The good thing about hiring a personal injury attorney (as compared to hiring a criminal lawyer) is that most good firms work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t collect a dime unless they win your case. This means you can try your case for no out of pocket costs. On the other hand, if a lawyer working under these circumstances does not believe that you have a good chance of winning, they are unlikely to represent you. Of course, in America these types of lawyers have gotten something of a bad name. The term “ambulance chasers” refers to those lawyers who look for any opportunity to sue. There are some bad apples out there, but with some research, you can find a quality personal injury attorney to take your case.
Your first step should be to call the American Bar Association. They can provide you with a list of lawyers in your area that could be a good fit for your case. You may even wish to go to their website, where they provide such lists without even having to pick up the phone. By narrowing your search by state and locale, along with the type of case you want to present, you can find several names in your area. Of course, you can also talk to friends and coworkers to see if they know anyone who could represent you. You may find someone who has been in a similar situation or who knows someone who has. Nothing beats personal experience when it comes to a referral.
If you have a lawyer for another reason, they could be a good resource when it comes to helping you find a personal injury attorney. Through professional circles, they are likely to know who has a good reputation in the field. If they can give you a direct referral, it may also help you get a foot in the door and get a firm to accept your case, even if it doesn’t look like a slam dunk. Professional courtesy or favors owed could get your case accepted.
Once you have a list of possibilities, start making some appointments. Almost all reputable firms will allow you a free initial consultation. You can present the facts to the lawyer and see what they have to say. They may inform you that you don’t have much of a case and would be better off dropping it altogether. Don’t be discouraged if this is what you run into. You can always get a second opinion. If you hear the same thing a couple of times, however, you may want to take a step back and reevaluate. These are legal experts and they will know better than anyone whether or not you have a case worth pursuing.