If you've been involved in an accident or mishap that wasn't your fault—and you feel that someone or some company is to blame—chances are that you're considering contacting an accident and personal injury attorney to seek compensation. Here are a few things you ought to know going in.
#1: Make sure the attorney will meet with you in person.
A firm that doesn't offer a free, in-person consultation before you agree to anything definite is usually not the best way to go. Make sure you're able to discuss your case with a real lawyer before you're obliged to anything, and don't be tempted by the lower costs of a firm who say this isn't possible.
#2: Check that you're dealing with who you think you're dealing with.
Every now and then, you'll come across a firm who won't actually be representing you in court—they simply act as a kind of broker in cases like this, contracting other firms to do the real heavy lifting. You'll save time and money by cutting out the middleman, so make sure the people you're meeting with will be handling all parts of your case.
#3: Look for ballparks rather than promises and realistic expectations over grandiose claims.
If your firm is promising you a specific amount of money, this should get you looking for another firm to represent you; the truth is that no lawyer can give more than a rough indication of what you might be able to expect in terms of compensation. Finding a firm with lawyers who are realistic in their outlook rather than interested in offering you huge potential wins will get you the best outcome possible nine times out of ten.
#4: Find a lawyer you actually get on with.
They don't need to become your new best friend, but it's important that you're comfortable with the solicitor you choose. You're going to need to tell them the whole truth about the incident and open up entirely about your own record and any convictions in the past, so don't be afraid to meet a few solicitors before making your final decision.
#5: Look at reviews before you schedule a meeting.
With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Peer review sites like Yelp are actually pretty accurate—look for a firm with plenty of reviews, and make sure they're mostly positive. Don't worry if there are a few negative comments, though; everyone gets bad cases and clients that don't work out. Just so long as the overall gist of the reviews is solid, you're good to go.