If you Google “lawyer in Houston,” it takes less than a second for Google to return over 85,000,0000 results. While there are by no means that many attorneys serving Houston, it does speak to the volume of options you have when looking for a lawyer.
And let’s be frank: the attorney you hire can have a significant impact on the result of your case. Not only that, but you need to move quickly. The sooner an attorney can start working on your claim, the more likely it is that key evidence will be collected and the process of building your claim gets underway.
So where do you start?
While it will in part come down to your “gut,” there are some things you should keep in mind as you begin evaluating attorneys. Key considerations include the type of law they practice, their experience handling cases like yours, their fee structure, and more. Below, we take a closer look at what you need to know.
If you or a loved one has been injured, we encourage you to get in touch with our personal injury attorney for a free case review. Patrick Daniel Law serves Houston, all of Texas, and clients nationwide.
First and foremost, you need to work with an attorney who focuses on personal injury law. The law is complex, and each area of law has many unique features that take focused education and experience to master.
So, while you may know a lawyer you trust, if they practice in another area – say, business law or family law – it is unlikely they will be a good fit for your case.
Ideally an attorney who does not handle personal injury cases will refer you to a trustworthy peer who can help you. However, it is important to take steps of your own to ensure you are talking to the right type of lawyer.
The website for the State Bar of Texas allows you to peruse the profiles of attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the Lone Star State. While the number of options can be overwhelming, a search of the site can help you find lawyers in your area with a focus on accident and injury law.
You can also learn about other services provided by the attorney’s law firm, including language assistance and translation.
You need an attorney who dedicates a significant part of his or her practice to personal injury law. However, this focus can encompass multiple practice areas.
Ideally, you want to work with a personal injury lawyer who has specific experience with cases like yours. This experience is crucial for obtaining a favorable outcome, especially if your claim involves complex legal and medical issues.
For example, with truck accident cases, there are many rules and regulations that apply to trucking company operations that could impact your case. Similarly, proving that a specific type of injury, such as a burn injury, was caused by an accident is best done by an attorney who has worked with clients who have suffered similar injuries.
Ultimately, when it comes to an attorney’s experience, the more specific you can get, the better.
Once you have established that an attorney has the kind of experience you need, you should then evaluate the attorney’s credibility. There are two ways to assess reputation online:
To get a quick sense of how respected a lawyer is, start with Google, the most popular review site for attorneys. There you can see an overall rating out of five stars, read reviews, and take note of whether or not the law firm responds to client reviews.
For attorneys and law firms that make a good first impression, you should also visit their website. Many lawyers have a page with additional client testimonials.
Recommendations from an attorney you know and trust are a good way to identify potential personal injury lawyers. However, not everybody knows an attorney.
There are multiple online attorney directories, but perhaps the most reputable is Avvo. The Avvo rating reflects an attorney’s experience, standing with state bar associations and other organizations, awards, and reputation within the legal community.
Most personal injury firms work on what is called a contingency fee basis. This means they don’t require payment unless and until they win compensation for you, whether through a settlement or a trial verdict.
This fee structure works well for personal injury victims since it doesn’t add to their financial burden. If you speak with a personal injury attorney who requires payment upfront, it may indicate that they don’t have a good understanding of personal injury claims or they aren’t willing to take a risk on your case.
You need an attorney who is honest with you and willing to fight hard for the compensation you need and deserve. A contingency fee arrangement can help you feel confident that a lawyer will be there for you.
While we hope these pointers have helped you narrow down your list, the last step is to set up consultations with law firms and get to know them. Ultimately, you need to be able to trust your lawyer and feel comfortable speaking with them about your situation. This is something you won’t be able to determine from a website alone.
To speak with Patrick Daniel Law about your claim, please call us today at (713) 999-6666 for a free case review. Our personal injury lawyer serves clients in Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.