Choosing a Maine personal injury lawyer should be a selective process. For one, a highly experienced lawyer with repeat success can charge the same fees as an inexperienced lawyer. In your fight against insurance companies, for example, you’re up against the most expensive, highly skilled lawyers to fight against your case. And depending on the details of your case, the lawyer’s fee can be lower and it’s important to discuss this with your lawyer.
So choosing a lawyer with a track record of success who also understands how insurance companies operate in a personal injury lawsuit is critically important.
Choosing a lawyer based on TV ads alone does not guarantee a win for your case. Also, be aware that many personal injury law firms operate on a business model of a high turnover rate. A high number of cases = quick turnover = less time and energy spent on your important case. So read on to understand some key qualifiers you can use to find the best personal injury lawyer for you.
The research for the best personal injury lawyer can take a few forms. Ask friends and colleagues who‘ve experienced a serious accident or injury which personal injury lawyer he or she used to win their case. Referrals are an excellent way to find someone you can trust. Additionally, research online for the best personal injury lawyer suited to your needs can provide reliable and objective information.
Read the lawyer’s client reviews. Are the reviews genuine, thorough, positive and how many reviews are there?
Check out the following lawyer peer-reviewed sites. These platforms offer lawyers a chance to grade each other. These can be particularly objective given the competitive nature of the law field:
The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry ratings are established by attorneys for attorneys, and states on the site: “[the registry] clearly indicates a demonstration of the highest professional and ethical standards.” For over 130 years, Martindale-Hubbell has remained the most authoritative and reliable source of information about the legal community in the United States. The site offers peer review ratings for over 1 million lawyers across the US, plus you can read lawyer biographies. You’ll see an “AV” rating which is the highest reflection of expertise, experience, and integrity, and overall professional excellence, plus identifies a lawyer and a firm with a very high to preeminent legal ability.
Superlawyers. Polling, research, and selection of Super Lawyers is a process designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The Superlawyer’s annual listing of high-achieving lawyers covers more than 70 practice areas and only five percent (5%) of lawyers in each state in the US are named Super Lawyers.
Avvo provides an online lawyer-rating system created by legal professionals and people seeking legal representation. While the site is an accumulation of what the lawyers place on their profile plus the state bar association and other organizations that license legal professionals, each lawyer’s rating is based on the same set of standards. Any information that would affect the lawyer’s rating is publicly visible.
Additionally, if you know other lawyers in your community who don’t practice personal injury law, ask them for a referral. The law field is a tightly knit community within any geographic region, so another lawyer will only want to recommend the best.
Read the lawyer’s site to understand if he or she handles cases like yours. Some lawyers specialize in traumatic brain injury, slip and fall, wrongful death, car accidents, and more. While others focus or specialize only in malpractice cases. It is critically important the lawyer has vast knowledge and expertise in handling litigation with insurance companies, plus a thorough understanding of your injuries and the type of claim you wish to pursue. Keep in mind that some lawyers are “general practitioners” which means they don’t focus on a particular type of legal case. Ask them about this. If you have a serious personal injury claim it’s important you hire the best personal injury lawyer who handles personal injury law on a daily basis.
In personal injury law, there are two types of lawyers. There are the lawyers who represent the defendant – the business, person, or other entity who is alleged to have caused the injury. And there are lawyers who represent the injured – ie “the plaintiff.” If you’ve been injured, make sure you are researching a “plaintiff lawyer.”
Some cases never go to trial. And therefore the lawyers that handle these cases may not have experience in court. So ask the lawyer while you’re interviewing them if they try cases in court and how often. Why is this important? Insurance companies want to know if the lawyer they’re up against (your lawyer) goes to court or settles. If the insurance company knows your lawyer will take the case to court, they know your lawyer is ready and able to see the case all the way through. Otherwise, the insurance companies may see this as an opportunity to settle and potentially pay less for your claim. You do not want this.
If a lawyer teaches, speaks before other legal counsel on matters concerning the legal community at large, or is involved with outreach and efforts that improve the welfare of others besides their client, you can take these activities into account as a sign of good character. You want a lawyer with a track record of winning, but you also want a lawyer who cares about you and your case.