Select a Lawyer
HOW TO SELECT A QUALIFIED LAWYER
As consumers, we all know how to evaluate and purchase things like cars, refrigerators, houses, and the like, but when it comes to hiring professionals like lawyers, we are often at a loss. It used to be the custom in the legal community for lawyers to interview clients to decide whether or not to take on a case. With so much more information now available, people are better able to research a lawyer to see if he or she may be a good fit for their needs. Along with more information, though, comes more choices. How do you then choose not just a lawyer who can help you, but the right lawyer to help you?
At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, we recognize that all potential clients have the right to gather information about the lawyers they consult in order to find the best match between their legal problem and their legal representative. To that end, we developed the guide below to take some of the mystery out of hiring an attorney and hopefully make it easier for you to make this important decision. For your convenience, you can also print the corresponding list of questions to take with you when meeting with a lawyer.
WHAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK ABOUT
As a consumer of legal services, you have the absolute right, in the initial interview, to ask the attorney various questions about his or her background and work in the field of complex civil damage suits arising out of catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Remember, you are the employer, and you are doing the hiring, and you should not be afraid to ask questions.
The results of your lawsuit will probably have an important and long term impact on some aspects of the quality of your life and the more qualified your lawyer is, the better your result is likely to be. We suggest that you take with you a checklist to follow in questioning the attorney about education, experience, and competence in handling cases similar to yours. No qualified lawyer should have an issue answering all of your questions.
CHOOSING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
All too often, people who have suffered catastrophic injuries or have lost loved ones through the negligence of others really have no idea how to choose a competent attorney to represent them. Unfortunately, in today's age of advertising lawyers, many attorneys claim to be "trial lawyers" but have no practical trial experience or expertise in handling claims involving wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. They accept a case with the goal to settle the case for as much money as they can and, unfortunately, often settle claims at sums far below the real value of that client's case.
When selecting an attorney, you must make sure not only that the attorney is well qualified to represent you, but that, and maybe even more importantly, the attorney and the law firm have the experience and expertise to evaluate your case properly and the conviction to try that case to a jury verdict in the event the defendants are unwilling to pay the full value of your case. Every case involving death or personal injury has a finite value and that finite value is what a jury will give as an award for the case when it is properly prepared and tried before that jury. Many settlement efforts are at best a guess or projection of what a jury will do. You can be assured that defense attorneys and the insurance companies know which lawyers will try major, complex personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits and which lawyers will not. They also know which lawyers obtain large verdicts in those types of cases.
Every person who has been seriously injured or who has a claim for the wrongful death of a loved one deserves not only to be treated with respect and dignity but, what is more important, they deserve to have lawyers who have the knowledge, experience, and commitment to demand absolute and total justice for their clients.