Choosing a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia can be challenging. With so many attorneys available, it is hard to know where to begin. But making the right choice can make a huge difference in the outcome of your personal injury case, so you want to get it right. While you want to obtain an attorney as quickly as possible following your injury in Pennsylvania (due to the state’s two-year statute of limitations), be sure not to make a hasty decision. Doing some research and asking the right questions will be worth your time.
Getting Your Search Started
To get started in your search for a personal injury lawyer, make a list of potential attorneys using the following sources:
- Referrals – Ask your friends and family if they have recommendations for a good personal injury lawyer. They may have had personal injury cases of their own that had favorable outcomes. Additionally, if you have used an attorney in the past who you trust, but who doesn’t handle personal injury cases, they can usually refer you to a good personal injury attorney.
- Attorney Referral Services – These types of services are easily accessible online. They will allow you to search Philadelphia for personal injury attorneys and provide you with information that may help you narrow your search.
- Bar Associations – You can also look at the websites of the American Bar Association, and your state and county bar associations for lists of potential personal injury attorneys. Local bar associations will also let you know if an attorney is in good standing.
Factors to Consider
Once you have your list of possible attorneys, you will want to do a little bit of research to narrow the field:
You can gain a lot of information from attorneys’ websites, such as: the type of cases they have successfully litigated; how they charge clients (most only get paid when they win your case); in which personal injury areas they specialize; and how big their firms are. However, it’s important to keep in mind that websites and advertising only offer you favorable information. You won’t find anything negative there.
While you want to make sure that an attorney has an adequate educational background, don’t get too caught up in academic achievements. Whether he or she graduated at the top of their law school’s class or not has very little to do with how they represent their clients. What will become important to you is how they use the skills they learned in law school in their cases.
You may think that you have found the perfect personal injury attorney to represent you, only to find out that he or she has ethics violations on their record. That should be cause for concern, and warrants actually speaking to the attorney to obtain the full story to be able to make an educated decision. You can usually find disciplinary actions online. In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court administers discipline for lawyers in the state. You can research Pennsylvania attorney’s through the court’s Disciplinary Board website.
You want an attorney who has experience with the type of personal injury case you have. That said, you will want to make sure that the attorney you choose doesn’t have such a heavy caseload that he or she won’t have time to give your case the personal attention it needs. Look for an attorney who is experienced, but still enthusiastic about each new case.
The benefits of experienced attorneys often outweigh the benefits of attorneys just starting out. Experienced attorneys usually have more resources accessible to them. For example, an attorney who has been practicing for several years may have established good relationships with insurance companies, claims adjusters, and law enforcement. They are also more likely to have their own investigators and medical experts to assist with cases.
Asking the Right Questions
After your research, you should have a short list of candidates as potential personal injury attorneys. It’s time to set up an appointment with your chosen few and see what they are like in person. Your compatibility with the attorney you choose isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but you will want someone with whom a good relationship is likely.
When you meet, have your questions ready and take notes. You won’t be able to remember everything. The first thing to consider is how readily the attorney answers your questions. The attorney you choose should be willing to address all your concerns, without being rushed or indicating that it’s an imposition.
The following is a list of questions to get you started when you interview potential attorneys:
- In which areas of personal injury do you specialize?
- What is your caseload like?
- Have you ever received disciplinary action against you?
- Have you handled cases like mine? How many? Were your clients satisfied with the outcomes?
- Who will be working on my case?
- How long do you anticipate my case will take?
- How often do you go to trial in cases like mine?
- If my case isn’t settled, will you be the attorney to represent me in court?
- How will we communicate?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
- Do you think I have a good case?
- What are your fees?
Making the Decision to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
You have a lot to consider when making your choice for a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia. Experience, resources, and a successful track record are the key factors you want your attorney to possess. At Ross Feller Casey, we have all three. Our team of lawyers are experienced in every aspect of personal injury and we have medical doctors right on staff to review the records that are pertinent to your case. We have won record-setting verdict and settlement for our catastrophically injured clients.
If you need a personal injury attorney, please call Ross Feller Casey today for a free review of your case. All of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay until you receive a financial recovery.