If someone smashed into you at a stoplight or you tripped and fell due to a defective sidewalk or staircase, you want justice, and rightly so. You must hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in New York to obtain a fair settlement.
Just because an attorney looks great on paper doesn’t necessarily make them a good fit for your case. Below, find tips on how to pick the right personal injury attorney in New York.
Consider Their Experience
The more experience your attorney has, the better. You want a lawyer who has seen it all and knows the dirty tricks insurance companies might pull to lower your settlement.
When you meet with an attorney, ask the following:
- How many years have you been in business?
- Does your law firm largely focus on personal injuries, or is it a general firm that accepts many types of cases?
- Has your work earned any awards?
Ensure the lawyer has handled cases like yours in the state of New York, too. If you’ve suffered a rare and disabling brain injury, you don’t want a lawyer who has only settled cases for broken bones.
What’s Their Track Record?
Just because an attorney has many years of experience doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a winner. If an attorney loses every other case they take, it would be wise to look elsewhere.
The attorney you hire should have a strong track record of winning small and large cases. Also, ask about settlements the attorney has achieved for similar cases. A good lawyer will have no problem discussing settlements they’ve won for clients.
Does the Attorney Have the Resources To Handle Your Case?
Choose an attorney with the financial and professional resources to resolve your case successfully. For instance, if you’ve been in an accident involving multiple drivers and it’s unclear who is at fault, your lawyer should have the resources to hire accident reconstructionist and professional witnesses.
Are They Willing To Fight for You in Court?
Some personal injury attorneys are conflict-avoidant and shy away from court trials. Settling out of court is ideal because trials can be lengthy and expensive, but sometimes, that’s the only option.
Ask the attorney what they will do if the insurance company offers a settlement that’s too low. They should be willing to negotiate for more, but if that fails, you want a lawyer who’s prepared to represent you in a trial.
Read Client Testimonials
About two-thirds of people said that they would be more likely to hire an attorney with online reviews, and 49% said they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from people they personally know. Additionally, 59% of consumers rely on reviews when choosing service providers such as lawyers and doctors. To find the right personal injury lawyer in New York, you should do the same.
Client reviews can reveal details such as:
- Average settlement amounts the attorney has achieved
- Whether the attorney’s fees are fair
- Whether the attorney communicates well or leaves clients in the dark
- Whether the law firm charges fair fees
Although reviews can be very helpful, be on the lookout for fake testimonials. Some attorneys may pay people to write reviews for them, which is heavily frowned upon in the legal field.
A review may be fake if:
- It’s too generic (for example, “I loved my lawyer” or “They won my case, five stars”)
- The writer has not written any other reviews
- The writer has written reviews for other businesses across the country (this could indicate that they don’t live in the attorney’s service area)
What Do Colleagues Say About Them?
Reading professional reviews from an attorney’s colleagues is a fantastic way to learn whether they’re a good fit for your case.
Best Lawyers is a good source to check. The lawyers on this list have been selected by their peers as high-performing in 57 specialties.
The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry is another reliable resource. Lawyers can only make this list by demonstrating the highest level of professional and ethical standards. “AV” is the highest rating a lawyer can earn. Firms with this rating have a very high level of integrity, experience, and expertise.
A third resource to consider is Super Lawyers. This annually updated list recognizes attorneys who have achieved high levels of professional achievement and peer recognition. Just 5% of lawyers in each state are chosen as Super Lawyers per year.
Do They Teach Other Lawyers?
If an attorney gives speeches at universities and seminars, it means their knowledge and expertise are in high demand. Strong lawyers may also write articles for legal publications and content for college textbooks.
Does the Lawyer Belong to Any Legal Groups?
It’s a good sign if the attorney belongs to a legal organization that is committed to helping victims, such as the American Association for Justice (AAJ) or the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). If the attorney provides pro bono (free) work for impoverished clients who cannot afford to pay, even better. This indicates that the lawyer is caring and committed to upholding the concerns of their community.
Are They Board-Certified?
Any attorney can take your case to trial, but not all are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. The NBTA only offers certification to attorneys with extensive experience in courtroom trials. To earn this certification, attorneys must undergo a rigorous day-long examination.
Understand Their Fee Structure
Cost is among the main concerns when hiring a personal injury lawyer in New York. All good personal injury attorneys should work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless they win your case.
However, even if the lawyer loses your case, you may still have to pay case expenses. These could include filing fees, charges for medical records, and costs to hire accident reconstructionists.
Ensure you understand which fees you will be responsible for before hiring the lawyer. Avoid attorneys who charge all case expenses up front.
Lastly, most reputable personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation. This is your opportunity to determine whether the attorney is a good fit for you.
Will You Enjoy Working With Them?
Hiring a lawyer who’s easy to work with is a must for your personal injury case. The initial consultation with an attorney is the perfect time to decide whether they’re a match.
When meeting with an attorney, ask yourself:
- Are they friendly and professional?
- Do they explain things to you in a way that’s easy to understand?
- Are they willing to travel to you if need be?
- Will they keep you updated as your case progresses?
Listen to your gut feeling, too, as it’s rarely wrong. If you have a good feeling about an attorney, chances are that you’ll work well together.
Our Attorneys Fight Hard for Fair Compensation
Strong attorneys will handle all common types of personal injury cases, including slips and falls, car accidents, wrongful death cases, and labor law violations. Before hiring a New York personal injury attorney, ensure they have plenty of experience with cases just like yours.
Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani handles all types of personal injury cases and will fight aggressively to win a settlement that covers your damages. If you’ve been injured at work, we can guide you through the claims process, appeal workers’ compensation denials, and represent you in a hearing if necessary.
For a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in New York, call (718) 626-7730.