If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, and you feel you deserve compensation, the next step is choosing a good lawyer. That is not as simple as it may seem. Yes, you have many choices. But, there are some specific things to consider when retaining legal representation.
The first place to look is to friends or acquaintances. Ask them about their experiences with their attorneys. And, of course, find out if they won their cases. An important consideration when selecting an attorney is to find out whether he or she has the experience necessary to navigate New York personal injury law. The law is constantly changing, and an experienced attorney will stay abreast of those changes, making him or her better equipped to represent you.
Make sure that you specifically go to a personal injury attorney and not to an attorney in general practice. An attorney who focuses solely on New York personal injury law is in the best position to present your case; he or she undoubtedly will have an in-depth knowledge of that area of the law. When interviewing attorneys, try to ascertain whether he or she has sufficient court experience. Does he or she have experience negotiating with insurance carriers, handling settlements, investigating the facts of the case?
Honesty. A knowledgeable, honest personal injury attorney will do a realistic assessment of your case. If she does not believe you have a viable claim, she will say so. Beware of any attorney who seems to promise the moon. Remember, it is hard to deliver the attorney advertising moon. I, myself, have been in the position of advising potential clients when they don’t have a strong case. The last thing an honest, ethical personal injury attorney wants to do is give you unreasonable expectations.
Also keep in mind that a successful personal injury attorney needs to have access to experts – medical experts, vocational experts, accountants, sometimes engineers, among many others. These experts and their opinions can make or break your case, so your attorney should have them at the ready to conduct medical evaluations, accident forensics, and other valuable evidence.
Finally there needs to be a connection between you and any attorney you are about to trust with such an important part of your life. You will need to feel comfortable enough with him or her to share personal details of the incident that caused your impairment, as well as the effects of your impairment. Your attorney should be responsive, and keep you abreast of what is going on with your case. You should not have to make several phone calls to his or her office before receiving a call back.