You have just been seriously injured in an accident, or worse, a loved one or family member has been killed. Unfortunately, it happens every day.
You are stunned, shocked, reeling in this terrible moment, but have an incredibly important decision to make. You need to find a lawyer, but not just any lawyer. You need the right lawyer.
Who is the Right Lawyer?
The right lawyer is a lawyer with the knowledge, expertise, and practical know-how to fight for your rights, protect your interests, and pursue the just compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss. A real trial lawyer.
How Do You Identify the Right Lawyer?
These days there is no shortage of lawyers, and there are endless advertisements and promotions selling lawyer services. You name it – backs of buses, bus benches, highway billboards, 1-800-TVLAWYERS, Yellow Pages, Google – there is a long parade of available lawyers clamoring for your business.
Buyer Beware (Who Are You REALLY Hiring?)
Many law firms are not what they appear to be. Some prey upon consumers, just like you, who are grappling with a devastating injury or crushing loss.
In some cases they are shell firms or unseasoned lawyers trading on the name and reputation of a former lawyer or law firm, now retired or deceased. They rake in “leads” (which is how they define your personal tragedy), and farm them out to a network of lawyers in need of fee-paying clients. Or they shop these “leads” to other firms, offering the cases for the best fee-sharing agreement.
In other settings, these “law firms” may be dedicated to referral services. These are businesses that rely on a network of search engine experts who run Google Pay-Per-Click ads and setup website landing pages to capture targeted search traffic. Again, these services parcel out “leads” – you – to lawyers with similarly unknown qualifications chasing fee-paying victims.
What You Really Need…
You can't rely on a lawyer who doesn't possess substantial experience and a proven track record winning serious injury or wrongful death cases. He/she just doesn't have the knowledge or expertise to effectively handle this type of case.
Is a lawyer with legitimate experience handling your type of case? One who is part of a legitimate law firm with partners, paralegals, and administrative staff? A firm with the financial resources to efficiently and effectively manage your case? A firm that will find and retain the best experts? A firm that will handle your entire case from start to finish? A law firm and lawyers are well known by the insurance industry, corporate America, and defense lawyers as successful trial lawyers?
How Do You Qualify Such a Lawyer?
When you encounter a prospective lawyer, regardless of how you meet, there are important questions you need answered:
- Does the lawyer have practical trial experience winning a sizable number of cases before juries, judges, and arbitrators?
- Has the lawyer or law firm been ranked by peer review organizations like Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers of America, and Martindale-Hubbell? If so, what are their reviews and rankings?
- Does the lawyer or the firm he or she is associated with belonging to, and participate in, consumer trial organizations, such as Consumer Attorneys of California, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, South Bay Bar Association, or Orange County Trial Lawyers Association? How long has he or she been a member? Have they ever held a leadership position in any of these organizations?
- Is the lawyer a member of any trial lawyer organizations that require substantial trial experience to qualify for membership, like the American Board of Trial Advocates?
- Is the lawyer a member of any prestigious, invitation-only organizations such as the International Academy of Trial Lawyers? (An invitation-only organization that's limited to 500 members nationwide.)
You've Found Your Lawyer
When you discover a lawyer who meets these criteria, congratulations – you've found a lawyer you can trust to protect your rights and successfully pursue your case.