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How to Find a Good Attorney if You're Involved in an Accident


here are so many lawyers practicing, how is it possible to find the right lawyer who will obtain the results you are looking for? If you’ve never had to use an attorney, finding one can be bewildering and frustrating. The fact is that there is no convenient, regulated way to locate and compare the qualifications of lawyers in your particular geographical area. So, what are you to do? There are steps you can take that can help you find the right attorney while maintaining a healthy blood pressure!

First, you must determine certain facts. How far are you willing to travel, for instance? Bear in mind that you may have to meet with your attorney frequently. Next, try to define what specific area of law pertains to your legal problem. Don’t overwhelm yourself with “legalese” — use your own language to define your problem. For instance, if you’ve been involved in an automobile accident and have been injured, you need to find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases.

Once you have decided on how far you are able to travel and what kind of attorney you need to retain, then you must focus on how much you are able to afford. Lawyers generally suggest a range of standard payment arrangements. Always ask him or her to fully explain their fees and billing practices BEFORE you retain them. Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions — it may avoid a serious financial problem down the line. If a lawyer is reluctant to discuss fees, take this as a warning. You would be wise, at that point, to cross that lawyer off your list.

Your last step is to investigate the reputation of the lawyer you are considering. This may take some time and effort. One of your resources is the state bar association, which can inform you if there has been any disciplinary actions ever initiated against the particular lawyer. You can also ask the attorney directly for references from former clients that you could speak with.

One of the most effective ways is to get a recommendation from someone you know, or from another attorney. Ask friends, relatives, and colleagues. Listen to those who have been through the legal process with an attorney they trusted, especially if that person has used the recommended attorney for the same type of reason you need one.

Also, referral services can put you in touch with an attorney that specializes in your legal problem. But be aware that these referred attorneys have met only minimum requirements and may be inexperienced. Do your research and check these attorneys out thoroughly.

You can even find a lawyer by searching databases online. For instance, FindLaw,  provides legal articles and advice. If you don’t find what you need, they have an extensive list of other links. You can run a lawyer search by entering your zip code and the area of practice you require. The search provides contact information, plus a profile of the firm and names of the attorneys working there. They do not, however, provide references.

Once you have found the name of a lawyer, or perhaps even several names, you need to make an appointment for a consultation. In this meeting, you will actually be interviewing the attorney. Be aware, though, that you will be charged for this consultation.

You are looking for an attorney that you can relate to, who makes you feel comfortable and who imparts a feeling of trust. Don’t forget — chemistry is always important. Of course, the best attorney should be an expert in the area of law you are hiring him for.

Don’t make a hasty decision. Weigh all the facts, information, recommendations, and even your gut instincts. Take your time before making a decision. After all, you will be putting your fate in your chosen lawyer’s hands.




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