When it comes to choosing an attorney, there’s a lot to consider – from your lawyer’s specialty and experience, to their record with winning cases like yours, to whether or not they’re conveniently located near you – there is undoubtedly, a lot to think about. When you or someone in your family has been hurt, the pressure to make the right choice can be even heftier.
Here’s a list of the most important things to think about when choosing an attorney to represent you in your claim:
Research your potential lawyer’s experience and track record. This is key in verifying your attorney’s familiarity with cases like yours, their overall capabilities, and record of success.
Make it local
Sure the actors in those frequent daytime TV commercials touting the law offices of some large, important sounding firm might sound enticing but the truth is they’re usually from large impersonal referral services or scammy out-of-state firms looking to snag as many clients as they can without any real regard for you or your case. The same is true for those paid online search ads “trolling” for out-of-state cases. But the worst part is these lawyers don’t have any of the real hands-on experience with your local judges and court system, which puts them – and your case – at a distinct disadvantage.
Always hire an attorney whose practice is based in your state – even better, one in your specific town or area. (Meshbesher & Spence has four locations in Minnesota to serve you – and we make house calls!) Choosing a local attorney is not only best for the outcome of your case, as our extensive knowledge of your state’s laws and local experience will directly support your claim – it also helps support the local economy as well.
Contingency: You pay when they win
Simply put, if you don’t win – you don’t pay! This means that if you don’t win your case, you owe your lawyer nothing. A contingent fee agreement says that your lawyer receives a percentage of your settlement as his or her payment. Because you don’t pay out of pocket, you should not hesitate to approach established firms who may appear to be out of your league financially. You want the very best attorney you can get to take your case – contingency allows you to get the most for your money.
Remember it’s NEVER to your advantage to represent yourself – there’s a reason why it takes so much schooling and experience to become a successful lawyer. Since you don’t pay if you don’t win, you can afford to choose the very best in the business and give your case its best possible chance in court.
Whether your claim is medical malpractice, worker’s compensation or a something else altogether, make sure you choose a lawyer with specific experience in the arena in which your claim exists. Just as an obstetrician has a different and more specialized set of skills than a neurologist or rheumatologist, each area of law has it’s own set of idiosyncrasies and intricate complexities and it will serve you best to choose a lawyer who “does it for a living,” instead of a family friend whose focus may be tax or family law but who does some worker’s compensation claims on the side. Always seek out the most qualified professional for your best chance at success.
Word of mouth
Although word of mouth referrals from friends and family can be your best source of information, be sure to check your source carefully. Ask only people you trust, who have experience in claims (either as plaintiffs or within the legal field), and be sure to ask specific questions about what it was like to work with the attorney they’re referring, whether or not they would hire them again, and why.
If you know or have access to a defense attorney, ask them who their best adversary in the area is. Never choose an attorney solely because they are a friend of a friend, or are related to you or someone you know. These qualities do not necessarily make them the best-qualified attorney to represent you and your case.
The Minnesota attorneys of Meshbesher & Spence have been representing families in crisis for over 50 years. We’re skilled in personal injury, class action, criminal defense, and civil litigation. At Meshbesher & Spence, we are proud of the tradition of excellence upon which our practice is built, and continue that tradition in a relentless pursuit of justice for each individual and family in need of our representation. Our work is based upon the belief that the lawyer you choose truly does make a difference, and we believe that every Minnesota family deserves the very best. If you’re in need of an attorney, contact Meshbesher & Spence today for a free consultation call 1-888-728-9866.