With over 15,000 active lawyers in Arizona, the process of finding the best personal injury attorney to handle your case can seem overwhelming. Your main focus should be to choose a firm that is competent, experienced, and committed to communication and personal attention. However, when there are so many personal injury attorneys to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.
Fortunately, there are several tried-and-true resources and characteristics that can help you to find the best Arizona personal injury attorney for you.
Find an Attorney Online Using Reviews
Search Lawyer Directories
Lawyer directories are a quick and easy way to read an overview about personal injury attorneys in your area.
Attorneys have to undergo a verification process for high ratings on certain lawyer directories, so you can rest assured knowing you’re choosing from a pool of qualified candidates.
Profiles on lawyer directories generally share a lawyer’s credentials, including how long they’ve been practicing, where they attended law school, their standing with the state bar association, and their areas of expertise.
Keep in mind that you want to hire an attorney that specializes in your specific type of case. An attorney who mainly handles divorces, for instance, may not be the best match for your personal injury case.
The background information found in lawyer directories will help you to decide whether a lawyer is the right fit for your specific accident type and resulting injuries.
Some examples of law directories that may be helpful for researching attorneys include: FindLaw, Avvo, Super Lawyers, Justia, Nolo, Martindale, Lawyers.com, HG.org, and Lawyer.com.
Compare Attorneys in Your Area
One way to compare lawyers in your area is to read online reviews and ratings on forums like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Some lawyer websites also have video testimonials from prior clients, where you can hear in detail what they liked about their experience.
When it comes to trusted sources, consumer online reviews rank second only to reviews from friends and family.
Online reviews are an opportunity to learn from real people about their experience with local attorneys. Clients leave feedback about everything from the lawyer’s personality, their level of communication, and how successful their case outcome was.
Ask Yourself Some Questions and Follow Your Gut
When you are choosing an attorney, ask yourself some questions and follow your gut.
For example, did you choose this law firm because they have fancy TV commercials or because they advertise everywhere. These are not necessarily a sign of a qualified law firm but instead a sign of a firm that spends lots of money finding new clients.
Does this firm seem to care about their individual clients? Or are they just looking for any case they can possibly get? A good law firm will make clear that they put clients first and that they are selective about who they work with so they can focus on getting their clients meaningful compensation for their injuries.
Find an Attorney Using References
Another way to find an attorney is to rely on family and friend recommendations. Or you can use an attorney that you have already worked with in the past.
Either of these are great options if you trust the people you get your recommendation from, or if you were very happy with how your attorney treated you and your outcome the first time.
Ask Friends and Family
Many people feel comfortable turning to friends and family when they’re searching for an attorney for their personal injury cases. In fact, 92% of customers prefer recommendations from friends and family above all other types of referrals. You can trust that your friends and family have your best interests at heart. Also, they can give you valuable insights into their experience working with the firm.
Use a Lawyer You Are Already Familiar With
If you have already worked with a personal injury attorney in the past, and you were happy with the outcome and level of service, it may make sense to trust that firm to handle your new legal situation.
If you know a lawyer or another professional in the legal field, ask for recommendations. They may not necessarily work with personal injury cases. However, they more than likely have personal injury attorneys in their network. And they’ll likely be happy to suggest an attorney with a solid reputation.
Another added benefit of asking a lawyer or colleague you know is that they’ll understand what personalities you prefer to work with and match you up with someone they think will be a good fit.
Since you’ll be speaking to your attorney and other members of the firm regularly, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with them.
After Narrowing Your Options for an Attorney to Work With
Take Notes the First Time You Call or Meet with Them
It is important that you interview more than one law firm before you trust them with your personal injury case.
Taking notes at your initial meeting or phone call will help you to remember each of the attorneys you’ve spoken to and what you did and did not like about them.
Notes will make it easier to do a side-by-side comparison of their experience level, fees, and your overall impression of them.
Ask Them Questions Before Hiring Them
Some questions you may want to ask include:
What cases have you handled that are similar to mine?
An attorney who has experience with cases similar to yours will know how to achieve the best outcome for you. Ask potential attorneys about their recent cases that involved accidents and injuries similar to yours. An attorney with relevant experience will be familiar with the process like investigating negligent incidents, presenting evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies.
How responsive is this law firm?
As your personal injury case proceeds, it’s natural to want updates about any changes or progress. Ask how long it typically takes an attorney to get back to you if you’ve called or emailed them. Established firms often have professionally trained staff members who can answer your questions when a lawyer’s availability is limited.
Will I be dealing with an actual attorney?
Lots of large firms are so large that they mostly have paralegals and assistants handle the majority of their cases. Ask the firm you are interviewing if you will be able to speak to the attorney in charge of your case and if you will have direct access to an attorney should you have any questions. A good indicator about attorney access is often who you are talking to in the intake process. Are you just talking to a secretary or other non-lawyer to sign-up, or is your case being evaluated by an attorney? Lawyer involvement during a new case evaluation is a good sign.
How will I be charged for the attorney’s services?
There is a good chance you’re already feeling the financial strain of medical bills and lost wages related to your injury. You’ll feel much more comfortable if you know what legal fees to expect later on. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney will receive a percentage of the recovered compensation. Ask what that percentage is so you can make sure you’re not paying too much, and ask if they increase their fees if a lawsuit is filed. It is also helpful to know how the law firm handles reimbursement of case costs, and whether they advance expenses or want you to pay up front.
Discuss What Happens If Your Case Doesn’t Settle
Discuss a potential lawsuit to make sure your expectations align with what your attorney can deliver.
For instance, consider the course of action you would want to take if the other party does not offer the compensation you were hoping for.
Just one in twenty personal injury cases go to trial. If you can’t get the settlement you deserve, will your attorney be willing to go to court? Or will they just talk you into taking the best settlement to prevent themselves the hassle of going to court?
Do they have the resources needed to handle your case?
Lots of attorneys will pretend they can handle any size of case. But when it comes down to it, they may not have the funds, resources, or connections to build you the strongest case possible. Expert witnesses, medical experts, investigators, and accident reconstructions are all expensive but necessary. Ask the firm you are interviewing if they have the resources to hire these types of experts.
Ask if they are willing to go to trial.
Lots of firms take on as many cases as possible and then settle them as quickly as possible. They focus on quantity over quality. These firms are known as settlement mills and should be avoided. Ask the firm if they are willing to go to trial if necessary and about their track record in court.
What is your settlement and verdict record?
An established and experienced firm will be proud of the large settlements and verdicts they have been able to get for their clients. Ask them about their record and see if they have a significant amount of examples ready to prove to you that they get results. Most good law firms list their results on their website.
Look No Further: Abels & Annes is Ready to Help Your Case
If you or a loved one has been injured because of someone’s negligence, speak to a personal injury attorney at Abels & Annes.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in all areas of personal injury, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents, wrongful deaths, back and neck injuries, and brain injuries.
We also have the resources necessary to handle significant accident and injury cases, the reputation to back us up in negotiations, and a strong focus on client communication.
At Abels & Annes, we will address all of your concerns and strategize to help you recover maximum compensation for your claim.
For a free initial consultation, call us at 855-749-5299 or contact us online.