP-AND-FALL CLAIMS?
Hiring a lawyer who focuses on personal injury law and has extensive experience with slip and fall claims is recommended. Your claim will benefit more from the expertise of these specialists.
CAN YOU WORK ON MY CASE RIGHT NOW?
You shouldn’t trust your case to an attorney with a heavy caseload but scant staff. Evidence supporting your claim could be lost or destroyed if not handled promptly by an experienced attorney. If this occurs, you will not be fairly compensated.
IF I RECEIVE A SETTLEMENT OFFER, WILL YOU LET ME KNOW?
It is the job of the attorney representing the injured party to inform the client of any insurance company settlement offers. You have the right to know if and when the insurance company makes a settlement offer and the amount of that offer.
WOULD YOU GO TO COURT FOR ME?
If you don’t get a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney should be willing to take the case to court. If settlement talks with the adjuster break down, they must take the matter to court to defend your interests.
APPROXIMATELY HOW LONG WILL MY CASE TAKE?
There is no way to predict your case will settle out of court. But the lawyer should know how long it might take to settle.
Lawyers with more experience will likely have a better idea of how long it takes for cases like yours to settle or conclude at trial.
REFLECT ON WHAT YOU’VE GONE THROUGH
Think about what you learned after consulting with multiple personal injury attorneys. While doing so, think about the following queries to help zero in on the best lawyer/firm for your case.
HAD A QUICK RESPONSE FROM THE RECEPTIONIST?
It may take a while for a firm to get back to you if they are inundated with calls. If that’s the case, it may be a sign that the company won’t move quickly when settling your claim.
HOW PROFESSIONAL AND COURTEOUS WAS THE PERSON WHO ANSWERED?
It’s not a good sign if someone on the other end of the phone comes across as uninterested, harried, or rude.
You, the client, may want to call for regular status reports and inquiries. You don’t want the service personnel to view your requests as inconvenient.
WHAT IS THE ATTORNEY’S PROCESS FOR RECEIVING AND RETURNING CALLS FROM CLIENTS?
Respectable lawyers spend most of their time in client meetings, depositions, and courtroom appearances. Your expectation that you will get an immediate response from your lawyer every time you call is unrealistic.
They should, however, explain how they plan to handle your calls. A paralegal may answer your question, and the receptionist can put you in touch with one. They could take your information and have the lawyer call you back.
It’s not uncommon for lawyers to give out their cell phone numbers.
IS IT TRUE THAT YOU CONSULTED A LAWYER?
It is not uncommon for attorneys to have a paralegal or other office staff member initially meet with prospective clients on their behalf. Trustworthy lawyers, however, will prioritize a personal meeting with you.
IS THERE A FEE FOR THE FIRST MEETING WITH THE ATTORNEY?
Ask if there is availability when you call to make an appointment. A consultation with a reputable personal injury lawyer is usually free.
HOW NEAT AND ORGANIZED DOES THE LAWYER’S OFFICE LOOK?
You should hire a lawyer who is organized and systematic. Those who aren’t may struggle to keep track of their cases, files, and due dates.
HOW LONG DID YOU WAIT TO MEET WITH THE LAWYER?
There may be a wait to speak with an attorney, which is to be expected.
However, remember that if you were forced to wait, it’s good customer service for someone in the office to greet you and estimate your wait time.
Consider how well the company handles customer service issues when making a decision.
WAS THE ATTORNEY FOCUSED ON YOU ENTIRELY DURING YOUR MEETING?
You need to hire a slip and fall lawyer who will give your case the attention it deserves. It’s not a good sign that the prospective attorney you met with couldn’t give his or her full attention to you and your case.
HAD THE ATTORNEY ANSWERED YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CASE?
You want to leave your session feeling confident that the attorney addressed all of your issues.
In a typical consultation, your attorney will go over the following with you:
- The merits and weaknesses of your case
- The likely length of time it will take to settle your claim
- The likelihood that your case will go to trial
- A settlement estimate.
If you want to know if you can trust this attorney, ensure he or she answers all these questions.
DO YOU TRUST THE LAWYER AND FEEL AT EASE WITH HIM OR HER?
After seriously considering the issues mentioned above, you may be able to trust your instincts and decide if this is the right attorney for you. A good one will inspire trust and confidence in you as a person and leader. Trusting one’s gut is crucial at times.
TO WHAT EXTEND DOES ONE MAKE PAYMENT TO ONE’S ATTORNEY?
Your lawyer needs to review their fees with you during your initial consultation. You should find out how your attorney will be paid and if there are any other fees, such as photocopies or court filings, that you will be responsible for.
The majority of personal injury attorneys who handle cases involving falls get paid on a contingency basis. If they work on a contingency basis, you won’t have to fork over any cash upfront.
They will receive a predetermined amount of your settlement as payment for their services as your legal representative. Nothing is owed to the lawyer if the case is settled out of court or is not taken to trial.
Your success or failure with a claim for damages following a slip and fall depends on the attorney you hire. Take the time to make sure you hire the right one if you want to maximize your pay.
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