If you’ve been injured in a Virginia car crash and you’re looking for a lawyer on the internet, you’re probably wondering how to choose the best lawyer for your case. After all, a Google search for Fairfax personal injury lawyer only returns 564,000 results. How do you choose? Should you just call the guy with the best website? Should you do a comparative analysis of the case results pages and see who has the highest verdicts? Should you pick the lawyer who promises you a “quick and easy” settlement?The fact is that if you’ve never had to hire a personal injury lawyer before, you probably have no clue about how to distinguish between the half-million Fairfax lawyer sites on the internet.
- Call a lawyer you already know. Just about everyone knows a lawyer. If you live in northern Virginia, you probably have a friend or acquiantance who is a lawyer. But if you don’t, chances are you had a traffic ticket, went through a divorce or purchased a home and used a settlement attorney and previously met at least one lawyer. The first thing that you should do is call someone you know or trust and ask for a recommendation. Even if your friend isn’t a personal injury lawyer and has never tried an auto accident case, chances are he knows who to recommend and who to tell you to stay away from. Getting a personal referral is the best way to find a lawyer. About 70% of our caseload is referral based.
- Discuss your case with the lawyer on the phone before you meet him. You should be able to get your potential lawyer or at least his assistant on the phone to discuss the facts of your case before you meet him. He might tell you that your case is one that he doesn’t think he can handle or that you would be better off just handling it on your own.
- Actually meet with your lawyer. You would be surprised how many people sign a retainer agreement with a lawyer and have never met him in person. You want to see your lawyer in person and ask questions about your case and it’s handling to make sure that you are comfortable with him representing you.
- Beware the lawyer who promises you anything. The first time you meet a lawyer, he knows absolutely nothing about your case. Sure he knows that you were in an accident, that you went to the emergency room and have seen your primary care doctor and maybe a physical therapist, but he probably has no idea what your prognosis is, how long you’ll have to treat, and whether you’ll have any medical bills leftover. There is simply no way to tell you, at the first meeting, what your case is worth or whether you will owe medical bills at the end of your case. Any lawyer who tells you otherwise is lying.
- Ask how often the lawyer has handled cases like yours. You don’t want a lawyer who is learning on the job or trying to figure out your case as he goes along. If he doesn’t have significant experience handling auto accident cases and taking personal injury cases all the way to trial, the insurance company will know that and adjust the offers in your case accordingly. At David Marks Law, all we do is personal injury work. And only for the injured party.
- Ask what arguments the insurance company will make and whether the lawyer sees any problems on the horizon. Good personal injury attorneys in Fairfax will be able to answer these questions. They’ve heard what the insurance companies have had to say in cases involving minor damage, previous injuries, drunk drivers and pedestrians and know how to respond to them. The lawyer that anticipates the argument is in a better position to counter it.