Personal injury attorneys aren’t exactly hard to find. You likely drive past several billboards or bus benches on your daily commute that say something along the lines of, “Injured in a Car Crash? Call Us!” Personal injury law firms excel at inundating the airwaves, local TV stations and the internet with advertising.
The sheer volume of options can be a problem for many people looking for a personal injury lawyer. The choice is harder to make when you have literally hundreds of options, especially if you’re not a legal expert.
Asking friends and family you trust who have gone through the personal injury process is one way to start. Someone you know may have had a particularly good experience with a lawyer they trust.
If you’re searching online, you should pay close attention to what a law firm’s past clients say about their experience. Keep in mind even the best lawyers may have some negative reviews because not every client will be happy with their case’s results, even if the lawyer provided good representation.
If you’re looking for an unbiased referral you may want to contact an organization that adheres to the American Bar Association’s strict standards for lawyer referral services, like the Minnesota Lawyer Referral and Information Service (MNLRIS). Lawyers can’t pay for increased referrals on these services. Instead, referrals are based on each attorney’s reputation, their experience and their geographic location.
What You Should Ask an Attorney During Your Initial Consultation
Initial consultations with attorneys are comparable to job interviews. You’re the employer in this scenario, so you should go into the consultation with an idea of what you want to say and ask.
Consider asking specific questions, like how many similar cases they’ve had in the past year, and how long they have been practicing personal injury law. The more local experience a lawyer has the more likely they are familiar with Minneapolis–St. Paul area judges and court procedures.
Also ask about your lawyer’s expectations for your case. A personal injury lawyer shouldn’t guarantee any specific outcome, but they should be able to estimate how long cases like yours generally take and the types of resolutions they’ve seen in similar cases.
You may want to ask about mediation and arbitration, and if they would attempt to settle your case before trial.
The size of a law firm or an attorney’s staff could have a significant impact on who handles various aspects of your case and the type of communication you’ll receive from your legal team. The attorney you speak with at a large firm may not end up being the attorney who handles your case.
Even if you’ve personally met with the lead attorney, there may be legal assistants or paralegals who will be in charge of filing and scheduling various aspects of your case.
Don’t hesitate to ask about communication and who will be handling your case. How long will they take to return emails or calls if you have questions? How frequently will they update you on your case’s progress? What information would they need from you before they can get started on your case?
Lastly you should ask about billing and their fees. Different attorneys may require different fees or work on various contingency fee scales for personal injury cases.
Simplify Your Personal Injury Attorney Search with Help from Minnesota Lawyer Referral
People seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney in the Minneapolis–St. Paul metro area can trust the Minnesota Lawyer Referral and Information Service (MNLRIS) to put them in touch with a reputable, qualified lawyer. MNLRIS is a public service of the Hennepin County and Ramsey County Bar Associations.
Call (612) 752-6699 to get in touch with a referral counselor for an unbiased referral to a qualified local personal injury lawyer.
Disclaimer: This information should be used for general information and not as legal advice for a specific legal matter you may be facing. If you have a specific legal problem, you are encouraged to discuss your situation with a lawyer in the appropriate jurisdiction.