Finding the right attorney is a major decision, and some people with valid personal injury claims may struggle to find attorneys who offer the level of legal acumen and compassion they expect. If you or a loved one need legal counsel after a personal injury, consider the following tips to help you find the right West Virginia personal injury attorney to handle your case.
Look for Personal Referrals
The best way to find a reliable attorney is to ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives for their recommendations. One of these people may have been in a situation like yours and had a great experience with a particular attorney. Take these recommendations to heart and investigate the attorneys your personal connections have dealt with in the past. Similarly, your friends and relatives may also be able to warn you away from an attorney who has a spotty record or one that may not be able to meet your expectations.
Check Local Listings
Ideally you want to find an attorney who operates close to your home location, but this may not always be possible. Start your search for a local attorney by looking at the law firms advertising in your area. Be wary; some attorneys who take out flashy newspaper ads and buy billboards do not automatically provide top-level legal counsel.
Look for online postings and social media pages for local attorneys. Past clients may offer testimonials, and you may even find private social media groups for people who have experiences like your own. For example, if you suffered injuries in a car accident you may find a car accident victims’ group on a social media site, and other members may offer guidance for finding the right attorney to handle your case.
Use a Referral Service
You can find several legal referral services online. Many legal databases offer to connect users to attorneys in their area. Services such as this can be a tremendous boon to a person who needs to find an attorney but cannot travel extensively due to injury.
Some referral services operate based on practice area. For example, car accidents and dog bites would both fall under personal injury law, but it would not be a good idea to hire an attorney who specializes in car accidents to handle your dog bite injury claim. Many personal injury firms offer legal representation for various types of cases, but it is essential for prospective clients to carefully assess an attorney’s experience level with his or her particular type of case.
Take Advantage of Free Consultation Offers
Many personal injury attorneys offer potential new clients the chance to have a free consultation or case review. These are mutually beneficial arrangements, especially for law firms that offer contingency fee billing. A free consultation lets a potential client know his or her chances of succeeding with a claim and lets an attorney effectively screen out unwinnable cases.
When it comes to contingency fees, free consultations can help ensure both the client and the attorney succeed. A contingency fee means an attorney only collects legal fees after winning a case on a client’s behalf. A free consultation can help the attorney determine the odds of winning before agreeing to represent the client. This works out in the client’s favor as well, as he or she will not be on the hook for legal fees in a weak or unwinnable case.
Ultimately, it is up to you to use your best judgment when searching for a personal injury attorney. Countless personal injury firms exist in the United States and it can take time to find one that makes you feel confident about your claim and offers the level of representation and service you expect.