Have you been in an accident? Have you realized you can’t handle the situation on your own and may need the help from a lawyer?
With countless accident and injury attorneys in Utah, how do you which attorney to choose? I offer these simple questions that you should ask when searching for an attorney.
Question 1: How long have they practiced?
You probably don’t want to hire someone straight out of law school. Likewise, you don’t want to hire an attorney that’s just about ready to check into the nursing home. In the field of personal injury, it takes years to develop the skill and knowledge to successfully negotiate with insurance companies.
I recommend finding an attorney with at least ten years of experience in accident and injury law. I’ve found that attorneys with this type of experience know what to look for in each individual case, they can explain injuries to a jury, and they understand what your case is worth so they will negotiate hard until that goal is reached with insurance adjusters.
Question 2: What Area of Law do they Specialize in?
You don’t want to hire a “generalist” as your personal injury attorney. Sure, they may be able to handle to most basic of injury cases but what if your case is more complicated? The lawyer who dabbles in family law, wills and estates, or criminal law is probably not the guy (or gal) you want going to bat for you in front of insurance companies.
If you really want to do it right, hire an attorney whose entire practice is devoted to injury law. Doctors specialize, so should attorneys. One devoted to practice injury law will be able to handle the most complex injury cases.
Question 3: What is the Attorney’s Trial Experience?
Attorneys that have no trial experience or attorneys that have never gone to trial for an injury case have little “street cred” with insurance adjusters. Believe it or not, insurance adjusters will research the trial experience of an attorney on a case. If that attorney has never gone to trial, adjusters know they can make a smaller offer because that attorney won’t want to go to court to seek the proper compensation.
Ironically, the attorney who is in court the most will do the best job at getting you a good out-of-court settlement.
Question 4: Do they win at Trial?
A fairly self-explanatory question. If the attorney doesn’t win in the court room, this should make you a little nervous that they may lose your case if it goes that far. Losing trials often means the attorney lacks the trial skills to make him or her successful in the courtroom.
Question 5: Do they Return Calls in a Timely manner?
Attorneys offer a service to the clients they represent. You will probably have several questions along the way during your Utah injury or accident case. Find an attorney who will return phone calls in a timely manner. In fact, ask them if they will return your call within 24 hours (excluding holidays/weekends). This will save you a lot of frustration down the road when you have a question.
Question 6: Do they Guarantee Their Legal Services?
You might get some blank stares on this one. But in a time of poor customer service and substandard quality, you don’t want to be stuck in a position where the attorney is not doing his or her job.
Search for attorneys that will guarantee the quality of their legal services and attorneys that will not insert a large lien on your case if you honestly tell them they are not doing an adequate job.