How to Choose a Personal Injury Attorney
You probably already know you should receive advice from an Ohio personal injury lawyer before dealing with any insurance company other than your own. But which one?
Columbus, in particular, offers hundreds of options for victims in personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. Choosing the one who will serve you best can be difficult. To help, Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman offer these six tips.
- Do your homework online
Googling up a lawyer is not a bad idea as long as you have a good idea of what you want to find. Use search terms as specific as possible. Examples to start with include
- Columbus, OH personal injury attorney car accident
- Ohio medical malpractice attorney
- Columbus wrongful death lawyer
Each of those strings will return dozens of results. Shorten the list by adding search terms like the city you live in, the specific condition you have, and even superlative like “best”. Law firms that receive awards for serving their clients well usually announce this on their websites.
- Review websites and check ethics
Identify three to five law firms that meet your basic criteria for being easy to visit in person, having strong track records for succeeding with your type of case, and having evidence for ethical practice. The first two pieces of information will be immediately obvious from the law firm’s websites. You can check on whether an Ohio personal injury attorney has been in trouble with peers or regulators by visiting the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
- Ask for recommendations
Personal recommendations from friends and relatives you trust can also prove valuable for identifying caring and dedicated personal injury lawyers. Be aware, however, that each case is unique. You can count on an attorney being knowledgeable and hard-working, but you cannot assume you will receive exactly the same outcome as your family member or co-worker.
- Schedule a free consultation
Meet with each attorney you might hire in person. The first consultation should cost you nothing, and you should feel no pressure to sign on as a client. One purpose of the meeting, as explained below, is to ask key questions regarding what the personal injury lawyer knows and can do on your behalf. Equally important, you should develop a sense for whether you can trust the attorney and feel comfortable sharing personal and health information with him or her.
- Interview the lawyer
Arrive for your first meeting with a list of written questions. Ask each, and press for details. The exact questions you have will depend on what your case entails, but start with these:
- Do I have a case you think you can win?
- What will winning my case mean in terms of a monetary settlement or judgment and other outcomes?
- What percentage of any settlement or judgment will you take as a contingency fee?
- How long do you expect this case to go on before reaching a conclusion?
- How involved will I need to be in terms of giving depositions, appearing in court, and providing ongoing medical information?
- Can you provide references from former clients whose cases were similar to mine?
- Act like an employer
You already hired your personal injury attorney by conducting what amounted to a job interview. Continue that professional relationship in the knowledge that he or she is working for you. Fire a lawyer who will not answer your calls or emails, who makes mistakes about points of law, or who becomes difficult to fully trust for any reason. It is your right to have an attorney who treats your case as a priority and executes all of their duties with utmost professionalism. Do not accept anything less.
If you would like to speak with an Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman personal injury attorney, call (800) 678-3318 or contact us through this site.