You could always check with the American Bar Association, but asking a friend of their recommendations is always a plus. However, if you do ask a friend make sure you get specific details on why they are recommending a certain lawyer.
1) What was the type of claim (will this lawyer work for your need)?
2) What was the outcome (was it out of court or not, was the settlement satisfactory)?
3) What is the lawyer’s percentage and arrangement for costs (do they come out of settlement or paid upfront)?
4) Was there a workable relationship between lawyer and client (listening, working for your need, returning calls, communication, etc.)?
5) Are you related or friends with this recommended lawyer? Continue reading Top 10 Tips to Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer
Even after you have retained a personal injury lawyer, you are still the boss. After all, you are paying for their services one way or the other. Knowing your rights will keep you ahead of the game and will potentially allow for your case to bring a greater settlement. Most of the times, lawyers do not need to work for a greater settlement, because they are guaranteed a payment regardless of the settlement amount and the less time they invest and the less work they have to put into the case, the better for them.
If you see that your lawyer is attempting to use forceful tactics to make you settle this is unethical. They have sworn an oath to fight for their client and intimidation is not ethical. If you are a younger person you can be assured that your lawyer will entice you with a small quick amount hoping you will settle. But be aware that this is just another tactic and you have the right to not accept the first dollar figure that is presented to you.
You have the right to a second opinion.
You have the right to determine if you want to sign a document.
You have the right for a time of mediation.
You have the right to your day in court.
You have the right to fire your lawyer.
Therefore, if you let your lawyer know up front that you are not afraid to take your case to court they will see you are serious and perhaps fight hard to get you a larger out of court settlement. Remember that lawyers much prefer out of court settlements because this goes as a win on their record as opposed to a possible loss in court.
The truth is that your lawyer cannot tell you, but only advise you to do something.
Don’t be bullied into anything you don’t want to do, even if this includes signing a document that you are against. You have rights. If you think something is fishy about your lawyer’s conduct, then don’t hesitate to get a second opinion.
If you are a person that likes to plan, ask questions, is somewhat smart, then more than likely you are not going to be liked by lawyers. People who have original thoughts of their own may out think their lawyer and this will make them look bad. Lawyers who have idiot clients can say anything to them and they will be believed whereas if a lawyer has a smart client they can see right through the incompetence. This means that your lawyer will actually have to do some work instead of hoodoo you with some legal lingo. They will have to answer questions that they might not know which will involve doing actual research.
TIP: Be aware if a lawyer says, “I’m not sure if you now this ….but …” and tries to bring you to school. They are demening your intelligence which is a common tactic of an incompetent person who will attempt to fool you with legal mumbo jumbo lingo.