Many people ask the question: “How do I know if I need a lawyer to settle my claim, and if so, how do I choose a good personal injury attorney?”
If you’ve experienced a minor impact accident, have less than $5,000 in medical expenses, have completely recovered, and have lost little, or no time, from work – you probably have a “small claim” which you could settle yourself.
If you are not sure if you have a claim that needs an attorney, just call the Steffens Law Office. We will help you analyze the situation without charge.
Don’t base your decision on what the insurance agent says. No matter what, the agent will always discourage you from using an attorney.
Now, if you do need an attorney, how do you choose a good personal injury lawyer?
I suggest this criteria:
1st Seek an attorney with knowledge and experience. Personal injury is a specialized area of the law, and it requires years of education, training, and experience. If the lawyer practices in many different areas of the law, without really focusing on personal injury auto accidents - look elsewhere.
2nd Look for someone with a good reputation for honesty and professionalism – so you can believe what they say. There are several indicators here:
a) Are they endorsed by the Better Business Bureau?
b) Do they have at least a “very good” rating on AVVO – which rates lawyers for experience, industry recognition, and professional conduct?
c) Can they provide real testimonials where clients remark about the attorney’s character and creditability?
d) Did the lawyer give you inflated guarantees about the value and outcome of your claim? Good attorneys simply don’t do that.
3rd Is the lawyer genuinely interested, in your medical condition? If the lawyer isn’t encouraging you to get excellent medical care, and not asking how your condition is progressing – that’s a problem. Your talks shouldn’t just be about “money”.
4th Can the lawyer supply you with useful, free information about your claim?
5th Does the attorney have a reputation for good results?
a) Here again, look at their reviews on AVVO, and ask for real testimonials to find out what previous clients thought.
There are a lot of attorneys out there who “tout” themselves to be personal injury lawyers – so take your time searching for a good one who can genuinely help you.